Good news, sports fans!
Titus had his appointment with the surgeon after that last post and was not diagnosed with a CCL tear after all. The knee actually looked great on X-ray and under sedated manipulation. (His hips also X-rayed well, which wasn’t a current point of concern but is nice to know for the future.)
What didn’t look so great was his reaction to the iliopsis stretch on his right (affected) leg only. Iliopsis strain is the diagnosis with which we walked away. Can’t conclusively say that the CCL is perfect, but with signs pointing elsewhere, I’m giving myself permission to not worry any more about the ligament unless he becomes much lamer again. We’re still looking at a long, tedious rehab with the iliopsis. We’re not looking at surgery, though, which means I’m not worrying about whether he’ll chew out his sutures when I’m not looking or do something stupid before the bone is sufficiently healed. That’s a huge weight off my shoulders.
What does this mean for us functionally? Titus won’t be hiking mountains any time soon, but he’s allowed to go on good-terrain leash walks “to tolerance.” So I’ve started carrying him up the short steep hill to the rail trail and we’ve resumed ambling down it for gradually increasing distance and time. We have plans to do a little car camping in two weeks (which can actually happen, because no fresh sutures!) and I’m hopeful that he’ll be ready to navigate some flat, easy trails by then. We’re continuing to work on our handling skills and on a forefoot and a hindfoot target. He also has an appointment with a rehab vet in two weeks (and a recheck with the surgeon the week after that). We have the technology! We can rebuild him…faster and stronger!
He’s thrilled to be out again, seeing and sniffing new things, and has been a pretty great sport about taking it easy. That in turn makes it easier for me to trust him and thus take him out and about to do rehab-friendly activities. (He’s going to a polo game on Sunday – wish us luck!) Having a muscle-strain diagnosis is much better for my brain than picturing the ligament shredding away with every step he takes. I know this isn’t rational, but it’s true. So all in all, I’m about as happy with the prospect of an extended recovery as I could possibly be.
Lilo is also getting an adventure this weekend. I’m heading up Mt. Washington on Saturday with a crew for the Hike for Mental Health. I didn’t get my act together enough to fundraise, but our group is here; please consider throwing a few bucks their way if this is a cause as close to your heart as it is to mine. We’re getting an early enough start to beat the heat on the ascent, so Lilo will be tagging along. Unless the forecast shifts, that is. Pit bulls melt in the rain. I’m feeling a little anxious about the possibility that she’s still having some summer weirds and may refuse to go down trail. But an easy-paced group including some other dogs is a good set-up for success, the crew has assured me they won’t think less of us if she doesn’t wanna, and I can always drive up and meet them on top if need be. It’s not my favorite approach to a mountain, but in this situation, I’m grateful to have the option.
I’ll tell y’all how it went next week and also share Titus’s Wisdom Panel results. Have a good weekend!