First, I must thank LS and Happy for the award they have given us. It's lovely to get something like that. Seeing I'm not organised enough to keep track of who I've ever passed awards on to, I'm going to just sit on it and enjoy it!
Penny got to go on a walk today!! Ta da!
It suddenly occurred to me that even though she can only go on ten minute on-lead walks, there's nothing to stop us doing it away from home, as long as the terrain is flat. So we went off to the local golf club and wandered around the car park. Yep, the car park. Penny seemed to enjoy sniffing around the garden beds and the ground was firm underfoot and I knew we wouldn't meet other dogs (who might tempt her into playing). We walked sedately down the edge of the course.
I'm feeling much better about trying to manage her possible cruciate tear with a conservative approach, as we've been to see an animal physiotherapist and she, like the vets, thinks Penny's knee is stable, and therefore possibly able to recover without surgery. Even if we do end up with surgery, we'll know we tried all avenues beforehand, and took care of her leg in the meantime.
As well as the supportive and informative Yahoo group about orthopedic issues, we've joined another one dedicated to managing without (or after) surgery, and already I've found a great article that sets out the process by which a partial tear might recover. As I understand it, the ligament can't regrow, as it has a meagre blood supply, but scar tissue can form and with the proper care, tht scar tissue will support the knee, as long as it's not too tight. In other words, we need to keep Penny moving. Seeing that's the way I'm dealing with a disk problem in my back, it seems a logical course at this stage.
I'm looking forward to posting about the underwater treadmill next week. Penny hopped in happily last Wednesday, when the vet nurse threw in some treats and soft toys, so hopefully she will adapt quickly to it when it has water in it.
There's an interesting article at Pittsburgh Dog News that describes an article in the Wall Street Journal about dog knee injuries. Apparently, in the US there are five times more knee operations on dogs than on humans, despite the fact there are five times more humans than dogs. By my calculation, that means dogs are twenty-five times more likely to have such surgery.
It explains that dogs' knees don't lock, as humans knees do, and so the dogs' knees are always bent. However, I have to wonder how wild dogs manage without access to modern surgery, and how dogs have managed over the centuries. I wonder if we have bred this problem into the species.