The last you heard, Max did damage to his knee early Monday morning before I tore out the door for work. Up until yesterday, he’s been taking a half an anti-inflammatory/pain killer with dinner each night. Just before supper last evening, Max and I headed for the CARE Center Animal Hospital to meet his orthopedic surgeon for a consultation, and to this point, things are looking up.
Dr. Neil Connery knows our wonderful vet, Dr. Marty Lovo of the Horizon Veterinary Group, based at the McKenzie Towne Vet location and because of this connection, I felt an immediate sense of trust. I can’t say that I’m as happy with ‘The Group’ (sometimes it feels like the Wal-Mart of vets), but my dogs and cats have been well cared for by Dr. Marty and his associates, including wonderful Dr. Jennifer Hewitt. However, when I realized that Max had had an injury, he couldn’t be seen by any of the folks in McKenzie Towne Animal Clinic, so we’re very grateful that Due South Vet Clinic and Dr. Christina Youé (Bodle) were able to fit Max into their schedule. Christina took x-rays, did an examination and provided us with a prescription for Max’s obvious distress. We were delivered bad news and the likely recommendation for surgery to repair Max’s ACL. Look at the criss crossy thing below and you will see what this means and also it is the Drawer Sign or the placement of the knee bones that provide the indicators for treatment and rest.
As Max nervously panted and clung to my leg, we saw a large array of dogs coming and going. I felt heart broken and held onto the hope that since giving max four days of complete quiet, that perhaps things had settled.
Dr. Connery was very thorough as he gazed upon the x-ray and manipulated all of Max’s joints. Max closed his mouth and stared straight ahead as things were bent and twisted throughout his hips and knees.
In the end, a far less radical decision…
Yes, Max is showing wear on those bands, but as yet, it seems that he has not had a complete rupture. This may be the beginning of Max’s road of gradual loss of the ACL, but for now, we have been recommended a rest recovery of six weeks. Dr. Connery said that he’s pretty certain that this would be the recommended treatment of Dr. Lovo as well. I asked if Max could go off of his pain medications and I was given an affirmative, with the suggestion that I keep some anti-inflammatory medication in my cupboard at all times for Max. He is allowed leash walks only, and a restricted level of fitness.
I told Dr. Connery that Max’s Frisbee days are over and he suggested that given the active minds of this breed, I would have to get rid of all of those and replace them with other ‘head’ work if I wanted to have a happy dog. So…I thought I’d let you dog fans of mine know a little about these injuries in dogs. It’s just one of those things that happens and Max, now seven years of age, may be seeing more of these sorts of injuries in his adult life.