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Thread: Busters Has Problems!

  1. #1
    Kennel Cleaner DeeDee's Avatar
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    Default Busters Has Problems!

    Busters is now 11 months old. He was born with a cleft palate and has had surgery. Part of the surgery worked -- part didn't! They want to redo it but we are still debating. Anyway, his leg is now giving him issues. He popped his back knee out about 6 weeks ago. Since then we have rested him and kept him in his pen almost non-stop (other than to eat and go to the bathroom). He has really had no life for the past 6 weeks, plus all of the months of recovery from the palate surgery last summer and in the fall. Today I took him for his recheck and they basically said that his knee is still very loose and will continue to pop out as he moves around. They said that he should lose 5 pounds (he gained weight while in his pen) and that he should enjoy playing and running and not rest his leg anymore, because it isn't going to help. So he might as well enjoy his life. They then said that in the summer we should re-evaluate and decide if he should have leg surgery and palate surgery (again). Also, they said that the food orijen is no good! They say he should go on medi-cal. I just don't know what to do. He is the nicest dog and so sweet and loves life, and we keep putting him through so much. At this point they are recommending palate surgery, leg surgery, and entropian surgery!!! At what point do we just let him live his life and have some fun???? I feel bad and don't know what to do! They said his leg is all about quality of life. Some dogs have this issue and they don't get bothered by it -- other dogs get arthritis. Apparently it is a huge surgery.
    Dee & Busters (aka Bustys)

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    BullyWood Movie Star Become a 4 Paw Member
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    Default Re: Busters Has Problems!

    I don't know what to say. Can he eat and function with the cleft alright? If he is able to, I personally would opt not to do further surgery. There are dogs out there that live good lives without surgery. My boss (a dentist) is on the cleft palate board and yes, they are human, but sometimes partial corrections are the best options.

    My Abby was diagnosed with a torn knee ligament and during x-rays they also noticed hip-dysplasia. They recommended surgery. That is when I looked into herbal supplements to help her. To date she is older and slower, but she has lived a good life and did not have surgery. Orijen has been rated the top dog food around. I use it personally. If you vet recommended the different food, please be aware, they do not have nutrition education. They will listen to the rep and order based strictly on the trust of that salesperson.

    You are going to be the best to know what is best for Buster. I hope that is becomes easier for you as you listen to other members stories.

    Always with me

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    Default Re: Busters Has Problems!

    Medi Cal I believe is a prescription diet (made by Royal Canin?) that your VET SELLS and makes a PROFIT off of. It is probably only around a 2 star food. I have to laugh that they said it was a bad food! That is just outrageous!!! If you are trying to help your bulldog lose weight, give him 1/2 kibble and 1/2 frozen or fresh green beans. He will lose weight and still feel full each meal.

    As far as the surgery is concerned, I guess you need to ultimately make the choice. After the dog food comment I would seriously WONDER if your vet is not wanting to do surgeries for more money in their pocket! I think what you should be doing now to help Buster is search for another vet in your area who has bulldog experience. The best way to do this is call around to the vets and ask the receptionist HOW MANY ENGLISH bulldog clients they have. I think a second opinion may help you decide on what to do, and how serious each problem is!

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    BullyWood Movie Star Become a 4 Paw Member
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    Default Re: Busters Has Problems!

    oh and don't forget Vega's stew. Great for losing weight!

    Always with me

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    Default Re: Busters Has Problems!

    Sorry to hear about Buster.My heart goes out to you. I think you should do what Desertskybulldogs sugested about the food. if you do so He will loose the weight. And Bella'sMom is right, a lot of dogs live happy lives without the cleft palate surgery(providing He is able to drink and eat) i have a sugestion also,i give Mocha Glyco Flex 3 which is a joint supplement. Perhaps that might help a little with his knee. The directions are on the bottle,very easy to follow. Do some research on other remedies an alternatives to knee surgery and his eyes. I myself have had problems with my Vet ,becasue If i dont feel right about something I always say so and some dont like that. I never make descisions about any surgery unless is the last option. I have refused to give Mocha medications that would do more harm to Her than good. I hope Busters gets better and he gets to have fun outside with you!
    LisaMarie

  6. #6
    BullyWood Movie Star Become a 4 Paw Member
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    Default Re: Busters Has Problems!

