Chris has been diagnosed with OCD, Osteochondritis Dissecans.

In her case, it was caused by trauma to her shoulder, and not a genetic predisposition to the disease.  I never saw the trauma happen, but immediately after she smashed herself, she was major limping for the rest of the day.  For the last month and a half, she has been limping on and off.

I have been waiting to write until I had more information about her condition.  My local vet made the diagnosis, and the next day I made a consultation appointment with the surgeon who is about 3 1/2 hours away.

 That appointment confirmed her condition.   We discussed the three possible treatments for her.   

 1.  Conservative approach:  Work the leg, try to break off the torn cartilage and hope it lands somewhere in the joint cavity where it won't cause her pain.  Problem I see with this approach is the expected recovery percentage is pretty low.  I want the best chance at recovery for her.

 2. Extreme liberal approach:  Filet open the joint, with a huge incision.  Scrape the joint to ensure the loose cartilage has been removed.   Major muscle cutting during this procedure.  Nope, not going there.

 3.  Microsurgery called arthroscopy.  One of the newest techniques.  Fluid is injected to "swell" the area, so the doctor can see and work in the area through tiny holes.  The torn flap of cartilage is removed.  The bone area which is void of cartilage is then lightly scraped.  This stimulates a "scabbing" effect and encourages filling of the defect.  The "scab" is then followed by a  pre-cartilage growth, known as fibro cartilage, and followed by permanent cartilage.

 The number three is the procedure Chris has had.

 Dogs with shoulder OCD are expected to return to full function with minimal future problems.  My surgeon likes to act quickly.  During the consultation appointment, he confirmed her condition, then said that he could operate on her today.

 We jumped at the chance to get her started with real healing, and not drag it out any longer than we have to.  The sooner, the better, the sooner that she will feel better, and the sooner that she will be FREE TO BE A SHEEPDOG PUP!

 We all (Chris, my husband, and I) face 8 weeks of rehabilitation.  Three weeks of pretty limited movement, giving her body a great chance at healing itself.  Then, five more weeks of restrictive movement, which includes swimming.

 One bad thing about the swimming though. Its been in the teens at night, and all of the pools that my friends own are not heated!  Yikes!!!

 My dog chiropractor does have a therapy pool that she keeps heated, but that costs $.  So, we'll see.  We are pretty wiped out of money now. And this little surgery will be our Christmas.

 At least Chris will be out of pain in a couple of days.  I will make the trip back to Ventura tomorrow to pick her up and get detailed instructions on her rehab.

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