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2 Weeks Post Op

A Staph Infection…

Infection After Cruciate Ligament Repair in DogsMore downs than ups this week. It has now been two weeks since our American Bulldog/Pit Bull mix had extra capsular (traditional) repair surgery for a torn CCL.   Tucker went to the vet to have the cast removed, and his leg was infected under the cast.  He has what the vet referred to as, “a common, bacterial skin infection”, and I am now sitting, surrounded by numerous salves and washes to get this infection under control.  I asked if there was anything we could have done differently to prevent this infection from forming, but he simply said that all dogs react differently to the bandages, and no one can anticipate a reaction like this.

Our daily regime now consists of various oral medications, bathing the infected knee, and lots of sleeping. Tucker is taking the Acepromazine (for sedation) twice per day, as well as Cosequin (glucosamine, chondrointin, msm supplement). The the infected leg is bathed with Malaseb once per day, and we apply the salve at least 3-4 times per day to the areas of his leg with the most severely infected lesions. The various creams and salves we are using to help heal the area are obviously not suitable for doggy consumption, so Tucker is now being forced to wear an Elizabethan Collar (or e-collar). We thought his “helmet” would make him more depressed and upset, but it seems to have had the opposite effect, and he is enjoying showing off his new accessory. Of course, this infection does not fit under the umbrella of regularly scheduled post operative exams, so we ended up paying close to $120 for the shampoo, salve, and visit.

On a good note, the incision site is healing well, and the stitches were able to be successfully removed, despite any setback in healing that may have occurred as a result of the bacterial infection of the stifle. The vet is happy with the strength and use of the knee so far, but would like us to keep Tucker sedated until the infection on his leg fully heals – then we can talk about the gradual introduction of exercise.   I have to admit, these hints of good news are easy to overlook when you examine the overall condition of the leg.  From his toes to his hip, the leg is open, raw, and completely devoid of hair.  Some spots are worse than others. The worst area is a half dollar sized sore around his doggy “ankle”, a spot constantly being bent, creased, and aggravated, not to mention it is always in his sight.

At 2 weeks I am starting to have some regrets about having the CCL repair surgery done. If arthritis is inevitable in dog cruciate injuries, which our vet has confirmed, why does it make sense to put your dog through the pain of surgery in addition to the ongoing discomfort related to arthritis? This skin infection is just one more bump that makes me wish we had just been more strict with CM, or perhaps not pursued the surgery at all. I suppose it is still too early to tell what the final outcome will be, so for now all I can do is stay positive and do everything in my power to heal my dog’s knee.