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Old 11-11-2013, 08:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How my dog's surgery changed my relationship towards him

Before my dog's injury, I often considered walking Jojo during the evening as just another thing I had to do for my parents. My goal was to walk a lot and do it really quickly. I used a choke chain since I was afraid of not being able to control Jojo since my mom had had problems in the past. I let him sniff for about 10 seconds and gave him a little tug. I was never harsh with the chain and he never howled, so I figured he wasn't in pain.

Then, in July, I noticed him limping. It was on and off and we thought it was nothing, but I insisted that we take him to the vet. She watched him walk and took the conservative approach of putting him on glucosamine condroitin supplements. The limp persisted and we brought him in for another check-up. This time, she said it was either arthritis or a knee problem. So, he was on arthritis medication for a week, but the limp persisted.

Finally, we got X-rays and he did indeed have a fracture in a portion of his left hind leg knee. He needed surgery. I of course wanted to get it for him immediately, since I was concerned that he was in pain. We got a consultation at the surgeon's office and he confirmed that Jojo would need surgery and offered a same day appointment. Whether we waited or not, we had to pay $4000 up front (is this the norm?). My parents thought this was odd, but I begged them to have the surgery, since I was so concerned about Jojo's pain. We ended up having the surgery that day.

I remember the night he stayed at the vet. The house wasn't the same; I found myself constantly looking for him and thinking about when I needed to feed and walk him. At that moment, I realized how much Jojo's presence meant to me: he always wanted to be near me and rub up against me or give me kisses when I asked. I loved to pet him and feel like I was making him happy.

I insisted that we pick him up from the vet immediately (in hind sight, we should have let them take care of him) because I thought he would feel more comfortable being in the house. He came out of the back room drowsy and weak. I had never seen him this way, and so it was very hard. The vet tech and I lifted him into the car and I noticed him bleeding. She said it would clear up and not to be worried about it, but he kept on bleeding. When we got home, my mother and I wrapped his foot to stop the bleeding. At that point, he was too drugged out to care.

The next few days were the hardest. He couldn't walk without assistance, so my family and I had to pick him up in order to get him outside to do his business.

Within the next couple of weeks, I realized how much I missed our nightly walks together. They were a special time for us to be together and for him to experience nature and be a dog. I stopped using the choke chain and now let him sniff for as long as he wants to. I let him direct me to the places he wants to sniff and the route he wants to go based on the interesting smells, instead of my pre-planned route. Our time together means so much more now.

We still can't go on long walks like we used to, but I take him on multiple short walks to build up his muscle and allow him to be a dog. He still is not allowed to run, so I can't play ball with him, but when I can, I know I'll appreciate it much more.

He isn't my "pet". He's my friend and I want to make him as happy as he makes me.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You are growing up.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wetdog View Post
You are growing up.
Yes indeed, at the ripe age of 26.
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Growing up is all about what you've learned, not how old you are.

[some people never learn]
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Your story is touching. Learning the valuable lesson of loving and caring for another being is important. I hope you go on to have many more dogs. You have the makings of a good dog owner.
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I really loved this story, thanks for sharing


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Old 11-16-2013, 09:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It is something that people don't always realize until something like that happens. When they're always there and then they're not for any reason (even as simple as staying at the vet or boarding, etc), it tends to kind of put a kink into things. If anything, it will probably just make your bond stronger.

And where I work we ask for half of the surgical estimate when the dog is dropped off as an initial payment. Not sure if other places that are large hospitals do the same, but it is what we do. Unlike with people, vets don't bill insurance to see what they will cover first. Most pet insurance places want all the paperwork on the procedure and the cost at once, so they can see it all and reimburse that way.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm guessing the had a pin or plate with screws put in.

My one year old GSD Rebell got out of his yard due to a careless roommate and he ran into a busy street and got slammed by a car. Took him to the best vet in Cali Animal Specialty Group http://www.asgvets.com/ He was in bad shape broken Humorous, punctured lung, badly bruised liver and heart, nerve damage in his eye they asked me if I wanted to have him euthanized.

I asked if there was a chance he could have a normal life and they said anything is possible but it would be expensive and I would have to give him a lot of care. I told them to save him.

It was excruciating, I had to sit around for 7 days while he recovered in an oxygen tent with wires attached to him to get him stable before they could operate on his broken Humorous. I mean he was in doggie intensive care, on the 7th day I was told they could operate and actually see Rebell before the surgery, he came out hobbling on 3 legs with his damaged front leg dangling, I thought I would be sick but he was alert and happy to see me.

The surgery went well, he got a plate and 12 screws, I was able to Take him home the next day to start his rehab and 6 months of vet appointments, $10,000 bill but 6 months later he was good as new just needed to take heart pills for the rest of his life (which was 11 more years) at $200 a month
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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All life is precious. Thank you for caring so much for your dogs and for sharing these stories.
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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He is so lucky to have such a good friend in you... that surgery is a big deal, especially with cost. I hope you post photos of you two playing when he has reached a time when running is okay again!
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