06 June 2013

Ruptured Cruciate Ligament

*WARNING: Lengthy post - Read At Your Own Risk!*

What is that??!  Simply put, it's torn knee ligament.  This short video has a very clear explanation if you'd like to know.

Poor me started limping on my hind right leg on 17 May, 2013 (yup, barely a week prior to my 10th barkday! what a barkday present *hmph!*).  Mommy did not rush me to the vet as the affected leg was not painful to touch (I wasn't whining complaining) and could be lifted etc.  I told Mom might be just a pulled muscle and we decided to monitor first.

Unfortunately it didn't go away. THEN she assumed thought that it must be arthritis.  Appointment with the vet was booked anyway to have my leg checked out.

If you'd watched the above video, my vet did not perform the test for "Drawer Sign" because I was too frantic and hyper (need to be sedated otherwise diagnosis inaccurate) & Mom showed him my videos below:

An X-Ray was taken.  Bones and all looked perfectly fine, no sign of arthritis yet.  One is not able to see a torn ligament from an X-Ray.  But from the way I walked, my vet more or less concluded that it was torn ligament.  But I was to take some painkiller for a week (helped with local inflammation, if any) to see if my limping would improve.  If it did not, then it is definitely torn ligament because if it was something else causing the limping, the painkiller would have worked.

Below is summary of treatment options:

Fast forward..... finished painkiller but still limping.  So I have 2 options now:
  1. Surgery (costs about SGD2,000; approx. USD1,600 or AUD1,695)
  2. No surgery
We are going with option 2 'No Surgery' for now because:
  1. I'm small hence no 'too-much-weight' issue unlike bigger heavier dogs;
  2. Complications from surgery (vet told us that in some cases after surgery, the 'thing' that is put in to stabilize the knee might snap if I play too hard etc hence re-surgery would be needed if that happened);
  3. Vet said I might get away without surgery and still do well IF I do these:
  • Lose some weight to lessen stress on legs' joints 
  • Have long rests
  • Short daily walks (no jumping and monkeying around)
So, I am now on diet.  Smaller kibble amount each meal and treats cut half!! *wails*
There is some improvement on my limping. When i walk slowly you'd have to observe enough to notice the limp. But when I need to run, it's 3 legs carrying the 'bad' leg like in the below video but at a much faster speed:

So hopefully the 'bad' leg gets better more and more with the dieting and long rests. Oh, now I  receive the royalty treatment of being carried up and down sofa, humans' bed, and steps during my walk. BOL