Inmate update.

Doug could not hate life more right now if he tried. Death stares now include not even bothering to look at me. IMG_4217

We saw the surgeon for our first post surgical follow-up and he said Doug looked great.  They took the stitches out and told us we could wave good-bye to the cone. Yay! Then he asked me why I wasn’t using tranquilizers on Doug.

Doug was on tranquilizers at the time.

Welcome to my world.

He sat down and I knew it wasn’t going to be a moment I would cherish later.  He said that the TPLO part of the surgery was easy and smooth, however the kneecap repair was far more extensive than they planned.  Due to that, Doug was likely be looking at 16-20 weeks of recovery time.

My soul died, just a little. Mostly for Doug but some for me too.  In this situation, 16 weeks is 100% in the dog years type of counting.  It might as well be forever. Especially with a dog whose body laughs at tranquilizers.

Yesterday, we had our rehab consult.  The doctor there also asked me why he was not on tranquilizers.  Just stop, people.

Doug was assessed.  He was stretched. They pulsated his muscles with some magic wand. He did some cone work and they taught me how to do our ten or so, at home, therapies.  We were also granted three, 5-10 minute walks a day!  Wooohoooooooooo!  The inmate can finally leave the house.

I then posed the 16-20 week question to the rehab doctor.  She said ‘at least’. Then she threw in, I’m a little concerned about his good leg too.

I immediately went to to up my order.  The good news is, therapy zonked Doug out.  We will do therapy 1-2 times a week there and will also start water therapy and that should drain some of his energy too.

It’s about time you let me leave prison. You are the worst warden-mother. IMG_4264

Checking his range of motion. IMG_4266

Pulsating his muscles.  I honestly might have gotten that wrong. IMG_4267

Forcing him to use his new leg (this is also the point where questions were raised about his good leg).  IMG_4270

Laser therapy. Doug is probably the only dog who prefers to stand for laser therapy. IMG_4280

We are three weeks down!  13-17 to go!



14 thoughts on “Inmate update.

  1. On the bright side, Doug looks adorable in his doggles and his nose stripes seem to have blended/healed up nicely! 🙂

  2. I don’t know if they exist for dogs, but there are long acting tranquilizers we use in horses when they have to be on stall rest (reserpine, fluphenazine decanoate, etc. – they’re in the class of long-actinghuman antipsychotics) – they don’t sink the horses, but just overall take the edge off – we often have to use short acting tranquilizer on top for active rehab work…but they’re a godsend for long layups (I did 6 months stall rest with a young TB…a 1000lb Doug!) – might be worth asking if there’s a dog version?

    • That is interesting. Ace, which is the current one we are trying, was suggested by many horse friends. We up’d his dose a bit higher than his weight since Doug has such a crazy fast metabolism. It helps at some times, like he will lay down, but he is easily excitable and revs up very quickly, even during timeframes where it should be at its most potent. His joy is just too powerful!

      • Ace is awesome – but fairly short acting – it’s what we use on top of the long-term tranqs for horses 🙂 I feel your pain on the exhuberant rehabber though…one of my horses got ace daily for his rehab work for months since we couldn’t do our limited exercise routine without lots of exciting leaping about!

  3. Oh Doug! Those photos are too cute but I can imagine how difficult this is. Sophie was on 8 weeks of crate rest as a puppy – young energetic labrador….I wanted to tear my hair out not to mention she was ready to strangle us all. What about his good leg are they worried about??

    • I love to hear survival stories!

      Most dogs who have these surgeries lean on their good legs during recovery, but Doug show signs of not shifting his weight to that leg either. It’s common to have the same problem in the good leg within the six months after the first surgery. Both of Doug’s back legs seem different than the rest of his body.

      He is Jake.

  4. I was also told after the initial injury dogs are 50% more likely to have that same injury in the other leg…I was told this one week out of my dogs’ surgery as well. My mood plummeted for about 1 hour, and clearly I still recall it. I keep my fingers crossed. My girls rehab was 6 months…she did great, I gave her free reign over the living room, absolutely no stairs for 6 months, but I did find she knew what she could do and couldn’t do. Yeah…she was still wild!!! These are incredibly strong breeds, and of course the best possible companions. Noel’s leg is at the best it can be…90% or better, unfortunately a little arthritis, but an extensive injury at the onset! Good luck…I feel your pain, and Doug looks great in the photos!

    • I just love hearing stories of people and dogs who have made it through! It reminds me we can do it! I will have a complete meltdown if his other leg goes. I really, really, really, really feel that we deserve a little break.

  5. I just love Doug’s expressive face!!

    He looks like he did very well with his therapy, hopefully that will give him something to look forward to.

    Here’s hoping time flies!

  6. We’re sitting here at approximately 10 days post TPLO and our dog Maggie is ready to go down the street. She’s not concerned about the not-so-lady look of the bare leg or anything. I’m guessing by the tone of the messages above, you weren’t keen on dosing Doug up with meds to keep him zonkered. Same here but it’s a challenge given she’s an Australian Cattle/Pit mix and basically had the same life prior to as Doug. Zoomies, sleep, eat, repeat. What did you do to help keep him entertained during the down time?

    • I just got the alert for this comment! Ugh, I’m so sorry! Now that you are on the flip side and having your last few check ins on the leg you don’t need the update! I wanted meds to keep him calm. I didn’t want to want them but I wanted to keep him safe. And he tore the 2nd during the recovery of the first one so imagine the damage he could have done to both legs at high velocity. Doug tried to run zoomies in a tight crate with a cone on. We needed any help we could get. That said, our surgeon didn’t believe Doug was that high energy. It took our rehab dr to call him and say Doug was bonkers for him to believe us.

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