writer, warrior, whack-a-doodle

Cross Roads

November 13, 2010

Cross Roads

November 13, 2010
Posted in: Dogs | Reading Time: 12 minutes

Sometimes in life your journey reaches a cross roads.

And if you're lucky, you have the support of a good friend and family to help you understand the choices.

Or at least to help provide a pleasant distraction from the decision that is looms ahead.

Sometimes it's important to ponder at the cross roads and consider the possibilities, explore the options and weigh the benefits of all the choices.

Knowing that some choices do not allow you to turn back.

Sometimes you have to just make the decision,  knowing you've thought long enough.

So you close your eyes, and charge, full steam ahead.

For those who remember last year, Juno was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at only two years old, during her mysterious illness that was never really fully diagnosed. If you'd like to read about it, you can here:

  1. Breaking Points and Invalids  (features the award winning photo of Mr. Wild Dingo in a cone)
  2. Boring
  3. Eight Days Batting Zero
  4. Puzzling Jodhpurs
  5. Exposed!
  6. Juno's Jodhpurs
  7. Saving Juno's Jodhpurs (my personal favorite)

This past month, I took Juno into the vet for her hip pain. She's been using acupuncture to manage the pain for the last year, she's now three years old, and it's worked magically for her. We chose acupuncture for a variety of reasons, but most importantly, we're not entirely sure if Juno has autoimmune disease in which her body cannot tolerate non-steroidal anti-inflamatories, such as metacam or even rimydal. So acupuncture has been the choice of pain treatment for her.

When we went to this vet, he looked at her x-rays which I brought with me, just hoping to catch him up with her information and get my referral to another IVAS-certified acupuncture veterinarian. The look on his face was grave. Oddly, I don't remember having the news told to me so gravely last year, but that could just be part of that Swiss culture of seriousness that I'm feeling.

He told me her hips were very severe and he seemed quite shocked that she could even move around as much as she does. He then informed me of our options, acupuncture being one  of them for pain management. But then he told me this:  of the three options for hip dysplasia surgery, total hip replacement was recommended earlier in dog's lives rather than later as they recommend in the US, when the pain is no longer manageable. Up until now, we had decided that we would put off any surgery until her mid life because we were informed last year that THR (total hip replacement) was not necessarily something that lasted a long time, only for about 6 years. Here, in Switzerland, the common recommendation is (if budget is not an issue for the owner) to do it earlier because younger dogs tolerate the surgery and recover faster. Also their spine is in better working order to be able to accept the surgery and there are no other structural complications they are facing. So far the vet's here have not heard of THR not lasting the lifetime of the dog.  This was such a different opinion than the orthopedic surgeons and the advice of our vets in the US, whom I still love and respect dearly. I can't help but wonder if total hip replacement is so uncommonly done due to cost if there is enough real research done on how long it lasts as well as the recovery and other effects from it.

Admittedly, I have not done enough research yet. Anything I've googled has only explained the procedure and has mentioned it's success rate (good) but nothing about the long term effects, cautions or problems that could arise, which I have absolutely no way of really knowing except from those who've done it. And I just don't know anyone who's done it.

In the mean time, we've gone forward with our acupuncturist vet, Dr. Marmier, who we were referred to in Saint Prex. She's highly recommended and wonderful with Juno. She too was very grave when she gave her opinion about Juno's x-rays.  Juno's been to her twice now and has felt better with each acupuncture needle.  Dr. Marmier works with both the recommended orthopedic surgeon for THR in Lausanne, and Juno's primary care vet who happens to have an underwater treadmill for PT. Did I mention her primary care vet is within a two-minute walking distance from our house.? And did I mention how much I really like him and how much they really like our raw diet? Ya, I seem to jive with the vets here. I like the way they work together. Basically her primary care vet Dr. Tieche (who's office is 2-minutes from our house), Dr. Marmier (the holistic and acupuncturist) and Dr. Vingerhoats (the orthopedic surgeon) are a team with separate offices and specialties but work closely together. I was told Dr. Vingerhoats (what a nice dutch name, eh?) was one of the three who does THR and when a THR is actually done, all three vets do the actual surgery together. I'm not sure why other than it's probably not a surgery often done and that it's a learning experience for all three of them. The benefit to the pet is having three heads instead of one.

