Rob’s Surgery Update, or It Has Been a Long Four Weeks!Posted: April 26, 2010
Here is my update for everyone who has asked. On March 23rd, Robert had surgery at All Creatures Veterinary in Arlington, WA. Why all the way up in Arlington? Because that is Dr Tim Cavanaugh’s clinic. Dr. Tim was Freya’s vet and did her elbow surgery years ago. Because he was the vet who was involved in her original rescue, he was also the only vet who was nonplussed by her horrible clinic manners. We referred to her annual exams as her scare-the-vet trip. Even with a muzzle on she was an intimidating beast.
Rob sees Dr Hetrick in Burien as his local vet and she diagnosed Luxating Patella on his left knee 2 years ago. It is a fairly rare occurrence in a large dog. She referred us to a surgery center nearby but we never had any notion of trusting anyone else and asked Dr Tim to do it. The surgery was perfect and Rob has been as active as if there had never been an issue at all. I was cautioned by both vets that this problem was likely to be bilateral but the right knee seemed fine. That changed at the end of February. Here is an article about the condition: Luxating Patella: A Knee Problem in Dogs.
I kept him as quiet as I could until we could get the surgery scheduled and then the recovery recommendations included 8 weeks of restriction. This isn’t one of those hop-up-and-be-as-active-as-you-can surgeries because the cartiledge and bone have to be kept quiet and allowed to fuse. We picked him up the day after and he was all woozy and didn’t want to go down the back porch steps so Scott took him out the front steps. The next morning, when I took him out the front again, he dashed down the stairs and across the road to greet the kids from next-door as they passed on their walk to school. They both looked pretty startled to see this dog running at them all shaved and with a huge cone on his head. I figured that if he felt good enough to do that he could certainly negotiate the back steps into his confined dog yard.
We tried having him sleep in his bed in our room but he’d wake several time a night, disoriented because of the pain meds, and start squeeking and bashing his cone around the room. I ended up sleeping, or not sleeping, out on the living room couch until the stitches came out and the cone was finally dispensed with. It didn’t take long for him to realize that he could herd people with the cone and everyone who visited found themselves scooped into the kitchen facing the treat jar. When thought we could give him a break from the cone and take it off for a few minutes, he pulled out his drain — DOH! I was able to keep the knee draining with hot packs and keeping the holes open but it sure was harder. I’ll stop for a moment to recommend Bach Rescue Remedy. I gave him drops in his water and rubbed the cream on his razor bumps — LOL.
Between the hot dog pieces I stuffed his pills into, the carob treats and the rawhide chews we gave him to keep him occupied, the Dr was afraid he’d gain weight so I had to cut his food ration by half which he did notice. He is looking good though and finally getting back to normal. Although he is still confined to home, he’s playing and moving around well. Coming soon — walkies!