Our experience started with Dixie at about 4 – 6 months old. She had been going to the dog park since she was 12 weeks old but one day, she started limping and it seemed that she didn’t stop for 3 years! She had her first ACL surgery when she was just about a year old. Dixie is a pretty lazy dog but when she wants to run, she takes off like a shot! When the limping started, our minds wondered, going over all the possibilities of what it could be. Just cold from the snow?, a sliver in her pad; maybe she stepped on something?, a sprain?, maybe something got pulled?! You start at the least painful and travel to the worst case scenario. Finally, the decision to seek veterinary advise! The routine is to rest the dog for anywhere from two weeks to 6 months along with anti-inflammatorys to see if that helps! For Dixie it was a no go. X-rays of her knee showed she had torn the ACL, the meniscus and had some arthritis. She was only a year old!! It would be surgery for her! 😦 Now if trying to keep a dog at rest for two weeks (give or take) isn’t hard enough! Try keeping even a lazy dog from no running, no jumping, no stairs, no couches, no beds FOR 6 WEEKS! If any of you know little Miss Lazy Dixie Doodles, stairs may be ok but jumping, couches or beds? BE SERIOUS! She was not a happy camper – although she did like being picked up to get on the couch AND it was a little funny watching her figure that cast out (especially when it came to potty breaks) but you could see she was miserable and it was hard just to lay down!
The one word of advise that came from the orthopedic surgeon when Dixie had her surgery was, if she tore one, she will more than likely tear the other! ‘Sure Doc, what’s the likelihood!?’ Well, let me tell you that the likelihood is very high! Not only did Dixie have to have yet another surgery, she tore #2 in less than a year. Keep in mind that even though her cast came off in two weeks, the no jumping, no stairs, blah blah blah goes for 6 weeks and they REALLY don’t completely recover for quite a few months! Dixie barely recovered from #1 when we came to the realization that she would need #2!
I remember my husband giving me that look when he heard the cost of the surgery! My response was, ‘What? You think if it was Duke we wouldn’t be footing that bill?’ Of course we would! Well, this post is dedicated to anyone who has had to rest their dog; restrict activity; take short, slow walks; carried their dogs up and down stairs umpteen million times just to go to the bathroom OR who have had to pay for ACL surgery! Talk about OUCH! Brandon didn’t even have #1 paid for before she needed #2. (Thank you CareCredit)
So Dixie had two ACL surgeries, one year apart. One of my past fosters that I still get updates on, Zoe, had double ACL surgery this year! Like back to back isn’t bad enough, have them both done at the same time! DOUBLE OUCH (note the pain patch on her hiney)! Poor Zoe!
Yesterday, Delilah was told she has a luxating patella! Actually, both her knees ‘luxate’ but the left one is pretty obvious where the right isn’t so bad! For those of you who don’t know what a luxating patella is: basically her knee slips out of the socket or grove that it is supposed to sit in/on and it causes her lameness!
She had been coming in from the back yard holding her left hind leg up! She wouldn’t put weight on it but then would walk it off and be fine! One time this even happened on a walk WHILE she had her puppy Uggs on! Here come all those from minor injury to worse case scenario thoughts! Since she would need to be sedated for removal of a cyst from her hind right paw that kept growing, popping and bleeding, we thought we should see if the vet thought an x-ray was in order! Good thing we did! Although, it’s not the worst case possible and surgery is not necessary at this point, WHAT’S WITH PIBBLE KNEES!?!?!?!?!?!? I hear so many dogs having to have these types of surgeries lately that it makes me wonder. Actually it makes me mad because I have another thought as to why this happens but we will save that for another post!
And on second thought, I think the hardest part for the dogs is the cone!
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