Saturday, March 03, 2007


I know you're all dying to know the latest news. (If you're not, skip this post. There's nothing non-Nicky related.)

E-mail from the breeder to my dad:
Sorry to hear about Nicky. Magnum blew out ligaments in his hind leg. There are 2 types of surgeries for this . The best is where they cut the boneand make a new joint. It is expensive---about $3000. The second method is to go in and wrap the joint with either muscle from the dog or manmade fibre. I opted for this method at about $1000. Unfortunately the days of hard hunting with either method are likely over. Magnum will run all day but the next day he is off the leg. He is also going to develope arthritis in that joint so have him on glucosemate which has helped. I have another dog now---Dixie---which does most of the second day hunts. I know that Nicky is not carrying any extra weight so he should do ok. The problem with all this is that according to the litature the dog has about a 50% chance of blowing the other leg. This is a hard decision to make but I am happy with the results with Magnum and it has been about 18 months since it was done. I keep my dogs inside which likely helps as cold will affect the joint. The dog has to be kept crated for about 8-10 weeks after surgery and will need to be rehabed ---sounds worse than it really is. I would have them asses Nicky. It is easy to diagnosis if it is ligaments without any major cost---just by moving the joint. I am on a DD list and they recommended the 1st surgery but I found it too rich for me. I love my dogs so decided to have the surgery. The other option is to do nothing. My vet said the dog would manage on 3 legs but of coarse the hunting would be over. I am not convenced that a DD would not hunt on 3 legs. I know Magnum would but I will not let him.
E-mail from my dad to me:
Nicky had gotten into a porqupine two years ago. Last spring a partial quill came out through his front foot pad. It looked like a piece of stubble but was dumbfounded as his exercise regimen includes toughening of his feet. He has never had any other foot problem. It may be a possipility that a quill has entered the joint area and causing the distress. He had a great number of quills and two of us worked extensively to get them out. We thought we had them all

Pass this on when you speak with a vet next time.
(Note, both e-mails are cut & paste, so any bizarre spelling/grammar/typos is all them.)

I got in contact with Nicky's regular vet this morning, and she'll be checking him this afternoon. Dad wants a second opinion, and she's also going to check for signs of a quill.

I feel sorry for the poor doggy, and can't help but thinking of how he would do what I asked even when he was in pain. (Well, mostly. But he did "come" even when it hurt, every time.)


Wendy said...

One time my dog and I went hiking with my roommates to this cool waterfall in Washington. My roommate was with my dog on a slippery section and my dog slipped and hurt herself.

I had to carry my dog over a mile up very steep terrain. We took her to the vet and they did x-rays, but couldn't tell where her injury was. They wrapped the paw. The problem with the ankle joints on dogs is that the bones are small and sometimes it is hard to see a fracture right away.

I have learned from my Anatomy class that it is easier to see a broken bone several days afterwards and then you compare the first x-rays with those. If there is a thickening of any of the bones it means there has been a break there. It is an expensive way to go, though when the treatment for a break and a sprain is really the same.

Treat with pain meds, anti-inflammatories if needed and then wrap the joint.

My dog limped on it for a long time. Even a year after the injury she would limp with cold weather or if she jumped down off of something steep.

For ,my dog though I witnessed an injury, so I knew sort of what she did and how bad the injury was.

For Nicky, there really wasn't an injury so I would be curious like your dad to see if there was something like a quill in there. I wonder if those would even show up on x-ray?

Hopefully Nicky gets better soon.

noricum said...

Thanks, I'll let my dad know.

Laura said...

Poor doggie. Baka tore her anterior crutiate ligament (knee) last year (wait? was it two years ago - wow!). Lots of pain, could barely walk (but tried valiently if we'd ask). Because of her young age, we went with the more expensive make a new joint variety. We have an excellent ortho-surgeon vet down here. Its a long (8 months), hard recovery, but when its done - all is like new! Sometimes the cheaper surgery, which heals drastically faster, is a much better fit for the dog though. I have friends dogs who've done quiet well with it & are very active. All depends on the situation. Either way, I hope your exercise machine feels better soon!

noricum said...

Thanks, I'll pass this on to my dad too. :)

Marvie said...

This sounds very much like what my friends went through last year with their Boston Terrier. She had a back knee that kept popping out of joint. The surgery fixed her right up though, my friends said the hardest part was the 6-8 weeks of keeping her in the kennel. (And now Lili doesn't like men much, since it was a man who did the surgery on her)

The vet told them the same thing about there being a chance her other leg could go at some point, so far she's fine, but they'll have to watch her closely.

I hope the little guy feels better soon, it's so sad when a pet is hurting or ill. Breaks my heart.