Car Guy guessed from my Sunday Kipling post and some of you may have as well. Angus has had a bit of a set back. I've been holding off on this post until I knew more.
In desperation we went to a different vet for a second opinion. He did an exam and took an X-Ray (something our regular vet didn't do). After looking at it he was of the opinion that 2 of the screws had developed infection in the screw pockets in the bone. He sent the X-Rays off to our surgeon and did a phone consultation with him last Friday. His recommendation (and the request of the surgeon) was a visit back at the surgical facility where the original repair was done. We set the appointment for this morning in Las Vegas.
We met with Angus' surgeon. He'd reviewed the X-Rays and examined his leg. His opinion was that the plate needs to come out. He talked about bacteria forming biotic film (if I understood and got that right) that protects the infection from the full strength of the antibiotics. Bacteria that can develop immunity. He told us that the plate was no longer necessary and that the leg was healed and strong enough to support him without it. His words were to the effect that if he needed that plate for structural support we were all screwed anyway. The purpose of the plate was strength and stability in the healing process and was not necessarily permanent. We could continue to try antibiotics but he held out little hope that such would be efficacious. The plate needed to come out.
This is something we discussed before the original surgery. The idea that the plate may one day have to be removed. It was hoped not but always understood that it was a possibility. We hate to subject Angus to another surgery but Lu and I are now convinced that the only way to permanently resolve his infection issues is to remove that plate so that's where we are.
We have a surgical appointment next Tuesday morning at 7 AM. They'll do the surgery and keep Angus overnight. Lu and I will spend the night down there and bring home sometime on Wednesday. Hopefully. If all goes as planned.
In my heart I know this is the proper course to take for Angus. His leg will never heal properly if he's constantly battling infections. Plus it pains and distresses him. His limp comes out when the infection is at it's worse and he even tripods at times. Occasionally he'll yelp when he pivots or stops hard. Throw in the possibility of him developing an antibiotic immune infection and our choices are limited. We can keep on as we have been or try for a fix. Leaving him in pain and risking his life to an infection we can't fight is clearly unacceptable. The surgeon indicates that this is nothing at all like the original operation. He'll be a little sore and may have a significant incision (depending on how difficult the plate is to remove) but overall it's not a risky procedure. But. Well, we all know that one don't we?
Please keep our little man in your thoughts and well wishes. He's a strong dog and a fighter but this one is beyond what he can directly control. He's come so far and done so well. My fears are controlling me at the moment. I probably won't be around much until next Wednesday.
Thank you all.