May 26, 2013

TPLO Recovery Day 1 & 2

Yesterday was so crazy and busy I didn't even have a chance to think about my first recovery blog post. We picked Riley up from UC Davis around 10:30AM and she was thrilled to see us. The doctor let us know she hadn't eaten any breakfast (didn't surprise me) and walked us all out to the car. I thought it was too cute how she told Riley goodbye before we left. Dr. Sutton at UC Davis animal hospital is truly a wonderful person!

Riley in her "donut of shame"
On our way back from Davis, we stopped at Sonic for Riley's favorite treat: 2 hamburger patties and a small tater tots. She started drooling the minute our lunch was delivered and quickly devoured her patties and tots. I was glad to see she at least had an appetite. The trip was pretty uneventful. She cried most of the way back from being jostled around. I drove as slowly/smoothly as I could, but she was still in a lot of pain. Her injected pain meds must have started wearing off by then.

The incision site
  Poor Riley was in a lot of pain yesterday once we got home. I did as much as I could to make her comfortable, but she was very upset. The pro-collar also made her very nervous because she couldn't see what was going on behind her. She doesn't like it when we touch her back legs AT ALL. I don't blame her. I just hope this is not going to be a life-long phobia. :(

Relaxing and watching the birds <3
I used a food processor to grind up a bunch of her kibble. We mixed this with cottage cheese and leftover turkey fat/bits. She ate this very quickly, so we were thankfully able to give her the 2nd med she was prescribed. She is on a synthetic opiate (Tramadol) and an NSAID (Previcox). Tramadol is only for the pain, but the Previcox is an anti-inflammatory to help encourage blood flow and healing for the knee. The Tramadol is an amazing and strange drug. It eliminates all of her pain (she will actually lay on the leg) but it has caused her to be both paranoid and to experience some hallucinations. She "sees" things that aren't there and flips out for no reason. I'm looking forward to the day when I can stop giving her the Tramadol.

I love that little bare butt!
The doctor was very concerned before we went home that Riley was refusing to put any weight on the leg. She told us if she didn't start using it within 7 days we needed to call her right away and let her know. I guess it's very important for Riley to learn she can use her leg again so she can start building the muscles back up. This morning during her 1AM meds and potty break she actually put her foot down for the first time. It was only for 2 or 3 steps, but it made me so happy. We took her out again to potty later in the morning and she used her leg a little bit more for maybe 10 steps.

Toe touching this morning
I'm really hopeful about the outcome of her leg. I'll continue to post updates as I am able, to provide a good log of her progress for anyone else considering the surgery. I'm also going to request copies of her x-rays so you can see a before & after shot of the knee.

I did a lot of research on prices before the surgery and wasn't able to find much online. Here is a quick list of our prices for the surgery:

TPLO Surgery : $1,765.00
TPLO Plate/Screws: $687.25
Ovarectomy (Laparoscopic Spay): $495.00
Arthroscopy: $355.00
Hospital stay, Anesthesia, Meds, and Misc: $882.05

Grand Total: $4,184.30

If you factor in pre-operative exams/x-rays and 2 follow-up appointments scheduled for suture removal and more x-rays to make sure it's healing properly, we're looking at about $5,400. They highly encouraged us to have the plate/screws removed after about 4 months, which is an additional $1,500.