At over 8 months post op, I can safely say that the surgery was a success and worth the cost and trouble. Beau (a Golden Retriever) plays as much as any healthy dog and we have had; he is completely healed.
We have learned many things from this experience, and the highlights are:
1. Keep the dog’s weight in check. Probably the most important thing we have learned. Those joints are stressed enough and just can’t handle the extra weight. Keep ’em lean for their own good.
2. Follow the vet’s post surgery directions to the letter. The post surgery dog is a baby/puppy all over again and the house needs to be safe, safe, safe! Exercise as prescribed to re-build the muscles, and so that the non-injured side is strong enough to handle the extra weight it must bear while the bad leg is recuperating.
3. Our dog is banned from jumping on the bed forever. That activity didn’t cause the injury, but it will never help it and it can only make it worse. A nice doggy bed in the bedroom corner is just fine.
4. The surgery was expensive, and the recovery was really difficult to manage – particularly since recovery was in the deep winter months of Ohio. But if you take it just one day at a time, each week after the first two gets a little bit easier.
It is all worth it to have a happy dog again!