Thursday, 1 December 2011

Poor wee Charlie...!

One of the events from this Autumn was the discovery that our poor lickle rescue boy, Charlie, has Hip Dysplasia (HD).

I've suspected all was not entirely well for a couple of months but gradually it got to the point where I was convinced I wasn't imagining him pretending to use his rear left leg, leaving a small space between it and the ground. And when he started to 'bunny-hop' when running, I knew what it was.

So we took him to the vet's and they x-rayed his hips.
I don't know what they used but my poor boy was VERY poorly indeed. I wouldn't have been at all surprised if he had gone to sleep and not woken, so poorly was he.

It was confirmed and an anti-inflammatory was given, which made him even poorlier as it upset his tummy in a catastrophic way. So that was a no-goer.

He seemed to gradually get over it a little and was walking again, although he wasn't running around like the two year old he is and promptly put weight on.

We needed to alter his diet. The trouble is, he doesn't eat much to begin with. Neither dog will entertain dog-food, going without for 2-3 days rather than eat the stuff. We've thrown out pounds worth.

I thought I'd try raw beef mince - the human kind as I don't want the pet stuff in my fridge and I don't suppose they'd eat that either.  Bingo!  Raw mince is a winner but I'll have to add other stuff too. 

Then one day, he was clearly feeling more his own self and was chasing around after Lola. A joy to behold, I can tell you!  

Unfortunately, Lola decided to jump on the couch and Charlie tried to follow and...crunch! Hip displaced.  He screamed.  We rushed him to the vet but there's nothing she can do. 

It will keep doing this unless he has an operation where they remove the head of the femur!  They don't replace it.  Apparently, the muscles and tendons create a 'false' joint and dogs run around well on them. According to our vet. 

Once again, unfortunately, that's not what the internet and the library at the Liverpool University says. They say 40% work 'somewhat'. Very few, if any, are left without a pronounced limp which then compromises the other hip. The recovery is long and painful and intense nursing is required for at least six weeks. 

Then there is the almost continuous physiotherapy  that I would have to learn and impart. This also hurts the poor animal.

I confess to being very confused as to what to do.

The poor lickle guy cant take anti-flimflams, won't take painkillers (Charlie can extricate them from anything we try to smuggle it into him in) and has all this ahead with the op.  I really don't know what to do. 

I'm inclined, at the minute, to just leave things as they are and just not let him run around too wildly.  Apart from any other consideration, with a three year old and a ten month old to care for in the day, I just don't have the time to look after such a poorly dog if he has the op.  

Then there's the other risk. The one that dare not speak its name......  He's only a lickle Mini-Poo. He's not a tough dog. The x-ray nearly finished him. The op actually could.

So, deliberations are ongoing....

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