Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dog Days of Summer (Literally)

All has not been well here in the 'burbs. The saga of poor Tango has taken a turn for the worse. Three weeks (and several visits) after his surgery the vet announced that his knee surgery didn't "take" and had to be redone. Needless to say I was very upset and, even though the vet offered to do the 2nd surgery for free, I took Tango to a different vet for another opinion. What we discovered was unsettling and heartbreaking. Within a minute of examining Tango the new vet determined that his knee was out of place and that there was excess fluid in the joint (possible infection). It's interesting to note here that we had been taking him to the other vet for checkups and shots twice a week since the surgery and they had noticed nothing. It was also discovered that one of the medications the original vet had given Tango was three times the dose for a dog his size!

We booked Tango in for surgery with the new vet right away. When we picked him up what we found out was worse than anything I had imagined. One of his patellar ligaments (the ligament that holds the kneecap in place) had been completely severed and was his kneecap was just floating around loose. Luckily the new vet is a specialist in joint surgery so he was able to reconstruct Tango's knee but it took a lot of work and ended up costing quite a bit more than the original surgery, which we could barely afford. The icing on the cake was when the new vet told us that Tango's luxating patellas were only at stage 2, which he would not have done surgery on at all and that, by doing a faulty and unnecessary surgery, the first vet had made the problem even worse and nearly permanently crippled my dog.

All this has added up to a lot of stress in my life. Every time I look at poor Tango hobbling around in his new cast I feel sick and guilty for doing this to him. I'm even having trouble sleeping at night. My first reaction to this has been unbelievable levels of rage at the first vet and a strong desire to punish them somehow. But I'm coming to discover that all this negative energy is literally tearing me apart and I'm making myself quite ill. Even now, as I'm writing this, I'm shaking and almost in tears. So I have decided that I need to step away and just put it all behind us. Hopefully, under the care of the new vet, Tango will recover fully and resume his happy dog life.


  1. Oh, I'm so so so sorry! That's terrible. Awful! Poor you and poor Tango!

    I'm glad you found a better vet. It's so hard to know whether a vet is good in his field. There are no "rating" services that I know of for vets.

    Hang in there - you obviously care for Tango and he will get better. I hope you are able to let go of some of the guilt you are feeling (though I completely understand, I'd feel the same way!).


  2. So sorry, the suffering of the wee one weighs heavily on your heart. How can the best intentions of one professional be so far from the mark?
    A crippled dog can be a happy dog if the pain goes away and he is loved a lot.
    You are doing your best for him.