Alright folks, here's the 4-1-1 on my mom's little Yorkie, Libby. (if you need reminders of Libby and her situation please go here and here.)
Dr. J called me about 8am today to let me know what was going on. He's kept her at the clinic since Monday when Mom stopped in to have him look at it. He told me that she's using her leg a little, but that he really wanted to keep her until the infection goes away and the inflammation goes down so that he can figure out what's going on and what to do about her knee. He asked how Mom would handle that. I just sighed and told him she missed her dog, but that I would talk to her. He then asked me when I was going home for Christmas to which I replied, on Saturday after work (we work until noon on Christmas Eve). He told me I could take Libby home on Saturday but that he really wanted me to bring her back. I had really been hoping he'd bring Libby over with him today (Wednesday) so that she could stay at my place until I went home this weekend. No such luck.
I got off the phone with Dr. J and called Mom. Considering she had sent me a text at like 6:30 a.m. saying "You bring my puppy home NOW", she didn't like what Dr. J told me. She understood his reasons, but she misses her dog. I knew me relaying the information would probably bring her to tears, and I hate seeing or hearing my Mom cry. Because it makes me cry. I can't handle it. But even though she misses her dog, she understood why Dr. J wanted to keep her and that in the end, it would be best if she stayed up here.
During the day at the Sticksville clinic, Dr. J told me again how upset he is that Libby's recovery hasn't gone as planned. He feels horrible that this is going on, and wants to make it right. One of the tech's called during the day and relayed an update to Dr. J and it was: Libby was using her leg a little bit, she pooped this morning (which is a good thing because all the medicines she's on can make her constipated), they gave her some fluids, but she's not really eating much. I told them that she'd been eating pretty well at home, so it might be that she's just upset about being in a strange place.
Before Dr. J left for the main clinic around 5 p.m., I asked him how much it was going to cost keeping Libby at the clinic all this time. He shrugged and said, "Nothin'. Maybe just enough to cover cost, but, don't worry about it."
He called me during dinner, after having just checked up on her. He told me that she's using the leg a little still, but that he figured out it was the anti-rotational stitch he put in that she broke. Here's what went down: A few days to a week after her knee surgery, she jumped off a chair before anyone could get to her. It was then that things started to slowly unravel. He and I have been able to piece this together - when she jumped off the chair, she must have broken the stitch. The suture then must have started irritating her because that's about the time she started digging into her sutures, thereby getting it infected and inflamed. He was able to pull the stitch out, because the swelling had pushed the suture up to where it was visible in her open wound. That and it was loose, which it shouldn't have been. The reason for the anti-rotational stitch was two fold: first, to keep that knee cap in place; second, to prevent her lower leg from turning inward (in a sense, making her bow-legged).
He then gave me two options to relay to my parents. Option 1 is to go back in (once the swelling has gone down and the infection is gone) and put that anti-rotational stitch back in. I offered the idea of keeping her leg bandaged after that operation and keeping the Cone of Shame on her so it limits her mobility so she won't go jumping off furniture. When I asked how much that would cost, Dr. J told me he'd do it at cost, for about $100. (realize that "at cost" includes covering anesthetics, suture material, bandaging if needed, and medicine - and still that would be coming off cheap). Option 2 is to find a city vet who will charge an outrageous amount to do a procedure that I can't remember the name of, but basically they would put a pin in the leg to keep it straight and keep that knee cap in place. (Unfortunately, my vets don't do that procedure here). Dr. J said that if my parents chose this option he would write them a $300 check (refunding half of what the original surgery and medicine cost).
After dinner I called my parents and talked to them about these options. Of course, this brought Mom to tears again, which of course triggers a chain reaction. While my parents hate the fact that Libby is in a strange place, they know it's where she should be. They've chosen option 1. Mom is afraid that Libby will forget who she is. Well, we all know that's not possible. Dogs never forget their parents.
Tomorrow (Thursday) morning I'll call Dr. J and let him know, and I'm going to try to drive over the mountain tomorrow and visit Libby. I'll take her some treats, and maybe see about finding some of her food in a store and see if she'll eat that away from home.
We (my parents and myself) want to thank you again for all your love and support and good wishes towards Libby. We all want her home as soon as humanly possible, but realize that might take some time. Please keep our little dog in your thoughts and please continue to send some good mojo her way.
I will keep you guys updated as I know stuff.