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Do you have a pet? My husband and I got a dog prior to getting married and now can’t imagine our home without one. When we unexpectedly lost our dog Zoe last fall our house felt empty. It wasn’t long before we welcomed Lucy into our home. We could immediately feel the difference and see how pets add joy to your family on that first day. Lucy came to us at a time when we needed her most, it was the holiday season – our first without both of our boxers, and we needed help finding the holiday joy again (me especially).
A Season of Sadness
Let me offer the quick backstory in case you didn’t read about Tool and Zoe in previous posts. Tool was our male boxer – our first baby – we got him prior to marriage and lost him at the tender age of six to lymphoma in May 2015. Zoe was our female boxer who was a year younger than Tool – our second baby – we lost her unexpectedly to a possible brain tumor in October 2015 at the age of five and a half. As you can see we had a rough 6 months.
A Season of Change and Joy
As I mentioned our house felt empty – we loved the boxer breed but decided we just couldn’t go down that road again. We love dogs with short snouts and docked tails. I also had always wanted a blue dog. So – that led us to Cane Corsos. We found a breeder in Massachusetts that happened to have a litter with available pups that would be ready to go to their families in the beginning of December. I won’t lie – I felt like I was cheating on our past dogs by even thinking about getting a puppy but those feelings went out the window as soon as we picked Lucy up (as you can see in the picture below).
We all fell in love with Lucy immediately – she was a bundle of blue velvet soft fur that was so happy to be with us. She loved the kids and chased them around happily. She was an early Christmas gift for our family that helped bring some much needed joy back into our house.
Lucy grew like a weed and was constantly tripping over her much too large paws and falling. When she was around 10 weeks old she fell from the second stair and immediately held up her back right leg. She kept favoring it and we took her in to get examined to make sure everything was alright. The vet checked her and said it was most likely muscle damage from the fall and to keep her relatively quiet. How quiet can you keep a puppy???
Every time as soon as it would start to feel better she would run and hit her back leg resulting in major swelling in her hock (if you are like me you don’t know what a hock is so take a look a this link for more information). After a few more weeks we realized a second examination was in order. A different vet at the practice examined Lucy and felt with the continued inflammation that x-rays were necessary to rule out a break or any other potential problems. To get the x-rays they had to sedate Lucy as the joint was very sore and she wouldn’t allow them to bend her leg as needed to get good images.
A Season of Uncertainty
I picked Lucy up after her x-rays by myself and was taken into a room to discuss the preliminary findings with the doctor. I never expected the prognosis to be anything bad. I honestly was expecting a break and to have her leg put in a cast and for us to move on with life. Well – as you know things never work out quite how we expect. The doctor explained that there was a large piece of cartilage that was floating in the x-ray and that she needed to send the scans out to be examined further before a final diagnosis.
We waited and a few days later got a call back. Our local vet said that the best course of action now would be to take Lucy to a see a specialist – an Orthopedic Surgeon in Portland (a two hour ride each way) to see what they recommended as a course of action but most likely it would be surgery to remove the floating piece of cartilage.
I hemmed and I hawed and stressed for the week it took before we got in to see the specialist. Our local vet told us that if the specialist recommended surgery they would most likely be able to do it the same day so I packed an overnight bag, and set out with Lucy (who doesn’t like riding in cars) for the two hour ride. I was stressed and sad and angry that we had a puppy that was in such pain and was nervous for the outcome of the appointment.
We arrived early for our appointment with the specialist and got in to see the doctor very quickly. Upon examination of Lucy’s leg and the x-rays that our local vet sent down she had a prognosis. We found out that Lucy had OCD (Osteochondrosis -another unknown for us). The doctor explained to me that unfortunately there was no true “fix” for dogs with OCD in their hock. The image below shows her inflamed hock in comparison to her normal one.
There were surgical options but none of them presented a high rate of success and some are very experimental. The cost of the surgical options were really high and non offered a success rate that the doctor felt worth the money and possibility of further damage. At the appointment they gave me further information about the surgeries and pain maintenance and also did a few injections to help reduce the inflammation and control the pain.
A Season of Acceptance and Peace
We followed up with our local vet and started Lucy on some supplements to help reduce inflammation and also provide joint lubrication. We also got a prescription pain pill and have the option of additional injections as needed. We decided that surgery was not an option – A) it had a low success rate and possibility of further damage and B) the cost was astronomical.
I was mad with the diagnosis – I didn’t understand why in less than a year we lost two dogs at such young ages and found out that our puppy would have lifelong pain. I stewed and cried but I realized something important as the weeks went on.
Lucy doesn’t care so why should I? For the most part her leg doesn’t slow her down. She runs like every other puppy out there – she may limp later that day but she still has fun and plays like a crazy lady. She loves us and we love her. She was given to us because we could handle her OCD and will do everything in our power to make sure she has the best life she possibly can. In return she makes our life and house feel complete.
might be is a little lot spoiled. She is a member of our family and is treated as such. We frequently buy her treats and one of her favorite treats are PEDIGREE® DENTASTIX™ (we love them to as they help keep her mouth clean). I found them at Sam’s Club recently while I was shopping for other items. They come in a 62 count box which is great because it keeps me from having to run out and buy them so often! It’s also awesome that Sam’s Club carries them in their store as I shop their regularly for other items so it saves me a trip to the pet store.
I LOVE the program that is happening now at Sam’s with PEDIGREE®. During the month of October when a PEDIGREE® product is purchased at Sam’s Club, the PEDIGREE® brand will donate a bowl of food to a dog in need. Take a look at the video below: