Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mally

This has been a rough couple of weeks for us, especially for Mally.  If you follow me on Twitter, you probably have an idea of what's been going on, but if not, let me recap.  A few weeks ago we noticed that Mally was having some issues with her back legs.  She was hopping instead of running, she'd fall if she took the stairs, she wouldn't jump up on the couch or bed and her right leg was shaky and quivering.  So we immediately took her to our vet to see what was wrong. 

We were a little worried that she might have the same tick-borne illness that my dad's dog had, which was causing Lenny some leg pain as well.  However, her temperature was normal and blood work came back clean.  Our vet thought he heard a “popping” in her knee, but it wasn’t hurting her or inflamed at all.  Her hips also seemed fine with a physical examination, but just to be sure, he took X-rays of her pelvis/hips.  And then we saw the problem.  She has hip luxation (hip dislocation) in her right hip (the leg that’s been shaking).  He said that femoral head has been separated from the pelvic acetabulum (or the “ball” is out of the hip socket), which means her hip pops in and out of place without much effort.  When the ball is out of the socket, the bones are rubbing together causing her pain.  The vet thinks this was probably a pre-existing condition that she’s been dealing with for a while.   But more troubling, he said her left hip looked “terrible.”  She’s got chronic arthritis in that hip, which has been trying to “remodel” itself (the joints in that hip are scarred and inflamed).  So, he put her on some anti-inflammatory pain medicine and referred us to an orthopedic surgeon here in town. 


We saw the orthopedic surgeon last week and said she that Mally needs surgery, possibly on both hips, but at least on the right one for now. We’ve tried the bed-rest/pain med/anti-inflammatory meds route, but she’s just not getting any better, so surgery is the next step. She gave us two options: (1) a total hip replacement; or (2) femoral head ostectomy surgery.

Hip Replacement

If we went with the total hip replacement, she would basically get a brand new hip and be as good as new. She’d have full function in the hip and there’s a low complication rate. But, she would need 10 weeks of resting and rehab. She’d need to stay off hardwood floors, away from stairs, away from other dogs, be crated every day when we’re at work, etc. for 10 weeks. Then a 6 months to 1 year later, if she’s still having problems with the other hip, we could do the surgery again on the left side. This surgery would be incredibly expensive. Also, since she’s so small, they don’t believe that the replacement hip parts they have would fit her, so we might have to go somewhere else for the surgery that specializes in smaller animals (Houston, Texas was mentioned).

Femoral Head Ostectomy

The femoral head surgery would require the head of the femur to be removed and the bone smoothed, if necessary, so that no bone to bone contact occurs between the pelvis, which contains the now empty socket and the remaining portion of the femur. The bone is not replaced, instead, the resulting scar tissue from the operation takes the place of the hip joint creating a "false joint" around the bone end. With this surgery, they could do one or both hips at the same time and it’s about half the cost of the hip replacement. After the surgery, Mally would be on 1 week bed-rest, but then she’s encouraged to be as active as possible to assist in the healing. She’d get walks/runs and rehab (with us) everyday. Complications are also low and smaller dogs do much better with this surgery because they’re more active and not as heavy on their hips.  This was the doctor's recommendation.


So, we’ve decided to go with option 2. Mally goes in for Femoral Head Ostectomy surgery tomorrow. She has to spend at least one night in the hospital and can hopefully come home on Friday. We just feel like it’s a better option for her (and us) to keep her active, allow her to play with other dogs and not have to crate her for months.   She seems fine with everything (we've talked about it).  She's a tough cookie.  I, on the other hand, am a nervous freaking wreck.  I just know I'm going to spend all day tomorrow in tears.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the next few days.  I'd really appreciate it.


 Love,
 A crazy-dog-mama

24 comments:

  1. Ohhhh no poor Mally!!! Ill keep you guys in my thoughts. I know how difficult this is, hang in there.

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  2. Oh Sara, my heart is just hurting for you. I went through this with King Arthur two years ago, it was not much fun. He was one 12 weeks of crate rest which was awful for a 10 month old puppy! It sounds like you guys made the right decision for you. I will be saying some healthy puppy prayers! Please keep us updated!

