Sunday, November 12, 2006

Suffering

Well, I spoke too soon about Pappy's rebound from his injury. Once the painkillers wore off, or once the muzziness of the sedation kicked in, he spent a lot of time standing like a zombie. Today the muzziness seems to have worn off, but now he's standing around lightly wimpering despite the pain pills. It's a heartbreaker. It seems like he handles short sharp pains better than long-term soreness. The light at the end of the tunnel is that, when we saw a dog on a short evening walk last night, he was rarin' to meet.

In Temple Grandin's Animals in Translation, she talks about dog and animal perception of pain as compared to humans. She mentions some tests on human chronic pain sufferers, who had been bedridden because of their pain. They had neurosurgery to have some connections severed to their frontal cortex, where most of the advanced functions of the human brain reside. This surgery didn't cut the link to the pain receptors, but somehow isolated the pain from the higher-level brain. Formerly bedridden patients were then up and around. When asked, they said they felt the same pain, it just didn't bother them as much-- they weren't suffering. Grandin then goes on to draw parallels between this surgery and the fact that animals have a much less developed frontal cortex, and so may not suffer quite the same.

But the way things stand right now, it's seeming like ol' Pappy suffers plenty.

7 comments:

3dogcache said...

Distraction! Number one way to get Paps not to feel his pain. Dogs are funny that way, maybe they already are wired to have severed frontal cortex neurons. Good thing he was "raring to meet." Means this temporary setup won't effect his continued interest in interacting with other dogs. When the Paps begins whimpering, try distracting him with a ball...just roll it in front of him, he'll forget immediately pain is involved.

Pappy's Fella said...

Yeah, he's gnawing on a bone pretty happily right now. Of course he'll do that until his gums bleed, and then I'm dealing with a new injury. Terriers!

I still don't think there was a fight involved in the injury, I think it was an accident during play. I don't think there will be a lot of long terms issues apart from being terrified of the vet.

Jojo's Mom said...

Pappy was much missed this morning. Everybody was missed this morning. From 8 am to 9:15 Jack, Jojo and I were flying solo in the park. We left since the rain hadn't let up. So if you're looking for a brightside, Pappy didn't miss much today.

momo said...

Best wishes to Pappy and his recovery!

Boo said...

oh poor pappy! i hope he feels better now. lucky me haven't gone through all that... yet!

wet wet licks to a sick sick pappy

boo

Pappy's Fella said...

Jojo's mom-- it was pretty wet alright yesterday morn. Pappy's going to be half-nekkid when we go back to the park. I might have to borrow Truman's sweater.

Momo and Boo, Thanks for your thoughts. Pappy's feeling his old self today, but he was awfully sorrowful when we left this morning. A weekend of constant care will do that to a dog.

Butchy & Snickers said...

Poor Pappy! Sorry to hear you have such a bad ouwie! Sometimes when Snickers & I ruff house it, we nick each others gums or ears and they bleed a bit. Thank goodness we haven't had any bad cuts that need stitches. Hope you are feeling better soon pal!!
Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers