Safe and Quiet
for your pet
Feb. 15th 2005
Charlie was born Feb. 15th 2005. She was one of six puppies that were mistakenly born to a Golden Retriever mother and a Chocolate Lab father. We thought she was perfect.
Charlie seemed to be a perfectly normal puppy for the first few months. Her favorite thing….. WATER ! Water in her bowl, in the bathtub, in the toilet, in the lake, it didn’t matter.
When Charlie was about 5 months old our niece came and stayed with us for a week, They had a ball. One night Kayla came downstairs and said Charlie was sleeping with her but then she was standing on the bed crying. Charlie was still upstairs on the bed when her pal was downstairs. Something was wrong. We had noticed that Charlie never barked but she did cry a lot. She also ran sideways, and now she would not jump off the bed.
Sept. 6th 2005
Charlie is 6 months old. .
We took Charlie in to be spayed and asked that they do an X-ray while she was under anesthetic because she seemed to be favoring her back right leg and sometimes crossing her legs over. Sure enough she has hip dysplacia and if that is not bad enough, it is both sides and it is moderate to severe. We were so distraught that we didn’t even have her spayed. The vet suggested we get her to a specialist right away because there are four different options but one can only be done when they are under a year old. This procedure is the Triple Pelvic Osteotomy. (TPO) They break her pelvis in three places and rotate the pelvic so that her ball and socket will meet.
Sept. 12th 2005
We took Charlie and her X-rays to Guelph University. After spending several hours and 3 or 4 people looking at her (including students) we met with the surgeon. He felt Charlie was not a good candidate for TPO because her hips where too sublexated, meaning the ball joint was too far out of the socket and they only like to rotate the pelvis a maximum of 40 degrees. Hers is at least 45 degrees. They felt medication would suffice but she may need total hip replacement when she is older.
Sept. 15th 2005
Charlie is already showing signs of lameness so we wanted another opinion. So we went to Oakville hospital who is supposed to have the best (HIP) doctor in this province. He felt he could do the TPO surgery and it was most likely her best option at this point because she is young and very healthy.
Sept. 27th 2005
Sept. 29th 2005 (My Dad’s 80th birthday)
Charlie Barley is coming home today. Apparently she is doing really well at the hospital. She is very cooperative and a real sweetie. She is able to put some weight on her leg and does not want help with a sling or towel. Well, we are home. Charlie is very excited to see her brother and sister. It is going to be very difficult to keep her quiet. She is putting weight on her leg. (Probably way more than she should) I am trying to keep her in her kennel as much as possible because you would never know they broke her pelvis 2 days ago. What a trooper J !!
Oct 6th 2005
Oct. 27th 2005
It’s been 4 weeks since Charlie’s first surgery. Hydrotherapy has really helped her right leg but she seems to be favoring her left (the one that has not been done yet). We went to see the doc today and he said her right leg is one of the best recoveries he has seen in a long time but she definitely needs her left done right away because it is much worse.
Oct. 31st 2005
Today Charlie had her left done. Sure enough it was much worse than it was 5 weeks ago when they first did the X-rays. Oakville hospital said we will have to be really careful with her or her leg could pop out again. The surgery was really tough on her, nothing like last time. She can’t put any weight on it, there is a lot of bruising and her leg swings out a lot. The doctor doesn’t think it is anything we did but the fact that she grew that much more over 5 weeks and unfortunately her leg continued to grow outside the socket.
Nov. 2nd 2005
I brought Charlie home today. She is not happy. She hasn’t eaten in three days but as soon as we got home she ate her dinner. I guess she just wanted to come home. We have a sling for her this time which she will let you help her with getting around. (Last time she said “I can do it myself Mommy”.)
Nov. 9th 2005
Nov. 16th 2005
Oakville hospital is pleased. She has a long way to go but so far it has held. Now we can walk her and get her back swimming.
Dec. 7th 2005
Jan 2nd 2006
Just over two months since the second surgery. We spent the holidays at the cottage. Charlie does pretty well but you have to be really careful on the ice. Of course we had freezing rain for four days. She still can’t play with other dogs so it is tough when her best friend is next door and they just look at each other from each side of the gate on the deck.
Jan 9th 2006
We can start school ! Senior puppy here we come.
Feb. 15th 2006
Charlie’s 1st birthday. Her first year has not been easy but things are looking up.
Charlie had a wonderful summer playing ball, swimming and playing with any dog that would play with her. But, towards the end of the summer she started to favour her rear left leg. Mainly when she was tired, you could see that she was toe tapping. I took her back to Oakville and they gave us an anti-inflammatory and said she may be starting to get some arthritis. Within weeks she was worse so we did an X-ray and she had hip dysplacia again. We were crushed. The TPO only held for about 6 months. Now her only choice is Total hip replacement or Femoral Head and Neck Resection.
Total hip replacement is self explanatory but Femoral Head and Neck Resection involves cutting off the ball joint and part of the stem. In essence your dog will have a permanently dislocated hip. This procedure is less expensive than Total Hip Replacement but there is no going back.
Oakville hospital suggested we go with the Femoral Head procedure because it is less expensive and works well in dogs over 50lbs where as Total Hip works better in smaller dogs and there can be risk of infection with Total Hip because the post is cemented into the femur bone. There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages to both procedures. Another big one is the length of time for full recovery. Believe it or not Total Hip Replacement patients are usually back on their feet faster than Femoral Head patients.
Now we don’t know what to do. I had heard of another vet in Caledon, Meet Dr. John at http://www.caledonvet.com/ that specialized in Orthopedic surgery so we went to see him. Interestingly enough he suggested the Total Hip Replacement over the Femoral Head because Charlie was so young, very healthy and in really good shape. And, he doesn’t use cement any more. As long as you are very careful with them during the 8 week recovery they do really well.
We scheduled Charlie’s surgery for January because I am too busy grooming in December to be rehabilitating a 2 year old lab and she could play with her friend at the cottage over the Christmas holidays and then 8 weeks of recovery in February and March didn’t seem as bad. Besides we still had not decided which surgery she would have.
Jan. 24th 2007
Dr. John performed Total Hip Replacement on Charlie’s left leg. It was a long day for everyone. By 3:00pm Dr. John called to Charlie’s surgery was complete and she was doing well. It was an extremely difficult surgery for her and the vet. The ball joint was a chewed up mess full of arthritis. The difficult part was placing the new hip in the right place because of the previous surgery where her pelvis was turned over 45 percent. It took 3 people to pull her leg into place. Believe it or not we went to get her the same night. Dr. John feels that if she is stable enough and we can manage her both physically and emotionally then she is better off at home. Here comes 8 weeks of recovery.
January 25th – 30th 2007
Week 1 of recovery. Charlie requires help to walk so you have to put a sling under her belly to support her back end. This means everywhere she goes, you go with her. For the first few days she spent most of her time in her house. Thank God she is kennel trained.
February 5th 2007
Stitches come out. Charlie is baring weight on her leg but not much. She has to be carried up and down stairs and in and out of the car. Dr. John is pleased. Some dogs are doing better at this stage but based on the severity of her surgery she is doing well. But, this recovery program is different from the TPO. She now has 6 more weeks of doing nothing. Last time we got her swimming right away so that she would keep using her own hip and strengthen the muscles around it to support her hip. This time they cut the muscles away from her old hip, cut out the ball joint and part of the stem and then ground out the old socket and drilled a hole into her femur bone to hold the new ball joint and socket. It’s kind of like de-boning a chicken. Therefore, don’t need to keep her hip moving because it will work no matter what. It’s fake. The problem now is that the muscles need to re-attach themselves to the new hip and this just takes time. Apparently they (the muscles) have memory and they know where they belong.
February 24th 2007
It’s been a month. Charlie is using her leg really well but you can tell that she still favours and protects it. We went to my Mom and Dad’s for the weekend. It is her first time away from the house since her surgery. We can go on short walks now so we figured it would be ok. We brought all the carpet runners and the baby gates to Charlie proof. The weekend went ok. We had a couple of hardwood floor moments and then she escaped out the door and went running around the back yard in a foot of snow. When we got home she did nothing but sleep and eat for 2 days. I called Dr. John to find out what could go wrong at this stage. Luckily not much unless she really had a bad fall or something slammed into her like another dog. So she is just tired but she should be fine.
March 7th 2007
We are now into 6 weeks. We have just taken away the baby gates since she is not wild on the stairs anyway. She really wants to play. It’s hard to play with her and not get too wound up. Her favorite game is to sit on the top of the stairs and play catch with her ball. We throw it up to her and she rolls it back down. I guess this is better than nothing since she thinks no one wants to go outside with her and really throw her ball. Besides her indoor games we are now walking at least twice a day for 15 to 20 minutes. She doesn’t seem too tired but she does sleep a lot in between.