It's been a bumpy ride for this guy. I got him a while back at 8 weeks:
He was started on Orijen Puppy Blend and noticed around 4 months old he was going through a massive growth spurt. Knowing the complications that can come from these large breeds, I changed his food to a lower protein, all life stages blend.
One day, he was perfectly fine, left for 3 hours, came home and he was in terrible pain and it appeared to be an issue with one of his hind legs. Next day he wasn't any better, so off to the E-vet. X-rays looked clean, so they were suggesting a possible soft tissue injury. Started him on NSAIDs and although it seemed to help after a couple weeks he still wasn't putting a lot of pressure on the bad leg. Back to the vet...
This time we did blood work and it showed an infection localized in that one leg. So, started him on aggressive antibiotics for a tick-borne illness (Doxycycline). He progressed nicely, but at the end of his treatment, he still was holding his leg up. At this point we are starting to see muscle atrophy occurring. This is when I was referred to an orthopedic specialist.
Checked for drawer sign (typical check for CCL ruptures) and it seemed like the issue was a partial CCL rupture. But the symptoms were not that of a regular CCL injury. Did x-rays again:
We are now seeing the bones thinning on that leg from not using them. As with all CCL injuries, surgery is the suggested approach. So, I proceeded with a TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) surgery.
Surgeon opens him up and we start finding the root cause of his issue; OCD (Osteochondrosis). It's a bone disorder where parts of the cartilage and bone break off between the two bone and it's obviously painful. Since this was the issue to start with and some time has past, it cause the CCL fibers to partially rupture, so the TTA was still done along with cleaning up the OCD issue.
Post Op X-ray:
He stayed in the hospital overnight and came home the next day:
So, at this point we are dealing with two completely separate issues and it's just a terrible coincidence. The infection and the OCD. Now, due to the time that had passed before the surgery, there was some collateral damage; muscle atrophy and hamstring contracture (where the tendons shorten and cause the leg to not fully extend).
Since he is still a growing puppy and with the thin bones, the contracture has also caused the bone to bow which has caused one side of the hip to be dysplastic. Physical rehab was almost necessary to get him back to 100% and subdue any further collateral damage. He is on session 4 out of 12 and his contracture is gone, we are slowly taking him off the meds and he is walking on the leg pretty much all the time. Next goal is to try and straighten that bone back out. We are doing laser therapy, hydro/eletro therapy and the underwater tread mill over the course of rehab.
He is doing great and within the next 6 months should be back to 100%. The cause of the OCD? We are pointing at the Orijen Puppy blend which has extremely high contents of protein and calcium for a dog like this. Since these large breed dogs are usually kept to short walks and low activity the first 1-2 years of their life it's suggested that all that protein assisted with his growth spurt.
I'll be sure to add some more pictures of the therapy sessions and his progression over the next few months. Just wanted to post this up for informative and simply relevant content.