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                Riley Needs Your Help!!  2012 - 2013

 

 Riley continues to be a good news/bad news doodle. The good news…very good news is he is still walking on all four legs. The bad news…the walk is not pretty; the pain meds have been increased. The good news…Riley’s tail is high; his energy level is over the top. He is a happy, happy fellow and that is our goal.

For the last two/three months I have been having this love/hate relationship with our Canine Physiotherapist. I am learning that there is a difference between Canine Physiotherapist and Canine Rehab Services. This has been an education to us; I would like to share with you. Riley had a great summer, swimming almost every day…sometimes twice in one day. Riley was strong and moving very well indeed. Then in August/September Riley started to hold his left leg up, would not put any weight on it…the right leg was tiring quickly…the poor dog was having a great deal of trouble moving. We were doing the guessing game…do we rest the leg or do we exercise the muscles…if only Riley could talk English and tell us exactly what/where the pain is…guessing, always guessing.

Our Canine Physiotherapist suggested that we look into front end wheel-carts for Riley, “get it now” she said “while he is still moving, introduce it as a toy and then when he really needs it he will be used to it.” The Physiotherapist gave me a website to look at. I was horrified. I knew my husband would have a great deal of difficulty with this. Sure enough, poor Steve turned white just at the thought of this. One step at a time, I thought. First introduce the idea, get used to it and then proceed. I discussed it with my Vet and he told me he had never even seen one, didn’t know front end wheel-carts even existed.

In September Riley was doing a little better. By this I mean Riley was still holding the leg up, but was putting it down more often and actually putting weight on it. When I rub Riley’s elbow I can actually feel things moving around…what is it? Bone chips? Muscle? Nerves? Why can no one tell me? Why does nothing show on the x-rays?

At the next Physio apt. the Physiotherapist asked me if I had ordered the cart. I said no…and she fired back “why not…don’t you want to help Riley”. I took a deep breath, looked at the age of this lady, decided she was young and tried to find reasons to forgive her. I was one hour in the parking lot of this clinic…pacing…trying to control myself before I began the hour drive back home. I was shaking. Dear Riley had fallen asleep in the back of the car…physio always makes him very tired. I have no idea who the lady was that paced the parking lot with me, she was an angel. I have no idea if she came out of the veterinary clinic or off the street…she did not have an animal with her. But she listened, I calmed down and returned home.

Then I started my investigation. Because yes, we do want to do all we can for Riley. I contacted four different companies. Two of the companies are Canine Wheel Chair manufacturers. Very impressive websites, full of caring for dogs and how the wheel-carts, front and back end, have enabled dogs to move and enjoy life. These dogs did not have four legs working…I contacted them anyway. Both companies responded with Yes, Yes, we can help your Riley…fill out this form with the dog’s measurements, and your credit card…we will ship the wheel-cart to your door. Wonderful.

The other two companies that I contacted were Animal Rehab Centers. Both these companies asked me to send them a video of Riley moving…they could not make any recommendation without some idea of how the dog is moving. I sent them a short video and get this…both came back with the same answer…Riley is no where close to needing a front end wheel-cart. It would be a huge mistake to do this to Riley. I was told that for one thing, Riley would reject the cart. A hind-end cart is pulled by the dog…most dogs will do this. The front end cart has to be steered by the dog…this is not a natural thing for any dog to do…they have to be taught…and if the dog can use his legs at all he will refuse to steer the cart. They also told me, if/when Riley stops using his legs he will never get them back. We have to keep those legs moving for as long as we can.

No wheel carts for our Riley boy…Happy doodle dance time! It gets better.

