Montagne needs knee surgery

Hi everybody, my name is Caitlin. My fiancé Josh and I live in NE-PA with our St. Bernard puppy, Montagne. Monty turned 2 in Feb this year and weighs around 175 lbs (give or take a few lol.) It’s crazy to think of everything he's been through - especially in the past 14 months.

In October 2019 he injured his left knee while playing with some friendly pups on vacation. Our primary vet diagnosed Monty with a CCL tear and we started to look for a surgeon who would be able to help us. The first surgeon had to turn us away, as they just didn’t have the equipment and staff to care for a dog of Monty’s size. A relative highly recommended an emergency Vet Hospital in South Jersey, and even though it’s a 3 hour drive, we were desperate enough to take the next available appointment. Luckily, the hospital was equipped for a dog Monty’s size, and just a few days before Thanksgiving 2019, he had TPLO surgery and we were able to bring him home the next day. Monty recovered from his surgery very well, aside from a persistent ear infection that we began to battle.

Right after the New Year, we began to get concerned about his ear infection, and took Monty to his primary vet, and we began treating the infection with ear drops. The drops cleared the infection, but two weeks later, Monty would complain, and we could see the ear infection was back. This went on for six months, and we kept treating the infection with drops. In July 2020 our Vet ran a culture on the bacteria to make a targeted antibiotic plan. The culture came back with normal ear infection bacteria, plus the canine-version of MRSA. Monty started weekly treatments where the Vet would wash his ears with an antibiotic solution, plus he was taking two oral antibiotics daily as well as a supplement to protect his liver.

Because of Monty's size, the antibiotics had to be custom made for him, and we had to find a way to ensure he ate them. Wrestling pills into a 175 lb. St. Bernard is no easy feat, I tell ya! Throughout all these monthly and then weekly appointments, we discovered hip dysplasia, an allergy to poultry, a reaction to sedation medication that looked and seemed like the dreaded bloat, and that Monty REALLY doesn’t like his ears being poked and prodded. Thankfully the ear infection cleared up beautifully by October, and we finally got back our happy, healthy Monty.

Until now! In early December we began to notice a limp, and started giving Monty daily doses of an anti-inflammatory he was prescribed at the beginning of this journey, and also made sure to give him a joint supplement. We called weeks ago and scheduled an appointment with the Surgeon in South Jersey for Dec 15. But then Wednesday night we were watching TV, and he heard an owl hoot on the show. Monty jumped up to check out the TV, and when he stood up, I heard a terrible POP! He went from limping to barely using his right hind leg. We brought him to our vet on Friday who confirmed that he had torn that right CCL. They were able to prescribe some pain medications and anti-inflammatories to get us through until next week when we can see our surgeon, but we already know Monty will need surgery.

Which brings us to why we’re starting this GoFundMe. We were able to financially handle the first surgery by using money we had saved to repair our roof and postponing getting married. And we attempted to save up for a second surgery knowing that injuring the other side was a very real possibility, but the rest of his journey truly wiped us out. Monty's previous surgery was just over $4,000, and that is our goal to raise for this impending surgery. We would truly appreciate any assistance we get to improve this big, sweet boy's quality of life. Every little bit helps and means the world to us. We know what a tough time many people are having during this terrible Pandemic, and we truly wish everyone much happiness, health and gratitude for 2021!

Here's a picture of Monty recovering with some cuddles after his first surgery:


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Caitlin Ekelund 
Hawley, PA
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