A Sarah Saga – Post-op TPLO – Entering the Eighth Week

Sarah is now entering her eighth week of post-op recovery from the TPLO procedure. Prior posts on her TPLO saga are here, here and here.

Her sixth week evaluation by the surgeon–keying on an x-ray of the leg–confirmed that the surgery has “taken” and she does not have to return to the surgeon unless “issues” develop.

As I reviewed the sixth-week x-ray with the surgeon, it was interesting that he noted the anterior space of her tibia below where he had cut the top of the tibia and repositioned it with a plate, screws and pins, would eventually see substantial bone growth, thus further strengthening the leg.

Prior to Sarah’s onset of debilitating lameness that eventually led to the TPLO procedure, Sarah would, as we called it, walk with a roly-poly movement. Just recently I’ve found an exact description of her pre-lame gait. It comes from a book entitled, “The Power of the Dog,” by Thomas Savage. Quoting:

When a horse trots, his legs move in diagonal pairs–the left front and right hind leg go forward at the same time, and so forth. It’s a rough gait, and you have to post, have to rise in your stirrups and take the jolt in the flex of your knees, and no matter how you do it, it’s bobbing up and down like a fool jack-in-the-box.

But when a horse paces, his legs move laterally in pairs–the right front and right hind legs move forward at once, an easy gait, a swift, rolling gait you can sit out in the saddle by letting your body twist easily with the movements of your horse. Any damned horse can trot: few can pace.

Sarah, prior to the lameness, paced. Now, within the last week or so, she is once again–as described above–pacing…what we called the roly-poly. I cannot tell you how pleasing it is to see this gait, easy and carefree, no limp, no reluctance to place weight on her right rear leg.

I have taken Sarah off Deramaxx. I do worry about the side-effects of this and other similar drugs, notably liver damage. I will see how she does without it. Knowing her as I do, I believe I will be able to see very quickly any change in her activity level, her passion to just get out there and be a dog.

Sarah has about four more weeks of “healing” before she can undertake any extreme activities. But, so far, all is well.

I will post more on this Sarah Saga if anything changes.

So, right now, the conclusion is thank God for the old surgeon and Doctor Slocum’s TPLO procedure.

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5 Responses to A Sarah Saga – Post-op TPLO – Entering the Eighth Week

  1. Fantastic news! Kisses to Sarah!

    And I never noticed it before, but the markings on the top of her muzzle, look like a little peace dove trying to fly up her head.

  2. God bless the men and women who give their lives to Veterinary medicine. It’s a long, hard road and technically more difficult than many medical specialties. Here’s to Sarah and her recuperative skills and lastly, to George, her loving Daddy who cared enough to FIND OUT WHY.

    Good job everyone. Today the world smiles.

    Thank you.

  3. georgeindenver says:

    Doog, you’re exactly right. Veterinary medicine–I have been told by those who know–is a more intense curriculum, a more intense calling than that which “people” doctors encounter. Thank you for your thoughts. I hope that anyone who welcomes a critter into their lives understands the responsibility to care for that precious presence that offers only love and devotion and asks for very little in return.

    Sparky: What a wonderful allusion. I’d never noticed the similarity before. Sarah is a loving child who is surely marked by heaven… I’ve provided kisses this morning from Sparky.

  4. Mimi says:

    George, You should seriously consider accupunture for Sarah to aid the healing process. Long story, shortened. My vet’s dog and my dog were both hit by cars, suffering identical injuries with in a day or two of each other. My vet asked if Dodger could be used as a guinea pig and receive accupunture (at no cost to me). He was walking perfectly a full 2 weeks a head of Domino. He was running 5 weeks after surgery. No, that was not recommended but we couldn’t stop him! If he snuck out he ran.

    Yes, he was named after the Oliver Twists friend :)

    I know there is a woman vet in Denver, I just can’t come up with her name this second :( Grrrrrr CRS moments!

  5. georgeindenver says:

    Thanks, Mimi. Great name, “Dodger.” Brings back Dickens’ wonderful characterization of the “Artful” one. Suspect your little Dodger lives up to his name.

    We have considered acupuncture. However, Sarah’s healing has been remarkable, given the short time (eight weeks) since her surgery. We will, if Sarah begins to show some regression in the healing, once again consider acupuncture.

    Thank you for your comments.

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