One of these Rehab Centers gave me the name PAWSabilily, Canine Prosthetic and Orthotic Services. They suggested that I contact them, that perhaps a brace would help support the legs. It gets even better…this company is in Toronto, Ontario…about six hours away from where we live. I e-mailed the company, sent them the video of Riley and they phoned me back. We must have been on the phone for an hour. They had many questions, and so did I. They have to evaluate the dog first. If they feel a support would help, they determine what kind of support, they design and make a temporary support right there on premise, they work with the dog to ensure that the support is doing what they want it to do. If it is not helping, they stop, we pay for the temporary support and that’s it…they can do no more. If it is working, they go ahead and make the permanent support, takes about a day to make…and the cost of the temporary support is included in the total…and off we go. These supports should last the life of the dog, perhaps a strap may need to be repaired, which can be done very easily, the average cost of one leg support is around $600-$800…Riley would probably have one on both front legs.

So…we have a plan. We cannot do this tomorrow. We would like to, we can’t. We have to make arrangements. We would be looking at a week in Toronto; we need to save the money for a place to stay and the cost of the braces. We have learned that everything ends up costing more not less, so we have to make sure we have enough. We also have to make arrangements for things here; we have other animals that need to be looked after…the property…unless I go without Steve. Oh my, I can see this now, Riley and I wandering the streets of Toronto…we are county people! Riley has never been to a big city like Toronto! Just the thought of this trip makes me shiver! The lady did give me the name of a pet friendly hotel near the PAWSability…even a better vision…Riley and I hanging out in the lobby of a hotel…too funny.

I passed along the information that I had collected to our Canine Physiotherapist…the only comment was that she did not believe Riley would benefit from a brace.

Out here, we do not have a lot of choice in canine rehab services. We are enjoying taking Riley to the Animal Chiropractor, also an hour from where we live, but definitely worthwhile. She loves Riley, Riley loves her, and although he is usually hurting the day after a treatment…after that he is good to go for about two weeks. We are really trying to do the best for our doodle. I’m seriously thinking about just going to the Chiropractor in the future…we could save the physio money to put towards the leg braces. However Physio gives us access to the underwater treadmill which is good exercise for Riley especially in winter when he is not swimming. Lots to think about. So much we just don’t know.

Yesterday I had all three of our dogs to the groomers. My dogs love their groomer…a wife and husband team that have four dogs of their own, the grooming studio in their own home and treat every dog like their own. Riley is so soft and fluffy now…just gorgeous…and has had his picture taken for his Doodle Christmas Card! I enjoyed this so much last year. I went into town earlier today to make the cards…and will go to the post office on Monday to get my US $ stamps. Christmas is coming, the dogs are ready, I have so much to do, I don’t know where to begin! I tried to put some pictures of Riley into Photobucket, to post here but it wasn’t working for me this time. I will will try again later…

Thank you Doodle Messenger, for once again helping us to look after our Riley...I had a lovely surprise waiting for me at the Vet's earlier in November when I was buying Riley more medications...thank you so very much.

Update on Riley - January 29, 2012

And you all know about our Riley. We call him our High Maintenance Dood. Over the Christmas Holidays Riley again started lifting his left leg off the ground…we were devastated. The x-rays (yes…more x-rays!) showed the elbow to be in place, the bone healed…all looked good…so why? Riley has pulled a muscle in his back and the pain goes down the leg. We have been told that until his left side muscles are strong he is prone to injury. With the snow and ice here it is not easy to exercise Riley outside, so…back to physio…intensive exercise program using an underwater treadmill. We didn’t even know they existed! Until we get this left leg working strong we cannot even think about doing anything to the right leg which is getting worse daily. With the amount of pain medication Riley has been on since he was 6 months old, we worry about the rest of his body. Everyone who has met Riley falls in love with him…he is gorgeous to look at with the sweetest temperament, a truly noble dog. He has cost us a fortune; we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our lives have been enriched by Riley.

Enough of my dribble…you are probably all glad now that I don’t post very often! I know that we love the animals, and when I read all your posts and I know you do too…for me that means living. Bless you all, I pray for all your doods.