In any event, during our visits with Dr. Marmier, she told me Juno was  a great candidate for "gold beads." Thinking back to Juno's mardi-gras yahoos, I'm like, ya, "Juno loves her jewlery, but she's more of a silver and platinum girl than gold." But that's not what she meant. The beads are a microscopic gold piece of metal, inserted surgically at the acupuncture points. They serve as a permanent, life-time anti-inflamatory to help deal with pain. If there's no pain, the dog can use the joint properly (forward and back motion rather than a swinging of the hips and spine to move the legs) and build up muscle to help hold the hips in place. Since Juno reacts so nicely to acupuncture, she thought it would be worth a try in order to avoid surgery if possible. Dr. Marmier has had a lot of success with gold bead treatment for hip dysplasia and often does not need to see the dog for 10 years after it is done. At least that's what she told me. Dr. Marmier is not against surgery, and in fact recommended it as an option for Juno. However she also cautioned that some dogs reject the prosthesis. That was the first time I ever heard that. I actually need to do a lot more reading on this subject and fairly soon. You see, if we want to do the surgery, the time would be now, while Juno is young, and can tolerate the surgery, anesthesia and while she still has little other damage to her body. As it is, there is some issues starting to develop in her low spine due to the improper movement of her legs and hips. Her vertebrae are getting looser and trying to fuse to stay in tact. I can also tell Juno has some issues with going to the bathroom now and then that has little to do with diet. Speaking of diet, this girl who once would eat anything that didn't move (or moved  for that matter) is now becoming a bit pickier about her dinners sending me a signal that things aren't normal.

For now we opted with the gold bead surgical inserts, which were injected on Wednesday. She had to be under anesthesia in order for them to be injected. While she was out, they took more x-rays of her spine and hips. As expected, her hips are worse now and her spine is starting to show some bridging in the last vertebrae to help it stay stable. We plan to give this a month to see if the pain subsides enough for her to be able to use her legs properly. I"m supposed to "trot" her starting at 5 minutes and build up to 15 or 20 per day. I'm not so sold on that being what will build up her muscle since I've been walking her daily from 1.5 - 3 hours. But then again, we don't trot or jog.

So we have a month to see how things work out. After that, if she's not moving better or if she's still in pain, or shows compromise in her spine, we have to decide if we want to move forward with THR. And that's not an easy decision. The cost is not an issue. For us, it's the fear of making Juno's life worse after wards. What if she rejects the prosthesis? Did we make the wrong decision and shorten her life? What if we DON'T do the surgery will that be the wrong decision which inevitably leads to a shortened lifespan due to other complications that will likely arise due to structural damage? The fear I have of NOT doing surgery are all the other things we will face from the complications of the severity of her dysplasia.  I already see a decline in her movements. Though I love to write stories about her "taking down the Big Boy" in wrestling matches, the truth is, Juno is so dainty and often shrinks away from Loki's playful advances as if she's afraid of getting hurt. Loki for the "MOST" part has been good. Occasionally he's a butt head and will chase her to engage her when she's in no mood, but for the most part, in order to play he ALWAYS handicaps himself and flips upside down in order for Juno to get a good hold of him. It makes me sad to see Juno unable to do what I'm pretty sure she'd love to do... run and tackle him or at least not shrink from his advances. I don't fool myself into thinking she'll ever be able to be quite as strong or normal as he is if we do have the surgery and it is successful. But I would hope it would restore enough movement in her to  do some of the things she loves. All that aside, doing the surgery would not be easy on Juno's mental or emotional states, nor would it be on ours. We'd likely face a year of recovery, 6-months per hip as they are done separately. I would do that in heartbeat if I knew it had a very good success rate.

