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Kuma's LP Surgery and Recovery
  • littlebearlittlebear
    Posts: 144
    Post edited by littlebear at 2013-07-06 11:18:00
  • littlebearlittlebear
    Posts: 144
  • littlebearlittlebear
    Posts: 144
    Yesterday on the 4th we hit week 4. I have added two pen panels to the office set up with an additional bed in the area. At home we still have the same set up. If Kuma is not in his area he is leashed to me with much control.
    I talked to our vet today. We discussed short 10 minute leash walks after 6 to 8 weeks. Erring on the side of caution and how active he can be it was decided to talk again at 8 weeks before any leash walking started. Water therapy was discussed as a possibility after 6 to 8 weeks, but my vet is concerned, knowing how reserved Kuma is, that we might have problems and Kuma is not fond of water. We are going to look into all possibilities concerning how, when and where this could be possible.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1590
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    Thank you for this, I am glad everything went smoothly
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
  • littlebearlittlebear
    Posts: 144
    Thanks everyone!
    @shibamistress I have read your thread on Bel several times and it was a big help to me. We have already looked into an outdoor run (eventually) for Kuma or partitioning an area for him, we have a big backyard so I know I will cringe when he first starts going out on his own. (which won't be anytime soon) He is hard to control on leash in the backyard, if he sees someone walking their dog I have to quickly pick him up. We also back up to a golf course, so there is a lot of activity there too. I am being extremely cautious and each week happy to have another week under our belt without a major setback. I hope to keep it that way, just taking one day at a time. You are right, it is stressful, watching him constantly or being tethered to him. I worry about his mental also, he is so used to being active. But it will all be worth it once he can run and play!
    @curlytails I think I have been mentally preparing for this even before we got Kuma. AND my daughter got two husky pups from two different breeders at the end of 2012. She did her research, or so she thought, and the male has already had double knee surgery (last February) She lives in another state, but I stayed with her for over a week to help her take care of both pups. So she had many tips and I have seen it first hand.
    I will be glad when it is just a memory! The weeks seem to drag. Probably more for Kuma than me. My husband has recovered too! Thanks!



  • CrystalWolfCrystalWolf
    Posts: 235
    Poor kuma. Hope he heals well and quickly so he can be back to his active self.
  • Post edited by littlebear at 2013-09-05 14:04:45
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
  • @Foxylover Oh I am so sorry! Have you decided on a surgery date? Please keep me updated. My best advice is to take everything slow and give as much extra time as possible for healing. Also one thing I don't think I mentioned was that I had the surgery tech cut Kuma's nails really short once they sedated him. He hates to have his nails cut. That bought us some time until the next clipping and we semi sedated him for the vet to cut them and have done that since. Have not wanted him to be jerking that leg around. Good Luck!