Riley with Rehab Therapist and my husband Stevehttp://i793.photobucket.com/albums/yy217/rileydood/094_94.jpg

Riley in the underwater treadmill (one day you may even see my face...http://i793.photobucket.com/albums/yy217/rileydood/095_95.jpg

Riley working very hard on the underwater treadmillhttp://i793.photobucket.com/albums/yy217/rileydood/096_96.jpg

Update on Riley - Sunday, October 2, 2011

 

It is not my intention to post only when we have problems…however to date Riley continues to struggle and I would like to bring you up-to date. To back track a little here, Riley had his left leg surgery December 29th (2011), emergency surgery on the leg February 15th, x-rays in May showed the leg healing just fine. Last June I was concerned, Riley was still limping badly on the left leg. I met with Dr. Philibert, the bone specialist, who said the shoulder muscles were still weak, physio would help, when Riley got his strength back he should be limping on his right leg only. The x-rays showed the bone healed beautifully, plate properly embedded in the bone...all was good. Physio gave us some exercises and said swim the dog...we did.

Over the summer Riley became as strong as an ox but still limping badly. Many times both front legs gave out and Riley would fall down. Dr. Philibert was on holiday in July...we got an appointment for August, which was canceled due to an emergency. We finally saw Dr. Philibert last week and he was visibly shocked and disappointed with the way Riley was walking. The x-rays again showed everything to be fine. The only thing that Dr. Philibert thought may be the problem...is, get this...1% of dogs will reject the metal plate. Dr. Philibert consulted with a colleague in the States who has done more of these surgeries and the consensus was the plate should be removed. Unfortunately, the plate is now embedded in the bone (as it should be) and will have to be cut out, leaving a long recouperation period while the bone heals and strengthens. The risk here is the bone could break before healing properly. The good news is the elbow will be able to stay in the new position, after the bone heals the leg should be in very good shape. I will give Dr. Philibert some credit here, for a specialist to admit he needs to consult with another could not have been easy for him...he admitted that he was both surprised and alarmed with this. He is not even going to talk about doing the right leg until we get the left leg fixed...

Riley had his surgery on the left leg this Wednesday, September 28th.

We were able to bring him home around 8 p.m. We had a long night, Riley cried a lot and seemed very confused but Thursday he was fine. Dr. Philibert was very pleased with how the elbow looked and found the bones to be strong and healthy. He is very optimistic that removing the plate will eliminate the pain that Riley has been having, and the end result should be a strong and healthy left leg. Riley has another external fixator on his leg. It is a smaller brace than last time, just as horrific to look at...but only two pins screwed into his leg instead of the six we had last time. The fixator will stay on for four weeks...and then another anesthetic to have the brace removed. His stitches will come out in 10 days. We have pain killers and antibiotics which Riley enjoys with a little cheese.

This dog is amazing. Riley sports his cone hat like it is a fashion statement. He is already walking on the leg (which is what the Bone Surgeon wants), but he is only to go for short walks several times each day. Riley hasn't even noticed that he has this brace screwed to his leg; he just enjoys the attention when I have to clean it three times during the day. Riley has a new toy, which he is keeping in his hat tucked under his chin. Sharing is not one of Riley's strong suits...my, we do love this dog!

I have been keeping a journal on Riley since his leg surgery at six months old...this will be his seventh surgery...fourth surgery on his left leg. The first was being neutered, then the baby tooth extraction, then the elbow surgery at six months old (both done at the same time), then the bump on the leg removed (turned out to be nothing alarming), then last December, February and now.

It is going to be at least six months before Riley would be able to have the right leg operated on. We are trying to help this dog, but sometimes it seems that all we do is torment him. We have to get this left leg working, the right leg is only getting worse…we don’t have a lot of options here…

I wish you could all meet our Riley...he has enjoyed every minute of every day this summer. We have four acres that Riley romps around, chasing the chippies and squirrels, plays with Jupiter and Rocky (our other dogs), loves all people, and swims like a fish in the river…the life jacket was the best investment we ever made for our Riley boy. Riley is a very happy fellow. We actually took Riley to dog school...twice, one evening each week. This provided excellent socialization with other dogs, something which has been a challenge for us since we have not been able to walk Riley on pavement. Riley knows all the commands and thinks it is great fun...and performs beautifully when he wants to. And that is it. If he doesn't want to he just gives you this look that says 'great...we will play that game later...I'm busy right now..."

