Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tango Gets A Leg Up

I've been absent from blogging for the last week due to a little drama going on at the home front. Our dog, Tango, was diagnosed with Luxating Patellas in both back legs. Basically his kneecaps are genetically deformed and require surgery to correct. Tango is only a year and a half old and otherwise quite healthy and active. We suspected there might be a problem when we moved because he started randomly favoring one of his legs on and off. We were hoping it was just an injury due to running around on new-to-him slippery floors. Then when the other knee started acting up as well we knew there was trouble. I did some checking on the internet and found that this condition is quite common for small purebred dogs, especially his breed: Papillons. I also found out that the prospects are good for a full recovery but the surgery itself can be quite costly just for one leg, let alone two. So we had the talk that every pet owner facing expensive surgery for their pet faces. Its brutal and heartbreaking to put a price tag on your furry companion but, unless you are independently wealthy, a sad necessity. Then I took him to the vet for an assessment and quote, knowing full well that we might have to make a horrible choice. When the vet showed me the list of everything needed and the total cost for the first surgery I almost was less than half of what I was fearfully expecting! With the green light fully on, the vet did some x-rays and blood tests and we booked him in for surgery on Tuesday.

Leaving him at the vet on surgery day was probably the hardest thing I've done in a long time. He was so scared and there was no way I could comfort him. I found out the next day when we picked him up that he barked and tried to dig his way out of the cage basically the whole time he was there. When we got him back he was so sad looking with his bandaged up leg and his cone of shame. He didn't want to be left alone for a second even though he was obviously tired and stressed. Today he looks better even though he is still not eating as much as he should. He has meds for pain and antibiotics and we are only keeping the cone on him at night. He has the bandage on his leg for a week and the stitches stay in for another week after that. In 6-8 weeks, if all is well, he has to repeat the whole process with the other leg.

There is no way to tell how successful the surgery is until he is walking properly again. We can only hope that because he is such a young dog that it will be 100% and he will be back to running around in no time.

1 comment:

  1. Poor Tango! I hope you get better soon, little buddy!!!