It is now five weeks into Sarah’s TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) saga. The first two entries on this subject are here and here. As she lolls on our living room floor, you can still see her incision on her right rear leg. Her cone came off two weeks ago, once the incision healed. But, we still catch her licking it. She’s gently scolded. But, so far, she hasn’t done any real damage with the licking.
Sarah’s gait is now about 90% normal, normal being that which we observed prior to the gradual to severe limp she developed over a period of several weeks. At its severest, the limp and the avoidance of placing any weight on her right rear leg was, for us, frightening and, for Sarah, very, very painful. At the time we first took Sarah to the vet for the limp, she could walk only about a half-block.
One reminder that I’ve mentioned in prior posts: The word “limp” is probably not the best word to use when describing your dog’s behavior to a vet. The word “lame” seems to grab a vet’s attention more readily.
Sarah continues to take Duramaxx, 100 milligrams twice a day. Her walkies–as suggested by the physical therapist–are now up to twenty minutes, three times a day. Sarah has taken on the physical therapist’s suggested exercises…stretching the leg fully, bending it back to the hip and then slightly rotating the entire leg up and back. It is interesting that, apparently by instinct, she knows what the healing process requires with regard to manipulation of the leg. We do occasionally manipulate her leg ourselves. But, it’s obvious Sarah knows what she’s doing.
Up until about four days ago, Sarah would give a little scream when she found herself moving backwards or sideways. Up until about two weeks ago, she would also give a little scream when she stood-up after being prone for awhile. She no longer screams. (Malamutes are very “expressive,” as the old vet/surgeon described her vocalizations.)
Next Friday, Sarah will have her sixth-week x-ray to determine if the surgery “took.” Prayers here. If we have to go through this again we will, of course, do it. But, believe me, it has not been easy; it has not been a cakewalk.
So far, though, seeing Sarah once again able to use that leg as she had before the onset of the lameness, is something of a miracle…a miracle of science that, in spite of what some believe, appears to be the “Gold Standard” for treating a CCL (Cranial Cruciate Ligament rupture).
I’ll let you know how the “final” visit to the old doc goes.