It’s been two weeks since we last posted. So much has happened. We’re excited to get back to our regular posting schedule, but wanted to give you an update on our sweet pup first.
Side note: Thank you to all who contributed to our GoFundMe page. You raised $480 in three days, which helped put us in a better position to pull the trigger on Regal’s TPLO surgery. We can never repay you for your generosity, but we hope you enjoyed the cute Polaroids Regal shot for you. Thank you so much!
Monday, July 30, 2018: Consult With Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists
If were weren’t down on our luck enough, we had some trouble with our first orthopedic consult where we first discovered Regal’s ACL was torn. The first place (Gulf Cost Veterinary Specialists) wanted to charge us more than what a typical TPLO costs ($2,000 more), because they only do a fancy, unnecessary procedure in conjunction with the TPLO surgery. They didn’t tell us that there were other, just-as-effective, and less expensive options, which is what ultimately made us the most upset.
But after talking with Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists on the phone, we knew this would be the right fit for us. Joey took Regal to his consult appointment. On just three legs, Regal limped in, acting as a ham, per the usual. He received lots of pets and was a champ! He handled the poking and prodding and didn’t become upset until he was back in his room after the exam. The orthopedic surgeon team there confirmed he did tear his ACL, and Regal needed the TPLO surgery. Luckily, they had an appointment open for the next day.
Monday night was rough, because you continually have these thoughts that it might be the end of the road for you and your best friend. Also, instead of being able to just lay around and snuggle, we had to give Regal an anti-septic bath. Regal hates baths, and to make matters worse, you have to leave this special soap on for 10 minutes before rinsing. The poor guy couldn’t even rush to his favorite part of bath time, which is toweling off. He was mad at us the rest of the night, which made Melissa even more emotional.
Tuesday, July 31, 2018: Regal’s Surgery
We woke up bright and early to try and ensure Regal was the first surgery of the day. There are no guarantees, but we dropped him off as early as we could at 7:00 a.m. When dropping him off, the surgical team sat down with us and walked us through what to expect. We handed over some food and treats, and then, handed over Regal. That’s when the pit in Melissa’s stomach started.
Around 10:30 a.m., the surgical team said Regal was prepped and ready for surgery. They were waiting for the anesthesia to kick in to take him for updated radio-graphs and surgery. This is when Melissa’s stomach pit grew larger, and she could feel it in the back of her throat until she received the next call…
At about 2:00 p.m., the wonderful Dr. Bubenik called to say Regal was out of surgery. The surgery had gone great, but they did find that Regal had also torn his meniscus. They were forced to remove part of that tissue too. But she expected Regal would still make a full recovery. Melissa’s pit returned to stomach only.
At 4:00 p.m., the surgical team called to tell us Regal was awake. They were letting him slowly wake up and rest, but they were going to try to get him to eat and go on a walk soon. They said at around 8:00 p.m. they would send us a picture update.
These are the pictures Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists sent us that night (aka Regal on drugs):
Wednesday, August 1, 2018: Reunited With Regal
Although knowing Regal was doing OK, it was still hard to sleep well Tuesday night. When we woke up on Wednesday morning, the surgical team called to setup a pickup time. We landed on 4:00 p.m. When we arrived, we spent about 45 minutes talking with Linda (She is so great!) about post-operation procedures for Regal.
We learned our new, daily routine for the next 6+ weeks will look like this:
- Warm compress for 10 minutes.
- Walk on leash for 10 minutes.
- Physical therapy exercise one: Knee Flexion and Extension
- Physical therapy exercise two: Weight Shifting (Side-To-Side)
- Cold compress for 10 minutes.
- Administer 4-6 pills.
- Feed boiled chicken to ensure there’s food in the belly.
- Repeat 1-2 more times per day.
I’m not sure we knew what we were getting ourselves into. After being a little overwhelmed by PT exercises, we were finally reunited with Bubba:
It made our new daily routine seem worth it. That’s when the pit in Melissa’s stomach finally went away.
Since Regal’s surgery on August 1st, he has been doing great, but only because of some very special people:
- The team at Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists: Thank you for walking us through everything to expect. You recognize our pets are our children, and our concern runs deep. The detail you put into your work eased us during an incredibly “ruff” time, and we couldn’t be more thankful for the step-by-step instructions and videos.
- Meredith and Colton Beall: Thank you for taking over post-operative duties while we traveled to see our family on a nonrefundable trip. We could never repay you for showing up for us and our little champ. (Sorry he hated taking his pills.)
- Our friends and family: Thank you for continually checking in. We appreciate getting to tell you how Regal is, because it reminds us that he is going to be just fine.
- Supporters: An additional thanks to those who helped make this surgery possible. Without you, we would be a lot more stressed.
- Olivia Craig: For sending us cupcakes and pupcakes from Sprinkles. You made us feel a little bit sweeter about the situation we were in.
Regal still has a long road to recovery, with a follow-up Monday, and another check-up in four weeks – but from what we can see, he is going to make a full recovery, and be able to live a normal, active, playful life again soon. Now, if only we could get him to take his pills more easily. <Insert frustrated because our dog is stubborn faces here.>
Our post-surgery pup, Regal, and delicious cupcakes and pupcakes thanks to our sweet friend, Olivia.
4 thoughts on “TPLO Surgery Update”
Get well champ, you are so loved by so many.🐶
I know this post is a few years old at this point, but we also live in Houston and my German Shepherd, Harley, has torn her CCL. We are looking to do the TPLO surgery at Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists (for the exact reason you mentioned). Is there any more news post-op on Regal and the recovery process? Harley’s CCL is not fully torn so we are really struggling with whether we should go through with the surgery at this time…
So sorry to hear about Harley. TPLO is expensive – but worth it. Regal did end up tearing his other ACL, which they warned us about. Basically, over-use of healthy knee while other knee was out of commission caused the tear in the healthy knee. Either way, we ended up doing the TPLO surgery twice – once on each knee. Now, he is at 100%! It was worth it for us to see his quality of life improve dramatically. Before TPLO, he was basically immobilized. Now, he runs, chases, plays just like he did. Recovery was tough. You have to make sure they stay calm for weeks and weeks. We’re glad we did it, but definitely joke that he’s used all of his college fund.