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