Thursday, November 12, 2009

Apollo's surgery

Just a few days before Halloween, we took Apollo in for surgery. His "ACL" in his left rear knee had been torn repeatedly during his enthusiastic, yet clumsy attempts to catch squirrels and other small creatures. Often after a rough romping session he would walk home limping slightly. This had been getting better and worse and better again ever since Apollo was about 2 years old. Recently this summer, though, his limping had gotten much worse after off-leash romps, so we took him to the vet to get their opinion. Often dogs of Apollo's breed (golden retriever) and size develop hip dysplasia, which is what we initially suspected. But our vet said it looked more like a torn "ACL" (it's actually called something different in dogs). They did an x-ray to check his knee and both his hips, and confirmed yes it was just the torn ACL, and his hips are actually fine.

We took Apollo in for surgery first thing in the morning, and he stayed overnight and came home the next morning. Poor puppy, he whined the whole way home when we picked him up after his surgery. The good thing, though, is that he does seem to be recovering just fine. It's a slow process- made perhaps a little bit slower by the fact that Apollo kept chewing out his stiches -bad dog- but the vet says Apollo could be back to 75% by Thanksgiving and hopefully 90% recovered by Christmas. For now he's being limited to being on his leash whenever he's outside, but we've lengthened his daily walks from 10minutes a day to 20 minutes each day. He does put some weight on his foot now, though by the end of his walks he usually is limping again. But you'd be surprised how much he can still pull on his leash, yearning to go after a taunting squirrel, considering his surgery. And the goofy dog can balance on that leg when he needs to mark territory :)

This is the day he came home from the vet, you can see that he is touching his toe on the ground, but not putting weight on it. We brushed him for a long time, to help him relax after he came home.

A close up of his scar, it's a little tough to see the stitches, but maybe you can if you look closely.

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