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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As many of you know, Perry had CCL / patella surgery in Sept 2019 (after his 3rd time tearing his CCL). That's healed nicely, though over the last few months we've had a few times (4-5) when he's just suddenly lifted his leg and wouldn't use it for a few minutes. His vet thought he seemed a little stiff as well, so she suggested we make an appointment/ check-up with this ortho vet.

As you also may remember, he has a very twisted front leg. Last time we saw the ortho she said that she wouldn't do anything about it and just keep an eye on it. Over the last year though I have been feeling like it's twisted further (made me wish we'd xrayed it at one of his earlier ortho appointments) and that he's been "re-adjusting" it more when he's sitting (kind of positioning it and then repositioning it) with the ankle seeming, to me, like it was bowing out more.

We had his check up today - verdict is still out until she reviews the xrays but her initial thoughts...
The back leg is still fine, healed nicely, no problems. The knee is still firmly in place. The only issue is that there's a suture that in 90-95% of cases they leave in (it's initially put in to hold things in place til the scar tissue can form and hold everything firmly), but in a small percentage, it ends up causing stiffness and irritation. So, in this case, she's thinking that's happening and wants to take it out.

The front leg, on the other hand, she agrees is definitely twisted more and is stressing the ankle. She's pretty sure she should go in and do as much as she can to straighten it/ support it. She has to review the xrays to be sure what's feasible, but she said that, in order to make sure he's still able to walk on it at 10-15, he should get it worked on now. I'm not concerned that she's "surgery happy" because she's also the vet who didn't want to do the CCL surgery immediately (but had said "third strike" - if it tore for a 3rd time she'd want to do surgery)... and initially she didn't think we'd have to do anything about the twisted leg.

So, we're looking at leg surgery number 2 (though different leg) - at which point she'd also remove the suture from the back leg. Xrays will be reviewed by a radiologist tomorrow and then we'll discuss next steps. She did say that sometimes people do a 3D CAT Scan and 3D printing of the leg before the surgery if we wanted to go that route (but would have to check around at U Penn and Cornell to see if either do it) - but that she's done many of them from an xray so that is likely what we will do - unless she says tomorrow when we talk that she doesn't think she can see enough from the xray.

Healthy Paws is NOT going to like me at all :) AND I am NOT looking forward to another bout of 2 months crate rest and restricted movement!!!
 

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I am sorry for Perry having to need more surgery. I hope they can fix his leg so he can be problem free and pain free in the future. Good luck with everything. I know how hard restricted movement and crate rest can be on a dog AND owner!
 

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As many of you know, Perry had CCL / patella surgery in Sept 2019 (after his 3rd time tearing his CCL). That's healed nicely, though over the last few months we've had a few times (4-5) when he's just suddenly lifted his leg and wouldn't use it for a few minutes. His vet thought he seemed a little stiff as well, so she suggested we make an appointment/ check-up with this ortho vet.

As you also may remember, he has a very twisted front leg. Last time we saw the ortho she said that she wouldn't do anything about it and just keep an eye on it. Over the last year though I have been feeling like it's twisted further (made me wish we'd xrayed it at one of his earlier ortho appointments) and that he's been "re-adjusting" it more when he's sitting (kind of positioning it and then repositioning it) with the ankle seeming, to me, like it was bowing out more.

We had his check up today - verdict is still out until she reviews the xrays but her initial thoughts...
The back leg is still fine, healed nicely, no problems. The knee is still firmly in place. The only issue is that there's a suture that in 90-95% of cases they leave in (it's initially put in to hold things in place til the scar tissue can form and hold everything firmly), but in a small percentage, it ends up causing stiffness and irritation. So, in this case, she's thinking that's happening and wants to take it out.

The front leg, on the other hand, she agrees is definitely twisted more and is stressing the ankle. She's pretty sure she should go in and do as much as she can to straighten it/ support it. She has to review the xrays to be sure what's feasible, but she said that, in order to make sure he's still able to walk on it at 10-15, he should get it worked on now. I'm not concerned that she's "surgery happy" because she's also the vet who didn't want to do the CCL surgery immediately (but had said "third strike" - if it tore for a 3rd time she'd want to do surgery)... and initially she didn't think we'd have to do anything about the twisted leg.

