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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This has been (absolutely) the longest six months for Tabitha, Jerry and
Me. From finding out last May that LP surgery was needed, to raising the
money to pay for it, to going through the pain of her surgery, to the suffering
of her 8 weeks crate rest ... It has taken it's toll on all of us. So much
so that I have not posted much about it. But, at long last, we are on the
other side of this event and we have come through well. So, I will share
some pics with you and let you have just a peek into what our world has
been for 2011:

In April 2011, Tabitha had dental surgery. I noticed that while she was on the
Metacam that she was much more active. I knew she had a Grade 1 LP with
her left leg when I first got her at 6 months. Now she seemed to be so much
happier on the meds and jumping around and playing more. I thought they may
prescribe some ongoing meds to make her more comfortable. I had NO idea
what was on the horizon for us...

Consult in May 2011. Right knee needs surgery. Grade 3 LP. She's not
using the back right leg as well and she shows signs of increasing discomfort.
Surgery will be "Trochlear Recession and Tibial Tuberosity Transposition." And they will put in pins.





Home from Hospital August 5th--totally loopy on pain meds. Getting a look at
her incision brought me to tears...





2 days post op--keeping her on pain meds. She gets up to pee on the pad,
and then she just drops back down exhausted from her pain :(





Brotherly Love :love7: Jerry won't leave her side.





3 Weeks Post Op-a tiny square to go potty outside in the yard.





Crate Rest - I have to carry her to and from outside. She is bored and showing
signs of depression.





must have bath…. She had a messy stool and we are desperate by this
point. A small rinse in the kitchen sink of just her back end while supporting
her standing. Used a nonskid mat to keep her from slipping--but still terribly
nervous about bathing her at all.





A chance to look out the window while she dries off from her dip in the kitchen sink





8 weeks post op. Xrays show a successful surgery; but, limited to leash
walks. Need to build up her leg muscles that have weakened from months of
crate rest.





3 1/2 months post op. Back to normal activities but still waiting for her coat
to totally come back in.




I don't know if you can tell from the first picture to the second, but I had
Tabitha on a diet to loose weight and help take the strain off her knees. She
lost from 7 lbs 3 oz down to 5 lbs 6 oz. That's about 23 percent of her body
weight. I also placed her on a glucosamine chondroitin supplement cookie.

It's been a very long journey. And an expensive one. Tabitha's Vet/Hospital
Bill= $2167. My share after insurance was $518. And, I paid $260 in loan fees
and interest since I had to secure a loan to pay up front for the surgery.
So, I paid a total of $778 out of pocket. I would do it again. For Tabitha, I
would do anything.
 

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What a great testament to your love and care Therese! She looks GREAT! What a journey. I'm so happy that she is recovered and back to her normal beautiful self! Thanks so much for posting this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What a great testament to your love and care Therese! She looks GREAT! What a journey. I'm so happy that she is recovered and back to her normal beautiful self! Thanks so much for posting this.
thank you Tracy :) She is doing very well and that makes it all worth it.
 

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Thank you for posting this to help educate the rest of us who are newer to this sort of thing. I figure with three that my odds are pretty good that at least one will be down this path at some point.

SO glad that she is doing so well. She is just so beautiful-even when she was recovering!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thank you for posting this to help educate the rest of us who are newer to this sort of thing. I figure with three that my odds are pretty good that at least one will be down this path at some point.

SO glad that she is doing so well. She is just so beautiful-even when she was recovering!

you're welcome :) I hope you don't ever have to go through this. But, if you
should, there is an excellent Vet in your area Shoal Creek Animal Hospital | Dr. Cowan DVM
If we have to go for Tabitha's left leg, I will consult with him first. He was
recommended to me. But, at the time, I-29 was closed due to the floods up here
and it was near impossible to get there :( They also take Care Credit which
the Vet Hospital we used did not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh bless her heart poor baby. Amberleah will be going threw this soon. both legs.
thank you so much :)
I hope you are not going to do both legs at once. I had planned for that, but
after some more research, it was not the best choice for Tabitha. Sooo glad
I only did one leg. It's far too stressful for them and it's worth two recovery
periods instead.
 

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so glad lil' Tabitha is doing well.... its a tough journey.... lots of emotions... but they are tough lil' doggies....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
so glad lil' Tabitha is doing well.... its a tough journey.... lots of emotions... but they are tough lil' doggies....
thanks Jan. As you know from personal experience, yes, lots of emotions.
and, Tabitha is a tough little girl--she helped me get through it :)

btw: love, love, love the new siggy of Chico :toothy10:
 

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thank you so much :)
I hope you are not going to do both legs at once. I had planned for that, but
after some more research, it was not the best choice for Tabitha. Sooo glad
I only did one leg. It's far too stressful for them and it's worth two recovery
periods instead.
I haven't even taken her to doctor yet for it, waiting for insurance to kick in. months.
I have to take her Tues to Michigan state university, for her enlarged private part, possible adrenal problems, I am worried they will find it and not the record.
 

