We have some bad news: Mischa has a partial tear of her ACL (that’s a ligament in your knee).
It happened during out last visit to the farm. Naturally, we had to take a walk around the farm. It was warm. The sun was shining. It was dry. But one of the farm roads has been absurdly muddy, which I didn’t know. I stepped on it first and sunk down to my knee in mud. I screeched (naturally) and Mischa ran over to see what happened. Her back paw also sunk down into the mud. We pulled ourselves out and finished the walk without incident.
But later when we got ready to leave, Mischa stood up and collapsed again. No yelp, no scream, no nothing. She just fell. She then started favoring her back leg.
My knee also felt sprained. But over the next week it felt fine and I was able to use it without complaint. Mischa also seemed better. She stopped favoring her leg. She was fine on walks. She kept playing with her toys. She managed to climb on my furniture with no complaints. Though I noticed after sitting for some time her leg seemed stiff and she would occasionally favor it. By the end of the second week, it was noticeably bothering her. It was time to consult the vet.
Sure enough, an examination revealed a partial tear. The vet prescribed a joint supplement, “petprofen,” and rest. We’re allowed to take a slow walk–on the leash–once a day to get some energy out. (I can confidently tell you that isn’t quite enough for my energetic puppy though. She’s going a little crazy and driving me a little crazy.) If we’re better in two weeks, then it likely healed on its own. If not, we may have to discuss surgery.
I feel awful about it. She doesn’t understand why I won’t let her run around and play. (I assure you she’s punishing me by whining about it.) And I’m frustrated because I feel like I’m not doing enough, which is making me irritated and short-tempered. Then I feel bad about getting angry with her.
I’m hopeful that this will be a temporary setback and she’ll be just fine in a couple weeks. But we had another dog that suffered a total tear in both knees and it definitely changed her entire demeanor. I don’t want that to happen to Mischa.
So now I’m focusing on creative ways to keep her entertained that don’t require walking, running, or jumping. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know. The silver lining is that her tolerance for cuddling has increased significantly. At least that’s something.