This past week has been the worst yet. We are still dealing with a post operative complication – a bacterial infection of his leg following the removal of his cast at 2 weeks post ccl repair surgery. We have had to outfit Tucker in an Elizabethan collar (E-Collar) 24/7 because of his impulse to lick his infected leg. The days have been filled with putting ointment on the leg, bathing the leg with Malaseb, making sure the leg stays clean, and thwarting from Tucker being able to lick the leg. The bacterial infection on the knee following surgery is starting to look better, but is still a long way from healing and having the hair regrow. There are a few spots on the leg that are particularly infected, and those areas seem to be scabbing over (I am concerned he will never grow hair back in these spots).
Despite all this, Tucker remains our happy boy, stoic in the face of pain. He has been an excellent patient, allowing us to tend to his leg as we need, and even taking it easy without the assistance of around the clock sedatives. He is doing great on the leg, using it about 95% of the time now – he will start out using it fully in the mornings, but by the end of the day the leg gets tired and he pulls it up occasionally. The leg still looks pretty puny and pathetic (especially now that he has lost all of his hair in addition to the muscle mass), but I am confident that he will build the muscle back up as soon as we are able to start walks.
At 3 weeks post CCL repair surgery, I now take our dog a little further into the yard on his leashed bathroom walks. He is able to get 75% of the way down down to squat when going to the bathroom, and he has even lifted his good leg to pee, allowing all of his weight on the surgical leg. His gait still seems a bit off in his hips, and I do think he still favors the uninjured leg, but I will keep an eye on it and see how this progresses over time. One thing I find distressing is that Tucker still sits with his post operative leg straight out when in a seated position.
The vet seemed very pleased with Tucker’s progress to date, and has suggested we start taking him on very short leashed walks in the neighborhood. He would like us to start with 1 minute the first day and get up to 10 minutes by our next appointment, which is scheduled in a week. We have been instructed to use the salve on the leg more sparingly, and start washing the leg with the Malaseb every other day.