|We went to our first shows of 2013 in Ocala, FL on 11, 12, and 13 January.
What an AWESOME weekend for both Gnarly and Crockett.
Gnarly won Winners Bitch on Saturday to earn 3 points and her second major. She repeated the win
on Sunday for another 3 point major AND became a NEW CHAMPION!!!!
Although he competed in the 4-6 Month Beginner Puppy class (Group 1), this was Crockett's first
weekend out as a "big boy" show dog since he turned 6 months old on 15 December 2012. On Friday,
he won Winners Dog AND Best of Winners for not only his first 3 points, but also his first MAJOR.
He TOO repeated his wins the next day!!!! On Saturday, he again won both Winners Dog and Best of
Winners for a SECOND 3 point major!!!!! This time, he beat Gnarly to get the crossover major. His
first two times in the ring and he already has both of his majors. AND he's only 6 months old!!!!
|7 April was the last show that Crockett, or Gnarly, was entered in. Crockett had been fighting what
we suspected was Panosteitis (Pano) since December, and was not getting over it. After being
excused twice in one weekend at Columbiana the beginning of April, for limping (which was
progressively worsening), I decided 3 ½ months was long enough and it was time to see a specialist.
On 10 April, I took Crockett to the orthopedic clinic at Auburn University. After the Dr.'s
examination, x-rays of elbows, shoulders and hips, and a CAT scan of his elbows, Crockett was
diagnosed with Ununited Anconeal Process (UAP) and Fragmented Coronoid Process (FCP), i.e. elbow
dysplasia, in BOTH elbows as well as bilateral hip dysplasia. His shoulders were normal.
After viewing the x-rays and CAT scan of his elbows, discussion with the orthopedic vet, plus the
fact that he had been limping (off and on in all 4 legs) for over 3 months, it was decided to do
surgery on both elbows to remove the UAP and repair the FCP. The recommendation at the time was
to also do a Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO) surgery on each hip (one at a time) after the elbows were
taken care of. Surgery was done the next day on Crockett’s elbows.
In the meantime, I took copies of the digital x-rays and sent what I had to Dr. Keller at OFA for his
opinion. He not only called me and we talked personally, he sent me a letter summarizing his findings.
Crockett was given a “rating” of Elbow Dysplasia, Grade 1, with minimal arthritic changes to the bone,
and Moderate Hip Dysplasia, with little to no arthritic changes to the bone. Dr. Keller agreed with
both the surgery that had been done on Crockett’s elbows, and with the recommendation of TPO
surgery on both hips.
Grade 1 Elbow Dysplasia and Moderate Hip Dysplasia don’t sound awful, and there are many dogs out
there with the same rating (or WORSE) that are walking just fine. But, in Crockett’s case, he was
symptomatic. He was NOT walking just fine, so regardless of the rating, his dysplasia was causing
pain and would eventually cause more damage, than a dog who was rated Grade 1/Moderate at say, 3
or 4 years old. You have to remember; Crockett was only 9 months old when the x-rays were done,
and had been limping off and on since he was 6 months old.
Elbows are EXTREMELY hard to heal. And Crockett was no exception. Both incisions failed to close
and had to have the original sutures removed and be re-sutured using buttons to keep the sutures
from pulling through the skin.
His right elbow became infected and after doing a culture and sensitivity test on the “material”
oozing from the incision, we found two bacteria. Enterococcus, for which he was given amoxicillin,
and e-coli which was resistant to almost every antibiotic tested against it (the ones it wasn't
resistant to are very dangerous and can have serious side effects). So, drains were put in place to
keep the wounds clean and not give bacteria any growth medium. He had to wear DogLeggs stuffed
with absorbent material to cushion his elbows and absorb drainage.
The drains came out because the skin they were attached to died, so I had to flush the elbow
incisions several times daily with sterile saline solution, and chlorhexadine. This was to remove any
bacterial matter that would come out in order to give Crockett’s own immune system the opportunity
to overcome the e-coli bacteria.
Crockett's elbows did not heal, so a second culture and sensitivity was done and again, the only
antibiotics that would work were Amikacin and Chloramphenicol. Crockett was admitted to the
hospital to be given Amikacin while being strictly monitored. He was in the critical care unit on IV
fluids to keep his system flushed and they drew blood and urine each morning to test for toxicity.
He got 6 days of Amikacin treatments.
It was 3 July when I made this post on Facebook: "I am SO happy. I looked at Crockett's right
elbow last night and there is NO HOLE in it!!!! The incision if FINALLY completely healed over!
AND with no recurrence of the infection. After almost 3 months it's about time!!!! All he needs now
is for hair to grow over it."
Because of the infection and lengthy time for his elbows to heal, surgery on Crockett's hips had to
be put on hold. Unfortunately, the window of opportunity for TPO surgery is no longer open for him.
TPO is usually performed on dogs under 1 year old and with no arthritic changes to the bone, so
there is a time limit for its use. That means we will have to treat Crockett's hips conservatively,
using monthly doses of Adequan, and NSAIDS and pain medications as needed.
After such an outstanding start, Crockett's show career has been abruptly ended, as well as any
possible breeding future he may have had. But that won't change the fact that he is one of the
family! I DO hope to get Gnarly back out and finish her GCH later on this year. If not this year,
early next year.