Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs is a comprehensive 52 week program that allows veterans and their dogs to work and learn at their own pace, and is responsive to the individual needs of each veteran and their canine companion. Read more about the program at http://vicompassiondogs.ca.
Farrah is a 4 ½ yr old Bichon and is a a graduate of the program and a recipient of support from the Jessie and Bandit Fund. Farrah is the loyal companion of veteran BM. Normally a happy and active dog, she suddenly became lame in her left back leg, after jumping down from the couch.
She was assessed by her family veterinarian, who diagnosed the cause of her lameness as a tear of the cranial cruciate ligament in her knee. They also identified some instability of both her kneecaps, known as Medial Patella Luxation (MPL) at that time. MPL is frequently seen in small dogs. Though it does frequently cause lameness, a lot of dogs (like Farrah) never show any discomfort or problem, and it might not ever be noticed.
Cruciate ligament rupture is an extremely common problem in dogs of all sizes, particularly larger, athletic breeds. When it happens in smaller dogs like Farrah, the cruciate tear is often due to MPL placing increased stress on the cruciate ligament, causing it to suddenly rupture during relatively normal behaviour.So while the cause of Farrah’s lameness was the cruciate rupture, the MPL also needed to be addressed to resolve the problem. At surgery we were able to place a prosthetic ligament outside of the joint, to achieve stability and adjust Farrah’s kneecapto keep it in a normal position, and prevent further instability.
Farrah recovered really well from surgery, and was able to be sent home the next day. She was kept strictly rested for 6 weeks to allow healing, and is now back to normal activity, but never far from her human’s side.