dog's pain after meniscus removal?
Hi -- I'm completely new here -- I hope I'm doing this right! To start, my question is: can a dog live comfortably without their meniscus? My 5 1/2 year old Labrador, Bridie, is scheduled to have meniscus surgery (removal) on Feb. 11th, and I am terrified that her pain is going to be worse after the surgery than it is now. I can't imagine a dog being able to walk without severe pain with no cushioning in their knee. She had ACL surgery on this leg one year ago, and at that time the vet said her meniscus was fine. I was very careful during the recuperation, and everything seemed to be going beautifully till she began holding her leg in the air and hopping as she had before the surgery. I took her to the vet several times over the last six months but each time she said nothing was wrong with the surgery, and sent me home. Finally the vet started her on Prednisone, thinking it was some kind of inflammation. For six weeks (up until a few days ago) she was on Prednisone, responding well but relapsing each time we tried to taper it off. Now the vet is almost positive she has a damaged meniscus, and has scheduled Bridie for surgery.
In the meantime, I can hardly bear the thought of putting her through another surgery. Now that the Prednisone is completely out of her body, she seems almost fine some of the time, and I wonder whether the Prednisone actually helped, and she may continue to get better on her own. Then again she looks very low, holding her leg in the air, and is obviously NOT fine. I'll see how she does over the next week. I keep hoping for a miracle, but I don't think there's going to be one. The vet said today that if she can get better without surgery, that is certainly the best. But she said that in the case of surgery, the pain of being left without a meniscus is much less than the pain of having broken pieces of meniscus in there.
Has anyone had experience with this, who can reassure me (or not) that Bridie could live happily after having a meniscus removed? Thanks so very much -- (I hope I can find my way back to this forum after I turn off the computer. As I say, I am totally new at this.)