Cow’s Journey: Choosing the right treatment - The Trupanion Blog
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Cow’s Journey: Choosing the right treatment

This is the second in a three-part series detailing the experience of one pet owner as her beloved dog suffered an unexpected injury. View the first part here.

It was about 2 hours of sitting on uncomfortable plastic chairs, worrying, until the vet came to see us and let us know what was going on. She pulled some xrays up on her computer monitor and started explaining that Cow had obliterated her MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament). Without this ligament in place, her foot bones would all dislocate to the side and her foot would have no stability and be unusable. Her explanation got kind of foggy as I burst into tears upon the word “amputation”.


We were offered a few choices as of what we could do to help Cow. The first option was to cast her leg for 6-8 weeks and see if the tendon would heal on its own… The vet didn’t really recommend that option due to the fact that tendons are notorious for not healing, and since this wasn’t just a rip (it was completely severed) the likelihood of it healing was extremely low. Our second option was to repair her leg. There were a couple different methods of doing so, but both options would put us out nearly $4000. A third option for us would be to amputate her leg… While not ideal (in my mind), it was still an expensive option running in the neighborhood of $2500. Our last option would be to put Cow to sleep. We opted to splint her leg for the night, see our family vet in the morning for a second opinion, and went home with a super drugged up dog in an adorable pink cast.

Our visit with the family vet reiterated our options… But our vet was horrified that the other vet even mentioned putting Cow down over a tendon injury. He promised us we would figure something out and said he would look into a couple options and get back to us the next day. For now, we were in a holding pattern with anti-inflammatory medication, pain medication, and a new cast. Luckily for us, her injury was not a time sensitive one and choosing either to repair her leg or remove it would not be affected by waiting a few weeks.


Our vet got back to us the next morning with wonderful news! We were given the opportunity to be a teaching case for the vet students at Washington State University… And to fix her leg, it would only cost us $2800! Several thousand less than a local surgeon would cost. But then we would have to drive to Pullman, pay for a hotel for a night, and drive hours home with our dog fresh off the operating table. While it was a blessing, it was still going to be a very expensive and stressful option…

To be continued…. [Read Part 1] [Read Part 3]

Follow along as we join Cow and her humans on their journey to recovery. To raise money for Cow’s treatment, they have started fundraising on You can visit the page here to get more updates on Cow’s progress and help them reach their ultimate goal.

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