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    1. #1
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      Abulafia's Avatar
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      I can't stop crying

      That's All. I am so sick with worry and guilt and panic over Hoku's injury that I can't stop crying.

      Ok. That's not all.

      We're calling the ortho surgeon tomorrow for an evaluation, though I know that they will suggest TPLO, and from what I understand of CCL injuries and how she's presenting (not a little weakness or popping, but little-to-no load-bearing, and mainly toe-touching), that is what makes logical sense. This surgical center has been active for 30 years, and is highly recommended (and yes, I've looked into others locally). I have no logical fears about the surgery—she's young, muscular and active, healthy, no other health issues—but I am having loads of illogical ones.

      It goes like this. My last dog—her name was Kawena 'ula (in Hawai'ian that means "the Rosy Glow": her full name was Kawena 'ula i ka maka o ka opua—"the rosy glow on the face of the cloud bank")—was an Irish Setter. I bought her as a teen (with my own hard earned money—$600 dollars back in the early-mid 1980s), and have since figured out that though I bought her from a certified breeder, she had some genetic issues that now I'm pretty sure had to do with low gene pool breeding. She was a wonderful dog, not crazy hyper like a lot of Irishes, funny and sweet and beautiful (even if she really liked eating Just One Shoe from every pair). I loved her so much.

      But she had a problem with her kidneys. We didn't realize it until she fell ill, and we took her in, only to learn that one kidney was failing, but the other had failed previously, without us knowing. I was living on the mainland, and she was at home in Hawai'i. I'd known she was feeling poorly, but to be honest I didn't even know they'd taken her in. But they had.

      One night, I had a dream that my dad called to tell me that she'd died. It was a very specific dream. The dream started with me being her (I guess: or from her perspective), in a dark room at the Vet's, and my dad saying "We'll see you in the morning." Then the door closed. The dream continued with my dad calling me to say that she'd died, and his first words, in the dream, were "She was such a damned good dog."

      I found out the next morning. The phone rang, and when I answered, it was my dad. He told me she'd become sicker, and they'd taken her in to the Vet. And that night she died. And then he said "She was such a damned good dog." I couldn't breathe. (And no, I'm not a hocus-pocus type, and I can't explain it, and it's not that weird: just a little weird.)

      The memory of that is absolutely destroying me now. I don't know how I am going to deal with leaving Hoku at the ortho Vet for surgery without completely losing it. It took me decades of getting over the loss of Kawena to the point where I could even think of having another dog. Many of you know that Hoku is a "soft dog"—well, I'm a "soft human."

      So many dogs here have dealt with so much worse, I am sorry to be such a baby with this. I just feel like somehow we failed her. And I am terrified at the thought of taking her in to the surgeon's and watching her walk down the hall.
      Hidden Content Hokule'a ("Hoku") / b. 06.08.15

    2. #2
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      POPTOP's Avatar
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      Can totally understand your feelings. I cried when we left Potion at the vet to be spayed. I was a total wreck.

      Have a good cry and get it out. Know that you did NOTHING wrong, in no way you failed Hoku. Life throws curves. Surgery is going to go fine. You've done your research and are confident in the surgeon. Handle each day, one day at a time. You can do it because of your love for her.

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      Kissing Bandit

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    4. #3
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      It's OK. Really. This is really standard stuff and, frankly, the advances in veterinary medicine in even recent years have been significant. Anesthesia, surgical procedures, diagnostics, you name it. It's really fabulous. Heck, I put my 14 year old through two standard surgeries in the last year without incident. Your Hoku will be fine.

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    6. #4
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      CCL ruptures are the most common orthopedic injury seen by vets and is very common in Labs. You could be the best owner in the world who purchased their dog from the best breeder in the world and it could still happen. Regardless, there is no going back now to do things over again and if you could, what could you have done different when it happened? Probably nothing.

      I was a mess when I put my dogs under the first time when they were neutered. What made me feel better was getting full blood panels to make sure everything was in working order before they were put under. I'm sure you're doing that. Then, all I could do was put them in the best hands that I knew. And, I'm sure you've done that, too.

      What else can you do moving forward? Have you looked into rehab (swim therapy, stuff like that)? Is there someone you can talk to about whether her conformation or her weight played into her injury? Or was it just a total freak think? I find dog sports therapists are good to talk to about this (dog physical therapists). No dog is perfect and there are exercises you can do to help the dog make up for areas that may be weak. As far as weight, I'm not saying she is fat. I've never seen her in person or pictures that would suggest she is, but I speak from experience that these conformation dogs can hide weight even from experienced vets that think every other dog is fat. My dogs lost 20+ and 30+ lbs and they were considered a good weight and well-muscled (though the vet thought Sam could lose 5-10 lbs. -- he's the one that lost over 30). Even though they weren't obese and I was not a bad owner by having them at the weight they were, it was weight they didn't need on their joints and ligaments. They weren't fat, but they could be leaner, especially if they were going to be jumping, chasing balls, body-slamming each other and generally being Labs. They are not very careful dogs!

