Tango's broken leg...
Sunday, May 6, 2007 - About 9 o'clock, I was in our bedroom cleaning the carpet when I heard the most horrendous, blood-curdling cry you can ever imagine coming from the living room. I came running to find Tango sitting next to the fireplace with his left front leg hanging. Tango and Nugget had been playing. All Dave and I can think of is that Tango was sitting or standing near the fire place hearth (which is four bricks high) and Nugget must have body slammed him into the hearth breaking his leg. I didn't take time to take a photo of the leg before we rushed off to the emergency vet, but here is a picture of the x-ray.
Dave took this photo of the x-ray while I held it up to one of the windows in our living room. The emergency vet, Dr. Peck, gave Tango a shot of morphine, temporarily set his leg, and sent us home. Sunday night was probably the longest night of my life. Tango cried all night long! Dr. Peck said the pain medication should get him thru the night but the crying started about 1:30 am. I sat up with my legs out in a "V" and Tango was between them with his head on my lap. If I rubbed his face, his breathing would slow down and the crying would stop. If I tried to sleep, even tho I kept a hand on him, he would start almost hyper-ventilating and crying. Needless to say he has me trained very well.
Monday, May 7, 2007 - Monday morning we went to see our regular vet, Dr. Lynch, who we found out is on vacation in Hawaii for two weeks. Dr. Klabunde referred us to another vet for surgery, Dr. Tom Mertaugh of the Animal Medical Center. But before we left, she gave Tango an injection of a pretty strong pain killer. When I got home from work Monday afternoon, he came bounding to greet me at the door. That night he was practically bouncing off the walls as he felt nothing! It was another very long night as we were afraid Tango would jump off the bed and therefore neither of us slept much. We didn't want him crated as we were afraid he might hit his leg on the crate and do more damage. Not to mention with his leg in the temporary cast, he is not able to curl up as before and there is not room to stretch out in the crate with the cast on.
The bruising started to show by Monday night. This is at the top of the cast under his arm.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007 - The surgery was scheduled for Tuesday morning by Dr. Mertaugh but he didn't get to Tango until 4:30 in the afternoon. Naturally I was at work all day but could not concentrate on anything. Dr. Mertaugh called Tuesday night about 7:30 to say the surgery was a success. Tango would have stay the night but he could come home first thing in the morning. Another night of no sleep...
Wednesday, May 9, 2007 - We picked Tango up Wednesday about 8:30 am. Thank goodness Dave works from home. I could not imagine leaving him alone. It was hard enough to leave knowing Dave was with him all day. Is this a pitiful little face or what?
This is called an external fixator. It looks just like the one Mom had a couple of years ago when she broke her wrist. Tango will wear this for the next 8-12 weeks.
He is walking on the leg now and we will gradually increase the amount of exercise he gets. There is no running, jumping, or jarring allowed at this time. This is not an easy task for a Beezer! Every time we go outside to potty he tries to catch bugs!
Thursday, May 10, 2007 - How is this for a comfortable sleeping position...his hind leg is resting on the fixator...OUCH!
The leg is swollen but looks nice and straight! So far, so good! Tango seems very comfortable putting some weight on the leg while walking around inside the house. Outside he doesn't put much weight on it. That's a good thing!
Saturday, May 12, 2007 - I finally made it over to Dr. Mertaugh's office this morning to take a photo of the "repaired" x-ray. This is just amazing to me!
Monday, May 14, 2007 - Deb, Holly and Sue from Fremont Insurance Company sent Tango a ducky to play with while he recuperates. Unfortunately, Tango tosses him up into the air and jumps up to catch him. Needless to say, we had to take Mr. Ducky away.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - This photo is taken one week after the surgery. The swelling seems to have gone down considerably and the bruising is all but gone. Tango is getting very restless and wants to play. Keeping him entertained and not active is quite a chore. He goes back to Dr. Mertaugh in the morning.
