Thursday, December 29, 2011

Million Dollar Baby

"I'm worth every penny."

Well, it is no secret that we have spent a lot of money on Riley Greyhound's medical bills this year.  Hock surgery, six times on the table for x-rays, splint changes, and K-laser treatments really start to add up after awhile.  I don't think even Katie's bills for treatment and rehab for paralysis back in 2007 exceeded the bills of our Million Dollar Baby... okay, so I am exaggerating a little... a lot.  But Million Dollar sounds better than the actual figure.
So to add more insult to our injured bank account, the Million Dollar Baby gets a stupid puncture.  I have no idea what caused the wound, but it was very painful and thankfully bled generously (bleeding helps to flush it out).  I do not rush out for antibiotics very often, but thought it would be wise for this one.  Otherwise, I treated the wound myself.  I kept it clean, soaked it in diluted chlorhexiderm, and gave her the prescribed antibiotics.  The bright side is that she punctured her RIGHT hind foot.  With a surgical screw on the left hock, I would have been sick with worry if she was limping on the left. 
Well, it has been 13 days and the stupid hole is still there!  And it is still draining periodically and occasionally she limps.  Most of the time she is sound, but sometimes limps after she jogs a couple of miles, runs agility, or plays fetch... but only sometimes.  So I started to worry that maybe there was something foreign inside the hole.  I took her to the vet and we x-rayed it. Dr. C was concerned that maybe the joint was damaged, but nothing on the x-ray suggested any kind of joint damage or foreign body. 

Riley's bone structure is a little funny looking though, so we compared it to some of her July right hock x-rays (taken to compare to the fractured hock).  The top of her foot just happened to be included in the picture so we were able to compare it to today's x-ray.  All was the same and normal for Riley (thank goodness for that hock fracture, right?). 
Dr. C finished up by culturing the fluid coming from Riley's puncture and started her on a different antibiotic while we await the results. I will continue with the chlorhexiderm soaks.  Luckily, she is sound 95% of the time so he thought it was fine to continue to do what we do.  Thank goodness because Riley's return to agility trials is a week away!  Another couple hundred dollars for our Million Dollar Baby and my fingers are crossed that the new antibiotic will do the trick.  I hope Year 2012 is a cheap year for vet bills, but I love my Million Dollar Baby anyway.