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I am so glad Tabitha is back to her happy self. I can imagine how tough 2 months of crate rest would be for both of you.
 

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I'm glad Tabitha is doing so well, Therese! :) That's wonderful.

Good luck with Amberleah's surgery, Theresa. The first week is the worst, after that it's honestly not that bad. My Roo did really well with it.

I hope you are not going to do both legs at once. I had planned for that, but
after some more research, it was not the best choice for Tabitha. Sooo glad
I only did one leg. It's far too stressful for them and it's worth two recovery
periods instead.
I had both of Roo's legs done at once and she was completely fine so, in Roo's case, it was the right choice. :) I spoke extensively with 3 highly respected orthopedic surgeons. One recovery time (and one time under anesthesia) was so much easier on Roo. They wouldn't recommend it for a large dog, but Roo is only 4.2 pounds.

As with most things, there are different modes of thinking. My surgeon also doesn't believe in complete crate rest (the muscles become too weak) and he wanted her walking lightly on a short leash early on. This is akin to modern thinking in orthopedic surgery in people where they want the muscles and joints moving early on. So much of it will depend on the surgeon and one has to decide what they think is best as well, of course. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is akin to modern thinking in orthopedic surgery in people
Tabitha's surgery was done at a K State Hospital. I don't think you get more
"modern" than that.

The drawback I saw to going there, was that since it is a Teaching Hospital
they offer no payment plans or Care Credit :(
 

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The drawback I saw to going there, was that since it is a Teaching Hospital
they offer no payment plans or Care Credit :(
That's a shame. :( Hopefully Tabitha won't need her other leg done, but if she does, hopefully you can find a place with better payment options. I didn't have insurance for Roo, so her surgery wasn't covered at all. It was a pretty big wallop to my bank account. (Completely worth it, of course.) It's really sad how prevalent LP is in our breed. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I didn't have insurance for Roo, so her surgery wasn't covered at all. It was a pretty big wallop to my bank account.
Even though I have insurance, they will not cover her left knee if it needs
surgery. It was a pre-existing condition when I first got her and took out
the policy.
 

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Even though I have insurance, they will not cover her left knee if it needs
surgery. It was a pre-existing condition when I first got her and took out
the policy.
I see. Hopefully she won't need it done at all. :)
 

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Poor pup. Glad she is doing well. She looks great with the weight loss! She is such a pretty Chi.. :)

Izzie is a stage 3 in her right knee. The vet thinks she was born with it at that stage, and that it is always out, just can be popped in. It doesn't bother her at all right now, she never favors it or anything. She is a year old now, so in 6 months when she is 18 months I plan on taking her to an Orthopedic specialist to see what he/she thinks. If she needs surgery, or if she is fine, etc. She doesn't have insurance, as it was found at her pre-op appointment for her spay and is now pre-existing cuz the vet wrote she was concerned about LP cuz she walked stiff in her back legs. So I couldn't even get the left covered if that ever went bad cuz of the way the vet phrased it. But I did insure Bella, since it is genetic, and they both have very stiff bowlegged back legs. Bella is fine now, but if she does get LP, then hers will be covered by Petplan. Izzie's we would need to pay out of pocket... which we would if she needed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sooo glad she is over the worst and on her way to many happy healthy years ahead!! You are such a good chi mama therese! :)
thanks Cheryl :) I'm glad it's over too. This whole process took a lot out of me!

how lucky some of us are not to go through this
what a brave girl, shes looking so good therese
thanks so much Amanda :) Yes, Tabitha is my tough little one--so relieved
it wasn't Jerry (he's such a sensitive little boy).

Poor pup. Glad she is doing well. She looks great with the weight loss! She is such a pretty Chi.. :)

Izzie is a stage 3 in her right knee. The vet thinks she was born with it at that stage, and that it is always out, just can be popped in. It doesn't bother her at all right now, she never favors it or anything. She is a year old now, so in 6 months when she is 18 months I plan on taking her to an Orthopedic specialist to see what he/she thinks. If she needs surgery, or if she is fine, etc. She doesn't have insurance, as it was found at her pre-op appointment for her spay and is now pre-existing cuz the vet wrote she was concerned about LP cuz she walked stiff in her back legs. So I couldn't even get the left covered if that ever went bad cuz of the way the vet phrased it. But I did insure Bella, since it is genetic, and they both have very stiff bowlegged back legs. Bella is fine now, but if she does get LP, then hers will be covered by Petplan. Izzie's we would need to pay out of pocket... which we would if she needed it.
Thanks! The weight loss has done a lot to ease the strain on her knees.
And, she is keeping fit and trim. I measure out her food religiously!

Now that we have been through this whole thing, I have changed my outlook
on surgery for the future. If she shows signs of lameness, I will have them
give her meds and I will put her on limited activity for a few weeks to see if it
resolves. Surgery will be our absolute LAST choice. I also continue to carry
her up and down stairs; we no longer have an ex-pen that she has to hop in or
out of; and I have never allowed climbing on or jumping off furniture. We just
pick her up to hold her :)
 
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