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.
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Another forced march underwater. His recovery is going spectacularly well, but I’m concerned that each time he’s more scared of the treadmill than the last. Today he put on the brakes as we were walking through the door. Not the door to the treadmill; the door to the building. He needs a lot of cheerleading to get going and stay going. I hope he gets more comfortable during the next three treatments because it’s so good for him! #tplo #dogtreadmill #underwatertreadmill #dogstagram #germanshepherd #germanshepherdsofinstagram #ilovemydog #gsd #gsdlove #ilovedogs #instadog #dogsofinstagram #pnwgsdpack #girlsbestfriend #dogs🐶
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.
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: