Friday, October 23, 2009
Let's Start at the Very Beginning, a Very Good Place to Start
My 10-year-old dog Tango loves to fetch...specifically kongs and balls (of all kinds). He'll run across the back yard to retrieve them, wade into the ocean to retrieve them, and even drop them in the tub when I'm bathing and then try to retrieve them. My husband has been known to toss the ball straight to Tango's mouth more than 100 times on some mornings. An obsession perhaps?
One day a few months ago, Tango crashed through the bushes in the back yard in pursuit of a ball, yelped, and hobbled back on three legs. In a few moments, he seemed fine again. Then over the weeks he began to walk more slowly up the stairs, had trouble jumping up on our bed, and took much longer to stand after he'd been lying down.
We also noticed that he was favoring his left hind leg some and that the leg muscle seemed smaller than it had been.
So off to the vet we went, thinking, "Maybe Tango's developed arthritis?" Well, we were partially right. Tango does have some arthritis, but the vet suspected something more was causing his distress: a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament. The recommendation: a visit to the Veterinary Orthopedic Sports Medicine Group.
Two weeks later, Dr. Peter Lotsikas, the orthopedic surgeon, confirmed our vet's suspicions. After reviewing the X-rays and discussing the options, my husband and I decided to have Dr. Lotsikas perform a procedure called a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy, or TPLO.
And the journey began.