Dutch Hits the Dust
Back in 2015, I limped back to my house after having a roaring good time outside chasing squirrels. By the time I got home, my leg was so sore I decided to just carry it and not use it at all. I don’t know exactly when my leg began hurting. Maybe it was when I missed that cheeky red squirrel as he scrambled up the tree chattering at me all the way, or it could have been when I skidded into a fence because I was going too fast before I put on my brakes. Nevertheless, my left rear leg hurt and I didn’t want to touch it to the ground anymore, so I carried it. Mom looked at my leg when I came in the house. My toes, knee and hip were moved back and forth but she didn’t see or hear anything unusual. I wasn’t bleeding anywhere. She had me rest a bit, but it didn’t matter. I wasn’t going to use that leg. I was very stoic- you’d be impressed. I didn’t cringe or yelp one time. Ultimately, it made it hard to determine where I was hurting. Still, I refused to put any weight on my leg. So off I went to Cornerstone Animal Hospital, where my doctor would look at me. After watching me walk, he looked suspiciously at my knee. Usually I am very good natured, but that guy knew exactly where to put pressure on my knee to get me to react- my secret was lost. My knee was causing me to have excruciating pain. I was suddenly very willing to make my opinion known to them. A tentative diagnosis of an anterior cruciate ligament rupture was made. Radiographs and further examination under a sedative confirmed the diagnosis. I didn’t even know I had an ACL!It certainly sounded like something was broken and needed to be fixed. Surgery? We all know how much we love surgery. Mom heard about a surgical repair with a procedure called a TPLO. I tell you it sounded painful (cutting a bone and putting a metal plate in my leg) and something I really didn’t want to do. Then they talked about a new procedure- use of stem cells to treat an ACL injury. This sounded much better. A minor procedure to collect stem cells from my fat (yes, I was a bit overweight so they’d have plenty) which would be processed in the lab and injected into my injured joint. Mom thought this sounded better than the TPLO.
Stem cell therapy was performed on my left knee after a few days. The procedure was a total success! Afterwards, Mom leash walked me for a while until my doctor told me I could play as I wanted. Today I can still chase squirrels, but I choose to be more selective in my choices. No need to run after every nut cruncher I see.