In lieu of a photo hike Saturday, Mister went with me to the Big City to take our little Asta to see a specialist about her injured hip. Our vet sent us with a referral to an orthopedic doc to get a second option about whether the pin holding the break together could be removed.
With her last X-ray, and surgery notes in hand, we went into this appointment with trepidation. There was no telling what this doctor would recommend.
Asta wasn’t too sure about the car ride, wandering over the back seat of our car, and me, for most of the hour drive. Finally at one point she did try to relax a bit, giving my sore legs a break from her little paws digging into my thighs while standing to look out the car window.
She was very relaxed at the vet’s, waiting patiently to be called back for her exam. The doctor was gentle with his manipulations of her legs and paws, even squeezing her toes to make sure she had sensation in her feet. We found out that at some point her right scapula had also been broken, but it wasn’t clear if that was also from the car hitting her, or from before that.
After checking her out, the doctor said he wasn’t recommending surgery at this time. The break was in fact not knitting as well as he expected after this long (two months). He suggested physical therapy, something I had asked our vet about before and was told there was nothing like that I could do.
I’m not going to be doing any deep tissue massages, rather he wants us to walk Asta… a lot. The idea is to fatigue her good back leg enough that she is forced to use her injured leg. Initially we were told to keep her off the leg to let it heal, now she needs to start putting weight on it again. Walking we can do.
After four weeks, if she’s not using her leg more, then we have two options. One: remove the pin and do nothing else. She can get around pretty well using only three legs, and the doc said it would NOT be inhumane to leave her alone; or Two: remove the pin and redo the surgery, using a plate instead of pinning. I’m not excited about that second option.
My hope is that since she was using the leg before, that she will again. It’s just a matter of time. We’ve already gone on our first walk around the block, and now, I can take her with me on some of my photo hikes. I am excited about that.
(Photos shot with a Nikon D60, using an 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 20mm f/2.8 wide-angle, 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, Nikon CoolPix S205 and/or iPhone4)
For more photos, please visit my Flickr photostream.