Firstly, let me introduce myself... my name is Bear, as you can see, I’m a British Bulldog and I was born in December 2016. As soon as I arrived at Margaret Green Animal Rescue, Wingletang, Devon, it was noticed straight away that I wasn’t walking correctly on my hind legs but what was also noticed was that what an affectionate, cuddly boy I was. I wanted to try and run and play with the other dogs at the centre but I was struggling. So, when the vet from Westmoor Veterinary Hospital arrived for their weekly vet visit, they agreed with my two legged friends at the centre and it was advised that I needed to have x-rays to see what the problem with my legs actually was.
The x-rays confirmed that both my knee joint angles were too steep, this was probably due to my breeding and I was born like this. This means that my knee joints don’t function in the way they should, which puts abnormal strain and pressure on my knees and associated joints of the limbs, for example, my hips. It was suggested that by correcting the angle through the surgery on both knees removes this strain/pressure (and pain) with the hope of normal knee function leading to reduced risk of osteoarthritis of my joints in the future.
At Margaret Green Animal Rescue, they feel they have a duty of care to all the animals that come into the centres, whether it be medically or behaviourally to give us all the best possible chance. So, I am being referred to Exeter St Davids orthopaedic team on the 5th November 2018 for the first stage of my operation, called a tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO).
As I will have to have both knees operated on in two stages so, I will have my first knee operated on and then 4-6 weeks later, I will have my other knee operated on but this will depend on how quickly I recover from my first operation...
In a TPLO procedure, the tibial plateau, the portion of the tibia (shin bone) adjoining the stifle (knee), is cut and rotated so that its slope changes to approximately 5 degrees from the horizontal plane. This prevents the femur (thigh bone) from sliding down the slope of the tibial plateau when the dog puts weight on its knee. This surgery generally results in faster recovery times compared to other procedures to stabilise the knee. Most dogs (over 90%) are expected to regain a very active and athletic lifestyle with no post-operative complications and without the need for any long-term pain relieving medication.
Some of you may remember another British Bulldog who was helped by the MGAR team at Wingletang by the name of Fat Lil (as she was affectionately called then) had orthopaedic surgery at the same referral centre (Exeter St Davids orthopaedic). Lily (she has now lost a lot of weight)tells me that she now has a lovely life with Julie in Dorset and she is pain free. She also tells me that she is ruling the roost with Julie and now living the life of a Duchess. In true Bulldog Spirit Lily has passed on her poppy that she wore with pride in the month of November last year, so look out for me wearing it with pride.
Look out for more updates from me in the coming weeks...