Well if you celebrate it, Merry Christmas, if not, Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone’s day finds them well. Besides my childhood years, I have never really been the biggest fan of the Christmas holiday. I love my family and friends, but I don’t feel like I need a holiday to tell me when I can buy them things, and I don’t like having a holiday make me feel obligated to buy them things. That being said, I received the best holiday gift ever today, in the form of conversation.
Let me start at the beginning.
A little over 2 years ago, I finished reading the book The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. Honestly, I’d seen the cover of the book at an airport, and the dog on the front made me want to buy it. Its a great book, even better than the cover suggests, as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The dog in that book, Enzo, is the narrator and at one point in time, in his elder years, talked about his hip pain and suffering from dysplasia.
Around this time, Bacio had been my baby boy for almost a year. He was always a happy and wiggly dog. He wiggled, back and forth, a lot. As I read the description Enzo provided of his hip dysplasia symptoms I became concerned with my pup’s condition. Sure enough, after x-rays it showed that my little labrynees had stage 4 hip dysplasia, and he was only a year old. The vet told me the only option was Total Hip Replacement surgery, and that it would cost me $4400 per hip. Of course, Bacio looked like he needed both hips operated on.
That vet didn’t give me the time of day. He just assumed that I wasn’t going to pay for that type of surgery and tried to set my dog up on a pain medication regiment. I was nervous about how the meds would effect my dog’s kidneys and how long his life would last if he was started on meds when he was just a year old.
I decided to hold off on both the surgery and pain meds until I got a second opinion. The second opinion was not to rush into anything and just be aware of the dog’s condition and that action would need to be taken in the future. So for the past 2 years I’ve kept Bacio on Synflex liquid glucosamine, and high quality dog food. He is a very happy dog. He plays with Yuki, he gets around, he chases squirrels.
Unfortunately the past few months I’ve been noticing more and more weakness in his hindquarters. Some days are better than others, but sometimes he falls, and then doesn’t move much the rest of the day. My final straw on waiting to take action came after a visit to the emergency vet. I thought Bacio may be sick. He wouldn’t lay down all night, wouldn’t stay still in the morning. My vet (a different one from the previously mentioned vet) told me he was probably in some pain and gave me some pain killers. After taking a pain pill Bacio settled down, and was able to sleep.
The past few months I’ve been trying to do all that I can to save money for Bacio’s surgery. I currently work 3 jobs, and offer studio photography via Rawkstah Creations at low rates, with all the money going to a “Bacio fund”. Some people think I’m crazy, but I don’t care. I love my dog, and I will do everything I can for him.
Ok, ok. So back to the topic. My dad and I took his 13 yr old husky into the vet for shots. The vet noticed the weakness in Seek’s legs, and we got to talking about dysplasia. I mentioned the issue with my dog, and his age, and what I’d been told before about his condition. She informed me that there is another procedure that Bacio may be a candidate for, and that its half the cost of the Total Hip Replacement. She also said that they can fix both hips at one time, in one surgery. I was in shock. I think she could tell I was emotionally overwhelmed. She gave me an orthopedic vet’s name, and told me to tell me that she sent me there. She worked under him when she was first starting out and had nothing but praise for his surgical talents. She assured me that he’s the cheapest vet in the area, and does quality work. If Bacio isn’t a candidate for this other procedure, she told me that they’d be honest and the best price I’d find in the area for the Total Hip Replacement procedure.
This is some of the best news I’ve heard this year. It will still be a lot of money, but the fact that I would maybe have the possibility to fix both his hips! That was only a dream before today. So Sam the Grinch is very merry after all. The only thing better this, would be if I woke up and Bacio’s hips were magically better, or I won the lottery didn’t need to worry about coming up with the money to pay for his surgery. I am content, and very hopeful. Happy Holidays everyone, may your day be as merry as mine!