Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ditka Update

Hello, this is Ditka, just wanted to let you know about the yucky week I’ve had and talk to you a bit about why this happened to an otherwise good furkid like me.

Oh, and before I forget, thanks so very much, to all of you that sent me thoughts, and prayers, and hugs, both here and on Facebook.  It does a pups heart good to know there are so many caring humans around me.

On Wednesday, I had FHO, femoral head ostectomy surgery.  This was required because I has been diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia after my left hip went out of socket during our Bennett Springs trip and could not be put back in.


For the first few days after the surgery, I was really out of it. The picture above was taken on Friday when I was beginning to move a little better.  Ok, so my eyes might look a little ‘out of it’  but staying drugged up at this point was probably a good thing.

Mom and Dad are suppose to keep my cone on me all the time and keep me in my crate to limit movement.  Sox has to stay away too because I’m not allowed to wrestle and she’s not allowed to investigate my surgery site.

I have figured out though that, when confined to the crate,  a repeated mournful cry extended over 10 minutes or more will bring Mom to my rescue if she is around.  She’ll take this nasty cone off my head and lay me on the couch next to her.  Dad is not such a pushover so when Mom is gone I just take naps in the crate.

Dad is really patient with standing with  me outside on a short lease to insure I get potty time without moving much.  I also like his pill delivery system that includes hiding the meds in rolls of ham and cheese.


This picture gives a better view of the mess they’ve made of my beautiful backside.  My incision is about six inches long though no one here at home has actually seen it yet.

That clear patch in the upper left corner is a fentanyl patch, a strong opiate that is a time released drip to keep down my pain. 

They’ve shaved my entire left hind leg as well as my front left leg where I was receiving an IV during surgery.  Bald  is REALLY NOT a good look for a chick magnet like me!.


On Saturday, Mom and Dad took me back down to Hannibal to have the fentanyl patch removed.  Doc said that I need to continue to be very quiet (crate and cone-head)  for 10 more days – arghhh!!

When we go back two weeks after surgery, he’ll take out my stitches and start training Mom and Dad on how to do rehab.  You see, as Doc already knows, I have no intention of stepping on that nasty left leg ever again in my life when I have 3 perfectly good legs that don’t hurt when I’m on them.  Doc said that Mom and Dad will need to start using specific techniques to get me to put weight on the leg and that it will take me many months to develop the needed muscle to hold my leg where it needs to be now that the bones are not hooked together.  Doc suggested that if they know someone with a pool, the best rehab is to put me in and make me swim since that makes me use my rear legs – NO WAY – I HATE water over my paws, man!   This doc needs to leave that advice for labrador retrievers!

I think Dad was especially glad to learn that the freak vacuum cleaner accident that caused this displacement was actually just a timing issue since he had been manning the vacuum when it happened.  According to the vet, I have so  little hip socket that it was simply a matter of time before my hip gave way.

Sadly, hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that, according to Mom’s research, I would not have if my breeder had insured that my birth mom and dad had OFA certs of ‘good’ or better.  Had she researched this in advance, Mom would have known to ask for such certifications.  I would not be going through all this pain now if humans had been more conscientious.    Ironically, we Shiba Inu’s have a low rate of hip dysplasia at 5.7%  compared to the many more popular breeds of family pets such as golden retrievers with a 19.9% probability. Also, ironically, the two Shiba’s that lived here with the Frericks family before us, both of which were rescue dogs with unknown parentage, did not have hip dysplasia. 

We are all really worried now about Sox since there’s 80% likelihood that she has hip dysplasia.  As it turns out, the fact that she’s such a picky eater and such a scrawny little thing will improve her chances of being able to keep her hips in place – the less weight, the less displacement potential.

Now I wonder…Mom and Dad were willing to drop the $1000 to try to get me healthy again but what happens to all my brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews  who were adopted by families who won’t or can’t afford that kind of surgery?  What happens when I’m old and have trouble getting around when my other hip goes bad or my muscles degenerate in this hip? 

In a perfect furkid world, no puppies would be conceived unless they had responsible adults to watch over them and insure in advance that they had good homes.  Their humans would be sure they were spayed or neutered. In a perfect furkid world, breeders would do genetic testing to insure they were not passing on disease before more puppies were brought in to the world.  In a perfect furkid world,  we’d all be healthy as possible and living in loving, responsible homes.  What does it take for humans to get this right?  Are we furkids a good example of why humans have trouble getting it right in their own species??

Well, time for another nap and dreams of my perfect furkid world!

Lovin’ licks,



Jim and Dee said...

I'm so glad you have loving parents that took you to the hospital. We're praying for a full recovery. Please do the excersies when it's time.

Gin and Syl said...

Thanks for the update Ditka. I was wondering how things were going for you. Keep up with the rehab and you'll be back to your chick magnet self in no time.


Darrell said...

Glad you're beginning to feel better, Ditka. Try not to worry about the future; just seize the day.

Sandra said...

Humans are not as smart as they should be when it comes to poor little doggies. You are such a handsome doggie! I hope that you will do the exercises that your doctor wants you to do so that you can recover more quickly.

Happytrails said...

Ditka...remember to listen to the doctors and follow their advice!
Get plenty of rest and have your human family wait on you foot and paw!!

Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

Travelwithwhippets said...

Hi Ditka... It's Jasper and Chaplin. We are the two whippets that you saw at the RV Dreams Rally. Glad the surgery went well. Maybe we can have a race when you feel better.

Randy and Pam Warner said...

Wow - looks like the dog is fixed up, hope things go well in the recovery. Not a fun time but hopefully in the coming weeks Ditka will be getting around better.