  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
    Post edited by Foxylover at 2013-10-16 18:06:39
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
  • @tatonka I have been searching for a short video that I did on my phone of Kuma's gait that I took to the vet when this first started, but I can't seem to find it. When he would walk he would lift the leg just a little and hop a step or two and then go right back to walking. Kuma lifts he leg to pee also, but it is nothing like that, I think it is when the patella is slipping out then slips right back in. If anyone reading this can better describe it, please feel free. Will continue to look to see if I still have the video. Kuma goes to work with us. Our hours change due to client's schedules, but normally 9 to 5. I am fortunate that I work with my husband and daughter. She brings her chihuahua to work also. The surgery was on a Thursday morning and we picked him up that afternoon. I took off work Friday and we went back to work on Monday. My hours were shorter at first, just because it took me longer to get ready to leave. I was able to leave my desk and go to the back room where he was set up and spend time with him. If he was sleeping then I was at my desk. If I was back with him my voice mail picked up the missed calls and then I returned them. He really didn't want to move around that much the first week. I basically didn't leave him alone. We were at home or work. I slept on an airbed the first week or so right by his kennel. After his cone came off we moved him back and forth from his home set up in the den to a kennel in our bedroom where he normally sleeps. I had cleared everything but work from my calendar, and that was cleared as much as possible. If something was needed my husband ran and got it. Might sound a little over done but I wanted to make sure that nothing went wrong and again I am fortunate that I could do that. Kuma wasn't very active at first and he stayed in a kennel. Once he was moving a little we added space as you can see in the pictures, it was a very small space. Hope this makes it more clear.
  • @Foxylover Kuma's patella would slip and then go right back. I never could tell that he was in pain. We had a choice to keep his activity restricted, due to concern of the ACL or do the surgery. Since he is so active and loves to go to camp where he plays with the big dogs, we decided to go ahead with the surgery. He still has not gone back to camp, but I hope that will be soon. I have gated my stairs and they will stay gated. I think that they played a big part in his troubles. I had them gated when he was little, but had given him freedom to roam and he loved to run up and down them....not a good thing for him to do. We kept Kuma restricted until the surgery, no running in the house, no going on walks and on leash to potty. He was on a leash to potty for approximately 7 months. Just got his freedom and I worry about him running like he does now, but supposedly it is time and he really needed to be let lose. You could tell he was unhappy. And as you could see in the video he is back to his normal crazy self! I totally understand needing to save for the surgery. It is not cheap. My daughter's husky had double knee surgery and where she went there was some kind of credit type card that allowed you to pay it off by a certain time with no interest. I hope you can continue what you are doing and that will give you time to prepare. Good luck on the vet visit tomorrow and let me know what they say. Will be thinking about both of you!
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Great detailing on Kuma's surgery! I'm so glad Kuma liked water therapy. It works great for those dogs that 'get it.'

    Sheba, my foster walks a bit bow legged in the back. Is this one of the symptoms of a future ACL problem? She's female and squats to pee, and does it quite often. So far, she has not shown any pain while squatting. Because she was so heavy, I am concerned about her legs and joints. What should I be looking for?
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Thanks Shibamistress, Sheba has yet to lift her knee in the air, so hopefully, she's fine. She's got enough problems as it is and I'm more than happy not to have to worry about another. :D

    Foxylover, hope the vet has some good news for you and Foxy. Lap dog is a good dog! :)
  • I found the video of Kuma's limp that I was talking about before surgery.
    Post edited by littlebear at 2013-10-17 16:53:56
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Says the video is private... :(
  • @amti sorry, will check it out.
  • JScarf5JScarf5
    Posts: 202
    @littlebear - Thank you for such a detailed description of the surgery and recovery. You and your husband seem like EXCEPTIONAL owners and are willing to do whatever it takes for your pup. It all looks very well planned and the water therapy is amazing! It's so amazing to see all of the things that are available for our furbabies these days and its great to see such great owners doing the very best for their pet.
  • littlebear: thanks for the video on the walk showing the leg kick, classic example and really helpful! With LP it at least has some surgical options if you get to it soon enough.

    Thanks for sharing : )
    Snf
  • jennjenn
    Posts: 856
  • Thanks everyone! I read every thread and anything else I could find when I was preparing. I hope this will be of some help to anyone who has to go through LP surgery. Will update again, hopefully with all good news!
    @Foxylover keep me posted!
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Thanks littlebear! Got to see it. The limp is very distinctive and the video very helpful! :)
  • RAM25RAM25
    Posts: 317
    Post edited by RAM25 at 2013-10-19 06:05:41
  • @Shinobi We were told about Kuma's knee before we picked him so one vet had already manipuated and thought his knee was a little loose. Once he showed signs our vet did manipulate the left knee and said it was loose. At the surgeon's x rays were done and he showed us and also manipulated the left knee while Kuma was still out from the x rays. Kuma's right knee is a little loose too, but supposedly nothing to worry about. I do always have that in the back of my mind though. Also his x rays showed not the best hips, but nothing needed to be done about the hips either. We did immediately put him on Dasuquin and Rymadil. He is off the Rymadil but the Dasuqin is from now on. I am sorry you had problems with the anti-inflammatory, I think they bothered Kuma a little so we gave him the smallest dose we could and got him off them as soon as possible. Kuma didn't do the limp at all until we saw it on a walk one day, then it was every walk. My vet thinks our stairs, running and jumping on and off the furniture and running our fence might have made his knee worse. He also enjoys camp with the big dogs. Taking all that away from him forever was not an option and we were worried about his ACL. He would have been so unhappy, so surgery was scheduled. He will never get the stairs back, but hopefully soon he will have all the other things he enjoys. The vet he goes to for water therapy also does acupuncture and holistic medicine so I am really excited about that in case we need it in the future as he ages. I would think you vets would have been able to tell if the knee was loose. Kuma's was very evident. I am so sorry Shinobi is having problems and I hope the x rays show nothing needs to be done. Good luck and let me know what the x rays show. And Happy Birthday Shinobi!
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
    Post edited by Foxylover at 2013-10-22 20:37:41
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
  • @tatonka You are welcome! If what we have been through helps anyone, that makes this thread yet another resource for information. Kuma was doing the limp walk on pretty much every walk. I didn't really notice it at other times, but I probably just missed it. I agree with shibamistress.