Thursday, May 17, 2007 - Good news from Dr. Mertaugh...Tango's leg is doing very well! He was very pleased! We can start going for short walks and we got the ok to enroll in an obedience class to give him something to do. A bored Beezer is not a good thing. The following picture was taken after only an hour on his own...But it's still pretty comfy!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - Two weeks post surgery...
We had a little set back yesterday on his birthday...Tango was outside in the dog yard on his own for the first time since this happened. Since he jumps after bugs and I'm always leery of critters wandering by, we have always gone outside with him. But it was 9:30 in the morning so I let him outside alone. Big mistake! I was washing dishes when I saw him running, full extension, across the yard. I ran outside to see the white tip of a tail (deer tail) making it's way thru the trees. Ever since then, Tango has been limping more and spending more time in his crate. And, he also decided to take his stitches out! I called Dr. Mertaugh but since the swelling is no worse (I actually think it has gone down even more from a week ago) and we have our regularly scheduled appointment on Thursday, he said it is ok to wait. Fingers crossed!
Thursday, May 24, 2007 - So far; so good! Tango went back to see Dr. Mertaugh today. Dr. Mertaugh was very pleased with Tango's progress. He tightened the pins and said we did not have to come back for two weeks!
Saturday, May 26, 2007 - We took Tango with us to the dog show this weekend. He got a new bed and we opened out the couch in the motorhome for him sleep on. He was a pretty happy Beezer!
May 30, 2007 - Three weeks post surgery...
I'm a little concerned about the coloring right where the break is. It just appeared yesterday. Tango does not have another appointment until a week from tomorrow. I will be calling Dr. Mertaugh tomorrow!
Thursday, May 31, 2007 - Dave took Tango in to see Dr. Mertaugh this afternoon. The coloring is from a callous and is all part of the normal healing process. What a relief! Now we don't go back for two weeks.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - Four weeks post surgery (he broke his leg one month ago tonight)...
The color change from the callous seems to be getting more intense and there is a ridge at the point of break that is definitely getting more obvious. Tango is really getting bored. Thank goodness for our walks every morning. They have become quite adventurous. Ever since he started lure coursing, his prey drive has really increased. Anything that moves is of great interest these days. That could be a branch moving in the wind, a stone I accidentally kick, or a car that drives by. I have also determined there is way too much wild life in our driveway. We have a chipmunk that loves to torment him. The chipmunk runs between two trees whenever he see us coming. And we have a young deer that comes to visit us often. I half expect her to walk with us one of these mornings. I really need to take the camera with me but I'm not sure I could control Tango and hold a camera!
The boredom is really getting to him. We have lost another dog bed!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - Five weeks post surgery...
I think it looks great, considering! We walk twice a day up and down our 850' driveway. Tango puts weight on the leg most of the time. When he does "skip" I say the word skip and now he skips on command. Dave says I've turned him into a pansy. We are just starting to venture out on longer walks but I don't want to push him too hard. It is very obvious that walking on pavement is much more uncomfortable. So we try to stick to grass whenever possible. He goes back to Dr. Mertaugh next week for another x-ray. I can't wait to hear what he has to say.
Wednesday, June 20, 2006 - Six weeks post surgery...
This is the only thing that bothers me...
Tango goes back in for an x-ray tomorrow!
