Yesterday we took Ernie to have his 'chip and chop' (microchip and neutered incase you hadn't clicked!), but we also had some bad news about his leg.
A couple of months ago Ernie started to cry if he jumped off the sofa, or if we picked him up a certain way. We soon realised that the pain was coming from the top of his leg or his hip, so we took him to our local vets to see what was wrong. At first the vet thought he might have some soft tissue damage if he's jumping up and down things, so she prescribed some painkillers until that healed itself. The painkillers seemed to stop him crying but once he had finished them the pain came back, and then last week he started to limp. He wouldn't put any pressure on it, and would hop around on just three legs. You can see in the picture below how he sticks his leg out to the side as well. He became very depressed and would just lay down all day. As he would already be under anaesthetic for his chip and chop, the vet said it would be best to xray him at the same time.
When we went to pick him up, it wasn't good news. The vet said his leg was very bad, and after speaking to a specialist they had diagnosed him with a disease called Legg–Calvé–Perthes. This is basically a deformation of the ball at the top of the leg bone, where there is no growth plate. The cause of this disease is unknown but happens with small dogs around 7 months or so, which is Ernie!
Below is an example of a bone with Legg–Calvé–Perthes disease on the right hand side. It's sort of fuzzy around the top of the joint compared with the left. This is just how Ernie's xray looked.
It is fixable though, which is the really good news. He has to have surgery on it now, where he has to have a 'Femoral Head and Neck Excision'. This is basically where they cut away the top of the leg (the deformed ball) and then the muscles will hold the leg to the hip perfectly fine.
Here is an example of what it should look like after his surgery:
After that he will need about 4 weeks of physiotherapy where he'll do things like swimming to help him recover. After that he should be all better to go for walks and be back to his happy self. I'll be blogging about his little medical journey over the next few months, and hopefully it will help people who are going through a similar process with their dog.
Keep posted for Ernie's journey updates!
Tribute to Sammy the dog
This morning, my best friend Hannah lost her dog Sam who had been very poorly recently. RIP Sammy xxx