Project Life Success

Suddenly, surgery

Oh gosh, I’ve done it again, not blogged for ages, and there’s LOADS to tell you. Some good, some bad. Plus I’ve learned two new words – pancarpal arthrodesis – not something I ever wanted to know about if I’m honest.

Expect a flurry of blogs from me over the next few days as I update you. And I’ll start with the first – the most gut-wrenching of all.

Somehow, we have got into a really serious situation with our sweet pup, Foxy.

Seriously, I can’t believe it’s not long since I wrote that blog about her being amazing, and now here we are. How bizarre how fast life can change.

Today we collected her from the vets after really serious, life-changing surgery. And I have no idea how we have got to this.

Fox has been ever so slightly limpy for ages, mostly after a good run. Our trainer noticed it and eventually I took her to the vet. They did x-rays in March which came back clear, but they referred us to specialists as she was obviously sore. We went in May, and the vet diagnosed arthritis in both front legs, which was a bit gutting, but didn’t seem too serious. At that time she wasn’t as bad as she had been a few weeks previously, so we agreed I would get back in touch when it flared up again.

So, on our second visit in July, things were a bit more serious. By then I had noticed that her legs seemed to be slightly over-bending, and the lower part of her left leg was pointing to the left slightly. When he explained that due to the arthritis, the ligaments at the back of the carpal, or wrist, joints were lengthening and would eventually leave her with the joints almost touching the floor, things started to get a bit darker.

And since then, they’ve continued to get worse. Like, really really bad, really really quickly.

So bad that the conversation that briefly mentioned surgery at some point in the future became a conversation about when. And then it became a conversation about doing it really quickly, because her walks have been so restricted these past few weeks, with her clearly suffering pain at each step, that we had to question her very quality of life.

And so yesterday Fox had ‘salvage surgery’. A procedure called a pancarpal arthrodesis. Her left front leg has been fused permanently straight by a metal plate fixed to her leg by nine metal screws. It will leave her able to walk but she won’t be able to bend it.

It is drastic, terrifying, life-changing surgery, potentially altering forever her ability to run and enjoy her life as she has done these past three years.

But the source of the pain – the joint – has now been removed, so hopefully all the pain that came with it has gone.

As with any time an animal undergoes surgery, it’s all a bit horrific. Choosing to put your animal under a painful procedure is really hard, this would be so much easier if it was emergency surgery in response to an accident or injury.

This dog means everything to me. I have cried buckets of tears in the past few days.

I am so hoping we have done the right thing. I guess only the next few days and weeks will tell us.

Foxy in the car this afternoon on our way home from the vets after her carpal arthrodesis surgery

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