Uh oh.

Maple is limping again. Only this time, it’s the other hind leg.

The vet warned us this might happen. It’s very common, he said, for dogs over forty pounds, to have Cranial Cruciate Ligament Ruptures in first one leg, and then the other. Fifty/fifty chance because of the extra strain the good leg (left) takes on while the bad leg (right) is healing.

She only limped for a very short while. We don’t run her like we used to but she insists on following the lawn tractor around the yard when Frank mows (ball in mouth, of course, ever optimistic someone will throw it). Then she trails after me while I use the hand mower (I prefer to hand mow, burns more calories), and then she visits with the next door neighbours dogs when they come over to investigate, so all said, after a full day of lawn care, she’s ready for a nap. But when she rose from her nap, her left hind leg was up. She carried it close to her body as she changed nap locations, and my heart dropped into my stomach and churned around in acid for a minute or two. I recognized the signs (see post entitled “God and Gravol”).

But the limping didn’t last more than a minute or two, so we’re trying not to panic. We came up with a game plan, of sorts. We believe it’s the springing action that hurts her back legs, like when she leaps on the bed or into the back of the Jeep. Since her operation, Frank lifts her into the Jeep, but I doubt we can cure her of jumping on the bed now…she’s almost six years old and loves nothing better than hopping up  with us and then doing her best to extend all four legs and head out as far as possible in order to squeeze us off the bed. At which time, when she has accomplished her goal of getting us up, she rolls on her back, belly in air, and goes back to sleep. Only something incredibly adorable would be capable of getting away with this.

And to us, she is. We don’t want her to stop this morning ritual. Her soft, wet nose nudging under our arm until we open our eyes and see her, with her ears as perked up as far as fuzzy, floppy ears can go. Looking at us, eyes bright with the anticipation of a new day with old tennis balls. It would break three hearts to suddenly demand she not get up there with us. We’d have to put a doggie door up so she couldn’t get into the bedroom. Listen to her softly whine as she sits on the other side of the gate and watches us with big, gentle eyes that ask, Why? Was I bad? Good Lord, I’m already in tears.

Hence, the solution:



As I type this, Frank is at the hardware store buying … I’m not sure. Wood and stuff, whatever is needed so that Maple can casually stroll up a ramp and pester us every morning. And, hopefully, this ramp will save us all from the heartache of another operation. Because I really don’t think I could put her through that again.        



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12 Responses to Uh oh.

  1. Barb Taub says:

    I’m crying. I watched the YouTube video, and it’s a lovely solution and not wasted because sooner or later every dog needs a ramp to somewhere. But my heart is breaking for you. Not for Maple. She is a dog and so at the end of the day, even if that includes another operation, she’s going to be happy if her people are there with her where they belong. It will just be so much harder for you.

    I don’t know if I mentioned that our dog (although only 5 years old) has had epileptic grand mal seizures for the past two years? We finally put her on medication (which will, eventually, probably damage her liver) and were guardedly optimistic that things would go well. She’s been pretty good for months but recently has been having seizures again. So we’re back to trying Rx cocktails and hoping for the best. Every seizure makes me feel ill. But as soon as it’s over, she comes over to make sure I’m there and then, while I’m totally wrecked, the damn dog proceeds to act like nothing at all has happened.

    My fingers are crossed that Maple only has a splinter in her paw or has twisted it a bit. Please let us know what happens.

    • ajcap says:

      I will, Barb. I’ll post updates. There’s not a damn thing wrong with her today, and when I refuse to get the ball out she has the audacity to question my judgement. I’ll rub her legs and say, “no, not today, you’re healing” and she’ll say right back, “No, they’re fine, look” and then prance around like she’s not a dog with a steel knee. Breaks my heart.

      And I know you can sympathize, you did tell me about your pup (though I don’t think you ever mentioned her name?), and I am so sorry to hear the seizures have started up again. All we can really do is put our trust in the vets and do our best to make them comfortable during the bad times. It is hard on Frank and I but the good times far outweigh the bad, and if another operation is a necessity, we’ll gird our loins (that expression always makes me laugh) and get’er done.

      • Barb Taub says:

        I’m glad Maple is doing better.

