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Larinkallion Brysselinblicca "Capri" Larinkallion Huomiongohde "Vera" Kivisilmän Monitoimikone "Ruuti" Co-owned dogs


Capri's hip dislocation, spring 2009

Capri has now had surgery and is doing as well as she can in her condition. On Monday (23.3.09) on her evening walk her right hip dislocated as we were walking past another dog (she turned normally and didn't even manage to tugg the lead before she was down).

Capri's right hip dislocated -  Capri's right hip dislocated, picture taken before her first surgery

We were as surprised as our vet that it happened, but luckily we were in front of a church and we were able to get a ride to the nearest vet around a 45 minute drive away. On Tuesday they tuggled the hip (i.e. tightened it with an artificial ligament to keep the hip in its socket), but unfortunately it did not work and by Thursday morning it had dislocated again.

After the first operation: an artificial ligament to keep the hip in its socket

We managed to get an appointment for her next operation for Thursday afternoon and the vet removed the femoral head so that it could not dislocate again. Capri was a real soldier during all this even though it must have been very painful for her!

Unfortunately the tuggle did not hold, and the hip dislocated again - After the second operation, when the femoral head was removed


The veterinarian's note:

Capri presented with a luxated right coxofemoral joint. Luxation occurred during lead restricted exercise with no history of trauma.  The left CF joint was known to have significant degenerative changes. Options were discussed with the owner. These included open reduction with a toggle to maintain the reduction, and then either femoral head excision or total hip replacement as options in the event of failure of toggling to maintain reduction. A toggle procedure was performed that unfortunately failed 1-2 days post-operatively because of leader line breakage.  The dorsal rim of the right acetabulum had been judged to be sub-optimal intra-operatively and the owner was aware that early failure was possible. On 26th March I did a right femoral head excision. Capri was kept on methadone overnight and she was swapped onto tramadol (100mg bid or tid p/o) from the morning of 27th March. She is also on carprofen (100mg bid p/o) and claviseptin (750mg bid p/o).  At discharge she was assisted into a vehicle with deep soft bedding. She is due onto the Dover-Calais ferry tonight and I've given the owner a covering letter to assist with embarkation. She is a little vocal, but I think that she has a fairly low pain threshold as an individual.

I've asked the owners to see you tomorrow to assess her analgesia, to check on her wound and to organise her ongoing care.  I'd appreciate an update of her progress if you wouldn't mind.  All sutures, including deep and skin sutures are PDS.  I've attached some pictures of her radiographs for your information. 

We took Capri back home Friday 27.03.2009 evening, she did well in the car and on the ferry. The first night at home was very uncomfortable until we moved the duvets in front of the door! That's where she wanted to sleep! Since then she has been mostly sleeping.

Capri in the car on the ferry on the way back home to Brussels

Our vet examined her the day after the journey (28.03.2009), and she seemed to be reasonably well. Getting up and going down was understandably still painful, but she walked in a straight line fairly well and didn't seem to be in pain when she was lying or sleeping. She started snoring that afternoon for the first time since Monday. We scheduled the physiotherapy and started when she was a bit better.

Capri, four days after the second surgery

30.03.2009 Capri was already trying to get out with us when we were heading to dogschool with Ruuti and Vera. Two times we caught her sneaking towards the door, third time she was already waiting at the car to come with us! So she's definitely better :-D ! The swelling has almost disappeared, leaving behind an ugly behind with a lot of loose skin ;-). Getting up is still understandably painful if she doesn't get a good grip with her fourth leg, but after she gets going, there's no stopping her! She walks on her own (no support) and goes to the back of the garden several times a day. Just today she's already been outside on her own 10 times! Going down doesn't seem to be as painful as before. She can also poop on her own, though of course the food we give her is still soft.

04.04.2009 Capri is doing much better now, it's four days since the second operation. She is still very uncomfortable when she gets up (if she doesn't manage to get a good grip for her paws), but after the few first steps as she manages to get her balance right she walks surprisingly well :-). She can do the few steps by herself that we have in our livingroom and she does go outside to the back of the garden and back a dozen times a day.

She would like to sleep outside, but as we can't be there to look after her all day, we do take her back inside eventually. Ruuti and Vera are very curious about Capri, but keep their distance. Ruuti does try to get as close to Capri as she can, and sometimes Capri does let her sleep next to her on the duvet.

16.04.09 Capri is doing much much better now :-). We stopped with the painkillers/medication two weeks after the operation, since then only giving if the situation needs it. It's three weeks since the operation, over a week ago she really joined back into the family and started being herself again: she begs for food and makes sure she has the best spot in the kitchen when we start cooking :-).
Even the vet was surprised at how much better she is and at how much she uses her leg already. We're starting hydrotherapy tomorrow, so she'll develop better muscles hopefully soon too. But all in all, we're really glad at how well she's doing now :-). She hasn't been with us on long walks yet of course, but she does walk around the block with us and is a lot in the garden with Ruuti when it doesn't rain.

We very glad right now that she is doing SO well :-).

05.05.2009 Capri's doing the normal 1,5 hour walks with Vera and Ruuti in the Tervuren forest with us. Tomorrow she'll also start waterwork trainings with us. She'll of course be wearing her lifejacket for now, but it'll be a good change for her from her normal routine. Capri puts on weight on her right backleg pretty well, only slightly limping at times. She's painless when she walks, gets up etc.. :-) We have been to hydrotherapy twice a week, and will still continue. She's been walking 30 minutes at fast pace uphill on a treadmill. The water has taken some of her weight off, so it's easier for her to put weight on the leg.

16.05.2009 A photographer came to take some pictures from hydrotherapy. Some pictures of Capri in her photogallery.

11.06.2009 Capri participated at an obedience test (unofficial) and was 2nd in the winners class :-).

Capri second in winners class at an obedience test

We still have waterwork twice a week, hydrotherapy from now on only once a week. We go for the forest walks at least every other day for around 1,5 hours (together with the other dogs), the remaining days we'll take her on longer on-leash walks. She walks really well, the same as before the accident, doesn't fall behind on the walks and seems to enjoy walking with us :-). You almost couldn't see anything wrong with her in her walking if she just had the fur full length :-). It's still growing back, now about 2cm long, but it looks like mostly underwool. Capri's also started putting weight on her fourth leg when running, for now she's mostly just been on three when she's been trying to go faster.

As the fourth leg is a little shorter than the other, it is sometimes visible when she stands; she stands on toes with that leg. But all in all she's doing really really well and we're extremely glad we did THIS type of surgery on her and not the more risky total hip replacement, definitely NO regrets :-).

Capri august 2009

During summer 2009, we went twice to a dog masseuse in Finland-- and it was worth it! Capri has been like a new dog: all her muscle tensions are just gone. She started running properly  a few days after the first massage, and by the end of the week ran 500m without stopping. Capri is now in very good physical shape due to all the swimming and running from the summer. She moves so well that during the summer everyone thought that she only had a hotspot (missing fur)! But no, she is just "missing" the ball part of her right legbone. Nobody believed us... Capri uses both her legs equally with large range of motion in both, and no limping whatsoever. She gets up easily from her right side, having now learnt how to control the leg better and thus get a better grip from the ground. She is also sleeping on both sides.

We will only occasionally update this page, but as you can see Capri is back to normal. We will keep her in good physical condition, meaning lots of off-leash running, swimming and walks in shallow water. But that is what we do with the other dogs, so nothing has really changed in our daily lives. Capri eats glucosamine-tablettes, and will probably eat them forever, but we have not given her any other medication for months now.

Last thank yous go to the doctor who operated on her, the water physiotherapeut and the dog masseuse!


(c) Salmelin