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Success Stories

Buddy8, June, 2000

Buddy8This young black Labrador Retriever from Colorado was brought to his regular vet by his owners with a broken front leg. The owners decided it cost too much to get the leg taken care off and they asked the vet to euthanize Buddy. The vet did not want to do this, Buddy is a lovely and very friendly dog, so she asked the owners to sign ownership over to her. She then asked a friend who is a Labrador fancier for help and that friend in turn contacted LABMED.

The vet told LABMED that she believes his injuries were the result of getting hit by a car; the owners did not tell her what had happened. She also stated that he had been limping occasionally before this accident but the owners did not have him checked to find out why; the vet speculated that the owner's refusal to get Buddy proper medical care was less due to lack of funds but more due to lack of caring. The surgeon who was to do Buddy's surgery to fix the front leg suspected that the limp was due to a partially torn ACL on the opposite rear leg to the right front which is the broken one. But getting that fixed would have to wait until the front leg was fully mended. LABMED decided to fund the surgery to pin the front leg; the surgeon and Buddy's regular vet had offered to do this at a 50% discount and his prognosis was very good. And the vet's friend was willing to foster Buddy through his recovery.

Things did not go well for Buddy at first, the surgery had to be postponed because the surgeon had another emergency. Then Buddy had a reaction to the anesthesia and OD'ed. Complications with the leg kept him on the operating table for 2.5 hours. He was supposed to have been neutered at the same time as the leg surgery but the vet decided to postpone that because Buddy had such a bad reaction to the anesthesia. They did not want to risk another overdose. When Buddy went for his first check up and bandage change four days later, the vet noticed that the leg was healing crooked. He had to be anesthetized again so the pins could be retightened. He was send home with his foster mom with instructions to keep him crated or sedated so he would stay off the leg as much as possible.

Buddy hated crate rest! His foster mom had a stressful week trying to keep this high-energy adolescent dog quiet and inactive before he finally settled down. The tranquilizer didn't help much during that first week; even though Buddy was sedated, he would still bark and try to jump up and down in the crate. His foster mom has been working hard to get him used to being in the crate and while he still resents being confined, he has gotten much better and the tranquilizer has been discontinued. Another check up showed that the leg is now healing straight. She will also see him through the other surgery to fix the ligament in the rear leg and told LABMED that if he will recover well enough to handle all her stairs, without causing himself more injury or pain, she will keep him for good.

Update, October, 2000:

Buddy8, now Dylan had TPLO surgery - to repair the tendon on his other rear leg. His rescuer decided to keep him and she sent LABMED this update:

"The surgery went well and he started short walks the second week and we're up to half-hour walks daily and starting to use the stairs. He's taking glucosamine and chondroitin, which he'll remain on for the rest of his life.

Dylan *thinks* he's completely well and tries to chase the neighborhood squirrels and kitties while pulling my arms out of joint. By the time he's healed my knuckles should drag the ground. ;-) Monday, I had him leash-restrained to the garden bench while I raked leaves a few feet away. When I turned around, he had chewed his leash in two but was still lying there, picking his teeth with the leather! Labs!!

To make a long story, Dylan is doing fine and healing well. If I can survive his adolescence and get through obedience class, I believe he'll be a great companion. My Golden Retriever already thinks he's the best pal a girl could have... they're very close."

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