A few months ago I wrote about the terrible scare we had with our dog, Speckles. Thanks to a very kind relative, we were able to bring her in for the surgery she so desperately needed. She stayed overnight and we picked her up the next day. It turns out that she had a torn cruciate ligament (CCL), a surprisingly common injury in dogs.
Torn Cruciate Ligament Surgery – Price & Procedure
Based on what the doctor told us and my research, this is a short summary of the issue. This cruciate ligament (an ACL in humans) prevents the stifle (knee) joint from shifting back and forth (it should only bend). When the ligament is fully torn, surgery must be performed or the dog cannot use their leg much without severe pain and a whole slew of other problems will soon arise.
We were so mad at ourselves for not getting pet insurance before, despite our better judgement. It would have covered 90% of the costs! $4300 – yeouch! The $20/mo. for insurance would have been WELL worth it!
After being brought into the exam room, Speckles was so ecstatic to see us and extremely anxious to get home. It was tough to get a good picture of her. Everything went well except for the sad, sad haircut she got. I really have no idea why they shaved her like that when it was just a surgery on her leg…
Torn Cruciate Ligament Surgery – Recovery
For eight weeks she could have minimal exercise (meaning short walks just to go to the bathroom). This was the most crucial time and would set the stage for proper healing. With Speckles still being only two years old, she’s still very much a puppy. It was hard keeping her from being too busy or running around the house. The sedatives they gave us were WAY too powerful for her as 1/2 a pill knocked her out completely. The couple times did we need to calm her down, though, we only gave her only 1/4 of a pill which worked just fine.
Another problem that came up was that she was always cold. Using a small blanket, a piece of fleece, and several safety pins, I put a make-shift doggie snuggie on her. She wore that most of the time for the first couple weeks and even slept with it. It must have come off one night because I woke up to her at the foot of our bed shaking and crying. Poor sweetie 🙁
Eight weeks passed and we returned to the pet hospital for a new set of x-rays. The doctor gave us the thumbs up. She said we could increase her activity slowly with longer walks and she should be fully healed in four more weeks! Yay! Recently, we even saw her stand up on her hind legs for a treat – something we haven’t seen for a while, if ever!
Pretty soon Speckles will be able to run, jump, and be a normal happy pup again. We can’t wait, especially my daughter. It’s been such a challenge for her not to rile Speckles up. They’ve become so close that it’s like watching sisters playing, hugging, and irritating each other.
We’re counting down the weeks to when we can all head to the ocean together for some crazy family fun! Well, not too much fun since we don’t want Speckles tearing the CCL in her other leg any time soon (there’s a high percentage that she will at some point though *sigh*). Whew, dogs are amazing but they sure can be expensive! This is especially true since she tore the other ligament soon after recovery from this surgery.