    From your post, I am guessing Buster has a torn ACL in his knee. Is that correct?

    If so, they had you rest him to see if it was only a partial tear that might repair itself and it sounds like it wasn't since it did not improve. The good news is exercise won't make it any worse. The bad news is only surgery will make it better.

    I had a bully who need both ACLs taken care of - once one ruptures, it's an "when" situation on the other one, not an "if" - which is really unfortunate because the surgery is not cheap. At 11 months old, it's something you really can't just let go. Buster's quality of life would be compromised severely and if the other leg went, he would barely be able to walk.

    I recommend going straight to an orthopedic specialist and getting a second opinion there. They receive additional training to diagnose and give more treatment options for Buster. For a torn ACL, you can either have them tie it back together (basically) or have a TPLO surgery, which is more invasive but will last a lifetime. I elected to give Bentley the TPLO since he tore his ACL when he was 10 months old, then the other at 22 month.

    In any case, I am sorry all of these things are going on - I know it's stressful. But you if have any questions on ACL surgery or anything else, just let me know.

    I'm not sure about the cleft pallet issue, hopefully someone else knows more about that and can give you advice.

    "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
    Bentley (5.24.04 - 6.26.10) & Linus (1.10.06 - 7.31.13)

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    Dog Park Attendant cadillactaste's Avatar
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    Default Re: Busters Has Problems!

    Sadly...our bulldogs can and do once in awhile get whammies like this where they need extensive surgery. Not sure if you have pet insurance...or can swing the Care Credit. I myself had my bulldog with two torn ACL's and it's a chunk from the wallet.

    All I want to say...is that if it ever comes to not being able to financially affording medical treatment...an option that is better than putting a dog to sleep. Is placing them into rescue where they can and will be medically treated then re-homed. I'm not in any way shape or form telling you to do this...but just want this in the back of your mind. If you see your dog isn't living the life you feel it should...and can't financially swing it. That there are options for the dog verses the very last one.
    ~ Darlene: 20+ years of being owned by bulldogs. But I can still learn something new from forums and other people's experiences.

    Bulldogs: Tank and Sarge

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  8. #8
    Kennel Cleaner DeeDee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Busters Has Problems!

    Thank you everyone for the good advice. @desertskybulldogs, I didn't know about giving him green beans mixed with his food. That is a great idea because he always seems to be so hungry! Plus he is only allowed about 1.5 - 2 cups of food per day according to the orijen package and that doesn't seem to fill him up. How many frozen green beans should I give him? When they did x-rays the ACL wasn't actually torn. They think it is more that the "cup" that holds his knee in place is more like a "saucer" -- not deep enough and the knee pops out too easily. Does that make sense? Unfortunately, there are only 2 vets in our town and I have already ditched the first one after he called Busters a lemon! The vet he is going to now really does seem to care and i don't think she is trying to make money off of telling me to do surgeries, because she won't actually be doing the surgery. We would go to the States and get them done there at the Washington State University. We live in such a tiny town and there aren't many vets to choose from. The vet here said she would support us in whatever choice we made regarding the cleft palate surgery. The vet that said that orijen was a bad food was just a fill-in vet while she is away on a holiday. The reality of it is that if we don't do it he might live a completely normal life, but he is at a higher risk of getting aspiration pneumonia. If he gets that, then he might pass away. The bad thing is that if we do the surgeries he might just suffer through them for no reason, as they may not correct the palate. The suffering that he went through after surgery last time was just awful. We just think that we want him to have a GREAT life! Hopefully a LONG, great life, but we have no way of knowing. Cadillactaste, thanks for your concern about not putting him down and possibly putting him into a rescue. We don't have pet insurance, as he was born with a cleft palate, so that wasn't an option. Busters is part of our family and we would never put him down unless all other options were exhausted. We would also never put him into rescue as he is our baby!!!! We are willing to spend whatever money is required (the first surgery was $2000). This is really not about money, but rather his quality of life. If I knew that the surgery would work I would do it tomorrow. I am worried that he will go through all that suffering and it won't even work. I just love him so much and want him to be happy and healthy. I get so mad about the "breeder" that we got him from. If I could go back in time I would still choose him, as I worry that someone else would have put him down. But, when I phoned and told her that he had a cleft palate (clearly genetic), and knee problems, she said "it's not genetic -- it's just because he's the runt" and she is STILL going to breed her dogs!!! How crazy is that! Then she called me a few months ago and said she could give us another puppy for half off as her dog was pregnant again. (obviously we aren't doing that!) THEN, she contacted us again and said she was mistaken and it was a false pregnancy!!! I don't think she knows anything about the breed and I didn't know anything about choosing a breeder!
    Sorry everyone, now I'm ranting!!!!
    Dee & Busters (aka Bustys)

