Welcome to Mickey's blog, a blog about a dog who has been there for me and made me smile even when I thought I couldn't any more. A dog who was sent to me by a loving God who knew I needed him as much as he needed me.

Mickey's story is much like other adopted dog's stories. Left at a kill shelter at only six months because his owners didn't want him any more. He waited and waited, but because of his age and because of his energy level he was never taken home and so awaited his death. But Mickey was one of the lucky ones, the rare few who are rescued by those non-kill shelters to be given more time to find their forever home. After waiting patiently for over a year, we finally found each other at a Petco in Austin.

Five years later, Mickey is my companion, best friend and and athlete. With elite and master titles in multiple Agility venues, he competes all over the state, traveling from hotel to hotel. Not only that, he's a Canine Good Citizen and loved by everyone who meets him.

Unfortunately, the unthinkable has happened. And though its fairly common in working, athletic dogs, I was devastated and distraught. Mickey was diagnosed with an ACL tear/rupture on April 3rd 2009 and after a long weekend of research and studying the procedure, he was admitted into Central Texas Veterinary Specialty Hospital for a much needed TPLO surgery by Dr. Kerpsack.

*I'm not a vet and and in no way am I liable for any information on this blog. Please contact your local vet for information on medications or treatments.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day One


Home at last! Mickey is finally home after being at the vet for over fifteen hours. The surgeon reports that everything went smoothly and he didn't foresee any potential problems. Other than the fact that he was already trying to pull out his stitches (so he has to wear an "e" collar - blah! Poor guy can't see and keeps running into things), and he isn't putting any weight on that right hind leg. The vet said it just depends on the dog and how they react to the pain of the surgery whether they put weight on it or not right away. But I've heard dogs not putting any weight on their surgery leg for up to a couple weeks and the vets say they are fine. So I'm not too worried.

When I picked him up they were all really nice and nurse "Britney" was in charge of informing me of all his special care. She was very nice and explained everything in detail. I'm a detail person, and very involved, so nothing gets done half way with me, especially with my animals. The following is the instructions he was discharged with;

  • Leave elizabethan collar "e" in place until stitches are removed as he will lick at the incision. This can lead to serious infection.
  • Maintain normal diet
  • Please call if he begins to act abnormal in any way (i.e. vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy ect.)
  • Please monitor the incision daily for redness, swelling and discharge. Please call if any occur.
  • Strict exercise restriction for the next 8 weeks. This is important to prevent early breakdown of the implants.
Week 1 - 6 ;
  • Cage Rest or confinement to a small room when you are not home for six weeks. Keep pet separate from other pets when you are not home. May be free in the house when supervised. Walking is the most strenuous activity allowed at this time. Take pet outside only on leash for a short walk for elimination purposes. No running, jumping or playing.
  • Sutures or staples show be removed 10 - 14 days from surgery
  • Consultation with Physical Therapist at 14 days
  • Reevaluate at 6 weeks with exam & x-rays
Week 7 - 8 ;
  • You may now take your pet for gradually increasing distances while on your leash walks.
  • All other restrictions still apply.
  • Cephalexin 500mg capsules, 14 units ; 1 capsule by mouth 2 times daily until gone ; Antibiotic
  • Tramadol 50mg, 30units ; 2 tablets every 12 hours as needed for pain for 10 days ; Pain Killer
  • Metacam 32ml, Once Daily dose 0.1 mg/kg ; Pain Killer
Week One Rehabilitation ;

Ice ;
  • Cold therapy with ice pack 2 - 4 times per day or as needed after walks to help with pain and swelling.
  • The ice pack should be applied for a maximum of 10 minutes.
  • Apply 5 minutes on either side of the incision when dealing with a larger area.
Massage ;
  • Performed 2-4 times per day, light and soft over inflamed areas. May be used to encourage healing of tissues and reduce swelling and edema.
Exercise ;
  • Three walks daily at slow steady walking pace for a maximum of ten minutes
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So! That's Mickey's discharge instructions. In the future there wont be so much "instructions" as there will be actual information about what exactly I'm doing each day to rehabilitate that leg. I'm also going to be adding videos and photos to these blogs to give you pictorial updates as well. For this week I have all of his fresh out of surgery photos, as well as an initial video of him walking to keep track of how it progresses throughout the months.


  1. Adele,

    Since I know Mickey has a great attitude and the very best care I am sure he will fully recover. I know it is hard to watch, years ago I had a Lab that did the same thing chasing a frisbee. The hardest part is seeing such fun-loving and energetic dog get slowed down and have pain. He looked so confused and kept looking to me for answers. Hang in there and be strict, if he is anything like Bailey he will want to go back to "work" and play too soon. Teddy Bear and I both send send love and kisses!

  2. Hi - we are 4.5 months post-op TPLO on my choc. lab named Parker. you will do fine and we'll be following your blog. Check us out:

  3. Adele,
    Where in Texas are you located? I saw you on my TPLO blog. I'm in Houston.

  4. I'm located in Austin, well.. just outside of Austin in Spicewood, TX. :)


Please keep all comments positive and open minded with a positive attitude. Suggestions and ideas are always welcome. Please keep all questions directly related to Mickey or this blog.