Riley is our beautiful 2 ½ year old, spoiled, 85 lb. Goldendoodle who was born with defective front legs. We just want Riley to be able to walk for the rest of his life…we love him.
I just had to share…

http://i793.photobucket.com/albums/yy217/rileydood/August115.jpg

http://i793.photobucket.com/albums/yy217/rileydood/September2011014.jpg

http://i793.photobucket.com/albums/yy217/rileydood/SeptemberRiley.jpg

http://i793.photobucket.com/albums/yy217/rileydood/SeptemberRileyRockyJupiter.jpg

Riley Update - Sunday, May 1, 2011

Riley update…we were concerned that Riley continues to limp on his surgery leg…I phoned the clinic to have Riley x-rayed...they did this on Tuesday, sent the x-rays to the bone specialist, Dr. Philibert. He called me that night...9:30 in the evening. He said he didn't usually make calls at that time but he knew we would want to know. The bone is healed beautifully; the metal plate and screws are embedded in the bone just as Dr. Philibert hoped they would be. The elbow is a mess though. We have to remember that the elbow is in a new position, there is a lot of swelling (partly arthritis) around the elbow, the tendons, muscles and nerves are all still healing. The sooner Riley develops his shoulder muscles he will be able to remove some weight off of the elbow which will help it heal faster...plus, remember, his other leg cannot help him with this...we are to continue physio and be patient. Dr. Philibert is going to let me know when he is in the area again and he will take a look at Riley. He is hoping that Riley can get this leg strong before doing surgery on the other leg...he wants to monitor this. We really need to have the other leg done too before both legs will benefit totally from the surgery(s).

So, we feel better. We are going to keep Riley on leash with only occasional free runs when we see him walking well. Our plan is to enjoy the gardens with the dogs now that the weather is improving and the mud is drying up. I do enjoy spring time and so do the dogs!

http://i793.photobucket.com/albums/yy217/rileydood/100_1578.jpg

Riley Update - Friday, January 21, 2011

Ruth with Riley
Good news today...on Riley. I panicked earlier today...for the first time Riley started to hop...not putting any weight on the broken leg. Down to the Morrisburg Clinic we flew. Dr. Barnett was there and x-rayed the leg...very cool. I could actually see the plate and the screws...these looked like huge screws. Dr. Barnett also pointed out how we could see where the bone is moved over...and...the main thing, everything is still perfectly lined up. But it is a long way from being healed. We came home with some more pain killers to use 'as needed'. Dr. Barnett wants us to start physio, she thinks the loss of muscle is making walking very difficult for Riley...and the other leg is paining more because it has been carrying most of the weight. Riley is in pain and he can't figure out which leg hurts the most. So...I will call Carrie, the canine physiotherapist, and off to swimming we will go...

Update on Riley - Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Riley is doing fine…it is five days now since he had his left leg/elbow surgery. It was a flip of a coin as to which leg to do first, both are equally in need of the surgery, but the bone specialist will only do one at a time. Riley was under anesthetic for 3 hours, they performed Arthroscopy of the elbow joint and Sliding Humeral Osteotomy (SHO) on the left leg. To do this they cut the humerus bone and screw both ends to a stainless steel plate, thus moving the two bone parts to their new positions. The incision is about four inches long and stapled. Riley came through the surgery with no complications, the surgeon, Dr. Philibert is very optimistic that a full and successful recovery will result.

Riley is sleeping a lot with very little energy. We think it is the pain medication making him like this. Today was the first day we could give him these pills on an “if needed’ schedule, so we gave him fewer but then we noticed that he had more difficulty moving around. We have had lovely warm weather (-7 degree Celsius, 20 degree Fahrenheit) for this time of year and Riley is able to lie outside on the deck, the fresh air will make him tired too.

