The preparation for Kaz's TPLO surgery has been the hardest part. Endless hours have been spent worrying about her injury, researching it, and discussing alternatives. In the end, we have decided that a TPLO surgery is the best solution to repair Kaz's torn cruciate ligament. Hopefully our time spent preparing for this surgery will be beneficial to a successful recovery.
The mental preparation has been rough. Starting four months ago when we first noticed her limp, it has been a constant battle with my brain to determine the best solution for her.
It began with denial, "It's just a slight limp, it'll go away on it's own." When the limp didn't improve after a few weeks I thought, "She probably just pulled a muscle." We took her to the vet and after a horribly confusing conversation where I still didn't understand the severity of her injury; "She just needs a lot of rest and the prescription anti-inflammatory to heal her partially torn ligament." It wasn't until I researched the injury on my own and talked to a second vet that I finally accepted that Kaz had torn her cruciate ligament and was going to need surgery to ever fully recover from the injury.
Supplements and Restricted Exercise
Torn cruciate ligaments can't grow back together and repair themselves. Even with the help of supplements like glucosamine or elk velvet antler, the ligament can only scar over and learn to function around the injury. My brain still had a tough time accepting this, so we decided to give Kaz a couple months restricting her movement and enhancing her diet with supplements to see if there would be any improvements.
We have been giving her Glucosamine, Wapiti Labs Natural Mobility Elk Velvet Antler powder, Wapiti Labs Elk Velvet Antler Strength tincture, and Rimmadyl (Carprofen) pain killers/anti-inflammatory. She has had good days and bad days on this regiment, but it was heartbreaking to limit her to a one block walk a day when we knew she wanted to be doing more.
Since Kaz is only 2 1/2 years old, we couldn't bear the thought of her living the rest of her life with so many restrictions and that was the deciding factor for the surgery. We met with Dr. Lozier at North West Veterinarian Specialists for a consultation on the surgery. He thoroughly explained the differences between a ligament replacement, a Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA SURGERY), and the favored Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO SURGERY).
Dr. Lozier seemed very confident in the TPLO and his success rate with that particular surgery. I remember telling BJ that I would hate to have him as a friend, but would love to have him as a vet. He told us 85% of his patients come back with positive results from the surgery. He stopped counting a few years ago when he had performed 2,000 TPLO surgeries, but he assumes he's completed close to 5,000 of them. His experience and passionate belief in the success of the TPLO assured us that this was going to be the best solution for Kaz.
Kaz is scheduled for her surgery next Thursday, November 12th. We will be dropping her off Wednesday, the night before, so she can be prepped for the procedure. After the surgery, she is carefully monitored for a day and if everything looks right, we can pick her up on Friday.