Sunday, July 10, 2011

Easton update: feeling better, however....

The word came from our Vet late this week that "Easton needs surgery" to repair his right-rear ACL. We talked about the pros and cons of the different surgical options/techniques. The Vet clinic uses a visiting surgeon who has excellent results with (what I call) The fishing tackle technique. During Easton's most recent examination, our Vet encouraged us to research completely the subject of ACL injuries in dogs via the reams of information and opinions offered on the Internet. Here are a collection of interesting clinical descriptions and well thought out opinions on the subject.

Is surgery really necessary?
Drs Foster and Smith chime in
Video news report - surprisingly well done

First let me say; our Vet highly recommends the fishing tackle technique which the surgeon they use has had tremendous luck with over the many years they have been working together, servicing the needs of the clinic's patients. Our Vet has accumulated a massive amount of "trust capital" with us; caring for Cosmo, Devo, Lady and now Easton. We trust her implicitly. If and when Easton has surgery, her recommendation will be our course of action.

However, as I talked about in the previous post, Easton has been resting and only gets very focused and specific exercise (on-leash from the time he leaves the house, out the back avoiding stairs for shorter walks). This is to allow Easton a chance to heal and to get use to a more sedentary life, free of the impact and risks that originally injured him. We have two doggy gates on order to permanently block/control access to both sets of stairs. He just can't sprint up and down the stairs following our every move.

The good news is that he appears to have recovered to the point that he is not limping at all and walks exactly like he did the day we brought him home!! He likes to lead the way; and atypical of my normal dog walking disciplines, I let him! He has always occasionally scraped the tops of his right paw toenails as we walk. It is no better or no worse than on April 14th (our first walk together).

Bottom line: I don't want to put him under the knife unless his quality of life is severely threatened. We'll continue to watch him closely and will create an environment for him so that chances of further aggravation to his knee is as close to zero as humanly possible.

The Easton KNEE !

I feel like this every time I sit down to write!


Charlie said...

I'm glad Easton's feeling better!

Meeka said...

Take it easy, Easton. No running after the birds okay?.
I had ACL surgery on my right knee last April and am still waiting for the doc to give me the go ahead to run.

Hi, Meeka's mom here. Yes it it possible to recover from a torn ACL without surgery though you will have to constantly watch and monitor Easton's activities. Meeka injured her knee Jan. 3. With acupuncture and herbal meds she was able to recover. Meeka was limp free for two months then started to run again and boom, back to limping. Acupunture didn't help this time so we went to a specialist and decided to go ahead with the surgery. We opted for the extracapsular, the same procedure that you are considering. The other two procedures were invasive (shaving a portion of the bone).
Hope Easton continues to recover.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

KT, I know these choices can be hard to make. But I believe that you've made the best choice for Easton. If something happens, you can always do the surgery, but I agree, why be in a rush if there seems to be an improvement? I think that if you do it right now there may always be that thought in the back of yours and Andi's mind that 'maybe' he would have been okay without it...Just my thoughts and my support because I know you'll always always do the best for your boy!!

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! Hard Decision Indeed! You have to decide what's best ... taking in consideration Easton energy level. for humans my dad had 3 surgeries n his knee never felt the same way ... so I would say it will be the same for dogs. Sending Lots of Golden Thoughts n LOVE to Easton. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Sammie and Avalon said...

Oh my goodness - we have been so MIA that we missed the story of Easton! We went back and read from April 14 on - how exciting! He is one strapping handsome boy! But so sorry that he was attacked by an aggressive dog - how horrible. And sorry too, that he really hurt Easton. You are taking super steps to help him recover - glad he doesn't need surgery, at least now - give him some scritches from us - thinking of him xoxoxoxoxo
Sammie, Avalon, Oz and Mom

Sam said...

We will keep paws crossed for you! We've known lots of pups who have had surgery, and have recovered well. We've always been hesitant about surgery too - so we are with you on waiting.


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