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Stuck Between A Rock And A Hard Place. We Need To Talk


On Friday I took Sherman to see the orthopedic surgeon so that we could discuss what’s going on with his knee and come up with a game plan.

My plan was to go there. Meet the surgeon. Discuss the surgery and discuss my concerns.

To be honest, Sherman hasn’t been doing very well over the past few weeks with his knee. The limping got pretty bad, and Sherman was having a rough go of it. I started to question the stability of his left knee.

Last week however he made a huge turn around. The flapping sound from the meniscus that I was hearing stopped and a few days later Sherman’s limping decreased tremendously. He had some pep back in his step again and for the first time in months he wanted to go for a short walk. soo we did. We walked for about 5 minutes and Sherman’s tail wagged the whole time.

It was good to see.

However, I still had my concerns.

Which was why I was eager to meet with the specialist and talk.

And talk we did. In depth.

We talked about the repair that Sherman would need on his knee and we talked about the complications. The complications being his left cruciate blowing. It’s a HUGE concern.

We take a risk either way.

We do the surgery and the left cruciate blows down the road or worse, it tears as the right knee is healing, which is bad news.

But we risk the left cruciate tearing if we don’t do the surgery too and then you have bad news that way too.

We talked about Sherman’s age. He’s no Spring chicken and he already has DJD.

Then we discussed the spontaneous pneumothorax that Sherman experienced last year. That discussion caught me off guard because the specialist was the one who brought it up.

The surgeon explained that it’s a concern because we don’t know why it happened and if it will happen again and when he’s put under anesthesia how are his lungs going to react? His lungs look good right now, but everything changes under anesthesia so the surgeon said its a valid concern, but he would still perform the surgery.

Then we discussed Sherman’s recovery.


Sherman is………….how do I want to say this…………..a furry stress ball. He gets very easily stressed and the concern is how much toll will this take on him? And could that stress wreak havoc on his body, and maybe even produce pneumothorax again? Nobody knows.


And don’t even get me started on my gut feeling.

Whoops….too late.

Every single gut instinct in me is telling me not to have the surgery done, and its a strong gut feeling.

They’re telling me that if I put Sherman through this surgery, it is the beginning of the end for him.

And the powers up above are giving me signs too.

I mean just look at how this all has played out so far.

Cruciate tore in December. Surgery set. Pneumothorax a week later. Surgery cancelled.

Sherman gets lots of rest for several months. Chest is clear. Knee stable.

Mensicus tears. Surgery set. I have an incident at my work 2 days before the surgery. Surgery cancelled.

Are the powers that be trying to tell me something?

The instincts tell me yes. The brain tells me no.

I want someone to tell me what to do.

The vet told me we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place and its ultimately my decision.

I know it’s my decision, it’s just one of those hard ones.

After spending the weekend talking with my husband about it, we’re about 85% sure we are NOT going to do the repair and opt for conservative management which will include hydrotherapy that begins next. We know Sherman best and we honestly think this will be the best course of action for him, but I’m hoping maybe you could shed some light on this situation by your experiences, or hell, even what your gut instincts are telling you. Or if I’m just out of my mind?

**I should of added this somewhere in the post but I forgot. Sherman is weight bearing on his right knee, he is not holding it up or toe touching. He walks very well and most of the time will only limp when he gets up from sleeping. I’ll have to get a video for you one of these days. 






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Cathy Bennett

Friday 20th of September 2013

Hey Jen, I can't begin to imagine what you're going through, and my heart goes out to you and Sherman. I would tell you to go with your gut girl. You know better than anyone what he can handle. You're in our thoughts.


Friday 20th of September 2013

Thanks so much Cathy.

We're gonna hold on the surgery for now, again. Try some of the other things and hope for the best. If it fails we still have the option of the surgery. I feel more comfortable with that and I think it what is best right now for Sherman. Paws crossed :)

Betsy Saul

Friday 20th of September 2013

have you investigated cold laser therapy?


Friday 20th of September 2013

Hi Betsy- Yes, we're actually doing the cold laser therapy before the meniscus tore. We might go back to that along with the hydrotherapy.

Jana Rade

Friday 20th of September 2013

So sorry you're in such a tough spot. If the meniscus wasn't bad, there would be the stifle brace solution. I don't know how much good it would do with the damaged meniscus. But it's worth of asking about it.


Friday 20th of September 2013

I know. The meniscus just messed this all up! I've read some of the studies about the meniscus and I talked to the vet about it. I thought that maybe since I couldn't hear the flapping anymore that it might of tore but he said it mostly just got spongy and that's why I can't hear it. I was told over time it might just tear off on its own, but it could take awhile. Sherman's not limping nearly as much as he was when it first tore so that's good.


Thursday 19th of September 2013

I tend to listen closely to my gut feelings when it comes to my dogs health. So, I'd lean the same way as you. Plus, you can always do the surgery in the future if needed, so deciding on conservative care doesn't mean that you can't change your mind later. Just my 2 cents on a tough decision...


Friday 20th of September 2013

Thank you KB. I guess in a way I felt pressured to do the surgery now, not by anyone but myself. After talking out I feel better about waiting and if it needs to be done than it needs to be done.

joann stancer

Wednesday 18th of September 2013

Go with your gut. I am a vet tech for over 20 yes. You have some time to decide. If he was none weight bearing I would say do it now but since he is weight bearing and only limps now and then you have time. Is he on a glucosamide? That will help his joints out. Good luck to you and Sherman.


Wednesday 18th of September 2013

Hi Joann,

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input and WOW! a vet tech for over 20 years! That is great! Yeah...Sherman is weight bearing, like full weight bearing. He can lift his left leg to pee and put all the pressure on his right. I watch him do it all the time and sometimes it's a bit shaky but the last few weeks it looks stable. He even jumped on me today and I almost had heart failure. He hasn't done that in months. He is on loads of glucosamine and I was giving him Adequan injections, then it went on backorder and now I'm thinking of starting back up again. We're going to try a few other things to and keep our fingers crossed.

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