Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My dog tore her cranial cruciate ligament: 5 things to remember

Lulu sat on the Vet's table, gingerly kicking out her right hind leg. She looked at me with the same big, sad eyes she employed to get treats.

After a week or two of not knowing what was wrong, of being frustrated and worried, I was finally overcome. I put my head on hers and cried.

Lulu waits at the vet for her diagnosis.
Lulu waits at the vet for her diagnosis.
Lulu had some obvious discomfort a week or two prior. I took her to a vet (not her primary, he was out of the office on a training day). They felt her spine, moved her legs, she showed no sign of pain. They diagnosed her with an upset tummy and prescribed an antibiotic, a probiotic and canned prescription food.

A week later, we were at her regular vet. She would walk, yelp and hold up her leg.

The vets moved her legs. They performed an X-ray. It was a tear of the cranial cruciate ligament.

A cranial cruciate ligament tear in a dog's leg.
A cranial cruciate ligament tear. Picture courtesy of Embrace Insurance.
I felt like I had failed my dog somehow. I kept going through in my mind what had led Lulu to tear a ligament. Had Jasmine been rough with her? Did I push her too hard? Why did I keep letting her jump on and off the bed or the couch or out of the car? Why didn't I make sure she had Glucosamine supplements daily?

And why hadn't I waited one more day and seen her primary vet initially?

I have had many people try to reassure me that I am not a bad dog mom. I remain unconvinced. But I hope this post will help put your mind at ease... and give you something to think about.