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    8. #5
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      I'm sorry you're feeling so sad and worried. No matter how routine any surgery or procedure is in the aggregate, when it's your baby having the surgery, it feels anything but routine. Sounds like you have a good surgeon and have done some research on what is likely to be recommended. The surgeon is the expert, so trust him/her to do their job and try to focus on something you can control, which will be her rehab. It must be hard to remember what happened with Kawena but what happened with her doesn't effect what will happen with Hoku. Hopefully soon, if Hoku needs surgery, it will be done and you can focus on bringing her back to her full, active life. Just like people say that dogs can sense our feelings, no matter how you try to hide it, your son probably senses your worry and sadness, too. Even if you feel like you cannot be strong for yourself, maybe you can fake it to be strong for him, he's probably worried, too. I hope things go swiftly and smoothly for little Miss Hoku.

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      Abulafia (12-19-2016)

    10. #6
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      It's hard to not feel guilty when our babies are hurt. One thing you need to remember, dogs feed off of our energy and emotions. The calmer you are with the the calmed Hoku will be. It happened, no amount of worry, or "what iffing" can change it. It sounds like she is in very good hands, and all of this will be a small bump in the road when it's all over. My best to both of you, and just keep telling yourself it's all going to be ok.

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    12. #7
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      I'm sorry too and can understand the feelings as well. Just take it one day at a time. It's about all you can do.
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      IntCH WindyCanyon's Northern Spy CDX RA JH OA OAJ CC (13.5 yrs)
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    14. #8
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      Berna's Avatar
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      I've been there on numerous occasions but I remember when I left Cookie at the vet's for his first surgery ever, it was the toughest. I couldn't eat or do anything, not even read, I just sat there with my phone in front of me, waiting for it to ring. Cookie had two surgeries and was sedated numerous times in diagnostic purposes. It does get easier, but it's never easy, even when you know that general anesthesia is usually safe and there are ways to reverse its effects when something goes wrong, and even when you know that your dog never had an adverse reaction.

      Hoku will be fine, whichever route you decide to take. She will be running on her favourite beach in no time. Just be patient for now.

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    16. #9
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      A couple of random things and a bunch of calming hugs headed your way.

      After surgery, even if Hoku is scared of the cone (as Sunnie is), the cone keeps dogs calmer. After a while, the scariness goes away...trust me, if Sunnie gets used to the cone and stops cringing and freaking out, Hoku will, too.

      I strongly recommend trying either that herbal calming collar mentioned before or the D.A.P. pheromone collar to help quell Hoku's anxiety. She won't tense up (increasing pain) as much and that will promote faster healing. She might also appreciate one of the doggy calming music CDs....I've used those for ongoing tension-provoking situations. (Honey's separation anxiety, during thunderstorms/fireworks, Sunnie's pre-whelping through post-delivery and for the rest of the puppys' time here whenever bedding was changed, etc. (just in case I hit into the box/crate/x-pen and made them jump from the noise...they were born with her issues with noise)...I still play it when something gets these Danny anxious since that also means Sunnie's probably in more distress, too).

      Hoku will be fine from the surgery. Your job is to keep her calm and quiet....not just physically but mentally, too, since she's so sensitive. As barry indicated, they definitely feed off of our emotions. I can screw Sunnie up in a heartbeat if I'm not careful.

      Hidden Content

      Sunnie: gotcha day 03/08/09; birth unknown but given 07/01/02

      Danny: The Sundance Kid....Sunnie's boy....birth 03/31/09 (in my living room)

      Barb (ID formerly "Baffle")

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    18. #10
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      I agree with Barry, you need to be calm about all this or else she'll worry why YOU are feeling bad. Hudler had both knees done in 2004. Blew one in June (we think it was an injury due to training, my husband still blames the trainer) and the second blew the day the ortho gave us the OK to let him roam off leash again. He was under a watchful eye and restricted exercise for six months total. Back then vets did not recommend therapy, so we got him home and rehabbed him ourselves. He did fine. He got his obedience titles AFTER his knees were done.

      Jack had a benign tumor removed from his eyelid last year, THAT freaked me out and worried me more than the TPLO surgeries did years ago. Eyes freak me out.

      Heck I worried more about neutering Grizz back in January than I did about the TPLOs.

      It will be OK. And you can't worry about how it happened, why it happened. But I can understand about freaking yourself out. I had a bunch of personal things happen last month...my mom passed early November and then 5 days later I had a gall bladder attack that require the ER. I wouldn't let my husband take me to our normal hospital because I had spent way too much time there with my mom. And then for me to be the one sick after dealing with her being sick was pretty unnerving. THEN I had to have surgery on top of it. It's super easy to work yourself up. For as detailed the surgery is, the dog will heal fine!

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