We've built a good relationship with Dr. Thurman. He knows us well, and we trust his diagnoses. After examining Yellow Dog, he reported that her ACL has a small tear. Without x-rays, he couldn't say how severe it was, but in his opinion, surgery is most likely in order. He said that he could do x-rays, but he didn't want to waste our money if we were taking her to a surgeon because the surgeon would need to do his own x-rays.
I really appreciated Dr. Thurman's honesty and desire to spare us any added expense. He gave us a referral to Vetsurg, a facility that specializes in orthopedic surgery for pets. They're in Ventura however, which is a two-hour drive. It's doable though. I was able to make an appointment for June 1, their first available appointment, which is just two weeks away.
Dr. Thurman agreed that omeprazole was a good option, but we could also switch to the cheaper Pepcid, especially if they were feeling fine. Pepcid reduces the amount of acid in the stomach while Omeprazole does that while also helping to heal damage to the stomach and prevents ulcers. Since both dogs are on medication, we'll stick with the omeprazole. Dr. Thurman agreed.
This is a very difficult conversation to have, but my husband and I considered all of the factors: her age, her quality of life, her prognosis, and of course, the cost. It helps that our vacation for this summer has been cancelled due to COVID-19, so what we would have spent traveling is now available for surgery.