Dear blog…my dog is going to have surgery today…

Mid-June, I told you about my dog, Tess, getting injured. Well…it was confirmed; she needs reconstructive surgery on her knee. She ruptured the ligament (ACL in humans) and it means her knee is no longer stable or supported in the leg. Without surgery, she will remain a three-legged dog; the ligament will never heal.

In surgery, they will essentially enable her to grow a new ligament. They will put sutures in her leg that over four to six weeks will grow new fibers and tissues around the knee, which will stabilize it again. Eventually, the sutures will let go but the new fibers and tissues will be strong enough to replace the ruptured ligament and keep the knee stable for the rest of her life. With physio and rehabilitation, she will grow stronger and should return back to normal in about three months.

Albeit, she does has a 50% chance of having the same thing happen to the other leg given the stress it’s going to be under for…well…about four and a half months. I am praying this doesn’t happen since I’ve agreed that this is it for big-ticket expenses for Tess. I have every reason to be hopeful. We’ve never seen her have any issue with the other leg so…I am keeping my fingers crossed.

This surgery, including follow-ups and supplies etc, will run about $1800 with taxes etc. It was a tough pill to swallow. In the midst of our summer of fun, fun fun, that’ll pretty much tap out all of our play money. Not to mention the two months of recovery; the vet warned me that the first two weeks are pretty “time intensive” so you can pretty much see how my summer is shaping up.

A coworker of mine told me flat-out that a 10-year-old dog was not a good investment; she’d put her down. Said I was likely signing the dog and my pocket-book up for years of misery with follow-up issues like arthritis etc.

I’ll be honest, it definitely gave me pause and food for thought. Scott and I talked about it at length and honestly, we just kept going in circles. In the end, neither of us feels like we could put her down at this point. We both feel like she’s got a few good years left in her and the vet feels confident that this surgery will be a success (as long as we do our part with physio). Neither of us is keen or happy about the time commitment or shelling out $1800 right now but I think we’d regret not given her the opportunity.  

I have accepted that at some point, I’ll likely have to put Tess down. She’s not likely to die of old age. I assume she’ll get to a point with her knees or hips have a serious negative impact on her quality of life and I’ll have to make a tough decision. So I’ve accepted that – I am ok with it – I know when the time comes, I’ll be able to do it (as insanely hard as it will be). But I did not expect or prepare for that time to be this now, let alone THIS YEAR! I am not ready….I think that would put me over the edge….

So….we dropped her off this morning and at some point today, Tess will undergo surgery to become: Tess…Bionic Dog. We will build her stronger!

Send some prayers her way for a speedy recovery! And a few my way…that I maintain my sanity through physio!



  1. […] most of you have, my dog Tess had knee surgery five weeks ago today after she ruptured the main ligament in her knee (in human terms, she blew her […]

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