Year in Review Part 2: Leo

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Leo recovered from his November 2017 TPLO surgery like a champ. At his eight-week X-rays, we learned that his fibula had broken during his recovery, but had already been healing for a few weeks, so there was nothing to be done, except feel completely devastated about my failure as a nurse. But he didn’t care. He was fine. Except for the part where the drugs made him start a couple of scary fights with Mia, and redirected a bite on my upper thigh that bruised and took longer to heal than Leo’s fibula, and the fact that I could not trick him into taking his medicine, so several times a day I had to force his maw open and shove a pill down his throat and hold his mouth closed until he swallowed… Those parts were trying.

But big picture, the surgery was a success and there were few complications. He enjoyed six adorable sessions on the underwater treadmill.

Unfortunately, it’s very common for a dog who tears a cruciate ligament on one knee to wind up tearing the other. And it appears, that’s where we are.

In late November 2018, more than a year since the surgery on his right leg, Leo’s regular vet did a thorough physical exam on his left leg and found nothing at all to be concerned about. A week later, after a brisk run-around at the dog park, Leo started toe-tapping with his left leg.

It comes and goes, and when we went back to the surgeon, they couldn’t tell for sure, but he probably has a partial tear on the left knee. Some people treat this with what’s called Conservative Management where you crate rest the dog, maybe get them a brace… but with a 100-pound dog, it’s only a matter of time. I couldn’t bear to watch him limp around the house, even occasionally, if I knew there was a surgery that could fix it.

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So, he’s scheduled for surgery January 11, where they will X-ray and scope, and assuming his cruciate is torn, he will have TPLO number 2.

I went into the surgery consultation thinking this is the preferable outcome, because it’s something we can treat. But it’s also a major surgery with an eight- to twelve-week (at least) recovery period. Add to that Mia’s continuing care needs, and it’s a lot.

Which makes me all the more grateful for all the adventures we had this year.

Here’s us on Christmas Day:


And here’s us on New Year’s Eve:

3 thoughts on “Year in Review Part 2: Leo

  1. Homeopathy can help heal a torn cruciate without surgery. Especially if you are dealing with Mia and hoping the meds do not cause more fights. If you need help with finding a classical homeopath, email me. I have been using homeopathy for a number of years and have treated a lot with it with my homeopath.

  2. I guess I was kind of lucky, if you can call it that. In February of last year my dog Siri (German shepherd) experienced tears in both of her back legs a few days apart, so she had both repaired at the same time. So, one day of surgery, one really big bill – there went my tax refund! – and now she gets around like nothing ever happened. The hardest part was limiting her activity the first few weeks, as she’s always been a very active girl, and walking slowly isn’t her style.

    • Yep. I’m the type to get it all taken care of as soon as possible so we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming!

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