Zen is a 8 year old little guy that I adopted in 2012. He had been at the shelter for a little over two years and spent most of his days jumping up and down on the concrete floor of his kennel (seriously, like 3-4 feet in the air). Several vets explained that he would likely have orthopedic issues later in life as a result, and it looks like that time has finally come, unfortunately.
My boy injured his hip over a year ago now. It took a long time before recovery really started, but along the way he tore the cranial cruciate ligament (canine equivalent to the human ACL) on his right hind leg. At this point he can barely weight the leg, and conservative management has shown zero improvement in function. At his last evaluation, the veterinarian recommended surgery to repair the ligament.
Zen is my world. He is the first dog that I adopted as an adult, after working with him at the shelter for many months. He's come so far from his over-excited days in the overstimulating environment of the shelter. Today he's a happy, playful pup who loves affection, and gets super excited to play with other dogs. Seeing him have to stay quiet and not be able to play is absolutely devastating. His welfare and quality of life are the most important things to me, and that's why I am desperate to get this surgery done to repair his leg.
Multiple vets have recommended, and the medical literature supports, having TPLO or TTA surgery done on the knee to repair the ligament in order to ensure best possible outcome and a dog that can run and play again. That surgery is prohibitively expensive for me and Zen, and that's why I'm reaching out for help. I'm not generally the type to ask, but my dog's well-being is more important than whatever ego I have.
The funds raised go directly to his surgery, including follow-ups and medication. He will be undergoing extensive physical therapy post-operation, but that part we can manage. His physical therapy team so far has been outstanding, and we look forward to working with them more. There is always a risk in CrCL surgery for a dog that the ligament in the other knee will rupture, but we'll have to deal with that bridge when we get to it. Consistent PT seems to reduce the risk of this significantly.
The only thing I have to offer is the promise that I'll continue to work to help homeless animals. By working with shelters and rescues, and trapping dogs that have been wandering for many months.
Thank you all for your help. Zen and I both send our love.
- Christina Alberico
- Kim Osborne
- David Walker
- MATTHEW SHREIBMAN
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