Wednesday March 7th, 2018 I set Kyro up for a consultation with the Orthopedic Surgeon. I had noticed a very slight on/off limp beginning on the right side. My gut told me that it was his right knee starting to show signs of going. Almost exactly a year prior Kyro had a TPLO done on his left side for a difficult to diagnose frayed cruciate ligament. The surgeon at the time let me know there was a very high chance of the other knee going sometime in the future.
Kyro went in for his consult and sure enough the X-Rays showed fluid build-up outside his knee. This is an indication that there is inflammation inside the knee cap and can be a pretty telling sign of a cruciate tear. With how difficult Kyro's other knee had been to diagnose I decided it would be best to go forward with the surgery as it was agreed this was very likely the cause. Since he was displaying sudden increased signs of discomfort... I went ahead and scheduled the surgery for Thursday March 8th, 2018 so we can get him feeling better sooner.
The next morning seemed to come all too fast. I spent the night up worrying and organizing various places in the house to prepare it for Kyro. Last time around I had 2 months to mentally prepare myself- this time I had 12 hours. The surgery last time went smoothly, but I couldn't help but worry. His recovery last time around was also very stressful and quite the roller coaster. This had me trying to figure out how to address the issues that arose last time before they occurred this time.
6:00AM rolled around and I started to get Kyro and Dovah ready to head over to the hospital. Kyro was extremely displeased about having to be up so early. It took some convicing to get him off the couch and into the car.
Kyro was chipper as soon as we reached the hospital as he loves all my co-workers. He got love from reception and then we waited for the surgery technician to take him back. Dovah came with to see him off as I knew he would miss his Big Brother.
I opted to not stay for the prep/beginnings of his surgery this time as I still had things I wanted to get ready at home for him. With a heavy heart I wished him well and sent him back for his big day. The rest of my day was spent deep cleaning, organizing and setting up the house to be as easy as possible for Kyro. A little nook was set up in the TV room for his recovery that had a really comfortable orthopedic bed. There was also a second orthopedic bed placed in the room so he would have options as to where he wanted to lay.
I went by the store and picked up some high quality canned food Zignature (Lamb, Duck, Venison, Kangaroo, etc) to feed him the first couple weeks. Kyro is normally on a raw diet, but I prefer to keep the raw food away from his wound. He also is normally fed outside with his food so this would allow him to eat in his recovery room. He refused food the first three days last time, so I was hoping this canned food would do the trick.
I wasn't sure what time Kyro would be coming home, but figured he would be staying overnight. Dovah was pacing the house as his Brother was missing and it was pouring rain outside. I reached out to my Uncle and inquired about him bringing his Blue Heeler pup over for some playtime. Max and Dovah are great playmates and I figured it'd cheer him up/tucker him out.
Max and Dovah spent the next 2 hours romping around the backyard playing under the porch and (sometimes) running out into the rain.
I received a call from the surgeon to let me know Kyro was out of surgery and was doing well. They used a different type of pain medication this time (Kyro is sensitive to some medications) and he was responding much better. I was happy to hear he was comfortable and everything went smoothly. Despite the news I still found it difficult to sleep that night as I was worried and the house felt off without him around.
The next morning rolled around and I was informed that he would be ready for pick-up later in the evening. I did another walk through the house making sure everything was set up. My friend Nicole offered to bring her two GSDs over for a playdate for Dovah which I happily agreed to. Dovah's friend Max joined later to play too! The weather ended up being absolutely gorgeous and the dogs had a complete blast. I was thankful that Dovah was getting some dog interaction and would be more mellow when his Brother came home.
When pick-up time arrived I was beyond excited and nervous. I drove over to the hospital and waited to see my handsome boy's face. He hobbled out from the back wearing the cone of shame, but had a big goofy smile on his face. This was already a big difference from his last TPLO. Last time he just looked completely miserable when I first saw him.
He was loaded up into the car and we headed home.
Once home I separated Dovah into a closed room so Kyro could go outside undisrupted. He went right out and urinated (for a very long time) before coming inside. I guided him to his recovery area and got him all settled in. He was clearly happy to be home and loved his new orthopedic bed.
I let Dovah outside to run off a little energy and then brought him in to visit his Brother. He was extremely excited, but listened and approached Kyro gently. He gave Kyro tons of kisses to his face and insisted that he had to lay right beside his Brother's bed.
The rest of the evening was thankfully pretty uneventful. Kyro was exhausted from the effort to get home and just wanted to rest. He took his antibiotics and inflammation meds mixed into his food without issue. He refused to eat his pain pills so I had to, unfortunately, force him to take those. I also gave him a dose of CBD oil which was something I discovered a few weeks into last recovery. It made a huge difference when I started it last time, so I was hopeful it would really help this time too.
The meds and CBD oil kicked in pretty quickly and he drifted right off to a comfortable sleep.
This time around they had to shave a much larger area than last time. Last time he was shaved up to right around his hip and then had a little shaved spot above his tail for the epidural. This time he was shaved all the up his leg and around his tail area. I've been covering his hind end with a light blanket as the poor guy has actually been getting cold.
While he was resting I took some time to examine his suture area and make sure everything still looked good after the trip home. Everything looked great and he had very normal bruising around the area. I gave his leg a little massage to help the swelling and stimulate the bloodflow in the area.
Once Kyro and Dovah were all settled I finally took a moment for myself to lay down. I set up two chairs with blankets and pillows that allowed me to lay down and be close to Kyro. I didn't realize just how exhausted I was until I ended up falling asleep for several hours.
The next day was fairly uneventful, but it took more convincing to get Kyro to take his medication. He is extremely smart when it comes to meds and tends to figure out what I'm putting meds in after having it once. Finally hunger got the best of him and he ate his food with the medication inside.
Dovah was taken for several long walks to help keep him occupied and entertained. He has been extremely confused as to why Kyro has no interest in playing with him right now.
The rest of the day was spent with Kyro wandering back and forth between his two recovery areas. He really wanted to go lay outside, but wasn't allowed to. I did allow him to lay outside in the sun for 20 minutes on a clean blanket, with a clean blanket over his leg to protect it from the sun. He really enjoyed this and it put him in a much more relaxed mood the rest of the day.
Today (Sunday) was especially difficult for Kyro. He refused to eat his food and take his meds. After several hours of trying various foods and coaxing him... he finally ate and was extremely grumpy about the entire thing. He's moving around extremely well with his three legs and tries to get up and follow me out of the room anytime I leave. He howls and makes a huge fuss demanding that he is freed from the room.
He's been consistently using the restroom and hasn't been having too much difficulty with it this time around. Since his other knee is fixed I feel he has much more confidence than he did last round. He feels stable and it's making him want to do way more. The CBD oil has also been working wonders and I attribute that to how well he's doing.
Our friend Roxie came by with her two dogs for a playdate with Dovah today too. Jade and Ragnar had Dovah playing hard for a good 3 hours before they went home. Dovah was extremely happy to get his zoomies, wrestling and energy out since he's been restless without his Brother. I will be continuing to host playdates/adventures/exercise with Dovah to help him go through this process as well.
My workweek begins tomorrow so I won't be sharing many updates. Updates will be posted weekly (likely over the weekends) and will document how the week has gone.