    @foxylover Oh so sorry. Shibamistress knows way more about all this than I do and I do agree with her. I do have experience with Adequan. Our deceased Akita mix rescue was what I call a special needs dog for all his 13 years. He had a very bad back and saw the same surgeon when he was one year old that we used for Kuma. His x rays showed problems up and down his spinal column. The surgeon said way to bad to try to fix. He said he didn't think he would live long...(he did get that wrong, but I think it was also why we called him our million dollar dog:)) The surgeon started him on Adequan, which he took for his entire life. VERY EXPENSIVE. Our vet at the time said he was sorry, (we had thought it was his hip) which would have been fixable. Bear (Akita mix at 120 lbs in his prime) also took Tagamet due to the Adequan and Rymidal. He then also took steriod shots in his last years. We were lucky that the worst spots supposedly calcified, but he couldn't curl or bend his back. At 13 he lost feeling in his hind legs, which we knew would eventually happen. I think these drugs could be very bad in the long run (especially if you already have stomach issues) which was why I was so questioning both our vet and our surgeon about Kuma's dosage and length on Rymidal. From what I have read once the LP gets to a certain point, there are not many options beside surgery? Something about the groove that the patella sits in? Also would any tear definitely show up on the x ray? The worse the knee gets, the more damage there can be, along with arthritis? Maybe someone with more knowledge can help here. I have heard of vets waiting for dogs to lose weight before they do surgery. Was this vet also going to be your surgeon? We live in Oklahoma and have a vet school in our state that also has a clinic and hospital. A friend of mine has used them and said they have state of the art equipment and are not as costly. We would of had a drive and the surgeon we used came highly reccommened so we decided to stay local. Is there anything like that where you live? My vet is big on keeping Kuma lean, which I understand, but I am also having the same problem you are. Kuma weighs around 25 lbs. My vet would like him at 23 lbs. We have been able to dip down to 24, but don't seem to stay there. My vet carries Hills too, but I do not feed Kuma Hills. I agree with shibamistress, if you can, maybe a second opinion. Just from what I have read, seems like you will possibly be expending much time and money and then still having the expense and time of surgery.
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
  • @Foxylover Did your vet ever have you quit walking? My vet did. And on leash to potty. Seemed to help for a short while but then Kuma started the limp again. I also think I read somewhere that if rest and anti inflammatory drugs don't do the trick then nothing much is left but surgery?
    Kuma eats Natures Variety Instinct Raw Medallions. We do not get the chicken just because we think he might be somewhat allergic to chicken. I am sure my vet would probably recommend Hills because he sells it, but I have known him for quite a while and he knows that I won't use it. We did feed it to Bear (he was our first dog). Live and learn. He actually was a pretty happy dog and was still playful the week before we had to put him to sleep. He loved to chase squirrels and golf carts :) As soon as he couldn't walk you could tell he was frantic and quality of life was gone so I let him go. Swore I would never get another dog....I am so thankful I did.
    Sounds like you have a good plan keep me updated!
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
    Post edited by Foxylover at 2013-10-23 22:59:17
  • @Foxylover OMG I just read through the Guardia thread! How awful and I am so glad you confronted your breeder. I am surprised you got money out of her, good for you! Poor Foxy! Glad you found someone to talk to about her food. Hope that works. My daughter has 2 huskies and one of them has a very sensitive stomach and she has had issues with Guardia too. You two have been through so much. Foxy is so lucky to have you!
  • RAM25RAM25
    Posts: 317
    Post edited by RAM25 at 2013-10-24 01:53:26
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Foxylover, I saw you were starting Foxy out on raw and your Foxy has a sensitive tummy. Kaji has a sensitive stomach and after a recall on his Innova food, I went raw. There are a lot of different thoughts on how to feed raw so it would be best to read up on them and decide what you think will work for Foxy. I don't feed premade raw, but instead, I went full out raw for several reasons. One was cost, but the most important reason was I could control what he ate. Most people start out on plain chicken with bone. Many dogs get the runs when they start out on raw. I believe I gave mine a chicken leg and they ate it all (on the second day- just licked and sniffed the first day) but a lot of people recommend giving a whole chicken and letting a dog take his time to learn how to eat. Kaji's poop was very soft at first, then slightly firmer and slimy on the outside for about 10-14 days. It got harder as the days went on but the slime was still there. I kept him on this until his poop became normal. Once there was slime, I removed the skin and fat and it helped. The slime means there is some GI upset which was from the transition. I was doing kibble in the morning and raw at night, but stopped my morning kibble to speed up his transition, and that helped. My other dogs, Taisho and Sheba, had no issues whatsoever (they were rescues/fosters so they were used to eating anything and everything). After everything was normal, I added a new meat, then organs (one at a time). You go very slowly at first. Once their body does well on a new protein for a few days, then you introduce something new.

