Yes, that’s Darla having her right knee examined by our veterinary surgeon, Dr. Kurt Schulz, last?Thursday?morning at Peak Veterinary Referral Center in Burlington. The prior?weekend I had gone into the front yard for the afternoon poop scooping. Darla, who was on the front porch, saw me come through the side gate and ran full speed down the ramp to come to me, leaping onto the grass.
Instinctively, in the split second as I watched her race down the ramp, I knew it wasn’t going to end well. I don’t know what triggered that thought, but it happened so fast I couldn’t even get any words out quickly enough to slow her down. As she landed on the grass, she stopped, looked stricken, and cried out. She looked over at me, then at her right rear leg, and started howling. Then she pulled her leg up in the air and held it there.
I knew in that very moment she had just blown out her cruciate ligament. I couldn’t believe it. Here we were still in the middle of Aaron’s recovery from his knee surgery, and now we’d be taking Darla in for the same thing.
A few minutes after it happened I texted our internal medicine specialist at Peak, Dr. Marielle Goossens, to tell her what Darla had?just done, and she worked on getting us onto Kurt’s schedule so we could do the evaluation and surgery on the same day. In the meantime, we put her on pain meds and other supportive care.
Sure enough, Kurt confirmed it was the cruciate ligament, and late Thursday afternoon he did the TPLO surgery on her. This was the same knee he had operated on in March of this year to remove a mast cell tumor. Egads. (If only we had known!) On Friday I drove back to Burlington to pick up my girl and bring her home.
Alayne set up a hospital pen for her in the living room … here’s a photo I took this morning:
She’s doing fine, and unlike Aaron, has maintained her interest in all things food. (I had no doubt about that. In her defense, she is on a restricted diet, and we’ve had her thyroid checked.) She’s on a full course of post-op pain meds and antibiotics.
Of course, because this is?a “special” bed, it’s now the place to be for everyone else. Here’s a shot we took over the weekend when Aurora managed to sneak onto the bed when we briefly left the gate open, leaving Darla looking a wee bit unhappy:
This is the fourth surgery Darla has had since coming to us?last year?– cataract surgery, two mast cell tumor surgeries, and now the TPLO. Fortunately, we have never had to put a cone on her to keep her from chewing or licking at her suture sites, or in the case of the cataract surgery, from rubbing her eyes. (Aaron turned out to be the same way.) That is a real plus, and makes everything else easier. Now we just have another eight long weeks of slow recovery ahead. But for Darla, the most important question continues to be, “Hey, what’s for dinner?”
Barb Ribinski says
Oh no, not Darla! Now she has to get even MORE attention. Poor baby. I do have to mention that she looks well fed in that photo where she’s lying on the special bed. Landing on her knee with all that weight didn’t help, I’m sure. I hope she’s allowed to walk a little each day so she can make her way into the kitchen to be sure to get her fair share of the daily morsels. Rest up, Darla. You’re darn cute. (and spoiled!)
The million dollar bionic Darla! Glad she is recovering well. I love the hospital bed-room. Yes, I’m sure everyone wants to be there (just not go through what it takes to belong there!) Hopes and prayers for full recoveries for everyone, and endurance for you guys as well.
DARLA HAS BECOME A CHUNKY GIRL AND SOMEWHAT HIGH MAINTENANCE. BUT THATS O.K. WE ALL STILL LOVE HER. HOPE SHE CAN SLIM DOWN SOME, THAT WILL HELP HER LEGS ALOT IN THE LONG RUN. IF SHE FEELS GOOD THO THATS ALWAYS WHAT YOU WANT. GOOD LUCK ON YOUR RECOVERY DARLA & TAKE IT EASY.
Oh nooooooo! Poor girl! Similar, ACL pop in our case, seen 1st-hand for our Katie, in June. Full speed direction change on a “ditz run”, and immediate pull up & 3 legs… Surgery seeming successful at this point, but like you say, slow recovery, and the summer on a leash.
Love to see the cozy ‘hospital” R&R though. Hang in there and get better!
Heidi, Emmett the Beagle, and Moxie the Kitty says
Poor poor Darla-princess! I am glad she is on the mend. But 4 surgeries in one year – c’mon Steve, don’t you think she deserves that tiara now?
Tonya Allen says
Oh no! Poor Darla. And poor you, running a canine orthopedic ward. I’m sure she appreciates the extra comfy bed with room service, and she sounds like a relatively easy patient. Get well soon, Darla!
Penny Heinrich says
Poor baby….. and poor Steve and Alayne! You have your hands really full now. One day at a time….the weeks of recuperation will hopefully fly by for ALL of you.
Shirley and James says
Oh my gosh! I know the med regiment alone is almost a full time job—want to make sure they stay ahead of the pain. Love you for ALL you do. Be well sweet Darla Girl–I mean Princess Darla.
I love Darla’s expression looking at the interloper who stole her bed. Priceless. She is such a sweet girl with a beautiful face. Give her extra hugs from all of us.
My first thought was about how comfy that hospital bed looks and how I wouldn’t mind having some forced nap time on one with someone waiting on me hand and foot! Did you ever think that maybe Queen Darla is in cahoots with the vet to plan these surgeries? LOL Get well soon Darla….we all love you!!
Poor pups! Thank goodness they have the best care possible, especially as they
recover, sending loving care….