Knowing that large dogs are prone to this injury, I did everything possible to prevent it and keep her safe and healthy. We still have no idea what happened, but suspect she's been in pain for a long time, she just never showed it until the ligament fully ripped. Even now she only yelps if she gets excited and tries to move quickly, but I can tell she's hurting because she seems really sad, like she doesn't know why she hurts so much.
If you've gone through this with your dog, you know it's a major surgery. Due to the stress of the surgery and muscle loss/post-op healing, one leg is done first and then the second can be done about 6 weeks later. After surgery she has to be kept completely confined, only on leash to go outside and then back on bed rest, in order for the bone and area to completely heal.
The first surgeon we went to gave us a lower estimate on the surgery cost, but as you might have read from my Facebook post, it was a really stressful experience for both of us, and that's not the best vet for us.
I found a new vet to go to in LA, one that is willing to work with us in terms of her care, and is aware that we are driving down for the surgery.
However, this place, while providing better care, is more expensive, and will be around $5,000 per leg, so we're looking at $10,000 total for both surgeries, including surgery, x-rays, and post-op main medications, although that doesn't include our post-op check ups. (He said he might be able to get me 10% off the 2nd surgery as a two for one deal... fingers crossed!) ;)
I have an appointment for the first surgery next Friday, August 11. These past few weeks, since getting that news, have torn me up. A number of you suggested I crowdfund and at first I wasn't sure. I prefer helping people compared to asking for help, and I know that so many of you spend all your extra cash on your own dogs anyway! But, as most of you know, Michael and I already work as much as we can and don't have any other way of making that much extra cash in such a short amount of time (although I am thinking of having a good ole' fashioned bake sale!!). I already work 12-16 hr days and Michael works as much as he can while going to school full time to get his mechanical engineering degree. He already goes to work at 5am so he can work some before going to school.
The longer we delay the surgery, the more arthritis and scar tissue builds up in the area, in addition to generally degrading the joint, other ligaments and tendons, and meniscus. So it's a surgery that needs to happen sooner rather than later. Right now it's very painful for her, she has a hard time walking and compensates by pulling herself everywhere using her front legs. Already her back leg muscles are starting to atrophy from lack of use.
Riley is such a special girl to us. Michael and I got her while we were on our honeymoon, just a week after we got married. Since then, she's turned into a really exceptional dog, and I have used her as a demo dog for classes and I've used her as a neutral dog in a number of private lessons to help other dogs. She's also an amazing mentor dog and is really gentle and great at teaching the puppies and adolescent dogs that board with me. She has helped so many of your dogs probably in ways you're not fully aware of.
One other thing about Riley that makes her particularly special, for me at least, is that she is an example every day of why positive training works. When people see her on the street or find out I have a Rottweiler, they frequently ask if it's true that "Big dogs need rougher training" or some variation of that. And no, it's not true, and Riley is proof of that. Every day she breaks the stereotypes that big dogs are all vicious or dangerous, or that they require harsher methods to train. And for me, as a trainer, and because I love dogs, that is really important to me.
Believe me, I know this is a lot to ask and would not ask it if we could come up with all the funds ourselves. But please help us out if you can, even sharing this will be a big help. Somehow we'll figure out a way to give back to you as a thanks for helping.
We will be grateful beyond words and so appreciative if we can get Riley all healed up.
Thanks for reading. :)
Becky & Michael Pesicka
- Teah Anders
- Brian&Dee Pesicka
- Raquel Fluxa Moncada
- Jem Graham
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