Tuesday, January 02, 2018

2017: The Year of the Surgery

... 2017 was quite the year.  But not in a good way.  2016 was "Championship Year," 2017 will be known is the "Year of Surgery."

Brodie had torn his ACL in his left knee (awhile ago).  And he has been re-tearing it over and over.  We finally decided to speak with a surgeon to get our options.  The first surgery was done in February.  It was an 8-week rehab.  So, to make it more awesome, we moved our mattress from the bedroom into the living and lived it up studio apartment style!  Who needs a 1-bedroom ...

The surgery was a success.  He was toe touching a couple of days after.  And using his leg to hold up himself the day after that. He seemed to be a fast healer.

A couple of days after the surgery

Takin' it easy

One week later
... But, the weekend before his surgery, we went out to play at the park. Well, he torn his other ACL.  We talked to the surgeon and discussed the option of having both legs done at once. The recommendation was not to do it because he is pretty big (45 lbs). So, we scheduled his right knee surgery in early May. So it looks like we were going to live the studio apartment life for another 8-weeks! The rehab for this surgery was far easier then the first one.  Not just toe touching, but using his leg the day after the surgery.  We had a talk with him and told him no more for the rest of the year ...

The other leg!

So, that brings us to probably most stressful days of the year. On July 17th, we believe Brodie 'did something' and hurt his back.  Maybe he jumped off of the bed or went down the stairs. Over the course of the day, he got worse and worse. It appeared he was having issues with his new bionic legs.  In the evening, Crystal and I decided to take him to the emergency vet. (Thanks Matt & Adrianne!!! No Thanks Uber driver jerks). The vet determined he was in pain in his back.  She said, "It may be a slipped disc and we should be able to use conservative management." We got some pills for his back pain.  

Overnight he didn't seem to get very comfortable and he pretty much kept Crystal and myself up all night.  In the morning for his walk, he seemed to degenerate further.  He was having more problems walks (more slowly) and had a lot of problems getting up the stairs. In the afternoon, Crystal called our vet to arrange an appointment for a check-up. The vet suspected it may have been a pinched nerve and asked her to give him his anti-inflammatory. He could no longer get up.  His back legs no longer worked.  I immediately left work and headed home to take Brodie to the emergency room again. (Thanks Chenzhi!)

Since the progression was so sudden, they had assumed it was a burst disc and time was of the essence to save his mobility. So there was a CT scan and emergency surgery. The surgeon discussed what she had seen in the CT scan and said, he needs major back surgery. It was the disc under his L1 vertebrae and it exploded sending material all down his spinal cord.  Luckily the surgeon stayed late to perform the surgery. The outlook for a recovery could not be determined so we had to wait.  The morning after the surgery we did get some positive news where he was moving his legs. However, we are very cautiously optimistic that he will regain functionality of his legs. We got to see him in the afternoon, and he seemed to be in good spirits. He was able to move around on his front legs and you could see a slight wag in his tail.  We picked him up the next day. This was a 12-week recovery. So yes, studio apartment again - we just put the bed back into the bedroom a few days ago! We purchased a play pen for him and he was confined to it 24/7. We put it in front the window so at least he could look outside.  After about 6 weeks, we allowed the playpen to be open if we were home (and awake) so he could walk around.

I want to give a big thanks to Sage Medical Centre in Campbell. If Dr. Vitale and the rest of the staff did not stay late, Brodie probably would not be walking today.

Brodie isn't really sitting right

The day after the surgery

Its was a pretty large incision

Play pen in front of the window

We moved the pen beside the bed once he was able to be let out
Now, not to be left out, we had Tucker's teeth checked in November ... and yes, you guessed it. Dental surgery! He had 35 of 38 of his teeth removed.  His teeth were so bad and apparently he was in such pain.  That would probably explain anger (maybe).

Yup, 3 left!
Check out that one tooth!

So bright and healthy!!
But the end of the year, Brodie was walking and Tucker was eating and using his 'teeth' the best he could. As of right now, both boys are happy, healthy, and both have their personalities back (yes, Tucker seems to be still angry).

Here's to a happy and healthy 2018!  With no surgery for anyone!

*There will be a non-surgery recap in a few weeks (maybe).  But 2017 wasn't all bad news ... there were some good times!