I have mentioned the problem of faulty genes before. Rotties as a breed seem to be unduly prone to arthritis and ligament problems. Our own rescued canine, Rocky, was equipped with 4 legs with feet attached. Trouble was whoever did the final assembly job didn’t select the best engineered parts.
The sesamoid bone in his front left foot failed within a year of our welcoming this friendly soul into our household. That was an easy operation but Rocky had to learn to walk on three legs for a time.
Last year it was the cruciate ligament which had come unstuck. The cure for this was to fit a steel plate on his left hind leg. The operation costs at least a small fortune – we are talking about £thousands not £hundreds and the after care takes 3 months. Yet again we had to watch a dog learn to walk three legged.
The next gremlin to poke its nose into Rockie’s spine was some as yet unrecognised neurological ailment. At one stage Rocky had a humped back reminiscent of a camel’s. For a time I thought Our Boy was on his way, but eventually he made it through. OK, the cure was a massive dose of Prednisolone but it comes with side effects amongst which is putting on weight. He is up to 44 kilos now. He doesn’t need that weight, especially as he doesn’t over eat.
But the most recent reappearance is in the other cruciate ligament joint on the right hind. That also has now failed as was predicted to be a probability by the specialist vet. It is not a hazardous operation – it’s a bit like structural engineering. But yet again there is the aftercare requirement of careful nurturing and the worry of getting him back onto his feet. They say in the horsey world; “no feet no horse”. The significance applies equally to a Rottweiler.
From these tribulations I have learned two things.
One is that every owner of a Rottweiler should have adequate medical insurance. The bills can be horrendous, so just make sure you have cover with the right company. Secondly that my Rottweiler has real fortitude to take his pain. He is amazing really and bearing in mind he can’t use crutches he has learned to do the three legged walk pretty well. Whenever he has to get up, there’s not a moan barely even a squeak. But maybe it is because I am wincing for him. He is a strong, tough, cookie, My Boy, no doubt. I look at him nowadays and for some reason my eyes seem to fill with water.
My plea is to whomever it is that dishes misfortune out, that he now strikes Rocky off his list of recipients. I know Rocky has got four legs but please leave the last untouched one alone. Rocky has done his bit. For sure, he is a credit to his breed, if not the breeder.
Rocky Dog’s Dad