Holly turned a corner with her knee sometime in July. About then is when the stifle brace became more of a hindrance than a help...she started to refuse the bend the knee and was moving in it oddly. So she went brace-free. At that point the knee was stable, but the leg was still very weak. It's taken several months of building muscle, but she's back running like the wild dingo she wants to be. She can hike almost 4 miles on not-to-difficult terrain, as long as she spends most of that time on leash to help her stay at an even pace. Off leash she can run through the woods for about 45 minutes without getting sore. As anticipated, she has developed arthritis and we know the meniscus is damaged, but she doesn't let that bother her...her evening drug regime seems to keep the worst of the discomfort at bay. As each day passes, she is less and less sore and stiff in the evenings, so hopefully that will continue for the rest of the year.
I'm thrilled that the stifle brace helped as well as it did. I would have had the knee surgically repaired if that had been an option for her (she has thrombocytopenia and cannot have surgery), but this really was the next best option. She's now sound, pretty strong and comfortable...it's allowed us to insert a lot of fun into our summer.
Next month Holly will turn 11...ELEVEN! Every day is an absolute gift with this girl.