Lately, Jaida's mums are talking a lot about things like surgeries and prosthetics.
We're ready for Jaida's surgery (as ready as we'll ever be) and are anxious to get our family over this hurdle and help Jaida carry on with her newfound "official" three-legged-ness.
We sent a bunch of pictures and videos to K-9 Orthotics, who has been consulting with our vet, Dr. Sparling, throughout this process. Jeff (the fellow at K9P) needed to get a feel for Jaida's range of motion: how much she was able to move her joints. Here are the video clips we sent:
(careful-she starts to bark at a car horn right at the end...so turn the volume down!)
You can see how flexible her shoulder is, and how little the elbow is able to bend. Jeff has recommended amputation at the elbow if we decide to proceed with the prosthesis. Dr. Sparling has recommended the same. So, it sounds like a prosthesis is definitely an option for Jaida. The thing is, we still haven't decided whether or not a prosthetic device is the BEST option for Jaida.
We still have a lot of questions about how Jaida's life will/could be improved if she gets a prosthesis. Things like: will it reduce the wear on her good leg? Can she muck around in mud puddles and creeks and snow while wearing it? What is it made of? Can she chew it up? Will it be easy to take on and off? Will she be able to be more active for longer periods of time with it on? Aesthetics have never been a factor for us. She's gorgeous now with her scrunchy little dangly club foot, and she'll be gorgeous with three legs or three-and-a-half legs. We just want her to be healthy and happy.
We have an on-line friend, Sandra, who has a pup named Angel. Angel had a stump for a front leg when Sandra adopted her. Recently, we found out that Sandra had Angel fitted for a prosthetic, through OrthoPets, and that it will be arriving any day now. Our family is anxiously awaiting pictures and stories of Angel and her new leg...it might help us make our decision about Jaida.
We're going to book the surgery for mid-June, if all goes according to plan, and Jaida will have either a full (entire arm, including shoulder) or partial (from the elbow down) amputation, depending on what we decide to do with the prosthesis. It's definitely not easy to make decisions like this, but I know that Kim and I will make the right one.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007