Right now, the three of us are still in the pondering of the options and we could use lots of input. If any of my readers out there has any opinion of THR, or any knowledge of it or experience with it, please leave it in the comments section. I'd love to find out more about it from experience mainly, not from Wikipedia or vets who are invested in performing the surgery. I'm willing to hear your opinions as well: good, bad or ugly. Feel free to tell me "are you crazy?" Right now, Mr. Wild Dingo and I need to hear it all.

In the mean time, here are some photos from our outpatient surgery of the surgical gold bead implants. I know, I know:  let the "surgical implants" jokes flow! Go for it. Make us laugh!

After the one-hour surgery, Dr. Marmier holds Juno while Mr. Big Bucks pays the bill.

"To think I liked Dr. Marmier before all this! Hmph!"

"Pop! Are you crazy? Don't pay them! You should see what she did to my beautiful jodhpurs!"

Three incision points on her low back and 2 or 3 on each hip. No floof. It's so wrong.

I have to admit, I liked Dr. Vingerhoats, though I barely spoke to him since Dr. Marmier was handling our case. AT this point, Dr. Vingerhoats is serving as our radiologist and possible surgical consult.  To give the shot for the anesthesia, they had us hold her (while muzzled because it's painful) and stay with her while she goes to sleep! I've never done that with any of my dogs at any of our vets in the US. Here they say it's better for the dog so she stays calm while she falls asleep.

"Finally heading home from that dog-awful place!"

"Are these LEATHER seats in Poppy's car? Don't you have to make a stop somewhere and leave me alone in the car for 5 minutes Mom? Tee-hee-hee."

Loki was happy to see her when she got home. On Wednesday she didn't eat at all. I just hope it was the effect of the anesthesia. On Thursday we had company she did eat a little but her belly let all our guests know she wasn't feelin' so well. A wide variety of unusual aromas surrounded her.  So we braved the cold and left the windows open while everyone ate dinner. Because dog-fobid (according to our gracious guests) that I should put the dogs in another room.

"Princepessa, I made a little room over here for you if you want it."

"Maybe later Big Boy. I'm feelin' like I need a little space."

"Anything else I can do Princess?"
"How about getting me a tray of frommage and du pain... BEAUCOUP du pain, Big Boy. Comfort food is what I need right now."

"Jodhpurs or no jodhpurs, you're still my Princepessa."
"Don't you forget it, Studly."

Tonight when Mr. Wild Dingo and I got home from our shopping, she was much more chipper. I bought boiled chicken for her as I was planning to just feed her simply for a while. But she seemed back to her usual "I'll eat anything you got" self. And she was standing a lot more than usual. Who knows? Maybe the implants will work.

Ain't Too Proud to Beg

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28 comments on “Cross Roads”

  1. Mom was going to embarrass me with her knowledge of pop culture by making some Heidi Montag related joke about implants, but I have vetoed it. (Sometimes my Mom is SO EMBARRASSING!!! BTW, Mrs. Wild Dingo, Mom's been planning to email you for ages - she'll probably actually get around to it now that that weekend is here...) Anyhoo... The implants actually sound pretty cool, and a logical first step before considering a hip replacement. If they work as planned, all the better! And Juno - I'm sure your jodhpurs will grow back nice and floofy in no time!!!

    *kissey face*
    -Fiona and Family

  2. Oh no, poor Juno. We wish you guys all the best and hope things go well. You guys are obviously doing everything you can and are doing a great job for Juno.

    We will keep you all in our thoughts.

    Remy and Flash

  3. I wish I had some advice for you but I've never gone through this before. My former dog, Nikita who was also a husky, had HD when she was much, much older, around 14. Too old to even consider surgery. But we were able to make her more comfortable and she lived for three more years.

