Pudsey (by Denise Galaszia)
Denise fosters dogs from the Irish Retriever Rescue (IRR). Here Denise tells the story of how Pudsey, the yellow labrador puppy with Severe Hip Dysplasia, came into her family's life, and how his health problems have touched the hearts of many.
In early December I received an email asking how I would feel about taking in a yellow labrador called Pudsey with Hip Dysplasia (HD). There was a high chance that this poor boy would have been signed over to a puppy breeding farm as he had all his paper work. His original owners didn't have any insurance for him so couldn't afford treatment, only medication. Well I love a challenge, so I accepted and grew very excited. The Rescue and I were under the impression that Pudsey's hip problem was only mild and being controlled with medication.
Pudsey was transferred down form Lancashire to Rugby by a chain of lovely people from the Labrador Forums website. When Pudsey arrived I was shocked to see the extent of his hip Dysplasia, his back legs would collapse from underneath him and he found it difficult to move very far. You could see the massive muscle build up around his hips that was obviously keeping his joints in place.
We booked an appointment at our vets for neutering and asked for an x-ray so we could see just how bad his HD was; on seeing him the vet stated that he could see, even without x-raying him, that it was severe.
We picked Pudsey up later that day and had a chat with the vet who said it must have been the worst case of hip Dysplasia he had seen. We went through a lot of options over the next few days as to what is the best course of action available for Pudsey, He wasn't insured so every penny would have to come out of the Rescue's pocket.
A full hip replacement is the only option available for Pudsey to be able to lead a normal active life, at the moment he is leading a life of a 14 year old lab, not a 14 months. If he was to stay on medication for the rest of his life eventually the medication will start to harm his internal organs, also he would always be stiff, sore and unable to exercise like a normal labrador should.
The other advice given is to try and have Pudsey as lean as possible as extra weight wont help him. He has lost about 4kg which has helped him so much, he can now exercise a bit longer.
We are currently raising money for Pudsey to be able to have his first hip replacement, but we are extremely lucky that our vet has agreed to do Pudsey hip replacement as cost price.
If Pudseys owner had insured him insured then he would have had his first hip operation a long time ago and could now have been well on the road to recovery. Instead he was close to being signed over to a puppy farm, he was also advertised in a local paper, someone could have quiet easily brought him and then not be able to pay for the expensive surgery, he could have quite easily been put to sleep.
I will send updates on Pudsey treatment as when he has it.
Following surgery, Pudsey sadly went to the Rainbow Bridge from an unrelated condition. Run free Pudsey
Disclaimer: Please note - all prospective labrador puppy owners are advised to ensure that both parents have been hip-scored and hold current clear eye certificates, and to follow the exercise and dietary advice from their breeder; this can vastly reduce the risk of your puppy suffering future problems. It does NOT however give a cast iron guarantee your puppy will not have problems.