Friday, 12 June 2015

Dealing with a doggy disability: X-rays of Hazel's broken femur

Dealing with a doggy disability: X-rays show the progression of Hazel's broken femur
Hazel at 9 weeks and 13 weeks
Photo by Stacey McIntyre-Gonzalez Copyright©

June 12, 2015 - By Stacey McIntyre-Gonzalez

Hazel my Saint Bernese puppy is four months old now and much has changed for this fluffy little spit-fire of a mountain dog. When my partner Robert and I brought Hazel home on March 22 we noticed that she walked with a limp. I brought her to the animal hospital where I work the next day and received some bad news- Hazel had fractured her femur bone in her left hind leg at some point early on in her life. It went un-diagnosed and un-treated. The first radio-graph showed that bone had completely callused over- making the left leg shorter than the right.

As I discussed in my letter from the editor Hazel will walk with a limp, is guaranteed to have arthritis and hip dysplasia early on in life and may need a major surgery. At that time I was still waiting for the surgeon’s assessment. Later that week I received news- the surgeon said I should leave the leg for now but take x-rays monthly to monitor the growth and watch for signs of pain. If we saw signs of soreness we were to put Hazel on a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to help with pain management.