I tossed and turned for most of last night, worrying about Penny's upcoming surgery, saying to myself. "What are we doing? We're going to arrange for a surgeon to saw through the bone of Penny's leg and join the bone together again with metal and screws." And in the morning I rang the vet hospital and cancelled the surgery.
Oh, it's so hard to know what to do for the best...
The receptionist at the hospital said it's common for people to cancel surgery. She was very compassionate with our indecision and said we should make sure we are comfortable with what is best for Penny.
So, this evening I went back to our own vet and he agreed with our decision. He said we shouldn't give up on the 'conservative' approach. We're going to try a course of anti-inflammatory medication again, with joint supplement and only lead walks around the streets. We tried anti-inflammatories a few weeks ago but Penny vomited, so we discontinued. We started on a very low dose yesterday and she seems to be moving more easily and to be tolerating them.
If she shows any bad reaction to them, we are to go straight back to our own vet and he'll prescribe a different type of anti-inflammatory.
He says it's possible to make sure she is not in pain while we consider all our options and try for a recovery without surgery.
I think our next step might be an arthroscopic examination, to see what exactly is going on. But hopefully that won't be necessary.
I know modern medicine is wonderful, but I still believe the least possible intervention is the safest course.