It was really sad — the vet and I had to put him in a brace, like the ones he spent much of last summer in, except that because we didn’t have the fiberglass “cast” as a base, we wound up using a generic hard plastic brace for support. Since he really doesn’t have a functioning achilles tendon in that leg, it needs support, in large part so he doesn’t blow the other hind leg.
He did pretty well for the first couple of days, but Saturday night we were up at Chuck’s cabin and it was clearly upsetting him. He’s such a good patient in general, that when he starts biting at something like a brace, it means something’s wrong. So I cut it off, and yeah, the hard plastic thing had rubbed a bad sore spot on the inside of his “elbow.” Poor guy.
So I let him go bare-legged until Monday afternoon when the miracle of FedEx brought us a new, improved, fixed-up “leg.” As I carried the package into the house I said, “hey Owie, want me to put your leg on?” He’s so funny, he’ll roll right over and hold up his wobbly leg so I can put his “leg” on:
It does look like a bondage device, but the really exciting thing is that after almost a year of surgeries and braces and bandages and all the rest, Owen’s been in this thing since December. The only reason I had to send it back to Canada is because it’s been so successful that he wore out the velcro straps. This thing has been a lifesaver. Owie can run again, and chase bunnies, and go through the irrigation ditch at Chuck’s cabin. He’s gotten his strength back in his other legs, and I don’t spend all day cringing and hoping he’s not going to hurt himself even more. It does sometimes rub him a little raw, especially behind his hock, but for the most part, it’s been a raging success. Such a success that five days without it was a real problem. If I had the money, I’d buy a spare …
So, if you have an animal with mobility issues, I’d advise you to go off and check out the K-9 Orthotics website (look for the picture of the Llama with the aritficial leg — it’s wild!). They’re really nice, work very fast, and are more than happy to make repairs if needed. Can’t say enough good things about them …. thanks guys!