Saturday, March 27, 2010

Maggie badly injured herself by jumping off the back step to the yard - about 8"-10" high. She tore both the cruciate and meniscus of her right rear leg, likely when she pushed off, not on landing.

It bears no weight now, she holds it high and limp-hops along. So sad and painful to watch. Took her to the Vet ER and spend 3 hrs with various specialists. Here's the rundown:

1> she's on a high dose of steroids to support her liver and keep it going. The steroids are literally all that keeps her from total liver failure.

2> The steroids have damaged her immune system to the point where she is also on a permanent course of antibiotics. She heals very slowly and gets infections very easily.

3> The steroids apparently also damage bones and make joints weaker with extreme long term use - like 6 years, apparently.

There is surgery to anchor her knee, basically a plate and screws to lock it in one position. It may bear some weight, but not full power, and no flexibility. The surgery would start at $2k. Her odds for success are very low - no immune system, poor healing, very likely to get a raging infection, etc.

So right now we are most likely going to see if the knee self-corrects - apparently in a month or so a capsule of scar tissue should form and help to stabilize the joint and reduce pain, let her get around better, etc.

The problem is that with one rear leg unuseable, the other one must take up the slack, and if the steroids have damaged her joints and tendons, it could fail as well, rendering her immobile.

If that happens we'll most likely have to put her down,as much as it pains me to say. Today has been a very traumatic day.