Monday, August 6, 2012

A Bum Deal


Actually it is not the bum, it's Africa's knee. It seems that Africa has torn her ACL and now requires a very expensive surgery. Perhaps you can tell from the photo but she is keeping her weight off the back right knee and walks around on 3 legs now. In short, it is a bum deal for her and us.

As much as I would like to complain about the cost, the fact that the husband works 3 jobs as it is, and the inconvenience of an injury like this, I mostly want to complain about how sad it is for Africa.

As you may recall we started our love affair for the breed, South African Boerboel, with our beloved Tonka who loved a short happy life due to Wobbler's Disease. His disease was so rare and tragic that we had no doubt that our next one would be unbelievably healthy and live an active life. This was not the case. Before this injury, Africa has been suffering from arthritis at just 3 years old. She is on glucosamine which helps, but this injury will only exasperate the arthritis and make her essentially suffer for the rest of her life.

For now, she is on anti inflammatories to see if that helps and then we will schedule this really expensive surgery knowing that the stress of walking on the other knee will probably cause the same thing to happen.

I realize that many of you have pets who suffer from long term ailments as well. How do you cope with it? Africa is like our child and knowing she will have a life filled with a lot of immobility is frustrating. How do you cope with surprise costs in an already tight budget?  Any thoughts and similar experiences with this kind of surgery and injury on a large breed dog would be appreciated. In the meantime, chin up! At least that is what I am telling myself.


39 comments:

  1. Hi, I just thought I would give you a little encouragement for this type of surgery. We had a bloodhound (Tabby - ATB) who did the same thing to her knee when she was about 2 years old. We took her to the vet hospital that is near us and it cost $1,000 to have her ACL repaired. They took 100 pound fishing line and doubled it over 4 times and made that her ligiment. She spent 10 days in a cast from her toes to her hip, with limited excercise except to walk her to potty. She did amazing after the surgery and she lived to be 13 years old and never had any problems with her knee at all. She would run, jump everything she was suppose to do. She did experience arthirtis in her late years but was not bad at all. I would strongly encourage you to have the surgery since Africa is so young. I think you will be very pleased with the outcome. As for the costs on a tight budget, that is a tough one for sure. I finally started placing $25.00 a pay check in a special account just for the dogs health care. I try to only use this account for huge expenses that come up. But it has helped a little bit having a little stashed up to give the vet and hope he will work with us on the rest. Which he always does, I love my vet so much. So please keep you chin up because I think you will be very pleased with the results for Africa. Have a good day. Sniffs, The HoundDogs and Mom (Sherri)

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  2. Oh, we did limited exercise for 6 weeks and then she played like a puppy after that. :)

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  3. Poor baby! I just had my ACL repaired - again with the fishing line and I am doing well. It has been 12 weeks on a leash. They just don't want to take any chances with me because I love to twirl and run. Our vet worked with us and yes it is terribly expensive but I am so happy and feeling good now. Hardest part was being quiet and on a leash all the time. I didn't have to have a cast but no stairs, no jumping, in a crate or limited to a small space. I am now getting to go on longer walks. I like that. I am also taking some stuff called Rejuvenate (So is Sasha - her hips are not good at all) BUT we are both feeling better.
    Wishing you well and keeping paws crosser for you all.
    Ernie for the rest of the pack and Mom Barb

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  4. My Calhoun has had arthritis for several years now. Xrays when he was 2 showed that it was already invading his spine. He's 6 now. While he may not be the most spry dog on the block, he is very content snuggling on the couch. As long as he is with me he is happy. The cold will aggravate it but since we live in SC, we don't worry about it too much. I have a stash of Rimadyl for the bad times. His favorite game is "alligator". He lays on his back and waits for Lucy or one of the cats to walk by and he playfully bites them. They all figure out a way to adapt. ;-)

    Mamma Heartbeat

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  5. We are so very sorry to hear about Africa's injury. We think you could talk to your vet about working out a payment plan. Vet bills can be really tough to deal with, but when you love your pets, you do the best you can for them. Hope it all works out for you.

    Hugs and Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

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  6. Oh my! That's just not nice :( I hope Africa is getting better soon. The money is always the problem but hopefully you'll manage something.

    -Lilli-

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  7. I hope that Africa can have the surgery and get back to being bouncy. Mango's knees, while not torn, are "compromised" and given his size, the chief surgeon at our vet school did not feel good about the outcome of any potential surgery.

    For Mango, we are managing with PT, anti inflammatories, and limited exercise, but his knees are not "shot." I think once they blow out that surgery is the only option. I am sure it is quite painful and you must be so worried about Africa.

    Best of luck with the surgery. The enforced inactivity of recovery will be hard on all of you, but think of how happy you will all be in six month's time.

    Mango Momma

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  8. oh no! Poor Africa!

    I've heard of lots of doggies who have had the surgery and go on to live very full lives. Be aware though, once they do one knee they almost always do the other due to compensating for the first injury.

    Mom has insurance for me, cuz almost everything that happens to us giant breeds is super duper expensive. She also puts a little away each paycheck into a savings account just for me...just in case.

    Good luck Africa! Hope you heal quickly!

    wags, wiggles & slobbers
    Murphydog

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