Kirby is home – now the recovery begins

Kirby was so happy to see me and to go home
Kirby was so happy to see me and to go home

Kirby’s surgery was a success. He came through the anesthesia and spent two days at the Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center resting and adapting to his new condition.

It is not uncommon to have combinations of patella luxation and a torn cranial cruciate ligament, but Kirby also had a torn meniscus. Instead of sutures, the doctor put in a pin to stabilize the X-Cap and because of his arthritis they deepened the groove where the patella sits (an MPL procedure).

Kirby took a few steps
Kirby took a few steps

His left hind leg is in a soft padded cast which offers comfort, reduces some of the normal postoperative swelling, and provides some support. Because it is not possible to observe the surgical incision for problems until a week from now when the cast is removed, I have to check the toes on a daily basis for swelling, excessive heat or pain.

The cast and bandage should be kept clean and dry at all times so we are putting a plastic bag around it when he has to eliminate. Any water or urine on the cast would require returning to the vet to re-bandage his leg.

He was able to walk around the exam room but it was slippery so he started to fall and that was the end of his walking!

Kirby was so happy to see Santa again
Kirby was so happy to see Santa again

He did urinate outside and was able to stretch his legs out behind him, which he hadn’t been able to do — so already he feels better, and has a bit more flexibility.

His ride home in the car was interesting. I brought a little soft bed for him to lie on but he just could not get comfortable. I took some blankets to fold around him to cushion his body and that helped a lot. I drove slowly because bumps made him whine. The little whimper is so sweet but also heartbreaking.

When we get about two blocks from home he always gets excited and knows he is home. This time as we approached the spot he usually realizes is “home,” he stayed in the down position but his eyes widened. He knew. But he did not have the strength to wag his tail or wiggle his little body.

Fianlly he got in a comfortable position and rested
Fianlly he got in a comfortable position and rested

As we pulled into the driveway he looked up at me as if to “It’s so good to be home.”

He has to wear the E-collar at all times until the cast is off but I removed it so he could eat and drink water. He was very hungry. Back it went and we went outside to try and manage the rocks. I wish I had grass for him but he has to figure out how to maneuver on the rocks. And he did. He even pooped – what a boy!

He was exhausted – eating and pooping is the extent of his activity today.

I put him on the couch for a while and he finally rested comfortably. If I can’t be with him he will be in his kennel.

And he will wear a doggie diaper in case he pees in the kennel so the cast stays dry.

Benny is not bothering Kirby at all
Benny is not bothering Kirby at all

I am especially proud of Benny. He is super good today and not running after Kirby at all. He knows – he just knows – and is being such a good brother.

Kirby gets the cast removed in a week and then the sutures out in two weeks. Six weeks is the critical check up … until then Kirby will not work but will rest and get strong and show us how an old dog can still have pep in his step!