December 3rd 2005 1:20 am
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Well friends, this will hopefully be one of our last posts regarding Lenny's accident as we were faced with a difficult decision over the holiday weekend -- albeit an obvious one to us.
Little Lenny's surgery was not as successful as we had hoped. It is no one's fault and we aren't laying blame with anyone. Both the severity of the damage to his little knee as well as his age adding to the "softness" still of his bones was just too much for the pins (5 for Lenny compared to 1 regularly used for an adult dog) to hold. He is not in any pain, but would be given time as the resconstructed knee continued to fall apart.
So, we were faced with making a decision regarding the next step. Over the weekend, we presented Lenny's file to a battery of animal AND human doctors, nurses and surgical specialists, and we were given these choices/suggestions:
1) Continue surgeries (minimum 2-3), including arthrodesis (joint fusion) and bone grafting over time which would result in a "cosmetic" leg and early onset of severe osteoarthritis. Or...
2) Amputation of the right hind leg.
As mentioned before, this was not an easy choice, but definitely an obvious one to us. Given Lenny's joyful, outgoing personality, how could we choose to "hobble" him? At what cost did we need to have a pug with 4 legs? Were we that vain? Did his quality of life mean so little to us that we were willing to put him through a lifetime of pain?
Absolutely NOT! As a very good friend of mine said, "Vanity plays no part." And how could we EVER love Lenny any less? It just wouldn't happen! We would love him even more (if humanly possible) from the tip of his pug nose to the tip of his curly tail!
So yesterday was the big day. And it was hopefully the last traumatic event in our little pug's life. For those who are interested, here are a few details:
1) How long does this type of procedure take? Usually 75-100 minutes. The keys to ensuring good outcomes with amputation are: proper tissue handling, comprehensive knowledge of regional anatomy,
experience/skill at plastic/reconstructive techniques.
2) Will he need to remain at the hospital for the night following the surgery? Yes, absolutely- he'll be on a powerful, injectable, narcotic analgesic through the night.
3) What can we do to help Lenny's comfort when he returns home?/What is the recovery/healing time frame normally? Cold/warm compress application & observation of the incision site for any complications is all you really need to do other than to administer an NSAID; typically, after just a few days of feeling the "dull ache" from surgery, they're up & around and surprising you with how well they're doing & apparently feeling so soon after having had relatively major soft tissue surgery!
So, please do not be too sad. Lenny is alive and well and as happy a puggie as could be. He does not know that he will soon look different and his canine friends do not care! He is still "Lenny the Pug" and no matter what the future may hold for the little man he will always be everyone's "Lenny."
All our love!
Pugs & Kisses,
Lin & Lenny the Pug
P.S. We hope to be accepted into a therapy dog program in the spring! The little man thinks he could help other amputees
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