Darcie's Limp

This month we have the lovely Darcie Gibbs as our patient of the month!

Even our very own vet nurses need to extend some TLC to their own pets. Nurse Jade noticed her 9 year old Labrador, Darcie, was holding her right hind leg at an awkward angle when squatting and she then started limping.

After a short trip to the vet, Darcie was prescribed some anti-inflammatories and strict rest for a week. A week came and went, and poor Darcie was still limping.

Back to the vet for an anaesthetic so Dr Tom could examine her knee with manipulation and X-rays. It was determined that Darcie had ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament and would need surgery.

Off she went to our sister clinic, Fitzroy to see the specialist surgeon, Andrew Jacotine who performed a TPLO (tibial-plateau-levelling osteotomy) surgery on her knee. This surgery involves stabilising the joint, and in Darcie’s case it involved having a plate put in. The aim of the surgery is to have patients become pain-free when using their joint and to help prevent further degeneration. Each TPLO surgery is determined on a case-by-case basis as to what technique the surgeon will use. Your dog’s age, size and general condition will help determine which option is best.

Once home, Darcie required strict rest - but being a (sooky) lab this isn’t an easy task. Poor Darcie has been feeling pretty sorry for herself this past week, and she has to submit to another few weeks of strict rest. Darcie also had some antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and pain relief to take at home to help with her recovery.

Strict rest after this procedure is almost as important as the surgery itself, this allows everything to have time to heal and helps ensure the surgery is a success. Once the rest period is over, it is best to re-introduce your pet to exercise slowly - gentle walks and hydrotherapy are great places to start.

We commend Darcie on her bravery throughout the whole experience, and hope that her recovery is smooth.