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The story of Zoe’s cranial cruciate ligament!




In Muttstown, when it rains, it pours, it cannot be a gentle sweet rain, it has to be a deluge. Maybe I should feel special about it.

It had to happen with Zoe right? Zoe who is the laziest one of the bunch. Her idea of exercise is watching TV on her couch! So, when she started limping and not putting one of her back legs on the floor, and after checking out her paw, I thought maybe the leg felt asleep in the position she was. Some time ago, it happened to me, I was waking up, and suddenly I got that slap on my face: my hand was totally dead and just fell on me like an intruder. Weird feeling ever!

It got worst on Veterans’ Day weekend. I think the mutts refused to read the memo about no emergencies on weekends and Thursdays where my vet doesn’t work. Zoe and I went to the Frederick Animal Emergency Clinic – I could probably drive there blindfolded these days! -, and the news came as a shock: she ruptured her cranial cruciate ligament, and I got these news before with Zeus, so I know the deal! Surgery is the answer: TPLO, and I am not going to go through the details, but at the end, she will not be able to go through security at any airport without screaming metal detectors: she will have a plaque with 6 screws, and if it goes like it did with Zeus, a year later, we had to do the second knee, since once they have the surgery, they have a tendency to favor the good leg which doesn’t stay good for too long!

So here I am again, in my office, while Zoe is resting. It’s the 3rd day after the surgery, and between her morphine patch and the meds, she is mostly out except when it’s meals time. Hey, she is a lab. What do you expect?

But nothing comes easy with Zoe who refuses to go to the bathroom anywhere else than in her own yard… So, the trip back home after the surgery was one to remember. She bloody screamed the whole 30 minutes…. She needed to pee…. She did not go for 24 hours so you can imagine her level of discomfort! But even with that level of discomfort when I took her in the yard on a leash, she looked at me like: “You gotta be kidding! I need my privacy…. Over my dead body that I will pee while you are watching!”, and then she went….. Words, words, words….

How could she have ruptured her ligament is a mystery for me: jumping off the couch? Getting on the couch? Jumping on the couch when it’s meals time?  Another answer that I will never get…. When I talked to my vet about it, her comment was: “Oh man!”….. Yep, you are darn right, I need a break from veterinarians. It’s not that I don’t like them but can I go a month without seeing one, pretty please? That’s my request for Santa this year: a two-month-break!

Zoe cannot be with her siblings, therefore the siblings and the not siblings ones are not happy to see my office’s door closed, and kind of redecorated the exterior of the door with saliva and muddy paws prints. Quite an art work!

And Zoe sleeps…. Sleeps…. Sleeps…. I almost did not put the E-collar on her because she seemed so good, but then I read so many horror stories online that she got it. Better traumatizing her for 15 minutes than having her going after the incision and the staples.

But Zoe being Zoe, she waits to go to the bathroom until it gets extremely uncomfortable for her, and her timing is always in the middle of the night! I can drag her sorry ass outside as often as I can, she won’t do a thing until she can barely hold it. So, yes, 2:20 am and 4:45 were the time where my Zoe decided it was the time!

So far so good though, the incision looks real good, and yes it’s a bit swollen since she did not tolerate well the ice packs, but for the time being, we are on the right path….

Zoe’s Christmas present – I am not sure she is really going to enjoy it – is going to be 10 sessions of treadmill under water…. But the choice of the present is not an option!

So Santa Baby please, the only thing I want for Christmas  are good  health for my girls and for the mutts, and everyone I care for…. Am I getting too greedy? Santa Baby……


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