Tuesday, July 18, 2017

An Update on Mills

Saturday morning I took Mills to meet with the Orthopedic Surgeon to talk about his injury from July 7th.  The anti inflmmatory medicine has definitely been helping him but the vet still suspected his ACL to be torn.  He had xrays last Thursday which he had to be sedated for and though the xrays won't show the torn ACL (you have to do an MRI for those), the xrays were helpful to look at him more in depth.  

On to our appointment Saturday.  These are the pictures the doc showed me from the xrays.  The first picture is his right knee.

This picture below is his left knee which is his injured one.  You can see how the bone on the bottom is higher (in relation to the bone on the top) than it is in the picture above?  That is how you can tell his ACL is torn.  

I also asked them to look at his hips while they were in there.  The good news is that they look really really good and likely he won't have trouble with his hips, if ever.  This was music to my ears with a golden retriever!  

In the picture below on the left side (which is actually his right side) you can see how he has more muscle mass there.  That is because it has been compensating for the injured side.  You see, this wasn't just a one time injury that occurred, it was the end result of an actual disease that caused this.  It happens over time where he can't get up as easily as he used to and then an incident like playing ball on July 7th occurs and it completely gives out and the ACL tears.  

The two pictures below are before and after of a different dog that has had this surgery.  The surgeon explained every detail to me and what they will do.  Since he is a big dog, they can't go in and put an ACL back into place.  Before....

After picture....
They actually go in and split the bone, put spacers and screws in to create the angle that dog's knees make so he will have full range.  It's obviously more complicated than this but you get the gist.  

The vet had told us that the other knee would likely fail within the next year and the orthopedic surgeon told us that it's "only" a 40-50% change which was actually good news to me.  

This recovery is not going to be a short road for us.  It will be at least 6 weeks of very limited mobility.  Having to go out only on a leash, through the garage because it has fewer steps, no laying on his couch (gasp!) and being very careful with him.  The last thing we want is for it to fail so we will be extra careful with it.  10-14 days after surgery, the staples will be removed.  6 weeks after surgery xrays will be done to be sure it is taking.  After 6 weeks, he will still be limited but hopefully some of the restrictions get easier.  They don't expect him to be back fully for 12 weeks.  Yes, that's a long time.  

As we were leaving the appointment on Saturday, I joked with the doctor and asked if he had heard the term - when it rains, it pours!?!  He said well yes and I filled him in on the night before when we spent thousands for the HVAC unit, this surgery will not be a small amount of money, plus that we were building a house.  He asked where we were building and I told him.  Funny enough, he lives four houses down! 

Anyway, I feel like Mills is in really good hands.  Surgery is on Thursday.  Yall know how obsessed with Mills I am so this is slightly traumatizing to me.  I know he will be okay but I just hate seeing him hurt!  Hopefully this makes him feel like a new bubba again soon!


  1. Lots of love and prayers for Mills. ��

  2. That poor baby!!!! Hope he feels SO much better soon, and recovers quickly!

  3. Poor Mills! Hoping these 12 weeks will go by quickly and without event.

  4. Pet surgery's are no joke when it comes to cost! But, glad Mills will be more comfortable and on the mend soon.

  5. I am so sorry about the surgery, but it is good news at least that his hips look like they are ok. That's always such a worry with goldens. I hope that everything goes well and praying for you all!

  6. Poor Mills!! I'll be keeping you all in my thoughts on Thursday!

  7. My Bob had knee surgery when he was 4. It was long, recovery wise, but we got through it. A sling helped greatly in getting him out to use the bathroom. He was in pain so didn't want to eat-and food of any sort is his favorite. Scrambled eggs did the trick. So did carrying his bowl to him so that he could eat lying on his bed. Bob is now almost 9 and runs around happily chasing squirrels. He doesn't even remember the surgery. Mills will be just fine. Glad you have a doctor you trust. Please keep us posted.