        Our pets get computer names (comes from living in Microsoft’s backyard). So the cat is Laptop and the dog is Peripheral (Peri for short). Our vet thought poor old Laptop was past making the trip to the UK so she went to stay with relatives. But Peri, our “free” dog from the shelter has come along and is merrily running up those vet ££ charges. (We pet-shamed her here http://barbtaub.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/peri-ate-apple-pie.jpg)

        • ajcap says:

          I love pet-shamed pictures, and this one is lovely. Peri is beautiful and I would never have guessed her capable of such dastardly dessert diving. I hate to brag (HA) but our Maple has yet to do anything worthy of shaming. Sure, she used to chew on the odd paperback book but that was as a puppy. And yes, she does steal socks, slobber all over them, and then run around the house like she’s pulled off the biggest heist since that one with the train, but that is simply youthful exuberance.

          The barking at 2 a.m. is a little annoying though…

          The good far outweighs the bad. Please keep me up-to-date on Peri’s progress. And if you ever want to sell that rug…

  2. Danielle says:

    How’s she doing now? My dog, Mocha, had the Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture, as well. She had surgery in February. I had a scary moment a couple of weeks ago too. I took her to the vet that evening because she was in obvious pain from ‘something’ and I couldn’t stand to see her in pain. She hides her pain well, but not this time.

    I hope Maple continues to make good progress in her recovery.

    • ajcap says:

      Hi, Danielle, glad you’re still checking in!

      Maple had hers in February, as well. She’s fine today so hopefully it was just a sprain, but she is also very good at hiding pain. What breed of dog is Mocha? Love the name, by the way. I’d guess a chocolate lab? What did the vet have to say? And where did she have her operation?

  3. Danielle says:

    Mocha is a Boxer. She’s a rescue and her previous owner spelled it Moca. I changed the spelling, but kept the was it’s pronounced.

    Mocha was still limping when we arrived at the vet that evening a few weeks ago, but they couldn’t find anything wrong with her. Her limping decreased while we were there. It was weird. The vet thought it was adrenalin. She was chewing and licking her foot at home and in the waiting area at the vet’s. She kept laying down in the yard, then getting back up to limp across the yard. She was dragging her rear foot which is the same leg that had the surgery. She started digging in the dirt and rolling around. It was scary. I was worried about getting her in the car! She weighs 70 pounds. Once she heard the garage door open, she got up and came into the garage. She got in the car, but didn’t hop up to the rear seat. She stayed on the floor. The vet gave me some pain pills and told me to give them to her for 3-4 days and bring her back if it gets worse. She was fine the next day. I wondered if something bit her in the yard. Spider? I don’t know. The vet said I should walk her on hills so that she has to push off with the leg that had the surgery.

    I wrote a post about her on my blog. http://danielleleneedavis.com/2013/06/12/my-other-shadow/

    • ajcap says:

      Isn’t that the most horrible, helpless feeling? They can’t tell you what is wrong but you know there is something. I checked out your website, Danielle, and saw the beautiful pic of Mocha. She’s lovely, and she looks so soft. Good site you have there, I’ll have to go back and roam around some more. I never knew WordPress had a “freshly printed blogs” venue. I’ll have to check that out as well.

      So much to do, so little time to write, lol.

      • Danielle says:

        I know! Due to my family reunion (and being lazy/tired), I haven’t written in two weeks. I’ve done research for book two, however.

        Do you mean WordPress Freshly Pressed?

        Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the compliment! I intend to do another post on Mocha soon. I’ve had her since December 2010 and she’s had 3 different surgeries so far. Except for wearing the cone, she’s been a trooper. Gotta love dogs, right?

  4. LindaMS says:

    I’m so sorry that Maple is having problems again. Can the vets do an operation on this leg without the original leg getting worse? Maybe it’s nothing serious and she’ll be better soon.

    The ramp looks like an excellent idea! I tried to get one for my little girl, but all they had were those cheaply made stair things. This looks sturdy and like it would last. I can’t help but think that it will help Maple.

    • ajcap says:

      Must have been a false alarm, Linda. Maple is doing just fine. Jumping and leaping and running, she’s a strong dog and never complains, bless her. She uses the ramp because we’ve trained her to, but she leaps from the floor when she thinks we’re sleeping. Still, I’m sure she’ll use it more in her old age.

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