Just before Christmas, Princess was having one of her usual spastic attacks at the door. When someone comes or goes, she goes crazy at the door, barking, jumping, etc. It was no different that day when Craig was leaving for work. Except this time, she started limping afterwards. She is almost 11 yrs old and starting to get arthritis, so I thought perhaps it had flared up. Or I thought perhaps she landed wrong and it was a little sore.
We watched it for a couple days and it never got better. She never whined or acted like she was in pain. There was just a constant limp.
After going to the vet, getting xrays and scans done, it was revealed that Princess tore her ACL. Ouch!!! And she needed surgery. Ouch for our pocketbook!!!
We planned her surgery on the Monday of my last week off from work. Craig dropped her off by 7:30 that morning and we picked her up almost 6 pm that night. The vet said her ALC was completely torn in half and the two pieces were just laying there. Thankfully, he was able to fix it.
And she was miserable!
She had to become a conehead. :( We were told she needed to wear the cone all the time for 2 weeks! Well, that first night, she barely moved. You could tell Princess was in pain, uncomfortable, and upset with us. She didn't want to eat or drink. We couldn't even get her to lay all the way in her bed. Eventually, she made her way to the cool tile floor and laid there for 4 hours.
The next day was just a little better. She didn't eat or drink and we could not get her pills in her mouth. I'm sure besides being embarrassed by that awful cone, she was embarrassed from her one shaved leg and 11 stitches.
We had a dog pharmacy to go along with our recovering dog.
Little by little, she started to eat and drink, but not quite like she used to. Craig had a hard time shoving the pills down her throat. After cheese, bread, and wet dog food not working, we realized she would take the pills in french fries!!! Crazy dog. She had to take antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, pain pills, and a supplement. The pain pills would knock her out for most of the day.
We took her cone off to eat, otherwise, she couldn't reach the food. We were also kind enough to take it off when she was sleeping and we were in the same room as her. But, it went back on each night. And she would moan every time and turn her head.
The second week, Craig was on vacation and was able to stay with her the whole time. She finally started to eat normal too. Princess started acting better, putting weight on that leg, and wasn't limping nearly as much.
We took her to Abilene when we went to my sister's wedding. That trip exhausted her. She started falling asleep with her head upright.
Finally, after 2 weeks of never leaving Princess by herself, constantly watching her, and giving her lots of extra TLC, we were able to head to the vet to get the stitches out.
Let's just say, she does not like to go there anymore. She shakes, wants to be held, and is in a hurry to leave.
The vet was actually impressed with how well she has healed already. She is putting just enough weight on that leg and will be 90-95% back to her normal self. Since she is a geriatric dog, she has to stay on supplements the rest of her life which will help with her arthritis. She also has some kidney issues that we have to keep an eye on. It's very common for Shelties.
Princess is happy once again, enjoys feeling the breeze on her face without that bothersome cone, and is still trying to get in some extra TLC.