    Obviously your situation is a lot different. I hope the implants help tremendously. The important thing is to trust yourselves to make the right decision, I guess. It sounds like you made the logical choice already.

    I'll be thinking of you all.

  4. This is Me (Frankie Furter) furst... I wanted to say how much I liked the furst pawt of this post. The Crossroad thingy was grrreat. I liked all those words and the pictures. I could understand all of it... butt then.. well, I'm just gonna turn it over to my mom fur the rest of it. OK???
    Hi to the Wilddingo crew... Frankie's Mom here. He was a bit.. overwhelmed with all the medical info and such so he asked that I respond.
    I have never heard of the gold ball injections but I would say... it sounds like a step up in the route you have already been taking. I like that.. not rushing into the surgery thing without giving some of the more "gentle" possibilities a try.
    My gosh... I am really jealous over that wonderful vet you have.
    I have never known any dog that has had hip replacement so I really can't tell you a personal story. However, I will say that I like the YOUNGER rather than Older approach. Why wait... IF THR does become necessary. Why have Juno be uncomfortable for a couple more years.. when it is possible that the THR would put that to a stop.
    I am going to hope that the Gold treatment does the job. That would be wonderful.
    I wish I could be more helpful.
    Seeing Mr. W.D. reminded me of that fantastic pic of him with his arm in the sling and sporting (because he is a GOOD sport)the dreaded CONE OF SHAME. Sometime... just for OUR Viewing pleasure.. Put that back up. OK??

  5. This made me cry reading this post. Poor Juno. I hate that she has to be miserable because of irresponsible breeders (although I know HD could happen to responsible breeders it's just not as likely) not having their dogs checked before breeding. I hope the gold bead injections help. Since the acupuncture helps her so much surely these will. I know nothing about hip replacements so I can't be of any help there, but you are all in my thoughts.

  6. We didn't have any advice when you first shared this eventuality - and we still don't

    BUT

    You've enlisted a FURRY powerful group of potential information!

    BRAVO!

    Khyra would like to send some floof for Juno's Jodhpurs BUT she sent recently sent a box of it to some Froggie Boy in Master Chew Sits - perhaps he'll let her have some -

    Otherwise, she'll have to wait until we return from our road trip - MFT has furiends to impress!

    We know you'll do your beaWOOtiful SIBE right!

    Hugz&Khysses,
    Khyra and Phyll

  7. You are at a crossroads that we would not want to have to face. But we know that you will make a very well-informed decision. Poor Juno, she is too young to have to deal with so much pain. We sure hope the gold beads do her a lot of good. Phantom said to tell her not to worry about the shaved areas - he has lots of experience and says the furs grow back and the new stuff is super soft:)

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  8. Woos Juno, we hope the implants help you get back to keeping Loki in line. Your humans will do their best for you. That's what family does.

    We don't have the dreaded HD here but some friends have gone through it. The option to do it sooner rather than when you're in constant pain sounds "gooder" to us.

    Here's hoping the mountain air will help your floof grow back faster!

    We'll keep our paws crossed for you.

  9. Earlier this year when we went out of town and came back to a gimpy butt Darwin, the biggest worry I had was that it was hip dysplasia. During the time we were unsure of what it was, I did a lot of googling and came across the gold bead implants as an option to treating it. The best doctor for it in the US was in Indiana. I was leaning highly towards doing the gold beads. Luckily it turned out not to be hd, but she was still gimpy and our neurologist (supposedly the best in the PNW/Seattle region) suggested acupuncture since he had no idea what was wrong with her. He recommended the holistic vet we are currently seeing and she was surprised a neurologist made the recommendation.
    I like that you have a team of vets working together as I think it gives Juno the best chance at getting healed. I think going the route of the gold beads first, especially since she does well with acupuncture, was a smart move.
    I dont know any dogs that have had their hips replaced, but we do know Danes that have had their knees replaced. Many of them are happy healthy active dogs now. I dont know if hips and knees are totally different animals, but I figure a joint replacement has to be slightly similar right?
    I hope the beads help and she doesnt need total replacement surgery! Poor Juno. Give her a hug from us!

