For the first week at home, she had on her bright pink cast. When she had it removed after her 2nd week, the vet technician told us everything looked really good. Callie was putting weight on the leg as soon as the cast was off and her foot was back on the table, which impressed everyone! We learned how to do the physiotherapy exercises with her too - 10-15 minutes of stretching, massaging, and icing the area, three times per day. Callie was a champ - fully flexing and extending from the very first time the vet showed us the process!
Since she still had the stitches in her leg, we had to watch her to make sure she never bit at them.We also had to put her in her crate, with a big old plastic cone around her neck, every time we left the apartment and at bedtime. (It was the only way to be sure she wouldn't re-injure the area while we couldn't watch her.) Poor Callie hated it, but she was pretty amazing considering what she was going through. And she was still darn cute the entire time.
The stitches themselves looked very clean, and in fact the cut on Callie's leg healed remarkably quickly. I didn't see her bite or even lick at the area even once! A week after the cast came off, we took her back to the DMV to get the stitches out, and once they were gone it was hard to even see the scar! But I did Callie a favor and went ahead and trimmed the fur off her foot and from her back - the vets may have buzzed a lot of it off, but they didn't exactly do a professional grooming job. Below you can see her with stitches and pom-pom foot, followed by no stitches and a nicely groomed foot!
In the last two weeks, Callie has been moving around more and more. She has never once acted as though she was in pain, and has spent a lot of time resting and sleeping. We have noticed that she gets a little restless sometimes, and she has again started hoarding all her toys (probably in the hopes that we will throw them for her). But as you can see here, already she's putting both legs out behind her again, so clearly she's feeling much better and quite flexible!
Yesterday, David and I took Callie back to the DMV for her first official checkup (post-operation) with Dr. Planté. He did two x-rays of her leg, and then brought us back to the lab area to show us the improvements since the operation. I don't have any pictures this time, but take my word for it when I say that the changes are remarkable.
For one thing, her kneecap is firmly seated in the newly deepened groove. Dr. Planté told us that even when he manipulated it to see if it would pop back out of place, it stayed exactly where it was meant to be- right in the center of the bone! (And yes, I cringed when he mentioned that...) Of course I understand that they have to do thorough testing, but it doesn't mean I have to like hearing about their efforts to dislocate her kneecap! Thankfully, Callie didn't seem too phased by the tests.
Another amazing improvement is that the chunk of bone that was cut off and repositioned on the tibia has already fused in place. In only *four* weeks, a bone that had been completely severed has re-attached itself in its new location on the tibia. In the x-ray it already looks like a solid piece of bone! It's incredible. Even Dr. Planté was surprised by Callie's progress.
So generally, the news is great. Dr. Planté told us we can start taking Callie on 30-60 minute walks again, and we don't have to do any more physiotherapy. She can run and play a bit, and stand on her hind legs if she likes, and in the next month she can try the stairs again! We will keep taking it a bit easy while her tendons and cartilage heal a little more, but we don't have to watch her nearly so carefully.
Also, because the bone has already healed (which was the major reason to keep Callie slowed down), he said there is little need for us to bring Callie in for her 2nd follow-up appointment. He told us the bone looks so good that he won't even need to do any more x-rays. So unless something dramatic happens between now and then, we can just call and check in with him in 4 weeks by phone!
We were extremely happy when we left the DMV yesterday, with all this good news. And we think Callie is happy too, because she is no longer confined to flat surfaces - she can sleep in her squishy beds again! There is joy all around. (: