Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lucky Update

I have noted here and here that my dog Lucky, a Great Pyrenees mix, had a chronic limp issue.  I guess since I don’t do facey-book anymore, this seems like the place to note his status. We have gone back and forth with the vet and an orthopedic surgeon, and they were unable to diagnose the issue, which got progressively worse. We tested for everything from bone & muscular cancer, to Lymes. Fortunately, nothing scary came back positive. We treated him for Lymes, but it really did not seem to help.
Finally, we took him to a dog orthopedic place (VOSM). The doctor there evaluated him and was able to diagnose CCL (or, if he were a human, ACL damage). Diagnosis is actually straightforward, as there are a couple of manipulations that they do assess if the noted ligaments are damaged. In Lucky’s case, it took a while for things to loosen up to the point where the manipulations gave the right indications indicating ligament damage. In fact, everyone involved noted that his diagnosis was unusually difficult. Anyway, this was actually good news, as now we knew what the problem was and the only question was what type of repair needed to be done and who would do the cutting. We settled on this guy to do the surgery, and went with his recommended TTA (described here) repair.
Lucky came through the surgery in good shape. He was good about not licking the wound, so he didn’t need a ‘cone’. After two weeks he went back and got the stitches out and there was no sign of infection. Since the surgery he has been pinned up in the living room to try to keep him as calm as possible so the leg will have a chance to heal. He will have to be confined there for two months. We have started doing short 5 minute walks and every day he is relying more and more on leg. We will expand the walks soon, going to longer and longer walks to build up the muscles that have atrophied.
In summary, I am deeply grateful to the doctors who have worked with us to bring him back, and I am overjoyed to see him healing so well. I think he is going to make a good recovery. Yes, it was not cheap, and I am glad I could afford to have it done, and the doctors have assured me they would have worked with me to set up a payment plan if I could not have afforded it. He is recovering well, and his prognosis is good. I will update this post & bump it with any new developments.

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