I hate to dwell on one subject with so many things to talk about but I really need to talk about this.
On Friday my wife was taking Mojo and Oscar for their daily walk and noticed that Oscar just wasn't as excited to head out the door as he usually is. For the first part of the walk he is always full of energy and pulling to walk faster. This day he was lagging behind right from the start. About two minutes in, he promptly laid down on the sidewalk and did not want to move. Mrs. Big Nate picked him up to make sure he wasn't injured or tangled in the leash. All appeared fine and she was able to coax him into continuing. A few steps later he laid down again, refusing this time to get up. Now she knows something is not right and decides to take him to the vet hospital immediately.
After about two hours with the vet, an x-ray and $170, we found that Oscar has developed sever arthritis in his right hip. This, the vet speculated, is resulting from an injury he sustained earlier in life that was never dealt with properly or at all. The bone that connects into his pelvis (similar to a human femur bone) is two times larger than normal. There is extreme swelling and it does not connect to the socket correctly. This causes Oscar to experience anywhere from discomfort to pain depending on how much he uses it.
The X-ray shows the difference between the normal left side and the enlarged right side.
Now this would have never come to our attention if we didn't walk Oscar as much as we do. We always wondered why he slowed down so much near the end of our daily walks. We thought he was out of shape or too over-weight but really it was because his hip started to bother him more and more the longer we walked. Poor little guy!
He is going to require surgery where they will shave the enlarged bone down so it will fit correctly into the socket once again. After some recovery time he should be good as new again. Until then, the vet tells us we can't walk him anymore, he must not use his hip more than required. It is really weird for us to NOT walk our dog and it's really unfair to him. He has gotten used to his routine and looks forward to taking his daily walk with Mojo. Anyway, my wife will be taking him in to see our usual vet this morning to see if he can give us an idea of the cost involved and when we can get this done. I'll keep you up to date.
I really have to wonder what life was like for Oscar before he was surrendered to the Furever After Rescue Society. I really have to assume that he was neglected and was very low on the family's priority list. Well they surrendered him, I guess that says it all! Did he injure himself at one point and they did not get him any kind of care or treatment? And I also wonder about the rescue society's practice of doing full checks on their rescues before allowing them out for adoption. To what extent do they go in their initial examinations?
We love Oscar and will do anything for him but I feel a little like we bought a used car and found that it needs a new transmission. I'm not talking an oil change here, this is a very serious and expensive thing!
His situation is a little different than the usual when it comes to how he ended up at Furever After. They normally rescue dogs from high kill shelters, Oscar was surrendered to the foster mom directly as she knew these people who owned him in the first place. So I have to assume that this may have added to the Rescue's oversight.
Anyway, the question is, should rescue societies do a full and extensive exam on their rescues before releasing them? I'm talking all out x-rays, blood work, everything! Or is it just too expensive and unrealistic to expect that much pre-screening?
God knows I had to prove myself worthy before they would even look at me as a qualified pet adopter, should I have not gotten the same consideration from their side?