So, we're looking at leg surgery number 2 (though different leg) - at which point she'd also remove the suture from the back leg. Xrays will be reviewed by a radiologist tomorrow and then we'll discuss next steps. She did say that sometimes people do a 3D CAT Scan and 3D printing of the leg before the surgery if we wanted to go that route (but would have to check around at U Penn and Cornell to see if either do it) - but that she's done many of them from an xray so that is likely what we will do - unless she says tomorrow when we talk that she doesn't think she can see enough from the xray.

Healthy Paws is NOT going to like me at all :) AND I am NOT looking forward to another bout of 2 months crate rest and restricted movement!!!
Poor Perry and poor you. But OTOH... LUCKY Perry that he ended UP with an owner like you that cares enough to DO all this for him!!! 💕 💕 💕
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Poor Perry and poor you. But OTOH... LUCKY Perry that he ended UP with an owner like you that cares enough to DO all this for him!!! 💕 💕 💕
Lucky that I can afford to do all of this (even with insurance it all costs a pretty penny). It did make me think about all the people who get their dogs from pet stores (from puppy mills) thinking to save money (less than you'd spend with a reputable breeder) but then can easily end up with these sort of problems (I know even well bred dogs from really good breeders can tear their CCL but the twisted leg is totally bad breeding).

You know when you rescue that it's a crap shoot in terms of the breeding and potential health issues.

Right now he's totally crashed out at the end of the bed from the sedation (to do the xrays).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am sorry for Perry having to need more surgery. I hope they can fix his leg so he can be problem free and pain free in the future. Good luck with everything. I know how hard restricted movement and crate rest can be on a dog AND owner!
Thanks - after the last surgery (And the two times before that we had to do crate rest to see if the tear could heal), I think restricted mvoement and crate rest is harder on the owner :D
 

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I can commiserate with PERRY to an extent. This is not fun for PERRY, Melissa, or anyone. I am just happy he is in a place where he can get the best care available. DD2 has gone through TWO of these surgeries with her dog and no insurance. She thought she was getting a 'bargain' when she purchased her Lab. It turned out that was not the case. The good news is that her dog is fine today and I have confidence he will be okay too after his surgery.

PERRY is a brave and a good boy. RICKY and I are rooting for you amigo.
 

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Lucky that I can afford to do all of this (even with insurance it all costs a pretty penny). It did make me think about all the people who get their dogs from pet stores (from puppy mills) thinking to save money (less than you'd spend with a reputable breeder) but then can easily end up with these sort of problems (I know even well bred dogs from really good breeders can tear their CCL but the twisted leg is totally bad breeding).

You know when you rescue that it's a crap shoot in terms of the breeding and potential health issues.

Right now he's totally crashed out at the end of the bed from the sedation (to do the xrays).
The thing is, though, in your case, Perry is a rescue. But MOST of the time, pet store dogs are NOT much (if any) cheaper than a dog from a reputable breeder! That’s what kills me!
 
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Thanks - after the last surgery (And the two times before that we had to do crate rest to see if the tear could heal), I think restricted mvoement and crate rest is harder on the owner :D
Definitely! The nine months of very restricted mobility for Kodi with his shoulder injury was miserable for EVERYONE!
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The thing is, though, in your case, Perry is a rescue. But MOST of the time, pet store dogs are NOT much (if any) cheaper than a dog from a reputable breeder! That’s what kills me!
They're faster though - for the spur of a moment "let's get a puppy" people (or even, honestly, people who want one this year - since we know wait lists can be a long time). But the issues you are possibly getting can last a lifetime. We have many pet store dogs in the family (an extended family member owns a few pet stores - though they insist that the people they get them from are not "puppy mills" - I disagree.) It's a complete crapshoot. Many have been good dogs, but some have come with issues (including cousin Finley who did NOT get the socialization he needed for the first 3 months of his life and does NOT know how to interact properly with dogs of different temperaments).

Yes, Perry is a rescue and is definitely a product of puppy mill - we don't do proper health checks of the parents given how crooked his leg is. But I love him to pieces anyway.
 

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They're faster though - for the spur of a moment "let's get a puppy" people (or even, honestly, people who want one this year - since we know wait lists can be a long time). But the issues you are possibly getting can last a lifetime.
True. And there are all too many people who buy pets as impulse purchases, or "have to have them" for a birthday or Christmas present or for some other specific date.

We have many pet store dogs in the family (an extended family member owns a few pet stores - though they insist that the people they get them from are not "puppy mills" - I disagree.) It's a complete crapshoot. Many have been good dogs, but some have come with issues (including cousin Finley who did NOT get the socialization he needed for the first 3 months of his life and does NOT know how to interact properly with dogs of different temperaments).
A number of years ago, we were invited to a dinner party at a client's of Dave's. The people seated me beside the owner of a pet store chain, thinking we'd have "something in common". OMG... I spent more of my meal biting my tongue than chewing the food! LOL!

Yes, Perry is a rescue and is definitely a product of puppy mill - we don't do proper health checks of the parents given how crooked his leg is. But I love him to pieces anyway.
And it's a WONDERFUL thing to rescue dogs like Perry!!! I am so glad there are people willing to do it!

The other thing I should mention is that even in a well-bred puppy (and I have no doubt that you are right, that Perry was from a puppy mill or he would not, in all likelihood, have ended upon a shelter at his tender age!) A young puppy ho is dropped can have damage to the growth plates in a front leg causing twisting of the leg as it grows. SOMETIMES it is possible to tell the difference between a congenital defect of a front leg, pretty much always if both front legs are wonky, you can assume the dog "came with" those legs. But if it is only ONE leg, unless you know the history (and the owners are honest about any early history of falls) a vet can't tell whether twisting of a leg is congenital or the result of damage to a growth plate.

I am NOT saying that is the case with Perry, but I want people reading this to be aware of that possibility. It's another reason to be careful of young puppies!
 
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But MOST of the time, pet store dogs are NOT much (if any) cheaper than a dog from a reputable breeder! That’s what kills me!
(Pet store/puppy mill dogs are) faster though - for the spur of a moment "let's get a puppy" people (or even, honestly, people who want one this year - since we know wait lists can be a long time). But the issues you are possibly getting can last a lifetime.
Pet store dogs (and cats) were BANNED in California 5 years ago and home breeders have to be licensed and inspected by the State now. As far as I know, canine breeder "co-ops" where a group of breeders will have a marketing representative sell puppies on their behalf to save expenses (license fees, State sales taxes, inspection fees) which are common in some States are also not permitted here. Of course there are some breeders in California that try to 'fly under the radar' to circumvent the State requirements, but that is a misdemeanor and subject to significant fines and possible jail time. THAT DOES NOT MEAN ALL STATE LICENSED BREEDERS ARE A REPUTABLE BREEDER in California. Puppy mills are still an occasional problem here but less so now.

Inexpensive puppies from a disreputable dealer are far from a bargain. I know people who have spent in excess of $10,000 for Vet services (surgeries, medication, special equipment, etc.) on bargain dogs from "reputable" breeders. Yet people continue to support these breeders because they want a puppy NOW or because they don't want to spend the going rate of around $3000 for a quality Havanese ("Hey I found a Havanese puppy for only $600, is this a reputable dealer?"). Even spending a lot of money on a Havanese is NOT a guarantee that the breeder is reputable. I have heard of one case where someone spent $4500 on a Havanese puppy from a photo they fell in love with on the Internet. They got their puppy, brought it home and found out it had significant health issues costing immediate Vet bills and possibly continuing Vet health care over the dog's lifetime (which will probably be relatively short). The breeder in this case (not from California) refused to stand behind her "guarantee." Of course the new owner is madly in love with her puppy but it is going to be a lot of extra work, extra expense, and possible heartache in the future. Fortunately in California we have a relatively effective "Small Claims Court" procedure where no attorneys are allowed to participate. It is just one person suing another before a judge and no jury. The Court has found through precedent that all written puppy guarantees are enforceable, ALL puppy deposits are refundable at anytime, and if a puppy is not to your liking after a given short period of time, the full cost is fully refundable.

I get a bit militant on this issue, well it really makes my blood boil! 😡 For those of you on HF looking for a quality puppy, listen to the recommendations of the members here who have been through this and offer sincere recommendations. That is still no guarantee that your 'puppy experience' will be trouble free, but it just might help.

Wishing the BEST for PERRY. It is not his fault (or Melissa's) for the trials and tribulations in his life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
And it's a WONDERFUL thing to rescue dogs like Perry!!! I am so glad there are people willing to do it!

The other thing I should mention is that even in a well-bred puppy (and I have no doubt that you are right, that Perry was from a puppy mill or he would not, in all likelihood, have ended upon a shelter at his tender age!) A young puppy ho is dropped can have damage to the growth plates in a front leg causing twisting of the leg as it grows. SOMETIMES it is possible to tell the difference between a congenital defect of a front leg, pretty much always if both front legs are wonky, you can assume the dog "came with" those legs. But if it is only ONE leg, unless you know the history (and the owners are honest about any early history of falls) a vet can't tell whether twisting of a leg is congenital or the result of damage to a growth plate.

I am NOT saying that is the case with Perry, but I want people reading this to be aware of that possibility. It's another reason to be careful of young puppies!
Full update in another post (it's a really long one!) but on the leg - both his legs are twisted but the left is much more than the right. The vet says that part of this is because the radius and ulna did not grow evenly (which means the surgery will entail taking some bone from one, adding a spaceer (or something like that) to the other and pins and stuff...) It wouldn't surprise me if, in part, this was an early injury (puppy mills are NOT known for well cared for dogs) but it has to be at least partially congenital as well given it's both legs. AND since it is both legs, that's one of the reasons the vet does want to do surgery - because the other is not 100% sound as well.

Inexpensive puppies from a disreputable dealer are far from a bargain. I know people who have spent in excess of $10,000 for Vet services (surgeries, medication, special equipment, etc.) on bargain dogs from "reputable" breeders. ...

Wishing the BEST for PERRY. It is not his fault (or Melissa's) for the trials and tribulations in his life.
Thanks. And you're not far off on the vet bill costs (so glad I invested in pet insurance) - between his last surgery and the surgeries to come - we are easily going to hit the $10k mark!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK, update - probably a bit of a long one...

Talked to the vet today - and the discussion that I thought would focus on how his front leg looked, what the surgery would look like and when we needed to do it, became a discussion that the Dr. noticed, when they did the first xray, that there was a "lesion" (Aka tumor) on his spine. So they did a few more xrays and found 3 "lesions" - 1 about the size of a golf ball. So, discussions of surgery on his leg have been put on hold and we're now scheduled for a CAT scan and biopsy (scheduled for May 11th, but hopefully moving it sooner- when I made it for the 11th it was because I had to go back to that vet then for Uncle Duncan's checkup (gallbladder issues) and wanted to save the trip - but then realized that is 3 weeks away and I really can't wait that long (without losing my mind) - so hopefully we'll be able to at least move it a week earlier and they'll let me know if they have a cancellation before that. The biopsy will entail taking a sample of the mass AND of the bone, hopefully of 2 of the 3 (one is under a lot of muscle so she doesn't want to bother than for a biopsy right now) and then we wait.

The biopsy results take 2 weeks (!!!!) to get back (so more time for me to lose my mind) so then we can decide what to do. She said that even if it's benign she wants to take it out - but the difference would be the "margin" that she removes depending on if it's benign or malignant. So, now we wait to find out (and cross every finger and toe possible that they're benign). AND the leg surgery gets put on hold til this is all figured out.

When I got home (I was out when she called) I googled it - and lucky us - I read that spinal tumors/ lesions are rare in dogs and 90% of them occur in large breeds. Lucky lucky me to have the very small percentage that occurs in small / toy breeds :cry:. I can't even begin to imagine what the recovery time/ process will be on this. AND then if all goes well, another recovery time for the leg. I can't even think that far ahead right now.
 

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Full update in another post (it's a really long one!) but on the leg - both his legs are twisted but the left is much more than the right. The vet says that part of this is because the radius and ulna did not grow evenly (which means the surgery will entail taking some bone from one, adding a spaceer (or something like that) to the other and pins and stuff...) It wouldn't surprise me if, in part, this was an early injury (puppy mills are NOT known for well cared for dogs) but it has to be at least partially congenital as well given it's both legs. AND since it is both legs, that's one of the reasons the vet does want to do surgery - because the other is not 100% sound as well.


Thanks. And you're not far off on the vet bill costs (so glad I invested in pet insurance) - between his last surgery and the surgeries to come - we are easily going to hit the $10k mark!
But he’s priceless! ❤
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Melissa, I am SO sorry to hear this! The leg news was hard enough, but this... :cry:
yeah this was tough especially when I was expecting the leg discussion and it turned into this. But, will keep fingers (And toes) crossed that it's benign and all we're dealing with is removing it.
 
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