Riley seems to be ignoring the leg that was operated on, but is licking the other leg a lot and wants us to rub it all the time. The surgeon predicted that this leg was going to suffer with Riley putting all his weight on it. We are allowd to do four five minute walks each day; we are using a sling to lift the weight off of both his front legs. This has become a tour around the house. We have been planting a raw hide bone along the route and Riley wags his tail as he stumbles on this great treasure, quite content to return to the deck and guard it…no energy to chew it, but has a paw on it the whole time. I have learned (the hard way) to plant this treasure near the end of the walk or Riley will forget to do his pee. My husband has been home for a couple of days and is home tomorrow too…this is a huge help keeping our other dogs entertained…this walk around the house just doesn’t suit them at all!

Riley has good appetite and is drinking a lot of water…so I think all is good… On Tuesday, our dog trainer/friend, also a Veterinary Technician will be coming for a visit. Riley’s leg is still very swollen, but I think the incission is healing very nicely. I will feel better after our friend takes a look at it. They used staples to close the incission…not very nice to look at but apparently the new and improved way of doing this. We are supposed to ice the leg 3 or 4 times each day but Riley really does not want this, he has to be very drowsy for me to have any success with this at all…I’m hoping that lying outside on the cold deck will also help with this…please don’t think that I am leaving him out in the cold, I do check to see if he wants to come in…probably every 30 seconds! Riley has always had ‘his spot’ on the deck to watch the world and guard the house. Now, he enjoys his spot, but wants us to stay out there with him…we have been acused of spoiling this dog…well, Riley is going to be ruined by the time this is all over with. Riley doesn’t even have to bark now for attention…he only has to look at us!

 

About Riley

 


How to support Riley: 

Donations should be made to:
 
Dr. Devin Hunt  - Primary Veterinarian
Dundas Veterinary Services
P.O. Box 132
Morrisburg, Ontario K0C1X0
 
Telephone: 613-543-2812
Note: Donations are either cheque or credit card, and in the name of Riley the Goldendoodle.
 
Dr. Hunt will internally provide donation payments to the orthopedic surgeon who will be traveling in a mobile medical unit to Dr. Hunt's office for the surgical procedure. The surgeon is: Dr. Denis Philibert, DVM, MVetSC, Diplomate Medical Surgical Specicalist.

 

Update on Riley's Surgery - December 30, 2010

Riley is home with us, and not very happy, but finally resting peacefully.   

Thank you for asking...it has been a long day.  I had Riley at the clinic for 8:am...I was up at 5:30 so worried about being late!  We were actually early and had a walk about the building, Riley was so excited...a new adventure...it broke my heart.  Rachel, the Vet Technician met us inside and took Riley right away, he was the first surgery scheduled with the goal to send him home today.   

Riley was under anesthesia for 3 hours, they performed Arthroscopy of the elbow joint and Sliding Humeral Osteotomy (SHO) on the left leg.  To do this they cut the humerus bone and screw both ends to a stainless steel plate, thus moving the two bone parts to their new positions.  The incision is about four inches long and stapled.  Riley came through the surgery with no complications, the surgeon, Dr. Philibert is very optimistic that a full and successful recovery will result.   

They called me at 4:30...Riley could come home!  They gave Riley another injection just before leaving...for pain and antibiotics...which put him into a deep sleep all the way home.  We had to carry Riley (75 lb.) into the house in a blanket, hammock style.  

Now the true nightmare begins.  Riley woke up about two hours later howling in pain, confused and very frightened.  The clinic gave me Tramadol for pain as well as antibiotics which will make him drowsy.  Riley has been on medication since a puppy, so giving him pills is like giving him a cookie.  He enjoyed a few ice cubes with his meds...wouldn't even look at his water bowl.  We have a sling to move him around with.  The challenge we are faced with is Riley is not able to move around on three legs...the right leg is just as bad as the left leg and it is too painful for Riley to put his full weight on it.  Tomorrow I will be able to give Riley his regular dose of Metacam which combined with the Tramadol should help with the pain.  

