Monday, March 29, 2010

Ok - Maggie Update!

She is hobbling around, and has been checked by two different vets - they both came to the same conclusions :

She tore the Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) and ruptured the meniscus, resulting in a leg that is useless and causes pain. She also has advanced arthritis in both front shoulders, which was making her limp even before the accident, so now she is literally on her last leg.

We are arranging an appoinment with a specialist who will hopefully fit her for a custom knee-brace made just for dogs. This will stabilize the joint, prevent further injury and alleviate the pain, as well as helping it heal as well as can be expected without surgery.

She should be able to walk and have full range of motion, but maybe not run and jump as before. But since she's over 11yrs old she shouldn't be jumping anyway.

Both vets agreed that with her liver issues and long-term steroid use, surgery is off the table. She would not heal and is very likely to get a serious infection, or worse.

So a brace it is. I bought her a set of steps for the bed and a portable doggie cage so I could carry her easier up and down the stairs, to the vet, etc.

She's on pain meds now, so I hope she isn't hurting too bad.

We'll get her mobile again.

The immediate concern is that if she damages the other hind leg, there won't be much we can do. Even the thought is hard for me.

I bought her a sling for her front legs to help take the weight off - but frankly I would rather the weight be on her arthritic front legs than on her single rear one, so I don't know if I'll use the sling or just let her hop along.

She's also on a diet to lose 5-8 lbs. They said that would help a lot, she's at just under 30 lbs, which is too high for her. 22-25 is better.

So all is not lost, and we are hopeful that we will have her for a while longer, at least. But the steroids that are keeping her alive are also killing her slowly. The hard part is determining when her quality of life is degraded enough that it is a selfish act to keep her with us. Hopefully not for years yet. :(