Saturday, August 6, 2011

It Takes a Village of Vets

The next morning (Thursday) we headed to Animal Hospital #3 to see Dr. G.  He reviewed Dr. C's x-rays and examined Riley.  He definitely thought that there was something there.  He decided to take more x-rays to see if they could see it from a different angle and also took one of her uninjured hock.  While Riley was having that done, the other orthopedic specialist at Animal Hospital #3 (Dr. C2) came in to have a look.  He agreed that something was there. 

Dr. G came back.  When compared to the uninjured hock, Dr. G felt we were definitely looking at a fracture.  However, it never moved.  No matter what position Riley's leg was placed in, the bone chip remained in place.  He decided this was not a surgical case and that we should just rest Riley for 2 months.

However, he was going to send the x-rays to Dr. Greyhound-Ortho-God (Dr. GOG for short) in Hollywood Florida for a second opinion..... actually the 9th, but who is counting?  I headed home relieved that we had avoided surgery.  I was sure that Dr. GOG would agree with Dr. G's strategy.
Around 5 PM, I get a call from Dr. G. He tells me that Dr. GOG has already looked at the x-rays.  He has seen six fractures similar to Riley's injury and has fixed all of them surgically.  The only problem is that this is the smallest one he had ever seen and he was not sure if a screw could be put into it.

I asked why they would want to save such a tiny sliver of bone.  It seems like it would be easier to just remove it.  The reason is that maintaining the integrity of the bone and keeping it as close to its original state as possible is the best way to minimize arthritis.   
Dr. G and I discussed the options.  We could splint it, but surgery offers the best bet for returning Riley's hock joint back to normal.  Dr. GOG has handled more racing greyhound orthopedic cases than anyone and it is generally agreed that he is the all mighty expert on the subject.  I had been willing to do surgery from the beginning.  Dr. GOG said surgery... it was a no brainer for me.

Off to surgery...