Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Blown ACL

So Sputnik went back in to the veterinarian's this week to check on his lame hind quarter. X-rays were taken and it's been confirmed (a process of elimination, since his x-rays are normal) that he has a ruptured ACL. Treatment for this can vary, but there is a case to be made for letting it heal with time and controlled, gentle exercise.  

But one thing that has been hampering his recovery has been our hardwood floors. Ever since his injury he's become more scared of being on the wood, and has seemed much more likely to slip and have his bad leg splay out from under him, injuring him all over again. It's happened several times, and each time it scares me to death and puts him back in a significant amount of pain.  

Ramping up.

Outdoors, he is fine unless he has to jump up on anything, but our back patio has a one-step rise (which we have decided to get rid of, because we've all tripped or fell off it in the last year).  For now, the best solution for that is a ramp, which Big Ag built for his best buddy this weekend (the dog not me lol).  It took awhile, but Sputnik is now using it and seems comfortable on it. We placed a towel over it to provide even more traction, which helps.

But so in order to find him some relief indoors, I did an internet in search for things that could make his life easier.  So often we use the world inside of our computer to watch funny videos or chuckle over clever sports memes, but the fact is, the internet has changed our lives in terms of the education it can provide when an immediate need presents itself, as it did here.

I finally found some dog booties  called "Grippers," which provide dogs with indoor traction on wood or tile floors, which are made by a company in Canada.  
Sputnik sunbathes in his new fashion footwear.

Yesterday the Grippers arrived, I put them on Sputnik's rear feet, and ... he immediately started running across the floor again, without any difficulty.  I couldn't believe it.  Now he's moving all over the house once again with no limits as to where he can and can't go because of his slipping issues. It's too early to tell, but his new shoes may save him from more re-injury and even future surgeries. We shall see.

I was frankly stunned that he accepted them so quickly, but I think dogs are a lot more intelligent than we give them credit for.  Once he felt the shoes gripping the floor in a way his feet couldn't, he realized they were a good thing.  There's been no chewing on them or taking them off; he just acts as if they are an extension of his own little paws. If he's going to be outdoors for an extended period of time, I take them off, but inside they are a mandatory-wear item.

Needless to say, I will be ordering another pair of these little socks/booties, in case he ever needs a spare set.

I'm all for living the simple life, but if an internet company can come up with a high-tech solution to a problem I'm having for a decent price, I will happily come into the 21st Century and enjoy the benefits.  For Sputnik's health and well-being its definitely worth it  as well as my own peace of mind.


  1. Haha I swear my jaw actually dropped when I read that 1) he'll wear them and keep them on and 2) they work! I am so glad to read this. My house is all wood and ceramic tile. My last dog had trouble all along with the floors. So far, Barbie is unphased, but I know this often changes as dogs get older. Sputnik, which by the way-I love that name, how did you choose that?, looks adorable in his shoes! Wishing him a speedy recovery. I always laugh when I remember a story one of my clients told me about bringing a priceless Persian rug, collected in Iran, to the boarding facility for her dog while she was away because it's his favorite place to sleep at home! Sometimes our pets need us to go above and beyond for them. Sputnik is lucky to have such an adoring family.

    1. Thanks for the good wishes and kind words, it really means a lot. Yes, I'd recommend these to anyone who has a dog with slippage issues, Sputnik had no problems until this injury, and now he slips all over the place unless he has the booties on. At least if Barbie ever develops the same issues as your other dog, there are good options out there other than installing walk-to-wall carpet! As far as his name goes, I called him Sputnik because the word means, "traveling companion," and he certainly is that to me. Wherever I am, he's there, just like a little satellite!

  2. Great too see you found the booties for Sputnik! I too am amazed that he keeps them on, but like you said, sometimes we don't give them enough credit.

    Hope Sputnik heals quickly.

    1. Thanks Molly! He is getting around a bit better, so I'm hoping that if he does not make a complete recovery, maybe he'll make a 90 percent one -- as long as he's not in pain, I will be happy.