Thursday, June 21, 2007 - This morning Tango had his first encounter with a buck...a big buck. To begin with I went to the dentist late yesterday afternoon and didn’t sleep very well last night. When the alarm went off at 6 this morning I was, to say the least, in a fog. I opened the back door to let Dixie and Tango out. We got half way across the yard before any of us noticed the buck standing just outside the fence. He was huge!! I think we startled him as much as he startled us because he didn’t even raise his head up until Tango was lifting his leg peeing literally just a few feet away from him… At that moment, the buck leaped over the tall grass and ran down the hill into the woody area behind the house. Dave mows about six feet of grass behind the fence line. The buck was inside that six foot area. Tango being the Beezer that he is sprang straight up into the air and let out a hound cry that would and certainly could wake the dead. All four legs curled up under his body, neck arched, ears up. He was gorgeous! But I suddenly realized that I could see about a foot of air space under his body and above our six foot fence! I have never been so amazed and horrified at the same time. He came down on three legs and ran (RAN) to the other end of the fence line and sprung up in the air again. He must have done that four or fives times. I finally came into the house and grabbed a kennel lead to nab him. My heart still pounds when I think about what he could have done to his leg. But I’m just amazed at the grace and beauty of this breed! I am soooo glad his vet appointment is after this incident. It was scheduled for this morning but was cancelled. An emergency broken leg came in. Guess I can understand how important that surgery would be! His appointment is re-scheduled for tomorrow.
Friday, June 22, 2007 - Dave took Tango in to the see Dr. Mertaugh this morning. Dr. Mertaugh took new x-rays of Tango's leg and we have this photo... It is healing beautifully!
He also removed the top pin from Tango's leg. He just unscrewed it and pulled it out!<ouch> The pin was becoming loose inside the bone. If you look closely at the x-ray above you can see that. The bottom pin, being all the way thru the bone needed to be supported so Dr. Mertaugh added a cross pin. This is the new fixator design. Tango seems much more comfortable in this set-up. Unfortunately that means he is trying to play more...
Tango will wear this for the next four weeks. The hole that I was worried about before on the outside top should fill in quickly now. I actually like the thought of this being able to close up before the entire fixator is removed.
Saturday, June 23, 2007 - We took Tango to the Civic Center for a walk this afternoon. The track around the entire place is just over a mile and that is still a little much for him so we cut thru the center where the baseball diamonds are. That was not a wise idea as the games had just gotten over and there was food everywhere. And where there is food in TC, there are sea gulls! Did you know that to a Beezer sea gulls are white-winged bunnies in the sky? Tango started leaping and bounding upward. He jumped, twisted and landed on Dave. The fixator caught on Dave’s jeans, didn't ripped them, but made a 2” scratch on his leg. You can only imagine what that did to my boy! He screamed almost as hard and long as when he broke the leg. It really must have hurt him. However, that being said I will tell you he knows how and when to turn it on. Everyone came running and of course he really turned it up a notch at that point. I debated carrying him back to the car, but Dave thought we should see if he would walk. He hopped on three legs and cried until all the people went away. He looked around and saw no one was there watching him and started walking on all four legs and quit crying! We stopped for ice cream on the way home. And he turned it on again. When he got out at the ice cream place he walked up on all four, saw all the people and immediately went to hopping on three and whimpering! This breed is really too smart for their own good!!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - Seven weeks post surgery...
The hole is filling in much faster than I thought based on just a week ago. I sure like the idea of the hole in the bone having a chance to fill in before the entire fixator comes off.
Thursday, June 28, 2007 - We had a rather interesting morning walk. Before I begin I have to say that Tango and I did not enroll in obedience class as originally planned when I got the OK from Dr. Mertaugh. I realized that he was not sitting straight and it is next to impossible to correct that with the fixator on his leg. And hoping that someday he may compete, I thought it best not to work on healing at this point in time. We do, however, practice our “watch me” commands in the house, in the driveway, and on our walks. He has gotten very good at just looking up at me on his own and BOY do I reward that! So this evening while he and I were taking our nightly walk down the driveway, I spotted a bunny playing 10-15 feet off to the side of the driveway. Panic literally fell over me! If my idiot leaps into the sky after white-winged bunnies (sea gulls as they are known to non-hound owners) what the heck would he do when seeing the real thing…? I reached into my pocket and pulled out as many hotdog chips as I had, said “Ready!” and voila! He looked up into my eyed as I stuffed the food into his mouth and we marched right past Mr. Bunny with Tango not being the wiser!
