Friday, November 9, 2012

Post-Surgery

Purple Girl a couple of weeks before her accident.

Just a quick update in the saga of Ember's Purple Girl. The outpouring of support from friends, clients, and complete strangers has been phenomenal and utterly humbling. I'm overwhelmed by the selflessness and generosity of the compassionate people who helped make it possible for "Purple Girl" to have the orthopedic surgery her injury required.

The response to my plea for help was immediate, so I felt confident that giving the go-ahead for surgery was the right thing to do, and Purple Girl (she needs a name - this is the "J" litter so suggestions are welcome) was quickly scheduled for emergency surgery on Sunday. The staff at the Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center (Clarks Summit, PA) are compassionate, caring, and above all, talented professionals who assessed the extent of the puppy's injuries and gave me the straight-scoop on the options. The fractures of her tibia and fibula weren't the nice clean type that could potentially heal with a splint, they ran lengthwise and spiral in such a way that only pinning would hold the leg together. As a result, only external fixation would give her bones the stability they need to heal. And thus, the reason for my unusual request.

The surgeon was more encouraging than the ER doctor who had taken the initial X-rays. She felt confident there's no damage to the growth plates and that there should be no complications, and that in short order Purple Girl will be out there playing with her siblings. "Short order" being defined as a month or two...which is no short order for an exuberant, intelligent, curious, energetic pup.

The good news is that her very young age should allow her to heal very quickly; the bad news is that her very young age makes it extremely difficult to keep her quiet enough to allow those bones to heal! Poor baby is confined to a crate for the first two weeks and only allowed potty breaks on-leash. After that she can begin to build up her strength again with very carefully controlled short walks. It's astonishing to me how this little girl shows no signs of pain and would have wanted to romp and rough house the day after her surgery if allowed to follow her own inclinations. Why are humans such wimps? This kid is an inspiration!

Special thanks to the surgeon, Dr. Rachael Currao, who is an accomplished surgical specialist and whose professional skills have given this puppy a bright future. Additional appreciation to the administrative staff at VREC for working with me to keep the costs to a minimum. And most especially, undying gratitude to those donors who have pledged contributions to the "give Purple Girl a chance" fund!

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