  9. #9
    BullyWood Movie Star Become a 4 Paw Member
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    Default Re: Busters Has Problems!

    @DeeDee I am just going to stick with the ACL stuff because it's what I know - you can't diagnose a torn ACL with an X ray because it's a soft tissue injury. An expert can tell by feeling it and the way they walk. That shape you are referring to is the typical shape of the knee that the ACL holds into place. Reshaping that joint, thus eliminating the need for the ACL and creating a different shaped joint, is the TPLO surgery.

    I would absolutely get a second opinion on the knee. Now more than ever.

    "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
    Bentley (5.24.04 - 6.26.10) & Linus (1.10.06 - 7.31.13)

  10. #10
    Kennel Cleaner DeeDee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Busters Has Problems!

    Oh I see --- the surgery that they were recommending was the TPLO surgery. They didn't tell me what it was called. I think that I will get a second opinion. I might give him a month or so to see how it is, and if it's still giving him problems I think I will take him straight to WSU where they specialize in these things. That is who would be doing the surgery anyway. Hopefully his leg won't cause any more problems as it really does seem a lot better. If it does I want to do the surgery sooner rather than later, in order to avoid arthritis. I was actually quite shocked when the vet said it wasn't better as when he first hurt it, his knee was popping out every few minutes! I haven't seen it pop out in about 1.5 weeks so I thought it was better. Then the vet felt it with his hand and said it wasn't better!
    Dee & Busters (aka Bustys)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Busters Has Problems!

    @DeeDee you can give as many green beans as you like, 1/2 c to 1 cup per feeding. 0 calories and no sugar. Also vegas stew is proven to work as well and has many different nutrients!

    Everyday is a party when you own a bulldog!
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  12. #12
    Dog Park Attendant cadillactaste's Avatar
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    Default Re: Busters Has Problems!

    Yes...a torn ACL can't be detected on an x-ray. They can manipulate it and see if it pulls like one would a drawer. If it does...WHICH IT SHOULDN'T then it's typically torn.

    Not sure if you've looked into Care Credit. It's a credit card that depending on the balance...give you so long before interest is added. So they allow you so long to pay it off prior to charging interest.

    I wasn't suggesting that you were the type to put your dog down. But know of some that would go that route if their dog was suffering and they couldn't afford medical treatment. That's all. My fur kids are my babies too. So I know exactly what you mean.

    I say it wouldn't hurt to venture out to visit WSU...Call them. Typically a consult doesn't cost anything...and they can tell you where your at with your bulldog and its health.

    Tank...he's a new boy after his ACL surgeries. I have never regretted having it done. He's more spunky and can do more...Just remember a bulldog can and will hide pain. My first bulldog Jake was a prime example of this...being trampled by cows that got out from down the road in a farmers field and made their way into our private lake association. He had HOOF indentations in his skin! The vet said any other dog would have died from shock...he lived one more year until the damage done to his kidneys caused them to fail.
    ~ Darlene: 20+ years of being owned by bulldogs. But I can still learn something new from forums and other people's experiences.

    Bulldogs: Tank and Sarge

    Australian Shepherd: Ahsoka ~ Sarge's sister from another mother...and father

    The rest of my zoo:
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    2 chinchillas - Nibbles and Fluffy
    2 Ornate Wood turtles- Franklin and Turkish


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