A doctor from the veterinarian called me this morning to inform me that Dunkin fractured his foot in the worst possible place possible in terms of healing, and therefore surgery was the suggested resolution. The surgeon told me that we could try a splint instead, and it MIGHT heal, but realistically odds were good that the fracture would not heal with a splint, surgery would be needed several weeks from now, and waiting to have the surgery would lesson the ultimate success rate of the procedure. In other words, Dunkin could end up partially crippled.
Just to fully flesh out our options:
Option A, The Splint: total cost, $600 (which we had already paid at our emergency visit last night) plus 3 to 6 charges of $75 to $150 each time his bandages needed to be changed. Recovery time, 6 to 8 weeks of extremely limited mobility (and therefore lots and lots of sedatives). Scariness factor, moderate.
Option B, The Surgery: total cost, the $600 that we already paid, PLUS and additional $2600 and maybe one or two $75 to $150 bandage change appointments. The surgery involves putting in a bone plate and pins. The surgeon told me that fortunately, Dunkin is close enough to being full grown that the surgery will not need to be redone until Dunkin hits old age and his bones start shifting, at which point sometimes the plate starts to cause discomfort and needs to be adjusted. It's not a certainty but even worst case scenario it's many years away, given the life span of Miniature Pinschers (long - easily 15+ years). After the surgery Dunkin would need to wear bandages for 2 weeks or so, primarily to keep swelling to a minimum. He would still need very restricted mobility, but less so than with the splint, because apparently putting weight on the bone as it heals is crucial to the healing process for this type of fracture (the splint prevents putting weight on the bone). Scariness factor: OFF THE CHARTS, OH MY GOD, MY PRECIOUS BABY JUST WENT UNDER ANASTHESIA LAST NIGHT FOR HIS XRAYS, AND NOW HE HAS TO GO UNDER AGAIN, ALREADY?! MY 6 MONTH OLD BABY WILL HAVE PINS AND A PLATE IN HIS LEG FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE?!?! And oh, holy hell, my freaking bank account is already -$600 thanks to last night, so green lighting this surgery means whipping out my JUST PAID OFF HSBC card and charging $2600, which we will probably still be paying off 3 freaking years from now. And also: We're getting married in a year and a half and so far we have a grand total of $0 saved for that.
Nick and I discussed the options for about three seconds, and then I called the veterinarian and greenlighted the surgery. Because honestly, everything else aside? Dunkin is our baby. I honestly don't think it would be possible for me to love that little guy more than I do. He's just the best dog, in so many ways. When I come home he races to the door and throws himself at me, whether I've been gone for five hours or five minutes. He spends 90% of his day in my lap or Nick's. He sleeps curled up in bed with us. When he eats dinner, he brings his favorite stuffed toy over to his bowl and props it up at the rim of the bowl so the stuffie can eat too. Twice now he has lost a tooth and tucked it under his pillow. He was housebroken practically overnight. He plays and cuddles with Jasper. He's gentle with little kids. He loves his brother Harley and gets excited when we say Harley's name. He knows HIS name and always, ALWAYS looks at me when I say it.
When we added Dunkin to our family we accepted responsibility for him for his whole life, and that's not something we take lightly. Dunkin loves us and he trusts us to take care of him, whether that means brushing his teeth or wiping his butt or happily embracing more credit card debt and just being so damn grateful that this was something that could be fixed, because four months in we already can't imagine our lives without him in them.
Dunkin had his surgery today and it went very well. We are bringing him home tomorrow afternoon and I am counting down the hours until I can cuddle and reassure and spoil the crap out of my sweet boy.
I just hope he's not too mad at me when he wakes up ball-less. Sorry baby. Mama didn't want to put you under anasthesia AGAIN in a few short weeks, and the surgeon gave that mentality a thumbs up. Sorry!