Charlie, our 83lb German Shorthaired Pointer, age 7, had tightrope surgery on his back right leg on Wednesday, January 25. 2011.
Initially he started shaking on his right back leg when standing, our Vet shook his head and said he could not say what was wrong. 6 months later the leg had progressed from shaking to being held off the ground at all times, and 3 Vets later we finally got a diagnosis of a cruciate ligament break requiring surgery. The surgery was performed 2 days later. The Surgeon recommended the Tightrope method as it was less invasive, has a good recovery time and Charlie is a large dog.
After an overnight stay at the clinic, we brought him home noon the next day, with a bright green stocking right up to his poor shaved bum! We were given antibiotics to be given twice a day, and a painkiller, once a day.
He cried all night and my husband slept with him on the cot mattress we had laid out for him in living room floor. Next morning he had no trouble peeing and pooing and had no problem eating. Very restless all day, wanted to walk and run when out on the leash to do his business.
Friday and Saturday more restless nights and days – how do you keep a good dog down….he was walking around going to the door to get out and walking over to the water bowl. He is not putting any weight on his operated leg, and I am trying to get him to lay down as much as possible to protect both legs. We have the largest size Vari Kennel but even that does not give him much room and he positively refuses to enter it. He wants to walk about and go to the window. etc. He does not appear to be putting any weight on his operated leg, but does touch it to the ground, and I am worried about his good back leg.
We are surprised how good our other dog, Penny, has been. She is a 4 year old GSP and very active. When Charlie first came home she gave him a lick on the cheek and a muzzle nuzzle, and has left him alone ever since.
How are we going to keep him quiet for the next 9 weeks??
He visits the Vet next Wednesday for a check of the wound and re-bandage.
Will let you know how we are all surviving!!!
2 Week Post Op Tightrope Update\
Charlie had his stitches removed on day 14 (yesterday). Unfortunately, the bandage cause his foot to swell hugely, and so we had it re-bandaged on day 7. He had it re-bandaged again on day 10, but the swelling continued.. I eventually cut the bandage at the foot to allow a bit of relief.
He is very active it is difficult to keep him quiet. especially when someone comes to the door, or a dog or cat wanders past. The first week after surgery he was moving with his operated foot touching, just touching, the floor, now he does not let it touch the floor at all, he is back to hopping on 3 legs. We will wait and see how he progresses. In the meantime he is restricted to the house and is leash walked outside for his business, and back. I am pleased to say he is a much happier dog. All he wants to do is get out and run, run, run!
3.5 Week Post Op Tightrope Update
Charlie is now 3 and 1/2 weeks after tightrope surgery. He puts his foot down very seldom, and when he does it shakes and shakes – same as when I first noticed he had a problem. Vet gave him an Cartophen injection to help build cartilage, he has to have another Cartophen injection in 4 weeks, some more happy pills, and assured us it just takes time. We are gently stretching his leg (12 x 2) 3 times a day and have been given permission to take him for short walks 3 times a day on a short leash, no running or jumping . But he is ready to run, run run, but he is hop, hop, hopping, I am so worried what that is doing to his other leg…. he pulls on his leash and when we take him outside for business, he really wants the freedom to run with Penny, our other GSP, and sniff all his boundaries once again!
To all who are facing the same recovery, it is so wonderful to hear from you and to realize everyone is anxious for their dog and hoping all will turn out well. Keep in touch please, it is very encouraging and useful to hear from you all. One day we will be romping in the park, all of us!!