Golden Kali followers may recall my last post where I described our three year old Kloe’s condition: two torn CCL’s (cranial cruciate ligament) that after three months did not heal on their own as we had hoped. The TPLO (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy) surgery took place this past Wednesday and everything went as planned. No surprises, no complications, and a prognosis of full recovery over the next few months.
With surgery behind us the recovery period begins and Kloe’s condition should get better every day. The hardest part now may be keeping Kloe’s activity level to almost zero for the next four weeks. She will begin feeling better and stronger each day. After about four weeks we can begin to introduce more structured and supervised activities but no running, jumping, or play for at least 8 weeks or longer. Aside from a swelling and the trauma of surgery, where a semi-circle of the tibia is sawed, rotated, and secured back in place with an orthopedic plate, Kloe’s knees after four days are probably feeling better than they were before the surgery. For those interested in more info on the TPLO procedure you can get it here.
Dropping Kloe off Wednesday morning for the surgery was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. During the days leading up to surgery both Holly and I were stressed, worried, and didn’t sleep well. We trust our vet Dr. Tanya Jackson without reservation. The surgeon she recommended, Dr. Justin Uhl, has a lot of expertise with the TPLO procedure. Plus Dr. Jackson would be assisting him and by Kloe’s side the entire time. Still, when I worry about things outside my control I go to that dark place of unfounded fears.
What if the saw cuts through the bone got botched? What if Kloe had a problem with the anesthesia and didn’t wake up? What if during surgery there was an emergency like a major fire or earthquake and the building had to be evacuated? What if a giant fissure opened in the earth and the building, Kloe, and the doctors fell to the earth’s core of molten lava where evil monsters prey on canines? What if!
I kept mostly busy Wednesday but found myself looking at the clock periodically. The surgery was to take place about 1:00 and take up to two hours. At 12:30 I told myself that Kloe was probably sedated by now and therefore not too aware of things. At 1:15 I told myself that she was now under anesthesia so not awake or scared. At 2:45 I told myself they were probably sticking her up. At 3:30 the phone rang and it was Dr. Uhl.
Dr. Uhl told me that Kloe was starting to wake up and that the surgery went just fine. I asked him if she would fully recover and he said she would and be able to resume normal activities in a few months so long as we took good care during the recovery period. I wanted to ask him if there had a been any natural disaster warnings or if he had noticed a fissure opening in the earth’s crust but I though better of it and simply thanked him and hung up.
Dr. Jackson is the best. Around 9:00 that evening she called to give us an update. She was still at the office and had been sitting with Kloe for quite some time. She told us Kloe was looking more like her normal self, and staring into the doc’s eyes and pulling the doc closer to her with her paw. That’s our Kloe.
Kloe has been home since Thursday afternoon and recovery is going very well and has been a model patient. Each day the redness and swelling diminishes and her spirits elevate. She is starting to get up on her own and taking a few steps without assistance.
So, day four. We’ve got a long way to go but we will go as far and as long to get our Kloe healthy and back on her CCL’s, or feet as the case may be.