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  3. Big hugs to you and BIGGER hugs to Mally! You guys will be in my thoughts tomorrow - please keep us updated!

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  4. Hi, thanks, I'm crying now. Mally will be just fine. Everything will be OK. And you can totally survive a night without her. I think. You can. You're strong.

    Butch and Ella and I had a talk last night and they are saying their "puppy prawwers" for her. And their Auntie Sara too.

    PUH-LEEZE don't hestitate to let me know if you need anything. I love you bunches!
    xoxox

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  5. Oh, no :( I know it can be so hard to make decisions like this for your pet. I'll be thinking of y'all and Mally. Hoping for a speedy recovery!

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  6. Poor puppy -- hope everything works out well! Prayers and thoughts coming your way!

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  7. Oh no! Poor Mally. I will say a little prayer for you and your pup. Here's to a speedy recovery!

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  8. Aww poor Mally! I was a mess when my dog got sick and had to spend the night at the vet. They definitely become family members. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow!

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  9. GIRL....I am praying for you and Mally!! I have NOT been around on twitter because of my crazy traveling schedule for work so I had no idea! I am so sorry, but it does sound like she is in great care! She is going to feel SO much better after this. You are a great dog mom. You know I am a crazy, crazy dog lover and I know this must be very scary for you...I will be praying!! Love you Mally! Get well SOON!

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  10. My heart aches for ya'll! I just imagine going through this with a pet. Mally and your fam will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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  11. Last Easter, I went through a traumatic vet experience with my golden retriever, Barkley. He was only 10 months at the time and we had to go to the Veterinary School of Medicine to get a second opinion and more tests run. I cried the whole time. But it ended up being very minor and he's fine now. They definitely become our babies and members of the family. I will keep you and Mally in my prayers! She's a pretty girl!

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  12. Hoping all goes really well with Mally's surgery -- hang in there, Sara! love you and your fur baby. xoxo

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  13. Sara, I am so sorry for you and Mally. It sounds like you made the best decision. I'll be thinking of y'all and praying for Mally!

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  14. Saying prayers!! I hoep the surgery goes well and she is back home with you early Friday!!

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  15. I'm thinking of you and the pup! She'll come through it with flying colors, I know it.

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  16. Poor sweet puppy. :(
    She is adorable, I'll be thinking and praying for you guys! Hope it goes well. Keep us posted, at least on Twitter!

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  17. Poor Mally and her parents! I will be thinking of you all tomorrow and hoping everything goes smoothly. *doggie hugs*

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  18. I would be a nervous wreck too! Poor Mally must be in so much pain. It sounds like option #2 was definitely the right one for her and you. I cannot imagine TEN weeks of rest for any dog, especially one that is active. Good luck you all of you tomorrow. Sending good vibes to Mally.

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  19. Awww, Poor Mally! Thinking of you and hoping all goes well tomorrow. I know you'll have your active pup back home & healthy in no time!

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  20. Aw - that's terrible! Our dog has been limping a lot lately, but it will stop just as suddenly as it starts, so we haven't thought it too serious. We do sometimes hear a popping though when we check her leg for painful spots. Better get her to the vet soon - hopefully it's not as serious as poor Mally. You're all in my thoughts and prayers!

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  21. She's such a beautiful dog. It's a strong breed too - she'll get through it. :)

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  22. I will keep Mally in my thoughts. This is a major event, and I know that Mally, you and Ryan will get through this. :)

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  23. I'm praying for all of you and I know in my heart that she'll be fine, but I know I can't take away the worry when one of our furry friends goes under the knife. Think of how happy she'll be when she's recovered and out of pain. Love to all of you and please keep us posted. And give her a hug from me when you see her.

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  24. Praying for you and Mally. I know that waiting for the call that they've woken up is one of the hardest parts, but think of how much her life will improve once she's back to her old self.

    Sending puppy hugs...

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