Seamus, an 8 month old pup, came to GRRMF when his owners realized he had some difficult medical issues that they were unprepared to care for and they wanted him to have a chance at a pain free life.
OCD is a painful joint disease that affects shoulders, elbows, and knees. The pain is caused by inflammation and lesions on the smooth cartilage in the dog’s joints, right where the bones meet. Small pieces of the cartilage break off and float free in the joint. Those bits of cartilage don’t die; they keep growing. (In fact, they even have a painfully cute name: “joint mice.”) Once they’re floating free, fluid builds up and calcification occurs. The joint gets inflamed and swollen, nerves get irritated, and the pup is in pain.
Surgery is used for more severe cases, or where the conservative approach hasn’t worked. In the surgery, the vet will remove the joint mice and repair the lesions. After surgery and a couple of weeks of rest, almost all dogs make a complete recovery and return to 100 percent function. It’s very rare for the lesions to reoccur. Seamus also presented with severe hip dysplasia. After a consult with our surgeon, it was determined that a femoral head osteotomy (FHO) would be the best plan of action for Seamus. The surgery removes the ball part of the ball & socket that makes up the hip joint. Once the femoral head and neck are removed, the surrounding muscles and developing scar tissue work to support the area, and act as a false joint. This means that now when the limb is moved, the forces are transferred to the pelvis rather than the leg itself.
Now Seamus is in recovery mode. He looks perfectly normal on his right side but his left side has two sizable incisions. He will be taking it very easy the next few weeks. The sutures will come out in 14 days. In the meantime, Seamus is getting lots of good food. He especially likes poached chicken and rice. He will slowly begin passive range of motion exercises and move on to very short walks in the grass to help him begin to build up muscle in his hip. It may be that he will need a FHO on the right side in the next few months.
Seamus’ continuing veterinary care is expected to increase with rehabilitation and another possible surgery. Seamus and GRRMF need your help to replenish the medical account used to help him so far and planned to be used for his future needs. Please consider making a donation today to help give Seamus a pain-free life. Seamus has a lifetime ahead of him – help us make it one full of running, chasing squirrels and snuggling with his favorite humans carefree and in comfort.