2011 has been a year full of surprises involving serious surgeries for my two Cocker Spaniels.

In June, my chocolate cocker had eye removal surgery.  Summer had end stage Glaucoma in his right eye and was in critical condition because of the pressure build-up behind his eye.  Thankfully, my dog loving sister and nephew were in town to help care for and take him to the opthalmologist in Williamston while I was on-the-air at Channel 957.

This morning, I took my party mix Cocker -- who looks more like a mini-Dalmation -- to the vet for ACL replacement surgery.  About a week ago, she started limping while on a walk.  I carried her a few blocks and when I put her down she seemed to get along.  However, over the next few days, her limp turned into the need for a professional opinion.  Come to find out, Spring had pulled her anterior cruciate ligament and it is being replaced today.

Humans often have the same surgery.  The ACL is the ligament that holds our tibia and femur together.  Without it, you or I can't walk, but a dog or any four-legged creature can continue to use it's leg because it has three others to hold its weight.  It's an ugly and painful procedure.

I've found a pretty helpful list of websites and photos that you may want to check out if you suspect your pet is having the same issue.  The bottom line is that over time, your pet will need corrective surgery.  Whenever there is an ACL tear or break there is also the potential for either further injuries (like hip and joint issues) or infection.

UPDATE:  Spring made it through surgery and is in recovery!  She's gonna be alright :)  Whew!