I don’t know about you, but my pets get boo-boo’s at least once a week. Mainly just a couple scratches here and there, but all in all it requires your attention.
We’ve recently experienced the next level when it comes to treating injuries.
Our 4-year-old female dogo argentino completely severed her cruciate ligaments in one knee. She also thought it would be fun to start again on the other knee, three months later.
At this young age, if you’re able to treat the injury and to pay for it, it will be worth it - for you and for your precious 4-legged-friend.
Careful however, the post-op care, appointments and rehab amount to an inconsiderable volume of time and resources. You need to be there every step of the way.
It gets hard the moment you pick your dog off from the clinic, after a 2 hours long surgery.
Your dog is inevitably limping, stunned from the drugs and the anesthesia, washed in a preferably pink disinfectant solution, and wears the cone of shame.
At this point you start to doubt if this was ever a good idea, and you start to see the mountain of obstacles leading your way.
While the surgeon has done his job, it then all falls on you.
Making sure you dog doesn’t lick the wound - making sure the stitches stay right where they are supposed to be - making sure your dog doesn’t run, jump, play - have any interaction with another soul for about 12 days.
They need to rest and move as little as possible, limited to doing their business outside the door, for about 5 – 10 minutes a day at most.
And then the stitches come off – you think it’s a done deal? There are another 4 to 6 weeks ahead of you, during which your dog can only walk a couple minutes, on a leash, and... well… that’s it.
When you think the hard part is over, because the vet just confirmed by a scan that the bone is healed, you actually have to get to work.
Your dog has probably lost half of their muscle mass, if not more, as a result of staying in bed all day long, and only walking out to pee. You both need to start exercising again!
Optionally, you can also consult a vet physiotherapist. Trust me, it sounded funny the first time, too. But, believe it or not, it actually was worth our time and money, as they achieved in 5 appointments what we had been trying to do for months.
Our dog is now back to her best shape, running, playing, trailing again. She has metal plates in her legs, but she’s already forgotten how hard it was. We haven’t.
29 October 2020 – Moon after a TPLO (Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy)
Going back to the cone of shame, our regretfully long experience has led us to discovering the inflatable collar.
We definitely recommend it. It allows your dog to move freely, they don’t bump their heads into the furniture and they can still eat and drink while wearing it.
Just keep an eye out if your dog is – like mine – very flexible!
Watch this space for more updates on the Pets Ark!
The Pets Ark family