Update #1

It’s lucky I am a fairly positive sort of a character really. Most of the time. Otherwise I feel sure by now I would have just about been contemplating some serious drug usage or other potentially high risk escapism behaviours. It seems Raven is a bit of a dramatic attention seeker. Either that or she is just really one of the unluckiest Border Collies in the world. She had her final weekly blood test around two or three weeks ago. She only needs to visit Murdoch once a month for blood tests now. So quite clearly Raven felt like life was a little dull, or distinctly lacking in some veterinary attention.

On Saturday Raven managed to dislocate her right hip whilst running in a Masters Agility course. Albeit the ring and the grass surface in general was a bit wet and soggy but well over a hundred dogs ran in that ring and NONE of them managed to dislocate a hip. She had done her usual running contact on the dog walk gone over the next jump and turned the less desirable way around (it was a 180 degree turn back to a tunnel under the dog walk) so I stepped in to shape her line to the tunnel which it turns out she didn’t see till she was running flat tack and realised it was there at the last possible split second and tried to throw her little body in said tunnel. Most sane dogs would have probably just gone past it realising what a futile exercise it would have been by that stage. Her ass end went out from under, she hit the ground and landed on her right hip let out an almighty yelp and then peered round the tunnel at me as I turned back to her with her right back leg well off the ground.

I think at this point all the blood drained from my face as we soon established this wasn’t something she was going to walk off. We had no idea if it was a foot, hock, knee or hip issue at this stage so I carried her back to the car and started icing that leg and rang home for Tim to bring the 25mg tab of Rimadyl I had left over from her BMT. I gave her some food and some Rimadyl and we gave her a half hour lying down to see if that helped. She initially kept the leg tucked up fairly close to her body and were concerned that it was cruciate damage.

Within an hour and a half of the accident I got her into the local VetWest where the Vet had a look, by this stage she had stopped her intermittent shaking and her leg was dangling. She showed no signs of pain on the cranial draw test of the cruciate ligament and none on palpation of the hip but she would not let the vet extend her leg back behind her at all.

The vet suspected dislocated hip and wanted to do a GA asap in order to xray and replace it if indeed her suspicions were correct. Once a hip is dislocated the quicker it gets replaced the better and it’s virtually impossible after 12 hours. She explained what she would do and that she would strap it and that the strapping would be on for 10 to 14 days etc. She topped up Raven’s Rimadyl dose with an injection and then gave an injection of Temgesic (Sp?) which is a more powerful painkiller drug.

Then the Nurse is there getting me to sign the form and waiver and they are working up an estimate of the cost and I’m trying not to laugh hysterically as I explain to them exactly what Raven has been through in the last year and after sixteen thousand dollars worth of treatments for lymphoma I really don’t think an extra few hundred is going to make a difference somehow. I must admit I was pretty upset by this stage and worried about her going under another GA as it was less than 2 months since her last one plus she had eaten that morning, but with a friend’s help I managed to pull it together, give them my mobile number, leave Raven in a cage out the back (by this stage she is looking somewhat pissed about the change in environment) and drive back to the trial grounds.

They would call me as soon as they knew what was what. So I get a call around 2.15 explaining that all has gone well, Raven is awake from the GA, they x-rayed and it was a dislocated hip and it was put back in without too much trouble, can I come pick her up at 5.15. Of course I asked if it could be any earlier but that was a no go. So I was there at 5.15 on the dot and saw the vet who had treated Raven. She took me through and showed me the x rays. I have included them below, the last image is obviously after the hip has been replaced. The vet informed me that this was a rather unusual dislocation as rather than up and above the pelvis the ball had been pushed down out of the socket.

Typical Raven always does things her own way! So we looked at the x rays and she told me that it went back in easily and didn’t cause any problems with popping back out. This is the risk apparently with dislocated hips. That they can pop back out at any time during recovery period. Usually the dogs are strapped to the point that it can’t physically pop out (so they are on three legs) and everyone holds their breath at the end of the two weeks when the strapping comes off but because Raven’s was different she has all four legs on the ground and is weight bearing. Right now completely normally weight bearing I might add. The dog wants to trot everywhere and the hobbles don’t stop her from doing that! She can still cock that leg on that hip when she wants to pee as well! So I am going to try and get a referral to an Ortho specialist and try and confirm whether this strapping is doing the job or if it needs modifying. Also to enquire about her recovery therapy and what I can do to make sure it’s the best she can get. It’s a little different when you are talking about a sports performance dog as compared to your average pet dog I think. Long story not so short I don’t know at this stage if she will be going to the Nationals. Looking at her right now I feel 70% confident that she will be sound by then but you just never know. I will not be making any decisions at this stage. So that was my drama for the weekend. And now Raven is bored out of her skull and wondering what all the fuss is about. Below is one of the xray images they took.

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