Monday, March 15th, 2010...6:36 am
Last day in Texas – Another Torn ACL
The last day of the Texas hunting season we started early to get the right light for taking pictures. Rob prefers that magical hour right after the sun pops over the horizon and that means we have to be on the ground before sun up. I have to get out there early so I can prep my gear and get my dogs exercised.
I don’t like to put out a stake out chain at the hotel at 6am out of respect for the other hotel guests that are still asleep. Nothing like the sound of a sledge hammer to wake you up in the morning. I seldom have barking issues at the hotel because I make sure any of my barkers are wearing bark collars. I can’t stand having to get up at 3am because a cat decides to cruise by my truck and gets the crew worked up.
I started using the chain gang more this year since I made more trips to Texas on my own. I doubt I will go back to walking dogs since I can do this SO much faster. I can exercise 12 dogs in about 20 minutes. That’s start to finish and it includes clean up and poop scooping time. I couldn’t do that with two or three guys helping me. It also allows more time on the ground per dog.
We got all the dogs settled and started the first round. I ran Em, Click and Sage. Em prefers to go first and Sage and Click are my “pretty” dogs. They take better pictures and Rob wanted to finish up a few specific shots.
I knew 5 minutes out of the truck that I had a problem. Em was having a leg issue. She had ran well the two days before and overall she had a pretty nice season. She may look her age but she can still run.
She had recovered well from her torn ACL from last summer. The TPLO surgery had really fixed the issue and I was real pleased with her progress.
I could tell from the way she was holding her leg that she had screwed up the repair job. My guess was that one of the plates had come lose or worse. I called her in and took her back to the truck.
She did not appear to be in any pain so once we got her settled, we moved on to another spot to finish running dogs.
Once we got back to Starkville, I took her in to my vet to have him look at it and see what had happened. He called me back that morning to tell me that the hurt leg was not the one she had messed up last summer but her other leg. She had torn her other ACL.
I guess in hind sight, it’s a good thing that the repaired leg held up. I had just forgotten which leg it was that was hurt last year.
My vet gave me my options but I really didn’t need to spend a bunch of time thinking about it. Em is the reason I bird hunt today and really the reason that I am running Gun Dog Supply. She was my third bird dog. I got my first one Dee, when I was 9. My next was a duaghter of hers names Babe. My dad bought Em when I was 28. She quickly became my dog.
At some point, I’ll spend more time writing about her, but needless to say, I’ll do what ever it takes to make her time left here comfortable.
I could not be happier with the way she responded to her first TPLO surgery, so I had little or no doubt that this one would also go well. It’s never easy to make this kind of decision on a dog her age, but I felt pretty comfortable that it would work out.
I had my vet set up the appointment in Birmingham and we headed there two days later. I had them check her and no question it needed to be repaired. I left her over night and came back to pick her up the next day.
The Doctors were real pleased with how it went and I thought she looked better than the last time.
Now we begin the two weeks of little or no movement and the daily regiment of pills. She also has to wear the stylish Elizabethan collar that keeps her from chewing out the staples. Last time I gave her some time with out the collar but I was pushing my luck and I don’t need to do that this time. She will wear it unless I am with her.
I set her up a new smaller dog run in the garage. This way she is close to me and does not have to deal with the other dogs. She can stay in the crate in the house at night and come to the office with me on most days.
She hates taking pills. I have always been good at getting pills dog a dog, but I think if she had any teeth left, I would have lost a finger by now. Only a few more days left of pills and less than a week until we get the staples taken out. We will both be much happier after that is done.
Then it’s on to physical rehab. It will be good for both of us.
I’ll right more in the near future about the TPLO surgery and using a roading harness to keep your dogs in shape during the off season.