As per my previous post, yesterday was Finn's appointment to be neutered, have his hips x-rayed and check out his tummy in the x-ray as well to make sure he didn't have something stuck in there. There was good news and bad news, so we'll start with the good.

The good news is that Finn's surgery went very well. He has two incisions one of which is low at the base of the scrotum where they usually go to neuter and another on his abdomen (this one is larger). The vet hoped he'd find Finn's other testicle through the first incision but no such luck, he had to go in the abdomen and as soon as he opened it, there sat the jewel. He handled the anesthesia well and was very alert when we went to pick him up. The wounds look great and he doesn't have a cone on, we just have to tell him to leave it if he goes to lick. I think it's more the close shave they gave him that is bothering him rather than the actual wounds. They had to shave both of his front legs because the vet said the nurses were having trouble getting the IV into one leg so they had to use the other. Poor boy, I wonder how many time they jabbed him with the needle first. He whimpered quite a bit yesterday but was looking more comfortable by bed time and today is doing even better. The big chore is trying to get him to take the pain meds. He can smell it no matter what food we hide it in so we've started having to put it down his throat, but all in all, things are going well.

As far as his tummy goes, the vet said the fact that Finn is eating and going potty makes him think there isn't anything stuck in there and perhaps he just has a sensitive stomach and needs to have a snack before bed to prevent the acid from making him sick. We'll give it a try and hopefully that's all it is. The pre-op blood panel didn't show any problems with his kidneys so that's good because I was concerned that might be the cause.

Now we've reached the bad news... the hips. The vet said Finn has very bad hips, in other words, hip dysplasia. I was so afraid of this. When we got Finn at 8 weeks he was barely able to use his back legs and we were extremely worried. His breeder said he had seen that before in Cardi pups and he was not worried. He said just as human babies are more loose jointed and some learn to walk faster than others, so are Cardis. He does guarantee his pups against genetic defect and said of course if something were wrong or we decided we were to worried to keep him we could give him back. Once we had him that was not an option. How do you return part of your family and what would the breeder have done with him anyway? Right away we had our vet look at him and he said it felt like his tendons were very loose in his hind legs and he just needed to strengthen them. After a month or two he was running and moving with no problems but in the back of my mind I was still worried. Things he does like kick his hind legs to one side when he runs concerned me which is why we asked to have the x-rays done. I saw the x-ray and the his socket is very shallow and there is a big gap between the ball of the joint and the socket, that leaves it looking like it's not even in there. The vet said he could easily pop the hips out of place. Hewants us to put him on Glucosamine and fish oil now. His suggestion is keep him on that and if and when he shows he's in pain we would do pain management and as a last resort hip replacement surgery. He said he's seen dogs with bad hips that are crippled and others that show mild or no symptoms so there's no way to gage how Finn will be but if he were to guess, he'd say by 8 years at least he will be having some problems. I'm still overwhelmed by the news. After all I went through to get him and all the scares along the way and how much I love him, I can't stand the thought of losing him at an early age. I do everything to keep him healthy and happy so he'll be with us for many many years and then something like this comes up which is out of my control. From what I have read, there are other surgeries that can be done but some have to be done now before he has arthritis but not knowing if he will ever get bad I can't decide if we should jump to surgery. Not to mention the cost and the pain and healing he'd have to endure.

I told the breeder about the x-rays and he said shallow sockets are common in Cardigans and you cannot judge his hips by an x-ray. He said hips actually becoming painful in Cardis is very rare but if Finn shows symptoms he wants us to bring him to him so he can observe him for a couple weeks and have his vet friend look at him and if he does have dysplasia he would refund our money. I don't know if this means he would take Finn back or what, but that's out of the question. We can't afford to go out of state to get Finn to him plus I wouldn't want to leave him with the breeder for weeks. I wish I could see x-rays of other Cardi's hips so I had something to compare it to.

Sorry this is so long by the way, this whole hip thing is just really bothering me.

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Comment by Alice on May 3, 2009 at 2:44pm
Thank you Joleene, I appreciate that. :)
Comment by astro, starla, joleene & jason on May 3, 2009 at 1:44pm
we had a pup that had to go in and out of the vet office for everything. not to mention the cost but all of the poking and prodding. in the end, we decided that loving him was the best thing we could have done for him. we decided not to put him through more surgeries because it was jsut too much for him. we gave him the best life that we could. so, good thing you guys are proactive and know that you know whats up- i know you guys are going to stay on it and be great parents to a special boy. :)
Comment by Alice on April 26, 2009 at 4:26pm
Finn's breeder still doesn't think his hips are bad and said he would like to at least see a video of Finn running to see how much he kicks his legs out to the side. I will send him the video once he's all healed up from surgery but I don't see the point since we are not going to sell Finnigan back to him anyway. If he wanted to give us some money back that would be great but I don't expect anything.

