Westie in a leg cast

Just look at that face. Well it has been one traumatic weekend for us humans and Maddie the alpha dog. If only she could speak and had told us about her bum knee much sooner! To sum things up, she had been carrying along with a ligament injury that had progressively worsened (she started to avoid using her right rear leg) until we took notice and finally went to the vet. Xrays and a physical gave proof of the torn ligament, and that arthritis had begun to set in. Our options were either to schedule her for TPLO surgery (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) or keep her on pain meds. What to do, what to do…that was the question. She went in for surgery this past Friday morning (12th) and came home with MotH in the early evening. Discomfort-wise, she was at her worst the first night, a little better by Saturday, much happier by Sunday, and as far as today goes, is trying my patience with her stubborn westie attitude in wanting to run and play! I am at my wit’s end keeping her from running (hopping) around and playing with Mister B and trying to pull off her leg cast, hence the glum look.

I’m aware of the discussions and conflicting opinions regarding surgery for this type of injury but we felt that at her age (4 human years) and at her level of outdoor activity (all-day hiking in the alps), surgical intervention would be the most logical solution. Note that I said logical, because I wasn’t too keen on waiting out 8 weeks on a low-activity schedule plus meds to see if her condition improved. Maddie is much more active than MrB who is a couch potato. Apart from all this, there is also the operation 2 years ago on the left hip for Legge Perthe disease, and even if that could have been a fault through hereditary genetics, we did not want to gamble on that hip giving her any trouble since she was favoring her right side. The things we do for our pets. The price we PAY for our beloved animals! Eh, this means that she won’t be going to Paris any time in the near future.

I’m sure that someone out there might want to know how much TPLO surgery could cost – in Italy – so here’s a tally from medication to doctor’s fee. Keep in mind that this was done on a 14-pound westie, and that this type of surgery (according to the doc) is commonly done on hunting dogs. I’ll do an update after the cast is removed.

Initial xrays – 70 euros tax included
General anesthesia and surgery – 500 euros tax included
Altadol (100 pain pills of which we use less than 3%) – 19.59 euros
Rimadyl (for pain) – 16.17 euros
Baytril (antibiotic) – 15.60 euros


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