joined our family in early April 2006 when he was 3 months old. We had
been persuaded to get him by our young adults (age 20 and 23!). We
did not know too much about dogs at that point. Obi was the smallest of
his litter and was very small for his age. He had some upset tummy
problems for a while but with the help of the vet a bug was sorted out.
He grew quickly and doubled and trebled his weight before we knew it.
October 2006 our Vet could see there was something wrong. Obi's back
legs had muscle wastage. They x-rayed the hips and it was clear he had
Hip Dysplasia. He was referred to a specialist who offered to carry out
a hip replacement as soon as he was 11 months old. He would not do it on
a younger dog presumably because the bones are still growing.
It was a nervous time when he was first allowed off the lead after all this. He had not been able to interact normally with other dogs and would run off to say hello as soon as anyone came into sight. We did not know if rough play with other dogs would damage his new hips. The specialist vet had said he should be allowed full contact with other dogs but to try to avoid allowing one to get on his back. Crawling under a stile was not a great idea either. It was still a worry at first when the play got a bit rough. Happily now Obi is used to playing with other dogs. He will quickly come away if called (usually) and we don't worry about the hips now.
At the end of June 2007 he was "discharged" and needs no further check ups.
he is virtually a normal dog. His muscles are restored, he loves to run
and chase a ball, his back legs are athletically spread when he stands
and both legs turn out from the body when he sits. He still has a
swagger when he walks but also a canter where the hips do not swing. He
does not run as quite as athletically as a normal dog but seems to still
be improving 11 months after the second operation. I think his muscles
shortened or did not stretch into a normal length when he was small.
Perhaps now they are gradually becoming more normal.
operations have definitely been worth it. He is a well known character
among the dog walking fraternity where we live. People frequently remark
about how happy, lively, playful or puppy like he is. The operation and
immediate recovery did not seem to be too painful and the long term
benefits are obvious. It was an expensive process with the final bill
amounting to about £11,000 but Fortunately our insurance paid. It has
certainly given Obi a full and active life which was exactly what we