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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In his non-limping days:


Poor guy took a slip coming out of a bath and started limping. At first I thought it was his hip, being a shepherd and all, but the doctor today diagnosed it to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

He's having surgery tomorrow morning (11 years old and 102 lbs). I've been reading up on the various types of surgery that may be performed, and I hope it all goes well.
 

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Best wishes to Nikko (and you, as this is going to be a long haul). Please keep us posted.

A friend's 8-year old Springer went through this a year ago and to get her out while convalescing, her owner bought this Burley "Tail Wagon" dog trailer. It also works as a stroller. The back end and top open up so you can lift the pup into the trailer or they can walk in with barely a step up.

It was a God-send.

http://www.burley.com/products/pets/tail_wagon.cfm


 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nikko and I went to the surgical center today, and he was completely nervous. I tried my best "hey nothing is going on here" voice, but he knew it was a hospital, and he didn't like it one bit. He started shivering at one point, and I've never seen him so scared as to shiver.

The med tech came and did his thing, and all Nikko could do was stand by the door where it opened, almost trying to will the door open. Then the doctor came and did her assessment, and the suggestion is a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO). From my readings and considering Nikko's size, I thought that was the best option as well.

I was a bit off the whole day after leaving him. Luckily, the clinic seem to realize that dog people are crazy, so they called me often to keep me updated on the surgery.

The surgery went well. All was routine, and I am to pick him up tomorrow. I live in a multi-floor home, and I'm trying to set up the entrance for him to stay for the next 3 weeks so that he will not have to navigate any stairs.

Poor little guy. I still think of my 102 lb dog as little because I remember him as a puppy.

Nikko as a pup:


Check out those radar ears!
 

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So happy Nilkko came through the surgery o.k. He is handsome and what a cute puppy he was. Love those ears.
 

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I am sorry that he hurt his leg. Our beagle had a similar injury a while back. I was really scared for him. Due to his size the surgeon recommended the extracapsular procedure. He came out of the surgery and he definitely was hurting for a while and it took a bit for him to get his confidence back. So far so good, he his running around now and seems to do well. Just take it easy with his recovery and definitely be on the conservative side as far as activities go.

I hope his recovery goes good!!!

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I brought Nikko home today. He's been heavily sedated, and it took myself and a med tech to get him into the E. Once home, he promptly peed on the thick and comfortable sleeping bag I had set up atop the carpet for him to lay. I moved the sleeping bag away and replaced the area with blankets, and he promptly fell asleep where he lay.



There is swelling at the surgical site and the ankle, and I am to use a hot compress twice a day for five minutes at a time. It just breaks my heart to see staples in his leg; I wish we can trade places so that the staples would be in my leg and he doesn't have to go through this.



Pre-op leg:



Post-op leg:



He is on Acepromazine (tranquilizer) and Duragesic-Fentanyl (pain killer), and they're knocking him out. The clinic administered the medication at 0800 and he is still heavily sedated at near 2230.

I've helped him out to pee twice (and to shift his position so that he's not laying on the same side for more than 6 hours at a time), and the first time it was a stream, and the second just drops. He can't stand up without help from my friend and I, and we have to hold him up or he'll plop down and rest.

He's been drinking, reluctantly, some water, and has had two teaspoons of yogurt. He's shown no interest in any of his regular food or snacks. He's not showing any signs of pain (heavy panting or shifting), so I'm holding off on the Acepromazine until he's coherent enough to eat something. I'll mix the pain killers and the antibiotics with his food, so that he'll have some nutrition before becoming sedated again.

It's a tricky balance between worrying about unspoken pain and nutritional needs. Luckily, he's got a couple of pounds to burn (at 102 lbs now with optimal at 95-97 lbs).

It's the neurotic parent in me, I know, but I'm just not used to seeing my "alpha-male-I-can-out-hike-any-mountaineer" down and out like this. It breaks my heart, and I wish I can take on his suffering. Strangely, I know that a group of complete strangers like yourselves (also crazy dog people) would understand where I'm coming from.

Thanks for letting me vent my worries and progress; it does help.
 

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Special challenges with a big pup. I've never had to have Gidget so sedated for so long that her ability to potty was an issue. We're going bikejoring today and I'm increasingly mindful that at any moment she's just one step away from such an injury.

So far, I've been the one with knee problems.

Nikko is very blessed to have you caring for him. I hope you are getting time off for Thanksgiving which you can use to be with him. He'll enjoy quiet time with you, especially this first week. Lots of belly rubs, ear rubs and nuzzling.

He'll be hiking in his dreams this week. And sprinting away from the vet.