    I think the premade raw patties are really convenient and great. But with a premade patty, you don't have the option to go slow because everything (meat, organs, liver, bone) is mixed in already. You also lose some of the benefits of feeding raw when you give nothing but ground meats. Tearing at the food, chewing bones, and eating real uncut raw meat involves so many more senses. Eating becomes work where food isn't just gobbled up, but licked, chewed, pulled, sniffed, rolled around, and crunched. The tearing and crunching is what cleans the teeth and keeps them clean. When you think of how kibble is eaten, and then see a dog eat solid raw meat, then you'll see how it differs and why dogs on kibble get nasty teeth.
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
  • @catloree Thanks! Kuma is doing great. Of course, I probably will always cringe when he is running around, but it was time to give him space and freedom. He has been so much happier! But, it was worth keeping him restricted to give everything time to heal and mend!

    @tatonka Oh sorry :( Did the vet say what grade or how loose the knee was? I remember you posted earlier in the thread, is it the same leg? Make sure you keep him inactive. Kuma's other knee (right) is just slightly loose, but we were told not to worry about it, but of course, I do... We have never seen any issues with it. I think it depends on the severity. I have read that if it is not bad that rest and anti inflammatory drugs might be all that is needed. We did what you are doing now, and I hope this is all that Tatonka will need. When we started walking again, after several days, Kuma had the same symtoms, so we went to our surgeon who sedated him and took x rays.

    Just an update, Kuma is now 5 months post-op. He is still doing water therapy (by choice) every other week. We will probably continue that as long as we can afford it. We just finished our Novice II class early...skipping the test...and we are going to retake the class again in the Spring with our same instructor. Kuma was so happy to be back, he decided that on recall, as he is running to me, it was time to do a Shiba 500.... We figured that all the other dog parents (no one has a Shiba) would be happy to test without Kumie interruptions:) Kuma went back to camp on Tuesday for the first time, just for a few hours. He was so excited, he looked like a vibrator, wriggling around telling everyone hello. Once he was back with the dogs, they said he was his usual self, smiling (showing teeth) when he first goes in and someone (dog) gets in his face and then he's ok. He is in with the big dogs, so I was concerned about his knee, but they watched him close and all was fine. He will go back to his normal schedule of once a week. Kuma is back to his pre surgery life to the most part, he seems fine and is happy for the freedom. If we had to do it over again we would do the surgery, for us it was the only option.
    Post edited by littlebear at 2013-11-14 17:52:25

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