Monday, February 11, 2008

Ivy's TPLO surgery is today

The dreaded day has finally arrived. We dropped Ivy off early this morning for her TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) surgery for her cruciate ligament rupture. Now, isn't that a mouthful?! This is the most common leg injury in dogs, especially Labrador Retrievers, we have learned.
Ivy started limping about 15 months ago. Nothing really bad, just a slight limp after running around or hiking with us. We took her to our vet, Dr. Klemm, who said she might have this CCL injury, but he could not be sure. He suggested we get some weight off her (she weighed 82 pounds at the time) and restrict her exercise for a while. We were warned that she could blow out her knee down the road. So, Ivy started dieting. And she did very well on the diet, losing 15 pounds. We started walking again, one to two miles a day. She would still come up limping every once in a while, but a baby aspirin or canine nsaid, seemed to help.
This past fall, we booked a cabin in the mountains of Southwest Virginia for a hiking vacation along the New River Trail. We hadn't been there for ten minutes, when Ivy came up limping and on three legs. The vet we saw the next day was pretty sure it was a cranial ligament rupture.
From that point forward, Ivy was on what is referred to as "conservative management." No more running, confinement in the house, short "potty" leash walks only....for several months. She also started laser therapy with Dr. Klemm. She did well, started weight bearing on the injured leg again. Then, two days after Christmas, she got away from us and came up on three legs again.
By this time, my husband Joe had decided to come out of retirement and take a temporary job in Charleston, South Carolina for up to six months. We found a fully furnished rental house and an excellent orthopedic Vet specialist in Charleston, Dr. Robert Pernell with Coastal Carolina Veterinary Specialists.
Which now brings us to today, February 11, 2008. From this point forward, it will always be Ivy's TPLO date. It is our fervent hope to get our pretty yellow Lab back to hiking with us and running on the beach by the summer's end. She has fourteen to sixteen weeks of recuperation and rehibilitaion ahead of her. She will stay at the hospital for a week following surgery for recovery and physical therapy, then come home to us for three weeks. While she is home, she will be confined to an x-pen most of the time in the house, have about four short potty breaks a day, no running, jumping, etc. and continue with home PT exercises. Then, she returns to the ortho vet PT treatment center for two more weeks of physical therapy. Then back home and more recovery, same regimen as at the beginning. By the end of May, we hope to have her released, my husband's "jobette" completed, and be back in Virginia for boating season.
The estimate for this TPLO surgery and all the rehab comes to about $3400.00. I mention this in case anyone reading this has a dog come up with unexplained lameness. This is more widespread than you think. It may be genetic also. Take care of your dogs and give them a pat on the head from me!

Ivy at 82 pounds

The day after her injury in Virginia

The weekend before her TPLO

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