Riley is finally sleeping (12:30 am)...he continues to whine even in his sleep.  Dr. Philibert sent home four pages of rehabilitation instructions...exercise restrictions, medications, physiotherapy, cold/hot therapy...broken down into week 1-3, week 4-6, week 7-9...then we will do x-rays to confirm bone healing.  Only then will we be able to plan when to do the other leg.   

I still cannot believe what we have put this dog through...he growled at me once...but I understand it is just the pain and confusion that made him do this.  Still, it hurts.   

This is probably more information than you really wanted...I really should get some sleep if I am going to be able to cope tomorrow.  My Mom and sister left today after spending Christmas holidays with us, my husband is working tomorrow but will be home on Friday and the week-end.  The computer is in our basement recreation room, and we have the stairs blocked off...Riley won't be doing stairs for at least 10-12 weeks.  I may not be on the computer again before the weekend.  I will try to keep you updated, and will post on the Zoo.  An update on the messenger is also required, we have this surgery paid for in full...depending on the cost of medications and physio we will know soon how much we need to do the right leg...we don't have the luxury of time anymore.  The right leg is only going to get worse while the left leg heals.   

I wish you could meet Riley, then you would understand, this is all worthwhile.  Riley is one exceptional doodle in so many ways. 

Please, post a note on the Zoo for me...that would be amazing.  Riley slept through until 6:30 am and woke up crying...the pain meds seem to take effect quickly.  We went out on the deck for a little air...quick pee (Riley...not me!)...and back to sleep.  He seems quieter and calmer.  When he wakes up I will do an ice pack...our instructions are 4 ice per day to reduce swelling.   

I must get back upstairs now, our dog groomer/good friend is coming over this afternoon to help out.  My other two dogs are looking at me wondering why we are not on our hike through the woods...hard to keep them all happy!   

Thank you so very much Susan, the Doodlemessenger and The Zoo have been a blessing for Riley and me....

This is Riley's Story


Owner: Ruth and Steve
Location: Iroquois, Ontario
Birthdate: Feb. 10, 2009
Type: F1 Goldendoodle 

 

Have you ever heard the sound of bone on bone?  When you go for a walk with Riley our goldendoodle, that is what you hear, bone on bone in the elbow joints. The sound is a dull thud as the bones knock together with each step. Riley shows no sign of pain, except for the limping.  Riley has never walked without pain, he was born with FCP (Fragmented coronoid process), OCD (Osteochondrosis dessicans) and MCD (Medial compartment disease)…the worst case of elbow dysplasia that the bone surgeon has ever seen in a dog so young. Riley is only 17 months old.

We picked up Riley when he was 8 weeks old, a beautiful F1 standard goldendoodle puppy, born February 10, 2009. It was early April; the weather had spring in the air, and it was a perfect time to bring our puppy home. We had moved to our home five months earlier, 4 acres of land in the Seaway Valley.

Riley was a clumsy puppy, always falling and doing summersaults. We would laugh at his antics.  When Riley was three months old, we enrolled him in puppy school. After several classes, the instructor, who is also a Veterinary Technician, confirmed our concerns with the way Riley walked…sometimes limping on the right leg, sometimes on the left. It was very difficult to identify the problem, because he was always running.  We went to our Vet the same week, and his shoulders and both front legs were x-rayed.  Later that same week we had an appointment with the bone specialist.

Riley was six months old when he had both elbows operated on. The surgeon found complete loss of cartilage and deep exposure of bone on both elbows. Small loose bone fragments were removed and arthroscopic debridement. This was all that could be done at the time, since Riley’s bones were still growing. We all hoped with medical management that Riley would improve over the next few months.

