Monday, October 18, 2010

My Max's Injury

Last Wednesday night, I got home from work and didn't have any concrete plans for the evening, except enjoying my trial period of NHL Center Ice and watching the Penguins game.  I was waffling about what to do with the dogs that evening.  The night before, I brought them with me to run with the Shirlington Running Club.  I was leaning towards just taking them on a little walk around the neighborhood, but since it is getting darker earlier every day, I decided that I would take the pups to the dog park for a little exercise.  As I was walking over, I caught up to my neighbor Gwen.

Max and Chloe

We headed over to the park and had only been there for a few minutes when Max and Chloe decided that they would square off against each other on opposite sides of a large tree.  Eventually Chloe made a move first and took off running.  Max took off after her, but he decided to try jumping over a fairly low rock to help him gain some distance.  As soon as he went up and over the rock, I could tell that it didn't look right.  When he landed, I heard a large yelp, and then he hopped off and laid down.  Gwen and I immediately rushed over to see what the problem was.  At first I thought that he could have landed on something, or just tweaked his leg as he was landing.

After getting a look at his right leg, I couldn't really tell what was wrong.  Max wanted to get up and move around, but I tried to keep him still and have him rest it.  Once he did manage to get up, I wanted to see how it was affecting him.  He would not put any weight on it at all.  In the past, he has tweaked his leg before and would limp for a little bit, but it was go away.  But he would always put a little weight on the leg.  I knew that this time, his leg was worse, but I didn't know how much worse.

This is where I was very happy that Gwen was with me!  I didn't want Max to hop all the way home on 3 legs, not knowing what the issue was, so she offered to walk Chloe, with her 2 dogs, and I carried Max back to the house.  I certainly got a workout that day!  We had to rest several times on the walk home, but we made it and I had him rest it that night and the next day while I was at work.  When I got home on Thursday evening, he didn't seem to be any better than the night before when he injured it.  That morning I had called to make and Urgent Care appointment at the vet, just in case he didn't get better.  The earliest that they could take me was late Friday afternoon.

Me crossing a log with Max and Chloe in Cashiers, NC

Max and I went off to the vet, with him hopping around.  He was getting used to only using 3 legs, so I had stopped carrying him around.  As soon as the vet came into the exam room, I think she knew what the problem was.  After a minute or so of inspection and physical testing, she said that he had completely ruptured his cranial cruciate ligament (CCL.)  I was stunned when I heard this.  I had no idea that it was going to be that bad of an injury.  She said it is the equivalent to a person rupturing their ACL, which I know usually requires surgery and a long, hard recovery.  I became so sad for Max, that I almost stopped listening to the vet.  She recommended surgery and said that we would need to go to a specialty center to have it done.

With the age that Max is, only 6.5 years, I think that surgery is the way to go.  I know that the cost and recovery are going to be tough, but I think it is the best thing to do for him.  The pups were headed back to Pittsburgh for a little vacation before this happened, and we decided to continue with this plan and have a specialty center in Pittsburgh take a look at him and give their opinion.  Since my parents will be able to give more regular care to Max, for the next week or so, he may have the surgery up there.  I feel so badly for my big baby Max...  But I am confident that he will be back to himself soon!!  Get well buddy!


City Girl said...

Poor Max! I would be a wreck! Here's hoping that the surgery and recovery go well! xoxo

Newlyweds on a Budget said...

poor max! this morning, I accidentally closed the door on our dog and he started yelping and then started limping around and i felt SO bad! I hope he is healed by the time I get home today...but having your dog be hurt is NO fun. And if something like that happened to our dog, i have nooo idea how we would pay for it. guess i'd have to get a second job or something...I'm sure everything will work out though. (our dog is 7 too!)

Tyler said...

Thanks for the comments!! Max has an appt with a specialist tomorrow and we'll decide what to do about the surgery... I feel so sad for him, I bet that he is so confused as to what is going on.

Velvet said...

Lucky though - it is a common ailment, so common in fact that all pet insurance plans have a 1 freaking year waiting period for reimbursement on this operation. You have options. And I do suggest Dr. Morgan in Georgetown. he does an operation that's about $1200 I belive. Georgetown Vet Hosp. 29th and M. I swear by him.

Velvet said...

Oh, and consider VA Tech vet school for the op. I have a good friend / past blogger who works there now. He can get you in touch with the right person if you want. Their prices are supposed to be great. Email/Facebook me if you need.