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Author Topic: Darwin update- bad news  (Read 11270 times)
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darwinsmom (Chris)
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« on: March 03, 2017, 01:44:11 PM »

Darwin has ruptured the cruciate ligament of his right knee. He was having problems a few weeks ago, I took him to the vet (not the one I prefer; she was away) and was told it was 'definitely not his knee' and that it was a soft tissue injury of his hip. I should have questioned harder, but it takes a lot of strength to argue with good news. On Sunday, he was blitzing in the hallway, stopped short, held the leg up, and never put it back down. Took him to the vet I prefer, she said right away it was his knee, not his hip, and confirmed it with Xrays. He's on Metacam for now and surgery is scheduled for the 19th.

I really feel like I failed him. I repeatedly asked any and all vets that examined him (at least once a year, often more) if he had patellar subluxation, and they repeatedly said no. In fact, they still say no. They say that he already has a good amount of arthritis in both knees and that this is the most common orthopedic injury in dogs. But, he's not exactly out herding sheep every day, so I don't see why it would happen. I don't live in an area where another great vet is a few blocks away to take him for a second opinion- I take him to the best in our area, and to several of the best within that (large) practice. So, I guess I have to accept it, but I just feel like I have failed him.

They'll be doing a joint stabilization surgery because the recovery is easier, there's less complications, he already has arthritis, and he's nearly 8 years old. I hope that's the right decision. It won't give him full range of motion, and he'll likely need arthritis meds.  crybaby

So, that's where we are. I appreciate any and all thoughts.
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southjerseycraig
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2017, 07:04:45 PM »

Such bad news! You have my sympathies! I do not understand why you think you failed Darwin -- you did the best you could. Let's hope for an easy and successful recovery!
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darwinsmom (Chris)
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2017, 07:36:27 PM »

Thanks Craig. It's parent guilt I guess-that I didn't protect him from pain.
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southjerseycraig
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2017, 07:38:04 PM »

But of course, how could you have protected him from pain? It's part of every creature's life, whether child or pet.
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Freedom (Sandie)
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2017, 10:26:55 AM »

Darwin, sending you some cuddles puppa!

Chris, a torn cruciate ligament is rarely related to a luxating patella.   The cruciate ligament gets torn as a 'sports' injury, from running and turning, putting pressure on the ligament at a time when it is stretched.  So the vets may well have been correct all along - and even now - in saying he does NOT have a luxating patella.  Please ease up on your 'mom guilt' trip.

Joint stabilization surgery sounds like a good path for Darwin.  As Frankie had surgery recently,  I will say the hardest part is keeping the pup on bed rest for several weeks post op. 

The best arthritis meds:  Dasuquin WITH MSM.  I buy it on Amazon, as I have all my pups on this now.  Willy, Frankie and Riley all need it for arthritis issues.  Belle and Tasha are on it for prevention.  I use www.camelcamelcamel.com to monitor the price and buy it when the price is lower.  Well, with 5 dogs on it daily, I got through a lot of it.  Anyway, be sure you get the one WITH MSM!  You can start that now, no need to wait for the surgery. 

Hope this helps you.  I'm sorry that you and Darwin have to go through this.  This surgery has a high success rate!  Hang in there.

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Bichons Frise': Tasha, Willy, Riley, Belle, Frankie
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BellasMommy (Kelly)
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2017, 01:09:16 PM »

Hi, Chris! Poor little Darwin. You haven't failed him, it sounds like you've been very proactive and thorough, and are getting him the help he needs! I hope he does well.
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Alison
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2017, 01:19:02 PM »

At first it seems like the end of the world,but it really isn't. I burst into tears when the vet told me Abby had ruptured her cruciate a few years after having her patellas done.Its rare for that to happen so upset me even more.

The recovery is longer than for a patella,about 16 weeks.It is hard work,but worth it as the stricter you are with restrictions the less problems they have and better outcome.It does end and its soon ( almost ) forgotten.They forget straight away!!!!

I'm so sorry this has happened to Darwin,but not your fault and he'll soon be all fine again.

If I can help or suggest some of the solutions we found just say.



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darwinsmom (Chris)
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2017, 03:27:27 PM »

Thank you Sandie, Kelly, and Alison. Your words do help.

Sandie, I will definitely look at those meds. The vet said he already has arthritis, so may as well start now.

Kelly! Where have you been? Smiley All well with your crew, I hope.

Alison, I would love advice from experience- that's the best kind! Did Abby have the joint stabilization surgery, too? They say there is a 50% chance he'll rupture the other soon, so that has me really freaked out. He gets along well on three legs, but I worry about the extra pressure that's putting on the good leg. I wish we could just do the surgery tomorrow and get it over, but it doesn't work like that, darn it.
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BellasMommy (Kelly)
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2017, 08:13:13 AM »

Thank you Sandie, Kelly, and Alison. Your words do help.

