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Jack's Story

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Jack's Story

In the beginning

August 10th, 2015 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

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Jack is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, he was born on 29 August 2008 one of 11 puppies. We weren’t going to have another dog then as our old boy had only left us earlier that year and we weren’t really ready for a new one, besides we had 3 other girls at home and they needed our time. Funny how life decides for you and Jack came to join us when he was 12 weeks old.

He has always been a happy little lad and was very pleased when we had a whole litter of babies for him to play with when he was 9 months old.

About this time we noticed he was ‘hopping’ with one of his hind legs, unfortunately the X-rays looked as if he had bi-lateral hip displaysia. We decided that he needed to have hydro therapy to support the limbs and improve his muscle tone, hoping that this would give his hips the support they needed to avoid too much pain and difficulty for him, and also the hip replacements he was threatened with at this stage.

Soon after he had started with the hydrotherapy he started to walk in circles, unable to support forward motion without using a wall, poor lad not only had he just learnt how to wee like a boy he was also starting to improve with muscle strength  in his legs and hips.

This was the start of some very dark times for us with nothing apparently improving his condition, we tried all sorts of things, researched everything we could think of but nothing fitted his symptoms properly. The steroids helped to give him some quality of life but never seemed to work their magic and improve him totally. He had to go through a barrage of diagnostic tests and take a selection of different drugs yet he never improved totally, eventually he was referred to the top specialists for their opinion. We went away with the dogs the weekend before he was due to go and were obviously worried sick about what was going on, so many had told us to put him to sleep as he was never going to get better, while we were away we looked at him one afternoon and all we could see was our boy was back! Whatever he had had went, his eyes were bright and he was a happy chap again. Was it the drugs? was it the holistic vet? who knows? whatever happened we never went to the specialist as he improved by leaps and bounds every single day.

Fast forward a year or so and his hips were Xrayed again, good news, whilst still displaysic it seemed to only be in one hip and everything was working well, the hydrotherapy had worked and he was fit and well. Forward again to 2014 and we discover Rally, something he can do and compete at and enjoy. We started with proper lessons and competing and he really enjoys it although he does seem to get tired in his right hind, well it is his bad hip!

Unfortunately the discomfort increased very rapidly and he stopped weight bearing on the right hind leg, we tried some rehabilitation therapy but it didn’t seem to work so thinking his hip was bad or that he had pulled/torn a ligament he went and had Xrays to check the site of the pain and the arthritic changes that were happening in his joints.

The worst possible news, this was not a ligament problem or arthritis, his right hind femur was in very poor condition and it looked like he has osteosarcoma.

This week he had his biopsy on the bone (and also a check on a fatty lump on his chest), the vet reported that she found the bone very soft, now we wait for the lab reports on what is happening.

So we wait, he doesn’t understand why we keep telling him not to run, although he doesn’t put the bad leg down when he is, he also doesn’t understand why he isn’t allowed to play with the others at the moment and he certainly doesn’t like wearing the ‘cone of shame’ since those stitches itch and need to be sorted out!

We love this boy so much and wish things were different but we will do out very best for him and try to make whatever time he has left as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.


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