:)
 

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In his non-limping days:


Poor guy took a slip coming out of a bath and started limping. At first I thought it was his hip, being a shepherd and all, but the doctor today diagnosed it to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

He's having surgery tomorrow morning (11 years old and 102 lbs). I've been reading up on the various types of surgery that may be performed, and I hope it all goes well.
I'm just now seeing this. OH NO! Poor baby.

I didn't realize Nikko was a senior guy...damn he looks good.

Happy, safe, warm, healing thoughts coming your way handsome boy (the dog Solid not you, but I wish you peace)

-g
 

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Busted out laughling :D

Nikko as a pup:


Check out those radar ears!
OMG! It's ears and chunky paws...there's no dog.

Oh heavens he was a cutie. Did he have balance issues--seriously look at those ears (love 'em) but I guess those tree trunk legs/paws kept him from tipping. Too too adorable.

-g
 

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Poor Nikko, I feel your pain. He reminds me of my dog, a 100 lbs female German shepherd R.I.P. Shepherds are very strong dogs, I'm sure he'll pull through. Get well soon Nikko...
 

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Nikko's leg actually looks good - all things considered.

It's always tough dealing with the pups when they have been injured. Most of us have had our share of surgical recoveries - if experience is worth anything.

We're keeping him in our prayers for a speedy recovery.
 

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best wishes that niko will be back to himself in no time! perhaps the savory smells of a turkey dinner will tempt his pallet...and perhaps he could sample the turkey, just to make sure it tastes ok!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement; I really appreciate them being a first time post-op dog parent. Really, you're kind words of encouragement has been a pillar of strength for me.

Nikko is improving and getting stronger on a daily basis. He was completely knocked out the first day and that was totally out of the ordinary; however, as the tranquilizers wore off, he has become himself more and more. He is a very mellow big dog, so I've been holding off on the tranquilizers and the Elizabethan collar. I'm running the full course on the pain killers and the antibiotics.

A little more awake; a little more alert; gaining in appetite:

(Note greenie next to left front leg)

Two days after his surgery he was able to stand and look above the baby gate we had set up next to the downward stairs when I awoke. I can't tell you how happy I felt to see him standing and wagging his tail. I took him out to pee, and he must have peed for a good 45 seconds. It was like the scene in "A League of Their Own" with Tom Hanks. He just kept going, and going, and then going some more. (I'm noticing that he like to go out to pee during sunlight, but not after dark, so I try to maximize daytime for him to relieve himself.)

He is a strong willed dog, and he wants to rehab quickly. He's already trying to put weight on his bionic-leg and take walks, and I have to slow him down and remind him that we can only exit for very, very short bathroom breaks for now.

Food wise, he is only interested in protein. He used to love baked sweet potatoes and avocados, but now he just wants the chicken. I bash his dry food into dust so that he doesn't have to chew, and I mix it with boiled chicken breast mashed into "no chewing needed" portions. He'll still eat his yogurt (plain, full fat), and I pill him with peanut butter. He still loves his glucosamine coated chicken strips.

My little bald doggie:


We took our first ride in the E post-op today to remove the Fentenyl (pain med) patch. I was concerned about the swelling around his ankles, but the vet told me today that it was usual, and that I was to continue the hot compress treatment on his wound and the ankle to help with fluid drain.

Nikko was excited about the car ride, but got scared and started shivering once we pulled into the surgical center. I kept him in the car and the med tech was very understanding and did his thing in the E so that Nikko didn't have to exit the car and go into the office (where he'll be more agitated and scared).

So ready to rock! (Wait, are we going back to the hospital?! Nooooo!)


I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The next hurdle is removing the sutures in two weeks.

Happy Thanksgiving; I have much to be thankful for this holiday season.
 

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Thanks for the progress report -- sounds like you'll be having a Happy Thanksgiving!

That shaved hindquarter is quite a look. Am showing that to Gidget so she'll be inspired to be careful. She didn't like having half her tail shaved to deal with a hot spot.

If they shaved her like Nikko I'd have to look for a giant Samoyed hair piece.

:)
 

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Call me a Big P, I actually welled up seeing the pictures, the poor guy

Wish you and him a speedy recovery
 

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Solid, Nikko looks so good. The shaved hindquarter was :-(

Because Nikko is so big they probably tranquilized him pretty good, but slowly he'll snap back as you have seen. My husky Bo came out of anesthesia within 24 hours. However, Miss Megan seems to take longer. She stays spacey for a few days :? (and she's smallish). It all depends on how the pups metabolize those drugs.

Thank you for the update. Love the look on his face in the E.

-g
 
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