I came across the blog here while racking my brain, feeling like its spiraling into a hole that seems like a never ending nightmare of complete guilt and negligence with no ending in sight.
My blue pitbull, Benito, (2yrs. old) started limping off and on just before Christmas 2012. It is on his left leg, but soon after getting up walking for a moment he seems to be fine. I thought it was just maybe his leg was asleep from laying on it all night, he’s 85lbs sheer muscle, so I came home one day and he came to the fence like always. I said “something’s not right today, so we went in and it’s hurting a lot now.
We went to the vet, and he said there was some inflammation, and wanted to take a picture to get a better look at it. He vet came back and said he damaged his ACL (explained it as the same thing Adrian Peterson of the Vikings did to his knee), but that the good news is he doesn’t think it will need surgery. The vet said to keep him off of the leg for 3 weeks unless outside for potty breaks, and gave me anti inflammatory, pain meds, and some sedation pills. My dog is a runner and will play 24-7, he doesn’t care, anytime anyplace anywhere, so he’ll need the meds! After 3 weeks, if he’s still limping, he will probably need surgery, which was quoted at $800.
It has now been 3 weeks since his injury, and while he’s not limping as bad as he was, I can still tell his leg is just not stable. He will hop on his right leg once in a while when I take him out for potty. I am still keeping him on the leash because I know he wants to just break free and go bolting off in his huge back yard, but I cant let him do that.
I took him back to the vet yesterday, because I feel that something is still not right in his knee, but it does not seem to hurt him a whole lot. The other vet that we had seen was unavailable, so we saw a different vet, perhaps one of their surgeons, who came in and said it looks like, according to his x-ray, that he did damage his ACL. I was then presented with 2 options – the Extracapsular repair for $1200, and the TPLO for $3000-$3500.
The first type of surgery (the Extracapsular repair) is the one they do at their office, and the second one (TPLO) is performed by a board certified veterinarian at another location. Now I am just freakin’ out (trying not to start cussing myself out in the vet office), and I asked which the vet preferred – she says the TPLO. She then went on to explain that they require full payment, or Care Credit, (which I wont be applying for), but then she says they both have a 95% success rate either way you go. What I understand is that the TPLO recovery time is faster, while the Extracapsular Repair is long time.
I come home and started my online quest for answers, even if just for to help or to seek comfort for the time being. I came across a vet who only specializes in surgeries, so in a attempt to seek some relief I call the doctor, who has been around for years doing tons of procedures on every kind of animal out there. I start telling him my issues, and talking to him like he’s my paid therapist – anyway, he says it’s still gonna be around $2900 for the TPLO. He also said that the other surgery (Extracapsular or Traditional Repair) would eventually tear out, leaving me right where I was from Day 1. I’d like to say thank you to him, as now I feel I have gotten some mental relief. Someone must have sent some luck my way, because the phone rang and it’s the specialty vet I just spoke to saying he want to help me and he understands whats going on, and the best we can do for my baby benito is the TPLO for around $2000, but he will need the full payment upon completion of the surgery. He then tells me to call a vet he knows close to where I live, and tell the vet to call him so he can set the procedure up at his office (closer to where I live, rather than having to travel so far to his office).
Now I am like a freshly recharged patient who is prepared to take on his upcoming weeks obstacles – for now I am keeping Benito indoors in his little room until we get the surgery done around the 1st February. Thanks for listening, and I will keep everyone updated!