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Monday, 2 February 2015

Bionic Brodie is fitted with the first of his two replacement hips

On Tuesday 20th January 2015 I met up with Brodie from our B litter and his puppy walker Mike at the St Davids Veterinary practise in Exeter for a consultation with Veterinary Orthapedic specialist Peter Attenborough with regard to Brodie’s extremely bad hip displacia. Hip Displacia is the abnormal development and growth of the hip joint and in Brodie’s case both of his hips are abnormal.

Mike is pictured here arriving with Brodie for the consultation having traveled up from his home in Parr Cornwall.

Having been x rayed by our own vet Clive at the Beaumont veterinary practise we already knew that Brodie had appalling hips and had probably been in pain from an early age. Clive had referred him to Peter Attenborough an orthapedic specialist at the St Davids Veterinary practise.

Peter Attenborough quickly established that they were amongst the worst hips he had seen and recommended that both hips needed to be replaced to avoid Brodie suffering prolonged pain and discomfort.


Pictured above is an Xray of what a normal set of hips should look like. These hips are Brodie’s litter brother Bruno which are excellent. The Ball joint is fitted nice and deeply into the joint socket.

Above is an X ray of Brodie's hips and as you can see the ball joint or the femoral head is not even in the socket.

Peter was very impressed with Brodie’s wonderful character and like all of us wanted to do whatever he could for this lovely dog whose uncomplaining nature and friendliness quickly endears him to whoever he meets.

Having been involved in 500 hip replacements Peter is very experienced and he completely shocked me when he said that not only would Brodie end up leading a normal life he stated that is was entirely possible that he could still one day be a working Police dog.

I wasn’t expecting that and while it would be a dream outcome and one that I don’t think has ever happened before my immediate objective was to try and ensure that Brodie became pain free and  able to lead a normal life.

Peter then made an incredibly kind and generous offer to waive a significant percentage of the costs of replacing his hips because he was excited by the project of restoring Brodie to the level of a normal healthy working dog.

The operation involves removing both the femoral head and the socket and replacing them with an artificial ball and socket joint. Peter was keen to get started and booked him in for Monday 26th January. He was then prepared for his operation on the Tuesday and he was to remain at the veterinary surgery until he was ready to go home on the Friday with his new hip.

Brodie is pictured above with Peter Attenborough and the staff on his arrival on the Monday. The operation was a complete success and confirmed what the x rays had shown that the hip was extremely bad and most certainly would have caused him pain as he was growing up.


Brodie is pictured above with the veterinary staff howling in excitement at seeing Mike and Melissa on the Friday when they came to collect him. Clearly we needed to keep him from getting too excited and me being there to see him didn’t help matters.

The pictured above is taken outside the surgery and shows Brodie's relatively small scar considering such a major operation. He will be lead walked now for 8 weeks before returning to the St Davids centre for his second hip to be replaced.

I took several pictures of Brodie outside the Veterinary centre with Mike and Melissa getting him ready for the 2 hour journey back home to start his period of recuperation. I am certainly not a softie but I did have a lump in my throat seeing Brodie’s utter joy at being reunited with his puppy walkers.

Above shows Brodie glad to be back in his own car and settling down for the journey home.

Above shows Melissa settling in alongside Brodie to make sure he behaved himself on the way home.

I have been in touch with the family over the weekend and Brodie is now settled and happy back home.

I will keep you all updated and will report back on the next stage of his journey. Peter did tell me that Brodie’s condition was a rare and multi factored occurrence which might never happen again if his mother had further pups. Clearly having seen what has happened to Brodie we cannot take that chance and mother Mollie has now been spayed.

Fortunately as I reported in my last blog Mollies daughter Bebe (Brodie’s sister) has excellent hips and will now carry on her mothers mantle as a brood bitch to carry on the excellent working genes in these lines
Bebe
In my next blog later this week I will introduce you to the new Initial Police dog course members and dogs.

Bye for now. Paul

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