  10. I think if I were in your position and had unlimited funds, I would proceed the same way you are. Heck, with those gold implants, she might be able to take up table dancing after the surgery and help you earn some of the money back!

    The only experience I have with joint replacement is when my mom got titanium knees. I think it's helped her quite a bit, but I don't know anything about hip replacement in dogs. If it needs to be done, I'd do it sooner rather than later and give her the quality of life that she can enjoy for most of her life.

  11. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I too hope that all goes well! This is so kind of you to let us be a part of this in case anyone else has to go through the same thing!

  12. I don't know much about THR but I do know about the effects of hip dysplasia on the spine. My departed dog, Acadia, had hip dysplasia that we didn't have fixed surgically. She ended up with a huge herniation in her lower spine, so bad that she lost almost all her strength in her hind legs. She had to use a canine wheelchair for the last 18 months of her life. She loved the chair (she zoomed!) - but that tells you about what can happen with untreated hip dysplasia.

    I do know that human hip replacements were developed based on what's done in dogs. So, the dog procedure has been around a lot longer than the human one.

    If were you, I'd find the best orthopedic surgeons out there, and after doing my own research, I'd schedule consults with them, either in person or on the phone (you can send xrays ahead of time). Just gather as much info as you can to help you reach decisions. My experience has been that it's better not to rely on just one or two vets who happen to work nearby - find the experts instead.

    Finally, having just been forced to make one of the hardest decisions of my life about dog care, I'd say that the key thing is to think about what Loki wants. My vet suggested talking with K about my decision concerning amputation. I actually didn't need to because I knew what she wanted - but I understood what my vet meant. Really think about your dog's soul and what will make them happiest.

    Then again, I don't need to say that to you - that's what you'll do. I'm sure of that.

  13. Fortunately for us, we have never had to deal with hip dysplasia of any severity, so never had to consider the various routes.

    But as a human with degenerative discs, I can tell you how debilitating back pain can be. When I became a good candidate for surgery 6 years ago (ok, when they told me I had a high chance of paralyzing myself if I didn't have surgery), I took the surgery route. Best decision ever. While I still have degenerative discs and may some day have to have surgery again, the lack of pain and sciatica was worth everything.

    Here is hoping the gold bead implants work, but if not, I like KB's suggestion. I know you will have all of the research down by the time you need to make a decision.

  14. I'm sorry I don't have piles of information about THR in dogs to help your learning process. But I've had human friends go through it fairly recently with high praise. Evidently the technique in humans varies with the age of the patient. Younger people (in their 50s, say) have stronger musculature and recover more quickly than older people.

    When my dog Shadow was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her jaw, I too searched for comprehensive information. I think it was my way of trying to gain some control of the situation. Everything I read said that surgery followed by radiation and chemo would not cure her but give her a few more months.

    I opted to allow her illness to progress with only pain management (we used acupuncture too) and she lived for 2 years (well past her expected prognosis).

    To this day, I wonder if I made the right decision. But I did the best I could for her and looked deep into my heart to decide. Once I made the decision, we went forward the best we could.

    You may not be able to get all the information you like to make this decision easier. Sometimes you just have to "leap" based on your best instincts and move forward from there.

    My thoughts are with you all.

  15. Wow, gold bead implants that's a conversation starter there.

    I was impressed by how little hair the Vet. took off on the ole rear end. It could of been like the bear in the movie The Great Outdoors. A totally bald butt. Can you say drafty.

    Oh, love that leash you are wearing.

