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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dog Zoey will be 10 yrs. old in April (sometime after tomorrow) ... She has had two surgeries on her back right knee, due to torn cruciate. July 2012 and then again: January 2013. The 2nd surgeon seemed to be more skilled and used a multi-filament line, rather than a mono-filament line (as in the 1st surgery/ surgeon)... I don’t know the correct surgical term here, but she did NOT get TPLO.......

Over the past several wks I have noted something going amiss with her leg... I really thought it was the failed surgery (again), so made her a Vet App't with the Jan. 2013 surgeon on Monday, March 24th. He did a light exam, didn't hurt her, etc., and then determined the line was still functioning properly - she had not broken it. At the time of her exam the tech asked me how her other leg was holding up and I said, "Oh fine" - never thinking the other leg could be the true issue..... The Vet cut her toenails (because I have not been able to take her to get groomed due to having to stand for sooo long and I just knew something was wrong, didn’t want to put her through that, etc.). He gave me an RX for Tramadol and instructions to also give her 80 mg Baby Aspirin - thinking the whole time we were treating her post-surgical leg that had flared up.....

Soooooooooo, this past weekend I see her picking up her good leg's foot up off the floor like all the time. She can barely stand up to eat her bowl food - She just wants to lay down all the time. I was WRONG when I thought it was her bad leg that had flared up! I now think it is her OTHER leg!

Omg omg...what am I going to do? She is in pain...totally. I can tell. She has not gone THREE LEGGED yet, but I foresee it coming. Soon.......

I work full time, can't stay home and take care of her IF she would need surgery on the other leg.... not sure I want to put her through that. She is almost TEN YRS OLD!!!

I Googled woundwear.com about a "dog leg brace" but I don't think my dog would leave that alone...........she would try to bite and pull it off. She could not even wear a Elizabethan Cone thing after her last Cruiciate Surgery Jan. 2013 when she bit out all her metal staples the day after surgery and arriving home. I tried to make her wear the cone of shame.. she would just stand and stand... not eat, not lay down, not drink..nothing. I finally had to pick her up and put her on my bed, tie my bathrobe tie around my wrist and then through her collar so I could control what she was doing for about 2 wks until the replaced WIRE sutures had to be placed after she had bitten out all the metal staples.

At the time I was not working due to having cancer, but NOW I could never take time off to take care of her post-surgically.

WHAT am I going to do? I cannot even begin to imagine decided to euthanize her because of her frickin’ knee joints???!?!?!??!?!?!? What? Butttttttttttt how practical is to force her though that incredibly painful surgery again – but yet on her SECOND leg?

HOW does someone put their beloved dog down? Where do you have to put your mind to do that sort of thing? Is it quality of life issues? I don’t know?

I lost my 35 yr. old daughter last July 2013 and am not sure I could stand losing my dog at this point, and for sure not by my own hand!!!!!!!!!!

I invite you to engage in my questions and topic, because I don’t know where else to turn for support and advice.
Thank you to anyone who could offer advice...
<head hung low> Mary
 

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So sorry you and your pup are going through this ..
My Airedale had a torn ACL repaired 2 years ago . It was done by our regular vet .
They used the filament .. The end of Feb he injured his leg again . This time we took him to an Orthopedic Specialist .. They did ex rays and determined that the filament was all broken and tangled around his joint.. .
On March 10th he had MMP surgery ( similar to TPLO ) ..
He is doing really well with the recovery .

I am sorry your pup is having such a difficult time ..
Can you take her to see an Orthopedic Specialist ?
My thoughts and prayers are with you . I hope you can find a solution ..
 

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I'm so sorry you're going through this again. Can you take her back to the vet so they can look at the leg she's not using?

I really don't know what to advise with the limitations you're facing. I do know that almost every dog I've ever owned has been freaked by the cone at first. They do get over it if you give it enough time. The brace might be an option if you get her used to wearing the cone.

I know you've struggled with trying to do the best you can for your dog. It's obvious that you love her very much. I wish I could do more than just offer my support and understanding.
 

