As if having three legs wasn't hard enough

Monday, September 24, 2012
I was looking forward to photographing Finley in his superhero Halloween costume so I could get the tutorial posted a few days ago. However, my poor Johnny had other plans. Fin was all excited to be dressed up in his costume the other evening and before I could snap the first photo, we noticed that Johnny could hardly walk across the yard. Every second or third step, his front leg (the only one he has!) would give out on him and he'd do a face plant. I panicked and took him to the doggie ER. Since he only has the one good leg up front, I was worried that he'd injured it.

It turns out that he has hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD). It's a bone disease that can affect young, rapidly growing dogs. Fortunately, he will outgrow this disease when his bones are done growing. Unfortunately, it is extremely painful for him to walk right now so his leg gives out every few steps (as if it wasn't hard enough with three legs). His mind is still incredibly active but his body can't keep up so he's feeling down in the dumps. Anorexia and depression are symptoms of HOD so we're doing our best to snuggle him, support him, and entertain him. This poor guy has had such a rough start to life - he needs to catch a break.

Even Sodapop is bummed out that her wrestling buddy and partner in crime is out of commission for a while.

We were able to entertain him for most of Sunday. He sat on the porch and watched Oliver make snow angels (yep.) in the water.

Love that wacky kid.

Anyhow, have any of you heard of HOD or have any experience with it?

9/25/12 Update: Johnny seems to be feeling a bit better this morning. He's spent a fair amount of time walking around the yard. His gait is off but he's not falling quite as often. Hoping this is a sign of good things.

PS - will have the superhero costume tutorial posted in the next couple of days. Promise!


Allison Waken said...

Poor Johnny :( I don't have experience with it but do have experience with a very active dog not being able to use her legs. Kona has hip dysplasia and as a high energy pup she gets very upset when her hip is hurting. I hope Johnny grows out of it quickly!

Love the water angels ;)

Grace said...

Oh no, poor Kona! What kind of dog is she? It's so sad when their bodies can't keep up with their young, rambunctious minds. :(

Laura said...

Oh, our poor sweet Johnny!!!! I am so sad that he is going through this!! :( We will pray for a speedy recovery (or end to his bones growing?) so he is not in pain any longer. Hang in there, good ol' boy!!

Grace said...

I know it, Laura! Poor guy is so pathetic right now. I think he might need some loving from Addie. You guys should come by for a visit when you're back from FL.

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