As many of you may know, my sweet little pup had surgery this week on his knee. He injured it about two weeks ago while we were out on a walk. He was chasing the mud hens as usual which is one of his favorite things to do. I happened to record a video of this, so it’s crazy that I got this injury on tape. He is such a tough little guy that you can barely tell he is injured, his bark goes a little high pitched for a second, then he runs a little further before turning around and limping back to me.
After talking to several vets we decided to go with TPLO surgery for him. This surgery is more expensive than other options but it is the recommended option for younger, more active dogs, and Riley loves to run so we didn’t see much of a choice, really.
His surgery went well and there were no complications (praise God). He is now on the long road to recovery. He can’t run for 12 weeks following surgery, I know he is going to go crazy without his walks and runs and play time with his friends.
It is hard to say exactly how he is doing right now as he is mostly sleeping from the heavy duty meds the vet put him on. He is taking an opiod for pain, a sedative, an anti-inflammatory, and an antibiotic. I was hesitant to give the sedative but after hearing the vet use words to describe him such as “springboard,” wiggly,” and “drama queen” I acquiesced. Especially because the best way to prevent complications and ensure a quick and successful recovery is to limit activity and movement as much as possible, especially in the first two weeks.
I will give updates occasionally throughout his recovery, if anyone has been through this before I would be very thankful for your support and tips on what to do with a very active and high energy dog that can’t do anything more than a 5 minute trip to the grass for a potty break.
The first night/day post surgery
Bringing Riley home last night was one of the most stressful things I have recently experienced. I don’t respond well to people in pain, I fainted after bringing Eric home from his ACL surgery. After walking him to the car with this sling thing the vet gave me, I lifted him into the car, got in and sat there for about 5 minutes just to make sure the whole fainting thing wasn’t going to happen again.
Once I was sure it was safe, I drove (probably annoyingly under the speed limit) all the way home, which was maybe not so annoying because the traffic was already terrible. It took me 1.75 hrs to go the 56 miles home and the occasional whimpers and moans from my little baby just killed me inside.
Once we got home and I got him situated in his little play pen I had set up that morning I ended up laying there next to him for the rest of the night. At one point I thought I was going to have a breakdown and/or have to take him back to the emergency room. He began whimpering softly, then shivering as the whimpering slowly increased to crying. I called the vet and they said to wrap him in a blanket and give him his sedative and call back in 30-60 minutes if he didn’t stop. Luckily the meds only took about 10 minutes to kick in and he stopped shivering, which is what was causing the pain I believe, and went to sleep. I have kept him wrapped up since then, I think having half his body shaved along with the lack of activity and the meds are making him cold.
I keep thinking about how the vet called him a drama queen, I laughed when she said that because it is so true. Riley is always making himself out to be so pathetic and in need of so much love and attention. I actually thought when he first hurt himself that he was just pretending so he could get some attention. The vet also said that the sedatives have a tendency to makes the eyes droopy and watery, making the animal look extra pathetic. Combine that with the pathetic look Riley ALWAYS has on his face and you have a recipe for a dog mom who absolutely cannot stop babying and loving on her boy.
The swelling has gone down significantly since last night, and he ate, drank and urinated this morning so I am feeling much better about this. He also loves the warm compress which is also good news. I will give another update soon.