ACL Hell

So I mentioned a couple weeks ago that Alex hurt his leg.

alexvetwaitWaiting room, remember?

But I realized this afternoon that I have not, as of yet, caught you up on exactly what’s wrong with the little guy.

He tore his ACL while running up the stairs.

As a result, he had surgery a couple weeks ago to replace the shoddy torn ligament with a shiny new one made of space-age polymers.  (I’m pretty sure the vet said it’s cyber-naugahyde.)

Unfortunately, this meant he had to be completely immobilized for a month while his new ligament fused into place.  We’ve done the best we can with him but…he’s Alex.  Meaning he’s highly excitable and non-compliant, to put it mildly.

He was progressing just fine until last Friday when he suddenly stopped using the leg completely, instead hopping around on the good leg and leaving the surgically repaired one limp and dangling behind him.  I naturally became concerned that the naugahyde didn’t attach properly and had snapped, that he was now in terrible pain, and ohmyGodwe’regoingtohavetostartalloverwithasecondsurgeryhowarewegoingtoaffordthat?  Etc.  etc.

So I took him back in for a follow-up with the surgeon this morning.  He checked out his range of motion, palpated his leg a bit, and came back to tell me that the ligament seemed fine and that Alex was probably just healing so things were starting to stiffen up on him.  He started off recommending some mild physical therapy, but then remembered that it was Alex we were talking about…

But, given Alex’s personality that might be…difficult.
“Uh.. yeah, Doc.  There’s no way.”

So I agreed to keep him on the Rimadyl for the time being, and then start him on 5-minute walks at the end of the month in an effort to start loosening things up.

This sounds like a rough story, but it’s actually progressing much better than I thought it would.  (So far, anyway.)  Honestly, I envisioned bringing him back to NVHS today and having them tell me they’d need to sedate him for x-rays, then we’d find out that the ligament had indeed broken and we’d be on the hook for another $3K, just to (maybe), get Alex mobile again…

I’m overwhelmingly relieved that hasn’t happened, and that he seems okay.

Hopefully he’ll be back to his Rowdy Baby Iditarrodin’ ways soon…



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