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My biggest question would be, how is her health ASIDE from the knees? If she's in excellent health otherwise, it would be worth it to do the surgery. A 10 year old dog can have many good years ahead of them, and the knee is fixable. And yes, it is common- even expected- for a dog to blow the other ACL after one goes. Your vet should have warned you of this.

I agree with WJM that you should try to see an ortho specialist. It made SUCH a huge difference for my girl Riddle- who has had surgery for both ACLs as well as had both elbows fixed surgically. An ortho specialist is worth every penny.

I know it seems hard, but if she's healthy than she can have so many more years with the knee fixed. Is there anyone who could stay home to watch her or check on her occasionally? And don't' give in with the cone of shame this time either. Riddle HATED hers, she cried, she shook, I cried, and eventually she adjusted. It took days though. But the cone is SO IMPORTANT to keep her from pulling stitches out- that is not good.

Riddle liked the Comfy Cone a LOT better than the hard plastic ones too.
All Four Paws - Home of the Comfy Cone

It is soft so she could lie down better and it never dug in to her neck. She was much more accepting of it.
 

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I am also not a fan of making treatment choices based on age simply as a number. There's no reason an otherwise healthy 10 year old dog can't undergo and recover from cruciate surgery. Heck, humans in their senior years get hip or knee replacements all the time, so what remaining time they have is better whether that's one year or five years or twenty years.

If you think the surgery would benefit her, if you can afford it (not just financially but mentally and emotionally), and if your veterinarian thinks it is indicated then don't fixate on a number.

Also... if you decide not to do surgery the only other choice is NOT euthanasia. Plenty of people choose not to do cruciate surgery and their dogs just go on with their lives. Those knees will never be normal will probably develop arthritis, but with good pain management and maybe some physical therapy, those dogs live perfectly fine lives. It's not something to euthanize over unless pain can't be managed, IMO.
 

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I had a Rottweiler puppy years ago that had surgery on her acl.After that was fixed,not long after,she hurt her other one and had to have surgery on it.It was hard because she was a puppy and we also had another Rottweiler puppy too.My husband and I both worked full time.It wasn't easy but we got through it.I strongly agree with the others not to put her down,especially if she is in good health.I think it would harder on you emotionally to put her down than to physically deal with her if she had surgery.Recover from that surgery takes a while,euthanizing her is forever and you will regret and miss her terribly.Try to see if you can get a friend,relative or even a neighbor to check on her while you're at work if you do have the surgery done.Maybe they can help.Use the cone,she won't be happy,but it's best for her especially if you're not home.Good luck and think about your options-where there's a will there's a way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The latest –
Last night she wouldn’t eat – stand long enough to eat – still picking up her foot on her good leg, not the one that has had the surgery…. I emailed the vet who did the 2nd surgery on her right leg (Dr. Dane) and he thought I should take her to my local vet (Dr. John – NOT a surgeon though) to her have diagnosed. I followed up with a phone call to Dr. Dane’s gal to ask if that meant he didn’t want to see her again?? She said she’d talk to him and call me back. She did call back and gave me an app’t for Monday, April 7, but the Dr. Dane is booked THROUGH the month of April…. The April 7 app’t is just to see what is wrong with the leg, not to keep her and do surgery.
So in desperation I did take her to my local vet – Dr. John this afternoon for a 2:30 app’t. - where she goes for her well checks and shots, etc. He tried to examine her good leg, but she was of course way too tense without general anesthesia so he couldn’t produce a “drawer movement” to DX if her good cruciate has broken as well. He feels that I should have been told that if they have ONE Cruciate issue they will usually always have a 2nd one. I told him I knew that. He thinks that it is a partial tear at this time, not enough to make her go “three-legged” but it’s on its way out. He does recommend surgery by his “traveling surgeon” who comes to his clinic a few times a month. I asked him if he used a mono-filament line or a multi-filament line. He said a MONO filament. The reason I asked this is because the FIRST surgery she had at Dr. John’s clinic before (but not by the traveling surgeon, the resident doctor that is not at the clinic any longer) only lasted 6 months and it was with a MONO filament. The 2nd surgery that she had by Dr. Dane to repair the 1st surgery used a MULTI filament line. Dr. Dane told me that… a MULTI filament line. After examining her a week ago last Monday in thought her surgical leg was OK, so we left… “I” was never suspecting it was her GOOD LEG, for GOD’S sake!