Sandie, I will definitely look at those meds. The vet said he already has arthritis, so may as well start now.

Kelly! Where have you been? Smiley All well with your crew, I hope.

Alison, I would love advice from experience- that's the best kind! Did Abby have the joint stabilization surgery, too? They say there is a 50% chance he'll rupture the other soon, so that has me really freaked out. He gets along well on three legs, but I worry about the extra pressure that's putting on the good leg. I wish we could just do the surgery tomorrow and get it over, but it doesn't work like that, darn it.

Well, I've been mostly on the human baby equivalent of this forum!! πŸ˜‚ Turns out I knew very little about non-Bichon babies and had a lot to learn once I started having them! My son is now 3.5 and he is amazing little guy. My daughter is 15 months old and she is a little ray of sunshine, too. My cat, Jersey, is now an 18 year old! He's had some health issues, but is thriving on his special diet and prescription meds. My special cat, Oliver, very sadly went to the Rainbow Bridge a couple years ago. Bella was fabulous until her recent allergic episode. She turned 7 this year, which I can hardly believe. Oh -and my husband is still around here somewhere! πŸ˜‚

I know I've been a deadbeat BCA-er, but I do think of you and others from this group. 😘
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darwinsmom (Chris)
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2017, 06:39:39 PM »

I remember the human baby forums! one thing I can say for certain at this stage of parenting (mine are 11,13, and 14) is that the effort you put in when they are very young (like yours) is definitely rewarded later on.

I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty.

Darwin actually has had some bad allergy issues lately too (he is also 7). They figure he's allergic to redwood fronds, but those are pretty hard to avoid around here.
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Alison
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2017, 06:59:05 PM »

Abby had a lateral Suture Technique as she is small and due to her previous patella surgery. Here is a link to her orthopaedic surgeons website with lots if useful info on options. We are lucky he is local as he has written several books and teaches at Bristol Uni and lectures internationally

http://weighbridgevets.co.uk/orthopaedic-cruciate-ligament-disease/

Her patellas were done with TCT.

We were told cruciate rupture is usually due to ligament disease and one tends to follow the other. It is rare post patella surgery, but it still happened.

We had a Westie that ruptured her cruciate after jumping a low wall, pre internet research days. We were advised it would heal with rest. It did and never bothered her again.

Don’t think too far ahead and take it as it comes. Easy to say and hard to do but the only way to go .Darwin will be fine as you make sure he is.
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darwinsmom (Chris)
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2017, 07:52:44 PM »

Thanks Alison- that's a great site. I was just looking at it. He is also scheduled for the suture stabilization. How long did Abby have to be immobile after? The vet had told me 2 weeks complete, followed by 4 weeks gradually increasing activity, but the vet tech said 4 weeks weeks+. I'm not sure who is confused.
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BellasMommy (Kelly)
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2017, 08:18:03 PM »

I remember the human baby forums! one thing I can say for certain at this stage of parenting (mine are 11,13, and 14) is that the effort you put in when they are very young (like yours) is definitely rewarded later on.

I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty.

Darwin actually has had some bad allergy issues lately too (he is also 7). They figure he's allergic to redwood fronds, but those are pretty hard to avoid around here.
That is promising that the early "work" is reflected as the kids get older. I am so proud of them already and I hope they stay wonderful!

Wow, it sounds like age 7 is a turning point for allergic pups! Poor itchy babies!
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Alison
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Abby ( South Wales )


« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2017, 03:40:40 PM »

Abby had "severe restrictions" for 16 weeks.This meant no running or jumping.She could walk around a small room or be in a pen.We were encouraged to walk her for slowly increasing distances ,especially uphill to prevent any muscle loss.Running and changing direction suddenly were the big things to avoid as well as jumping and stairs.

We weren't told to keep her completely immobile at any time,but we warned against keeping her completely painfree as it was protective for her to know something was wrong.

The first week she didn't want to do much,but after about 10 days she felt fine and thats when the work kicked in.

We had a pen for when we couldn't watch and at night and then gates on doors and stairs and small plastic storage boxes that we put on chairs as soon as we stood up to block them.It sounds a pain,but so much easier than stressing all the time.We don't have very large rooms so that was easier

The suture will eventually break,but the scar tissue built up will form a support for the joint so they need restrictions for long enough for that to happen,thats what we were told.

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darwinsmom (Chris)
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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2017, 09:43:38 PM »

Thanks Alison. I'm thinking the hardest part will be to prevent him from running, since that's how he did it in the first place- he loves to run. As much as I hate it, I think he'll have to be in a crate if he does have to be immobile the first few weeks. Otherwise, I don't think I'll be able able to prevent him from streaking off. Not licking it will also be hard. Did they use any kind of cast or splint with Abby? My husband is convinced that they should (based on people medicine) but I am under the impression that's not done with dogs.
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