Molly is a 6 year old Golden Retriever. Today marks 8 days post-op, and Molly is doing well. She had surgery 2 days following the CCL tear. It was helpful that she had surgery on the day we left for Christmas vacation (we felt very guilty) because Molly had access to the Animal Hospital’s professional care staff post-op. They cleaned the wound daily, crated her, administered meds, required her to wear the E-Collar to prevent licking wound, and took her out for walks. The professional staff did an excellent job of caring for her, and they called me everyday with updates on Molly’s progress. Upon returning from vacation, we picked her up on day 6 post-op.
She just completed her antibiotics Rx today; administering was a challenge (nasty taste), but I gave it to her in a spoon covered with vanilla ice cream (formulated for dogs). She is still taking Rimadyl (anti-inflammatory med) and Tramadol as needed for pain, and Glucosamine for joint health.
Molly is an inside pet; therefore, confining her to a 6ft space once returning home was difficult. She did not like being crated (this is why boarding her at the clinic following surgery was so beneficial). Improvising, we have blocked off all furniture to prevent climbing on it, and we enclosed a 6-8 foot space for her by the window (6ft recommended, but she is a good patient). Molly did wear an Elizabethan (E) Collar for 1 week (hated it) to prevent licking the wound, but is now removed (another reason why remaining at the clinic post-op was beneficial). She understands NOT TO LICK as we continually remind her that if she licks, the collar goes back on, as it sits right in her view!
It has been helpful to Molly for us to sit down on the floor beside her. She is allowed to walk around the house at this stage, just not climb on furniture. So getting down to her level, talking to her and petting her, makes her happy. She always wants to sit as close to us as possible.
This morning Molly walked on the road for about 5 minutes. She tried to run, but I did not allow it. She hobbles, but does not seem to be in pain. She still is not eating much (DR said this was normal), but she needs to lose weight anyway. Her fluid intake is normal, drinking lots of water. The range of motion exercises for physical therapy are important, but she does not like them!
Long term management for Molly’s condition is crucial to her health and to delay osteoarthritis. The surgeon noted that her other knee shows some degeneration, but may be managed (not requiring surgery yet).
Molly’s CONSERVATIVE MANAGEMENT plans include:
1) losing 20 lbs by joining the animal hospital’s BIGGEST LOSER CHALLENGE beginning in January
2) cutting out table scraps and dog treats
3) switching to healthy weight dog food
4) adding glucosamine/chondroitin supplements to her diet for joint health
5) swimming more often in addition to her daily walks (we have a pool, and luckily she LOVES TO SWIM)