Since Finn's breeder and the vet have totally different views on the matter I decided to get another Cardi breeder's opinion. She said that she has not experienced hip problems with her dogs but that's not to say it's impossible. She said having a vet that is experienced with x-raying the hips of dwarf breeds is importand as you cannot compare their hips to any other breed of dog or of course they will look bad. She also said if they position the legs wrong for the x-ray it can make the hips look bad. One of her bitches was x-rayed by her vet and diagnosed with mild hip dysplsia so she had the film read by an experienced radiologist and he said her hips were good, it was just bad positioning on the vet's part. This is not to say that Finn is in the clear but it gives me some hope. As she suggested, we are going to wait until Finn is 18 months old and have new x-rays done by the Dr she uses for her Cardis' hips. In the meantime we'll give him the suppliments and treat him as if his hips are bad since that's the only diagnosis we have right now.

I wish our breeder were as easy to talk to as she is. He's a nice enough guy and has amazing Cardigans but I think he's a little too defensive and lacking people skills. We'd like to get a girl Cardi later on but I don't know now if I'd get another from him (if he'd even sell to us after all this) or go to another breeder. I just really love his dogs and he's within driving distance, Oh well, we'll cross that bridge when we reach it.
Comment by Michelle on April 23, 2009 at 2:00pm
Comment by Michelle on April 23, 2009 at 1:59pm
No I never have had hips x rays done. AJ my female has had more back that hip issues. I have found that when dealing with potential health issues that prevention is 1/2 of the battle. We limit her jumping from high places (ie the bed) allow her to jump up and down from sofa. As a result of her problems limit our big boys jumping. The Glucos. seems to help her remain highly mobile. The Drs. told us that she has basically vertibarate deteriation disease, which in my mind just means that she has more back problems than average. I keep a close watch on her but she is active and with limited jumping symtom free. Just remember that they have said that other measures might be necesary, he might never have any problems. Check out the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America they have links to breeders..they might better be able to advise on potential hip dysp. Try not to take the news to hard. I was terrified when I found out about AJ's back issues but with behavior modification following the surgery she has done very well.
Comment by Alice on April 23, 2009 at 12:17pm
Thanks for the link to Jeffers. I will definitely look into that. Did you ever have your Cardi's hips x-rayed? I wish I had some way to know how Finn's hips compare to others but I cannot seem to find any Cardi hip x-rays online.

I'm sorry to hear about your Pem. I'm afraid of losing Finn at a young age like that. I always wonder, what would the breeder do with a dog that was returned for health reason's. I would never give up Finn but each time the breeders says all he can do is offer to buy him back I'm tempted to ask what he'd do with him.

Thank you both for the compliments on Finn. He really is a special boy. :)
Comment by Bev Levy on April 23, 2009 at 9:14am
Sorry to hear about Finn's hips. He is so beautiful it is easy to see that he is special. One of my pembroke's had hip dysplasia. Unfortunately she had many other health problems too and only lived to 6. However, my vet said it was critical to keep her weight under control, limit the jumping on and off everything (which was difficult because she had bonded so strongly to our cats) and the glucosamine. We did have to wheel her around in a stroller but that was due to cruciate ligament rips. I always discounted the breeder guarantee because I also could not imagine giving my dog back! If you keep him active with walks and the right kind of care he should do just fine. Best of luck to you.
Comment by Michelle on April 22, 2009 at 11:23pm
PS FInn is a doll! Love the look he gives you when he is playing with his sheep...."You lookin' at me???"
Comment by Michelle on April 22, 2009 at 11:22pm
We have both of our cardis on Glucosamine with Chondroitin . We get it though jeffers vet supply,, it is not very expensive and is worth the effort. It has help my sr girl alot she has had to have back surgery in the past and one of the vets thought that it might be of benefit. They acutually seem to like the flavor and believe you me my girl will spit anything out that taste like meds!!!! ^-^
Comment by Alice on April 22, 2009 at 6:10pm
Thank you guys for the support. Hopefully we will not have to resort to surgery. If down the road he needs it we'll consider it but at that point my concern would be whether or not he will handle it well as an older dog. Plus, our vet wasn't sure how well a Corgi would do with hip replacement since they are built quite different than other breeds. I guess there is no easy answer. Right now I have to locate a suppliment that has the right stuff and doesn't cost a fortune. the vet wants him on 500mg Glucosamine, Chondoitin, vitamin E and/or C and Fish Oil.

I'm glad you will be having Freya spayed. I wouldn't worry about her hips too much. many of the Pems I know (including my father in law's) seem to have longer legs in the back than in the front. I'm not sure what that means if anything but it doesn't seem to be uncommon.

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