Let me tell you about Abby who I absolutely love! I don’t know how she wormed her way into my heart, okay well she is a dog and that truly is about all you need to get a foothold into my heart, unless you are a cat and well that works too! Anyway, Abby is a black and white mix breed dog with the longest legs I have ever seen. Most women would die for such legs but I once again digress. Abby’s right ear is always at full attention and her left ear is always at half-mast. She is a calm, quiet dog who has the personality of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. She lumbers into my exam room and patiently lies down with an almost audible sigh, while her sister Scout bounces around trying to steal the show. But Abby in her quiet reserve way is the show.
Abby visits me on this occasion as she is only using 3 of her long and wonderful legs. She is sore and will scarcely allow the toes of her right foot to touch the ground. She had been sick with diarrhea two weeks before and now limping. Because of the proximity to her other illness we check her for contagious diseases that can make her sore and happily those came back negative. Radiographs reveal a knee joint with increase fluid in it and a femur (thigh bone) sitting too far back on her tibia (calf bone). A positive drawer sign confirms Abby has torn her ACL (cruciate ligament). Yup Abby has the injury of athletes.
If you are a sports fan you will hear of hockey players and especially football players injuring their ACL. They get wacked from the side and their knee bends a little too far the wrong way and that small little piece of tissue that is so vital to a functioning knee snaps. We don’t know how Abby tore this ligament but it typically happens when they plant their foot and sharply turn their body or catch their foot in a hole and the body keeps going. Something has to give and the weakest point is this 3mm soft ligament. Surgery, or wearing a splint for the rest of her life, is her only option. Abby is a young active dog and is the signature dog from Happy Tails Training. She goes to work with Prue, the owner, to all her training classes. Miss Abby is a working dog; now if only she could teach this working thing to my Winston, who I keep telling, that he needs to find a job, but that truly is another story. So we book surgery within a couple of days.
Mom is happy she bought insurance for Abby as this is her third knee surgery. Abby went to see the surgeon two years ago and had surgery on her left knee for a floating knee cap (luxating patella) but had difficulty with her implant so had to return for a second surgery. This week Abby had surgery at the FVAH on her right knee. Everything went fantastic. Stable under anesthetic! Healthy meniscus and joint cartilage, as surgery was done so quickly. Smooth placement of her implant! And a gentle recovery! Just how I like it. Now with implants in both knees, Abby is the bionic dog. I suggest to Prue that she download the music from the bionic woman and give Abby her own theme music!
Today Abby is to leave us, it is time for her to head home, heal and strengthen her knee. We will see this gentle girl again and regularly, as she will start her 3 months of physiotherapy next week. Heal well and swift my girl.