We got to go pick up Joella this morning. While we were being given the long discharge instructions, we periodically heard a dog whine and moan and nearly howl. Finally I said “Somebody back there’s not happy.”
The lady looked up at me and said “That’s your Joella. She’s been talking all morning.”
She wasn’t in pain, she was just protesting I suppose. I didn’t recognize her voice because Jo doesn’t often make those noises. I had listened hard when we first heard the noises but I didn’t think it was MY dog. Ha.
Anyway, we brought my baby girl home. She’s walking fine on all four legs and they said that was fine. They don’t want her walking fast, though, nor is she to get up on furniture, play with other dogs, or jump. The list of don’ts is quite long. Right now Jo is up on the bed. She wanted in there. We put her on her new dog bed in the living room, in front of the heat, and with a blanket over her back and legs. She lay there for a while then got up and went to the bedroom. I tried to coax her into coming back out and she refused. So I helped her up on the bed (she’d’ve hurt herself less if I’d let her do it herself) and she is now sleeping like a rock.
She has a bandage on her leg from the tips of her toes to just below the knee. The bandage has to stay on for a week. It is more for compression (they use fluid instead of gas during arthroscopic surgery) than for bandaging the little puncture wounds. In a week, we take her in to get that removed and to have the wounds checked. We’ll also get a chance to talk with the vet about her future and stuff. A week later, we’ll go back to have the stitches removed and to have the range of motion checked. If she is progressing well, we can start with short walks as her rehab.
They gave us a cool photo of four images they took during the surgery. My printer is not working at the moment or I’d scan it in and share it. I know, you’re heartbroken, right? The photos show the fluffy remains of the cartilage before, during and after their work. Kinda pretty in a gross sort of way.
Oh, I guess I never said what they’d found during the surgery! What they were looking for was a “pebble in her shoe” in the form of a bit of cartilage that had come loose and was either floating around or had re-adhered in the wrong place. What they found was nothing. There’s no cartilage left except for the fluffy remains. The top of the ankle bone and the bottom of the tibia have nothing left between them. So they cleaned the remains out (it looks fluffy soft but is instead like fluffy sandpaper, slowing wearing down and scraping the bone). So Jo has osteoarthritis in her ankle. She’ll be on anti-inflammatory meds the rest of her life and will have pain. A “pebble in her shoe” would have been a fixable problem with excellent prognosis. There’s no fixing this. At least I know how to care for her since osteoarthritis is one of my main issues. I’ll know that when I am having a high pain day, she probably is, too. How ironically convenient.