The Severely Abused Chihuahua-Pom
The first six weeks of Honey’s post-op recovery period went without a hitch. She was still too active to satisfy my comfort level, however she was able to remain pain free with her medications.
By week seven, she decided that she had taken it easy long enough. She was back to jumping and running around in her Pack & Play whenever she saw Wrigley and Millie playing with each other. It was as if she was exclaiming, “Hey, I’m healed and want to play too.”
If you remember in Part 8, I was hoping that she would take it easy for three to four months, allowing her left Medial Patellar Luxation (MPL) reconstruction surgery to completely heal before tackling her right knee. But once again, her over-activity got the better of her, and within a few days she started to have pain with her right knee. At times she would yelp in what seemed to be severe pain whenever she would move it the wrong way. Despite increasing the doses of some of her medications, I still wasn’t able to completely control her discomfort. So, back to the surgery we would go with the reconstruction of her right knee.
In Part VII, I explained how her knee cap and shin bone (which should point forward the same as ours) was positioned at a right angle as a result of poor genetic selection for breeding. This is a very common problem that we see with dogs from puppy mills and just one of the many reasons that they need to be stopped. As bad as her left knee was, her right knee is one of the worst cases that I have seen.
A few years ago, a cat was brought in for an evaluation of a complicated MPL due to an old fracture that was never addressed. The knee cap was pointing backwards on the inside of the knee, approximately 120 degrees off correct alignment. He was overweight as a result of not being able to walk correctly due to his crippled leg. I was told that two other veterinarians that had examined him recommended amputation of the leg. Although this can be a life changing surgery when absolutely necessary; I always try to save limbs unless there is no other recourse.
In this case, although it required two surgeries to save the leg and get it to a functional state, he now walks and runs around his house with ease.
I was praying for the same outcome for Honey, hopefully only requiring one surgery; but I also knew that it would be another challenge trying to restrict her high energy/activity tendencies.
In Part 10, I’ll detail her right MPL surgery and her recovery.
William T. Carlisle, DVM