Last Sunday morning, I woke before daylight. My ostomy bag had puffed out my boxers in need of replacement. I stumbled into the bathroom and alleviated the problem. I groped my way through the darkness back to my dog-filled bed. I laid down in a veritable large puddle of water.
OMG! Am I incontinent too? I fumbled for the light. As I hopped out of bed, I grabbed a box of Kleenex and mopped up. Whew! It’s not yellow; bless you Jesus. But since I was anxious to return to my dream, I covered the wet spot with a towel and crawled back in bed. Two hours later in a semi-conscious statement my hair felt wet. Am I perspiring? Again, I turned on the light only to discover my year-old doodle spewing drool from her mouth. Thus, I spent the rest of the day mopping up streams of droll and trolling the internet for the cause.
Given I’m a very good client at the vet, Fanny was seen early Monday morning. Four hours later and $$$ more, she was diagnosed with an infection of the salivary gland and a number of equally pricey prescriptions. When I brought her home, she was excitedly greeted by the rest of my pack. But…in their welcoming, Riley, got knocked over. Poor guy, he limped away from the fray.
I suspected in an hour or so, he’d recover. Not. And the next morning I dropped him off at the vet. Three hours later, “Dr. Skidmore, this is Dr. Taylor. How is Fanny?”
“She’s absolutely great; the drooling miraculously disappeared! What’s the diagnosis on Riley?”
“Well, unfortunately, his crucial ligament is torn, AKA acl in humans. He needs surgery. The surgery costs roughly $4-5 thousand. He will have to be separated and caged for at least a month while he heals. He’ll only be allowed to go outside to the restroom and must be kept secure from the others. I’ll give you some meds until the orthopedic surgeon can schedule his surgery.”
“And if I choose not to do surgery?”
“Eventually, he’ll be arthritic and have to take pain meds.”
Money was not my major concern; four weeks of containment was. He’s part of his family pack; he’ll be so unhappy. Through advice of other dog experts and internet research, I learned more about the crucial ligament than I ever wanted to know. Dogs, who weigh less than 30 pounds, tend to fully recover in time without the scalpel. Riley weighs in under. Thus, I’m resolved to take a chance; I can buy a boatload of pain pills for 5 grand.