Ozzy came to join our family in October 2014, at 20 months old, four months after we had to say goodbye to our elderly black lab, Mojo. He was a gorgeous, bouncy chocolate boy who had had a THR at 11 months old. For the first four weeks he was as good as gold, and I thought ‘Could this be the world’s most well behaved lab?’, but he soon learned to show his mischievous and chewy side! We noticed that he would often become lame on his back leg where he had the implant, and so began various visits to the local vets, where he had a course of Cartrophen injections initially, followed by regular Metacam, and some physiotherapy. He wasn’t improving, so in October 2016 we had an x-ray performed, which unfortunately proved inconclusive. As he still seemed to be getting progressively worse , often not using that leg much, and bunny hopping at speed, I went to a different local vet for his opinion. He thought the implant needed to be redone, which could cost up to £7000, but he couldn’t be sure without a further x-ray, which would cost £500. As we’d been in this situation before, and couldn’t afford these sort of sums (Ozzy’s hip being a pre-existing condition, insurance wise,) I contacted Julie, our area co-ordinator, for advice.
She suggested requesting all Ozzy’s medical records from the local vet and sending them to her. She would then forward them to Richard, LRSE&C’s Chairman, for his opinion. This was duly done, and Richard thought the cement from the original THR was possibly crumbling. He offered to refer Ozzy back to the vet specialists where he had his original surgery, (Davies in Hertfordshire), with the Charity funding any operating costs. After much family debate, we decided to go ahead with this kind offer, and Ozzy was duly booked in. We had a consultation with David Thomson, an orthopaedic surgeon on 13th August, and he immediately said he was not happy with Ozzy’s leg. Following a further x-ray, it transpired that the cement was indeed failing, and Ozzy’s implant was so loose it had actually pivoted ninety degrees!(It says a lot for his character that he still managed to be a happy boisterous dog under the circumstances!) Ozzy had his THR explanted on 21st August. David extracted all the bone and cement fragments he could, and then a femoral head ostectomy was performed. We collected Ozzy on 24th August, and he has since been recovering at home. As I write this, he is 15 days post surgery, and almost back to his normal self, though not yet weight bearing. His stitches are due for removal in two days, and maybe then we can get rid of the dreaded cone! He does have quite severe muscle atrophy in that leg, and at this stage I’m not sure how much improvement to his mobility will be achieved, but importantly once all healed, he will no longer be in any pain.(He has already started laying on the affected side, which we noticed he never did previously.) Many thanks to Richard , Julie and all the lovely people at LRSE&C for funding Ozzy’s surgery, and helping him to look forward to a pain free future.
Ozzy is now 8 weeks post surgery and continuing to improve all the time. After sleeping downstairs with him for the first month, he is now able to go up and downstairs quite confidently, and walks on all four legs at slow speed! His strength has greatly improved, and he is able to manage an hour’s walk without tiring. At weekends he is taken down to Bexhill beach which is all shingle and good for improving his balance. We are getting the old Ozzy back again!