    Anyway, Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Matt and Morgan (and the greyhounds of course)

  16. I have been to these same cross rodas & I feel for you both - it's a tough place to be. I rescued two dogs - an English bulldog/Australian cattledog x (she'd been terribly treated) & her 3 month old puppy a ridgeback x.
    At 15 months the ridgeback was diagonsed with severe hip displaysia. The xrays were truly shocking, showing the hips barely connected to the socket. This was all about 15 years ago so while I share my expperience I am bound to say that medicines & vetinary experience may have developed in this field since then.
    I had the choice of surgery or, in the interin, lifestyle management but was told that by age 3 she'd almost certainly have to have the surgery.I was also advised that generally there was no need to do both hips, that one hip replacement generally was enough to mobilise the dog.
    I decided to delay surgey for as long as possible because at that time although there was a high success rate, just as with human hip replacements, there were some failures.I also wonwered if also like human hip replacement, it would require more surgery later. I was also mindful, that the surgey was one thing, recuperation could well be another ordeal.
    I was given a truckload of Rmadyl & told to ensure she was walked every day for 45 minutes but never to exercise her any longer than that..
    This is what I did, as well as ensure she was never carrying any excess weight whatsoever, & although she enjoyed the occasional short trot, I never allowed her to run hard out. Whenever she got wet, I'd dry her off with the blowdryer. She loved this & quickly established a morning routine of being blow dried even when she wasn't wet. i wondered if the warmth was medicinal.
    I also kept waliking on hard pavements/roads to an absolute minimum. I live in Auckland, NZ so luckily there are plently grassed areas which made this easy.
    I was worried about the side effects of a lifetime of rimadyl & fortunately shotly after she was diagnosed, I met a dog handler who had studied alternative medicines & suggested I try Devil's Claw instead. (I believe it grows in Sth Afirca & takes its name from the shape of its red flower.)
    I found this to be was very successful. I was able to buy it at any health store & I just put a capsule in her food. Although it would have been easy to break open the capsule a sprinkle it into her food if necesary, she so didn't notice detail when it came to eating.
    Given the success i was having with her daily management, early on I decided I'd make her life as much fun & filled with all the love as was possible & that when pain beacme a part of her life I would let her go.
    She died last year just before Christmas. I am delighted to tell you both she lived to be 16 years old - truly a gracious age for a larger breed.
    It seems to me you have done the right thing with this interim step. It is very hard, I remember with there being so many different points of view. Each dog is unique & so it is going to be what is best for you & Juno that will help you with any future decisions.
    I truly hope that the gold balls work really well & will be all that is required. That would just be fantastic n'est pas?

  17. Well, certainly not an easy moment for you all...
    I am so sorry I do not know anybody who went through your experience.
    I once had an issue with Lucille not being able to sit properly so while I was waiting for the results of the exams I tried and find out as much as I could about displasya. I was afraid of that of course, and I remember my vet telling me that the surgery is really good nowadays. Problem is the recovery, because the dog has to stay still and you cannot talk to them and explain that they have to move slowly or that they do not have to move at all!
    And that is the hard part, but it is necessary because any sudden move or trauma in the first weeks can ruin the operation (this is what he told me).
    Luckily for me, the results were fine and her problems were caused by a bad flu, caused by something completely different.
    I cannot tell you what you need to do, but you are a very good owner, in any direction you decide to go Juno will have the best that she could have.
    I wish you the best of luck and I will follow your updates.
    Nicoletta & Lucille

  18. Interesting. To be honest I didn't even know they did hip replacements on dogs with dysplasia. I'm sure that if it came up with our guys and we could afford it, we would do it. Looking forward to hearing about a successful treatment.

  19. Poor Juno, we have our paws crossed the gold beads work and gets her good as ...well, gold, in no time flat.
    No experience with hp personally, but you might want to hop over to Meeshka's blog and ask, and also check out info on their http://gimpydogblog.blogspot.com/
    lots of links & info there.

    jack & moo

  20. We have little to offer beyond our support & crossed paws. Mama used to work in Great Dane rescue, and some of the HD Danes were treated with gold beads with good success, at least short term. As the Danes were subsequently adopted, we never found out if the gold beads worked long term. Sounds like you're doing all the right things at a reasonable pace. We'll be following along on your journey, offering all the virtual support possible.

