Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 13, 2013

01/13/2013 — Lee Ward: Owner will suffer most when dog has surgery

Lee Ward
CNHI News Service

ASHLAND — Bow-legged Marcie, my Boston terrier mix, has always had a slipped kneecap.

It’s common in small dogs, but being a large-dog owner, I was ignorant of the condition.

When I noticed her limping years ago. I took her to the vet and learned her bowed back legs are not uncommon in smaller dogs and can cause kneecaps to slip out of place. Sometimes, the vet can slip it back into place. Sometimes it stays and sometimes not. In Marcie’s case, the kneecap was so far out of place, the vet could not move it.

So I started giving her glucosamine and hoped for the best. The knee didn’t seem to slow her down — she was out the doggie door every time her brother went barking at something, she wrestled with him and she bounced like a rubber ball every time I came home from work.

Now 7, she started holding up her bad leg when she walked.

I took her to the vet, dreading the possibility of mandatory surgery. Marcie got two weeks of medication and a return visit only to learn that, on top of her slipped kneecap, she has a torn ligament and requires rotator cuff surgery.

The poor little girl will have an eight-week recuperation period, which is almost the worst part of the ordeal. No more chasing after her brother out the back of the house to bark at the Saint Bernard next door or the two Jack Russells who prowl in our yard or any of those awful delivery workers who drive their noisy trucks through the neighborhood. Also, no walking on the leash. In fact, no unusual exertion of any kind, which means I can’t throw the rubber pig for her to chase and I can’t instigate any rough play between her and her brother. Not now and not for eight weeks following the surgery.

To keep her from hurting herself further, no jumping up on furniture. That means no getting in bed with me for a nap and no sleeping on the couch. Or the chaise lounge. Or any of the chairs. It’s doing to be giant pillow on the floor or nothing.

She’s also on a diet, which means nothing to her. All she knows is I feed her twice a day as always. She doesn’t have any idea she’s getting fed less than her brother. She doesn’t whine and beg for food like I do when I’m on a diet.

I’ve had others tell me their dog had the same surgery and did just fine. I’m sure Marcie will, too. I’m just not sure how I’m going to deal with it.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.