Monday, June 23, 2008

Born Under a Bad Sign


I strongly believe that when you bring an animal into your home you have an obligation to give it the best life possible. Usually this is an easy thing to do with dogs. You give them good food, lots of love, a bit of discipline and they are very happy. But, every one in awhile, there is a dog who needs much more. George must have been born under a bad sign because this poor guy has almost no luck at all. His first owner had trouble keeping him from running away and when he was only about six months old he was hit by a car. The accident dislocated his hip and did some minor damage to his spine. Two weeks ago, when he under anesthesia to be neutered, I asked the vet to check his hip because he seemed to limp on it sometimes. She said it looked fine.

Well, it wasn't fine. Friday night he dislocated it while scratching himself. The femur just popped right out of the hip socket. It was terrible. He panicked and started screaming. I ran out to help him and he attacked me. He bit me five times before we finally restrained him. I wrapped him in a towel and Zane muzzled him with a sock, then we rushed him to the vet. The poor little dog didn't stop crying even after three shots for pain. They had to knock him out in order to get an xray. They were able to manipulate his hip and pop the bone back in but he needs surgery in order to prevent a repeat of this. The question is: What kind of surgery?

We have four options. The first and fourth were immediately discarded because I'm not willing to put the dog to sleep and we just can't afford a $5000 artificial hip. Another option is a surgery that will remove the top of the femur bone so that it doesn't fit into the hip joint anymore. This procedure should relieve his pain but will take several months of physical therapy, which will require me to manipulate the hip three times a day. This is painful. George bites when he's in pain so it could be painful for both of us. The final option is to amputate the leg. At first thought this seems like a bad option but there are some good reasons for going with this. The first is that he will heal much quicker from an amputation... about 2 weeks rather than 8.. and it will completely relieve his pain.

The pain is what worries me the most because we have little kids in and out of the house and we can't have a dog that might bite if touched the wrong way. As much as I love the dog I will not take the risk of him chomping on one of the neighbor kids.

And we are leaving Thursday for a two week vacation. We have a big decision to make and have to make it quickly...

8 comments:

DotBlogger said...

Oooh. May your decision come naturally and swiftly. :(

Nancy said...

Oh no! Tough call ... I'm praying for George and your decision, which ever way you decide is best.

JCK said...

Sending prayers and good luck in your decision.

Ginaagain said...

Thank you everyone. The vet is going to do the surgery to amputate his leg this afternoon and he will stay with them while we are on vacation. I'm very sad about it but I think it's the best thing we could do. He's been hopping around the house on three legs since Saturday, because they taped his injured leg up in a tight sling, and, apart from being annoyed by the tape, he has been fine. Having three legs isn't going to slow him down much.

Karen MEG said...

Our cousins have a 3 legged dog; the most energetic dog I've ever seen. Sounds like the best solution; hope surgery goes well. Poor George!

Ginaagain said...

The surgery went well and George is recovering. The vet said she hasn't seen a dog with such a poor tolerance for pain. I believe we made the right choice for him. I'll get to see him tomorrow but he won't come home until we return July 11th.

Family Adventure said...

Poor little doggie. I don't envy you at all! Those are difficult choices and it will be a hard decision to make, I am sure. I hope everything works out well, so that George can lead a happy and painfree life, while at the same time making sure the kids are safe around your house!

Heidi

Family Adventure said...

Oh wow, I just read the comments now (blogger wasn't showing them at first). I am so glad everything went well. You'll have to keep us posted!!

Heidi