As dog owners we always want the best for our guys, we hope they are happy and healthy and living a good quality of life. Now many may know that I am a fretter, and having never owned a dog before I feel that life with them is one constant learning curve, especially since my little princess Willow entered our lives.
From the start things with her were dodgy, being the runt of the litter she had been bullied and chewed, she also appeared to have been neglected badly, she was under nourished and full of worms, her ears were ripped and her pads were hard where they should have been soft and pink, we did everything we could to make sure she was at as low risk of germs as possible, down to wiping ours, and Charlie's feet with antibacterial wipes when we came in the house!! And bless her she thrived, she grew at a healthy rate, and she developed into a happy, trusting young pup.
In this house we are no stranger to crazy legs, Charlie has the funniest gait whilst running, and for some time we assumed Willow was the same, but events took a turn, and my girl started to limp, intermittently at first, maybe she'd pulled a muscle (?), but the last couple of days she's been limping far worse than ever, cue the panic text to our very own supernanny (fretful owner!)!!
Caroline booked Willow in to see a physiotherapist this morning, and my brave girl was diagnosed as having 'joint hypermobilty', a condition I am very familiar with in the human species, but never dreamed for one minute my girl would have it. So, hopefully with leg supports, physio exercises on a custom made 'wobble board' (makes me think of Rolf Harris!!), and some hard work, we can stop her going lame, which is what would inevitably have happened. She's a fighter, so I'm hoping if we work as a team we can get the results, the downside is that she is far more likely to develop arthritis, and at an earlier age, but we'll try and prevent crossing that bridge as long as we can.
This is not the end of the story fellow mammys and daddys, oh no, it gets interesting!! Labradors are not prone to this condition. There has always been a question mark over Willow as to whether she is pure bred lab, or a mix, she was sold as pedigree and is KC registered, with an apparent long line of fox reds behind her, so now the doubt has been raised further, and we enter a world of doggy DNA testing (cue Jeremy Kyle!!). Dont get me wrong, I couldnt give a flying....... what she is, she's my baby and I wouldnt swap her for the world, but if she's a mix then god help the charlatan of a breeder when I get started, he'll never breed again!!!! And on the plus side, if we know what she's made of then we know what other ailments she could potentially develop and be ready to spot them, god knows she's been through enough, I pray there is no more to come.
So, as I sit here watching my girl wag her tail enthusiastically, and playing with her brother, I pray I can keep her well, keep her happy, for a long time to come.......but it wont stop me fretting ;-)
Big thank you to Caroline for her continued help, advice and support, it is appreciated so much