To our dismay, Riley continues to limp with both front legs. The limping has become more pronounced now that he is fully grown. We have been taking Riley to a Certified Canine Rehab Therapist, where Riley is treated with joint mobilizations, stretching and strengthening exercises, ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, and acupuncture. Riley has a gym ball for his home exercise program. We also take Riley to Canine Water Wellness in Ottawa - a salt water heated pool for therapeutic swims. Riley is at the full dose of Metacam daily to manage the pain. We also give him Cosequin DS twice daily and Cartrophen injections monthly. Riley prefers to run, and he transfers his weight faster and experiences less pain than when he walks. We have been advised not to walk Riley on pavement, as the impact is too hard…soft grass and the snow in winter is ideal. Our goal has been to avoid further surgery; however, this is not the case for Riley. His elbows buckle and even with his medications Riley continues to experience swelling in the elbow joints and suffers through the pain.

We recently had our follow up with the bone surgeon, and we knew that the news would not be good. This isn’t going to get better, only worse. Riley is still bone on bone in the elbow joints, and if left alone, the bone will fragment away, and Riley will be in more pain.  

Riley is such a gentle, good natured fellow, and we want him to have a long and active life without suffering pain each day. There is a procedure that the bone specialist has recommended…it is called 'Sliding Humeral Osteotomy'. This SHO (as they call it) is a metal plate that gets screwed into the humerus bone (above the elbow)...the bone is then broken and slides over so that the metal insert acts like a wedge resulting in less pressure on the joint. The bone will actually heal around the metal plate. This surgery will provide full movement of the elbow joints, and decrease the lameness and eliminate the pain. There is an 8-12 week recovery time...and the surgery should only be performed on one limb at a time. Then the costs...an estimate of $3,500 per leg.

Our only other option isn't really an option at all. It is a complete elbow transplant, which is often rejected by the dog and then you are left with no elbows at all. We have been told there isn't even a surgeon in Ontario that will do the elbow transplant because of its poor track record.

We are devastated knowing that Riley needs to have surgery on both front legs again. We can't believe that we have to put Riley through all this pain...and it will be painful...like two broken legs would be...and then the cost! We asked if we could wait until the fall, and the bone specialist said yes, but not to wait any longer than that. The sooner we do it, the better it is for Riley. It is just that Riley loves to play outside! He is having such a good time hiding his toys in the garden! Riley greets each day as a new adventure, boundless energy, quick to learn new tricks and games. This dog has always lived with pain. He doesn't even know that walking and running shouldn't hurt.

We have known for a while now that this is going to be one expensive dog. We love Riley, and we are committed to give him the best possible life we can. We have pet insurance; however, due to the number of claims we have already made, the insurance company has adjusted our policy (for the second time) with restrictions…to the point now where they are of no benefit to us at all with Riley’s bone condition.

When we moved to our new home, retirement was in the picture, which has now been delayed for at least three years. We have had extensive unforeseen expenses on our house, foundation repair, flooded basement and plumbing issues.   Although, we believe the house to be in good condition now, we are struggling to pay off the bills. We are now looking at having to build a ramp for Riley. It will be a minimum of 24 weeks after the first surgery before Riley will be able to do stairs.

Any financial assistance would be greatly appreciated. The surgery is going to cost an estimated $7,000.00, and this does not include the daily medications or physio required after the surgeries. Our goal is to have Riley on his four paws enjoying every day of his life. This doodle will never be able to run with the big dogs…but to be able to run around our property, pain free, would be wonderful. Riley is still a puppy, 17 months old, a beautiful 75 lb bundle of joy, strong and healthy in every way, except at the present time, Riley is very lame.  Please help us to help Riley.

 

 
 
  

 

More on Elbow Dysplasia


Elbow dysplasia with secondary bone issues is among the most complicated and difficult surgery accomplished by orthopedic veterinarians. Riley's family has shared the painful life this boy has had to date, and will have after surgery, and into his rehabilitation.
Normally, we like to add links specific to this situation; however, one site really provides the most comprehensive material we could find. Readers wishing to see drawings and xrays as information can search the Veterinary Orthopedic Sports Medicine

Burlington Veterinary Specialists also has an article on elbow displasia. We need to support Riley and his family in this process. Imagine if you will, surgery on your own elbows... then think of a dog and its reliance on elbow strength when standing. This operation is costly and must take place very soon.