Also, when I saw the surgeon (Dr. Dane) a week ago this past Monday when I “thought” it was her surgically repaired knee, he did NOT recommend Rimadyl – he gave me an RX for Tramadol and told me to give her Baby Aspirin as well. The vet today – DID recommend Rimadyl .. but first he wanted to do BLOOD TESTS to check her liver function cause she’s 10 yrs.old. Ya, Ya, I know that is standard procedure with Rimadyl. So, he did that and her liver levels were a bit elevated, but he thought that was somewhat normal for a 10 year old dog, however, I would need to bring her back and have another blood test done in one month. He mentioned something about “Cushing’s Disease” so needed to keep watching her liver function, etc.
Charge for today: $186.00 and I came away with 1 month of Rimadyl.

Second consideration – my family vet (Dr. John) says they use internal stitches so there are no wire staples or stitches to “chew out”. Dr. Dane that repaired the 1st surgeon’s botched job used “external” metal staples that she promptly pulled out in less than 4 hrs. after being home from her surgery – thus was super high maintenance and actually I had to take her back to Dr. Dane, had to have her put under again and have wire SUTURES placed with wires sticking out to discourage chewing the surgical site. We also had to try to get her to wear a cone which did not go over well at all, well actually she never did wear it. I stayed with her 24/7 so she would leave the wound alone for 3 weeks til the sutures could come out.

Sooo, if I go with my local vet – Dr. John it is: 1). A MONO filament line 2). No need for a cone, internal stitches 3). Cost: $1000. 4). Rimadyl – followup blood tests.
2nd Vet – Dr. Dane: 1). MULTI filament line 2) External metal staples, will need a cone 3). Cost: about $685. 4). No long term Rimadyl, no followup blood tests – he advises Glucosamine, of course….

WHAT SHOULD I DO?? And then you have to complicate things with my work schedule and the fact I have no one to take care of her post-surgically unless it is done “like next week” cause I have vacation I can take from now through April 17th. BUT it doesn’t seem like there are any surgeons that can “get her into their schedule” UNLESS Dr. Dane would schedule her for a Friday after seeing her April 7th – made mention by her office gal as she was making my app’t for Monday. It IS a possibility… otherwise, I am not sure when she’d get surgery with the traveling surgeon at Dr. John’s…

Right now, she is in her favorite chair, resting, had a Rimadyl, a Tramadol, did eat some soft food, had ice water, a few treats and has been out to pee and now back in RELIEVED I am sure to not have to stay at the clinic…
Opinions? Or, does anyone think to do NOTHING? Keep giving her Rimadyl and the blood tests hoping she doesn’t go three legged? Go with the blood/liver tests? I just don’t know…
 

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If you decide to go with Dr. Dane and his multi filament line, have you considered asking him about internal sutures instead of external staples? He might he willing to do that, given what happened last time.
My other thought is regarding the cone. Have you considered getting a cone and working with her to condition her to being comfortable in it? You could also look at inflatable donut collars (I don't know the technical name for them) instead of the cone.
My suggestion is crating her or putting her in an enclosed space like an exercise pen while you're at work. Chances are she'll sleep a lot while you're gone anyway, and if you can CC her to the cone or donut, you wouldn't have to worry while you're away at work.
All of this is only if you decide to do the surgery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Surgery was today with Dr. Dane, pick her up tomorrow. Washing all her bedding tonight, treats & food bought, bowls clean, ramp in place by early tomorrow a.m. Two weeks vacation ahead, Comfy Cone / Collar overnighted and here.. I AM READY.