    Jed & Abby

  21. Miss Juno! I am so sad to see your beautiful jodhpurs all shaved off. Perhaps they could have shaved your entire backsides to give a more symmetrical looks.

    As to your crossroads, well, not much help from these parts other than good thoughts. Seems to me like any decision is full of uncertainty, but I know your humans will do whatever they think is best and that you will be brave throughout.

    Slobbers,
    mango

  22. I don't see my comments from earlier, so I will just send a shorter version. 
    I had the cementless prosthetic used for a THR on my 1.5 year old husky. He has dysplasia, but one leg was constantly dislocating (luxation). I picked him up the day after the surgery and he was using that leg for balance during p-mailing. 
    The recovery period is a little tough. First, the crate confinement for 3 months. We had to use a sling for support (just in case of slippage), on trips outside and on slick floors. This is tricky for the males, but should be easy on females. After 1 month, you start taking them on short walks, 2-3 five minute walks adding 5 minute each week until reaching 20 minutes. Also, they can have supervised out of crate on leash time, provided they stay "calm". The medicines help with the calm -some sedatives if needed and narcotic type drugs. 
    Our vet said the main concern is a fall/slip where the prosthetic and bone dislocate. It seemed that even a short trot wouldn't hurt them as the dogs weight holds the pieces together while they heal. TR
    Close to 3 months we got the release to full activity and the hip is awesome. 

    Hope this helps in some way, 
    Daniel and Niko. 

  23. I'm sorry, I don't have any stories or advice on THR for dogs. The vet where I worked at wasn't the specialist who would perform one like that; we'd refer people elsewhere and never heard from them afterward as to how it turned out.

    I want to get Layla's hips x-rayed even though I don't plan on breeding her. Her mom and mom's parents all were graded excellent, and her dad and dad's parents were all graded good, but every single one of my previous dogs have been dysplastic, and I want to try being proactive.

    The only thing that I can comment on is the trotting vs. walking. Trotting is best speed for dog exercise, better than walking, cantering, and full out running, because it forces the dog to equally use their left/right sides instead of favoring one or the other. It definitely helps tone and build muscle.

    Good luck with the implants!

    As far as the shaving and lack-of-floof, Layla had her entire belly shaved for ultrasounds as well as a band on her front leg from IVs. That was the first weekend in June, and now she's 100% back to normal. Her leg hair grew back first, but now her belly is totally normal again too. It might take 5 months or so, but Juno will be back to Fluff soon.

    We'll keep you all in our thoughts during the Worldwide Moment of Silence tonight! I'm sure whatever you decide will be the right decision.

  24. I got my rottie Maggie a hip replacement at the age of six. While it was very expensive, the remaining years of her life were pain free and she roamed and played with great joy! It was the money well spent!

  25. Clearly Juno's implants are not big enough because I can't see any cleavage worth the effort!

    But seriously, I have no suggestions on what you could or should do so I just send you my best wishes.

    Huffle Mawson, Honorary Husky and Explorer Cat

  26. So sorry to hear about your jodhpur area troubles 🙁 I know nothing about THR but it sounds like you have excellent vets there and that is reassuring. It is a big decision for sure. I recall the angst over getting moose's knee replaced but in retrospect I can see that there really was no decision to be made I think it was more that I needed to come to terms with it and once I did we have never looked back. If he had come out worse than he went in then I have to say I might feel differently but luckily I don't have to consider that now. Sigh... guess that is not especially helpful for you. If you want some opinions from people who have been through THR then there is an orthodog list on yahoo groups that can be an excellent resource (a few nutballs on there but I got soooo much help from them about how to setup my home and what to expect at what time etc. etc. It sounds like she could get enough relief from the beads to not require THR? Fingers crossed that they work for her!

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