Gus had his x-rays this morning. Our vet is not sure where to go from here. His right knee has arthritis, and his right hip is super bad. He is not sure which is causing the occasional limping and suggested we take Gus back to the orthopedic surgeon to get her opinion. Our sweet boy is home and sleeping off the anesthesia.
Gus still zonked out at the vet’s office after his x-rays with his tongue hanging out
Well, I knew it was inevitable, but I had hoped it would be longer before Gus needed additional surgery. I think we have waited as long as we can though. His right hip has gotten much worse rather quickly. I am able to hear a popping noise when he walks most of the time. He is back to needing help more often getting on the bed. We made a ramp after his TTA surgery, but on his worst days he refuses to use it. He will wait until one of us lifts his bottom up so he can get on the bed. It doesn’t take much exercise at all anymore to cause limping. He is scheduled for an appointment with our local veterinarian on Tuesday of next week. The vet had previously told us he can do a FHO (Femoral Head Osteotomy) in his office and that it will not require an orthopedic surgeon. I certainly hope he still will agree to do it as it will be considerably cheaper than going to a specialist. I am sure additional x-rays will be required to see how much change there has been in his hips within the past three years. I will post an update after the visit.
It has been 10 weeks since Gus had his surgery. Today he went for his follow-up x-rays. He is doing okay. We must continue to restrict activity for another month until there is complete healing. There is one area of concern though. The surgeon said either, “I think that is arthritis” or “I hope that is arthritis” when referring to the area I have circled in red in the picture below on the left. I do not remember which word she used. The arrow shows where she sutured the cruciate ligament to help stabilize it.
The second picture shows where the bone has not completely healed. I have that circled in red also.
We did have quite a scare a couple of weeks ago. I reached under Gus to get him out of the back seat of the Tahoe the way I always do. Without any warning, and in the blink of an eye, he jumped up and over my arms landing in the grass beside the driveway. His back end went down when he landed. We both just froze looking at each other. I was in complete shock, and I think he was too. He gave me a look that kind of said, “Oh no. What have I done?” He limped that evening, but he was fine the following morning. I could not stop thinking that everything could have been “undone” that quickly. It really scared me! Thankfully, he hasn’t tried that again.
That weekend he was able to go swimming, albeit on a long leash. We knew, once he reached the shore, he would take off running if he was not on a leash. I wish we had a pool so he could swim every day. Since we do not, he will have to settle for swimming when we take him to the lake.
Thank goodness Gus is not limping like he was last week. Today the surgeon said that his knee felt as it should. We go back in 6 weeks for his post-op x-rays.
For the past two days Gus has been limping again. Yesterday was especially bad. I do not know of anything he has done to aggravate his knee. Also, I am not sure if it is because of his knee or his hip. That hip doesn’t look quite the same as the other; however, this is the hip where the femur does not stay in the socket, which in the past, has been the less painful hip because it is not bone on bone as the other is. He has an appointment with the surgeon next Monday for her to recheck the incision. I had planned to cancel because the incision looks great. Now I think I will keep the appointment simply because he has been limping.
This afternoon during one of our potty walks, Gus decided to just plop down in the front yard. I ended up finally just plopping down beside him, and he stayed there a good 15 or 20 minutes. I’m sure the warm sunshine felt good on his joints. We talked about a lot. Well, I talked. Gus listened. He is very good at it!
The culture showed E. Coli, which was probably just from Gus licking, and the Cephalexin does cover that. His incision is doing great now. It has finally closed up so he is back to not having to wear the e-collar. YAY!
Gus is walking fine on his leg and only limps when he first stands up after being off of it for a while. Yesterday, out of the blue, he got in a playing mood and took off running like a streak of lightning. He was so quick that he had gone from room to room a couple of times before I could corner him and get him to stop. He feels better so he thinks he can do as he pleases. However, he is nowhere near that point yet. Actually, now is when we must be very careful. The vast majority of re-injuries occur between 4-8 weeks post-op because dogs are feeling better and want to be more active. With the TPLO surgery, the tibia was completely cut, rotated and then re-set with a metal plate. It takes a full 6-8 weeks to build really good callus and scar tissue that can provide additional support to the metal plate. The potential for injury is still extremely high so we must continue to be patient and not do too much too soon. I know he just wants to get back to being a dog and doing doggie things. I want him to also, and he will in time.