Friday, June 29, 2007 - Look how much it has filled in. The top pin was removed just one week ago today. And just days since the photo above was taken.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007 - Eight weeks post surgery. I can't believe Tango has been in this thing for eight weeks!!
Thursday, July 5, 2007 - When I took Tango for his walk down the driveway this evening, we had another interesting adventure. We were about half way down when a mama deer and fawn crossed the driveway very close to the road, maybe 400’ or so in front of us. Tango was very good. He just watched them. He actually sat and watched them! They seemed to run off into the trees on the right so I figured we were safe in continuing our walk up to the road. We got almost to the end of the driveway near the road, within a few feet of where the deer crossed the driveway when I heard some rustling off to the left. Next thing I know another baby comes leaping out from the trees just feet away from us. This little guy was no taller than Tango and full of spots. He was just adorable. Tango immediately went into a play bow! You could see the panic on the baby’s face. I don’t think deer play bow to each other! He tried to run by us but idiot boy was bounding from side to side coaxing him to play. Next thing I know mom comes back! I was able to move Tango off to one side so the baby could get by and he and mama ran off…
Friday, July 6, 2007 - This is two weeks since the pin was remove. You can hardly even tell where it was!
Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - Nine weeks post surgery...
Friday, July 13, 2007 - I thought we were past this kind of boredom but I guess I was wrong. Dave had to take Dixie in to see Dr. Lynch for a V.O.M. treatment and when he got home, this is what Tango had been up to...
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 - Ten weeks post surgery...
If all goes well, the fixator could come off tomorrow!
Thursday, July 19, 2007 - Today was a great day! Tango got the fixator removed!! Here is an x-ray taken today. If you look very closely you can just barely see where the first pin that was removed almost a month ago (June 22nd) was. The bone has almost completely filled in.
Finally a photo of Tango and Dr. Mertaugh.
We took photos of his leg tonight but it was late by the time we got around to it and the photos turned out dark so we will take more in the morning.
Friday, July 20, 2007 - Photos of Tango's leg without the fixator! You can just barely see where the first pin was removed.
Sunday, July 22, 2007 - Tango and Piper went swimming today. It's supposed to be the best exercise for Tango so we went down to the bay. The air temperature was 76 degrees and the water temp was 60! He was a little cold when he got out of the water but he sure had fun!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007 - Eleven weeks post surgery...
Friday, July 27, 2007 - One week post fixator removal!
Tango has been limping quite a bit since the fixator was removed. We have been very worried. Talking with Dr. Mertaugh, we really watched Tango's activity level and put him on more crate rest. Since he had an appointment with Dr. Lynch today for a V.O.M. treatment, Dave asked him to check out Tango's leg. After more x-rays and palpating the leg, Dr. Lynch said the limping was not related to the fracture but instead, Tango has some Panosteitis going on in his upper arm.
These are photos of Tango's x-rays taken with Dave's cell phone...
Sunday, July 29, 2007 - Tango and Dave get their photo in the local newspaper. Check here to read "Heroic Measures."
Tuesday, July 31, 2007 - Oops...I can't believe we forgot to get photos this week!
Thursday, August 2, 2007 - Two weeks post fixator removal...
Tuesday, August 7, 2007 - Thirteen weeks post surgery...
Saturday and Sunday, September 15 - 16, 2007 - After much discussion with veterinarians who understand what lure coursing is all about and a very specific conditioning program, just four months and one week after breaking his leg, Tango ran in an AKC Lure Coursing Test and passed the JC (Junior Courser) test! Unfortunately, I have no photos of him running as Dave was not with us that weekend.
Sunday, September 23, 2007 - One week later Tango ran for his ASFA (American Sighthounds Field Association) certification and we have the following photos.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007 - Six months after breaking his leg, Tango is good as new!
May 6, 2008 - Exactly one year after the accident...
October 10, 2009 - Tango earned his ASFA Field Championship exactly two years after running in his first trial.