I COULD NOT PUT HER DOWN - no way..

They said surgery went well, didn't get any detail how bad it was IN there, but will talk to Dr. Dane tomorrow and hopefully he'll confirm I made the right decision.

Was a huge relief coming home tonight knowing she was not here in PAIN with ME not knowing what to do for her. At least she is on the way to healing now. I know she will be glad to see us tomorrow when we pick her up and bring her home. OMGGG this has been super stressful... but know I made the right decision...

I LOVE HER!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Not that this matters much, but I was thinking about something on this surgery recovery - the last surgery she had on the other leg was a very difficult recovery BUT, it was a REPAIR and a DO-OVER from a 6 month prior failed surgery, by a poor surgeon. There was a ton of scar tissue he had to work with and all of that.

THIS surgery was on a FRESH leg, without all those prior disadvantages.... Therefore I am hopeful this recovery will be easier on her.

ALSO, BIG SHOUT OUT to the person who told me about the Comfy Cone! It's here and I KNOW it will work on her. How much better than those hard plastic things!?!?!?! Thank you so much for telling me about the Comfy Cone!
Love to all and I'll keep you posted, maybe also put a picture up of her once I get her home and situated....
:thumbsup:
 

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Not that this matters much, but I was thinking about something on this surgery recovery - the last surgery she had on the other leg was a very difficult recovery BUT, it was a REPAIR and a DO-OVER from a 6 month prior failed surgery, by a poor surgeon. There was a ton of scar tissue he had to work with and all of that.

THIS surgery was on a FRESH leg, without all those prior disadvantages.... Therefore I am hopeful this recovery will be easier on her.

ALSO, BIG SHOUT OUT to the person who told me about the Comfy Cone! It's here and I KNOW it will work on her. How much better than those hard plastic things!?!?!?! Thank you so much for telling me about the Comfy Cone!
Love to all and I'll keep you posted, maybe also put a picture up of her once I get her home and situated....
:thumbsup:

Good luck , I hope she has a smooth recovery .
 

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Not that this matters much, but I was thinking about something on this surgery recovery - the last surgery she had on the other leg was a very difficult recovery BUT, it was a REPAIR and a DO-OVER from a 6 month prior failed surgery, by a poor surgeon. There was a ton of scar tissue he had to work with and all of that.

THIS surgery was on a FRESH leg, without all those prior disadvantages.... Therefore I am hopeful this recovery will be easier on her.

ALSO, BIG SHOUT OUT to the person who told me about the Comfy Cone! It's here and I KNOW it will work on her. How much better than those hard plastic things!?!?!?! Thank you so much for telling me about the Comfy Cone!
Love to all and I'll keep you posted, maybe also put a picture up of her once I get her home and situated....
:thumbsup:
Here's hoping your girl is back to herself in no time. :)

Glad to hear the Comfy Cone is working for you. Riddle is so much more comfortable in hers, it does not stress her like the plastic cones do. Plus I love that she can sleep however she likes, and put her head in any position. It's also nicer for us since she sleeps with us, no more plastic cone banging us in the face! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Having trouble going potty.

I am having some problems getting her to go potty outside. I have the ramp and she seems like she wants to go out, but oh gawd the pain...

I took her out shortly after we got home and two small "stools" came out of her anus while she was just trying to "walk" on the 3 legs. She didn't even squat or anything - they just came falling out.

When I got her from the vet this a.m. she had quite a bit of poo matted around her anus in the hair. We had to cut it out with scissors.

She has drank a ton of water, and I think she has to pee, but when I get her out into the yard she just wants to either sit down or lay down.
I think I might need to start using a bath towel around her middle. I did a search on YouTube to see how to do it, and I guess I'll go with that the next time she tries to go out.
I noticed when I had the towel under her, she won't hardly walk - she doesn't know what is going on...
Any pointers from anyone? I just gave her another Tramadol, so maybe wait about 45 min. and try it again... :confused:
 
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