Friday, August 13, 2010

Oh no...not again!!!

Rufus...again...chilling in The Mosh Pit...

A little background:

Our greyhound Rufus turned 3 years old in June (greyhounds are considered puppies until they're about 3). We adopted him in January 2010. He raced 4 races last fall and was retired, because he didn't win.

When we adopted Rufus, he was skin & bones, and had chronic diarrhea, greasy dry dandruffy fur...all of which I believe were due to his body not liking the food that he was given at the track.

Everyone in our family has food issues/allergies/intolerances - Jerry & Archer cannot have wheat or corn, so I'm really familiar with how food issues can lead to diarrhea and physical symptoms. The first thing we did was go to our awesome local independent pet food store Mud Bay and we got Rufus started on Skoki, a high quality kibble.

Rufus started to put some meat on his bones, shed like crazy for a couple of weeks - lost all of the dry nasty greasy fur and now has lustrous soft shiny fur - no more diarrhea too!

Around the beginning of March, Rufus seemed to "grow into" or "find" his speed - we have 1/3 of an acre and the hounds love to chase around the yard, and it was amazing to watch this massive hound (Rufus is much bigger than most other greys) simply FLY around the yard - I've never seen a creature so fast!

March 18, he was scooting around the yard, and whilst turning, literally shattered his left hock (ankle bone). Hock fractures are quite common in greyhounds - when they're running and need to turn, they put all of that weight and force onto that one rear leg and then twist it to make the turn.

Most hock fractures are simple - one clean break - Rufus put a y-shaped fracture into one of his ankle bones, and completely shattered one of the others - there were too many tiny chips for the surgeon to put back together, so the surgeon, Dr. Everett, did what he could and we hoped for the best.

My suspicion is that due to his food issues, Rufus' bones did not develop strong enough to bear his speed - therefore the significant damage.

So, since March 18, I've been caring for this giant puppy, and at the end of June, he finally got his cast off. The vet said it was OK for him to be off-leash and move as much as he's comfortable with...

He's been doing terrific, and even galloping a little - not running flat-out like he used to, but definitely getting the wind in his ears.

The latest incident:

Last Saturday night, after we'd fed Oofie, Sam, and Ivy, I turned the boys out to pee - Sam did his thing, but Rufus went out bouncy, and wanted to race with Sam, so they started to race. They weren't going super fast - just kind of galloping together...went into the turn...then Rufus yelped and came up lame.

Soooooo.......took him to the vet, she took x-rays, and yes, indeedy, Rufus re-fractured his hock...the pins in his leg are bent, but not broken (a very good thing), so at this point, he's back in a cast, and will be for at least 6-8 weeks. He goes in once a week for bandage checks - greyhound skin is notorious for being tissue thin and developing cast/bandage sores (not good at all). The hope is that his hock will repair itself enough that he doesn't need to go back into surgery...which we really can't afford anyway.

Rufus is accumulating fairy godmothers like you wouldn't believe - and it's a good thing too! He sure needs them! His/our latest fairy godmother is Vicki M. of Bellevue, who sent us a generous donation with which to purchase Rufus' very own ex-pen/mosh pit. Vicki, thank you so very much!

I must say, Rufus is NOT pleased at all about being in The Mosh Pit AGAIN, but hey, if you're gonna keep breaking your leg, you're gonna keep getting thrown in The Mosh Pit!


Patrick said...

Thank You for giving Rufus the Love, attention, Chance all Gods creatures deservr......

Anonymous said...

You can take the racer out of the race, but not the race out of the racer, right Rufus??

Hugs and love from Caesar, Dreamer and Janet

Anonymous said...

Came by to check out your story . I am moved .Under fed is just so sad . Proud of you for giving your home & time& love to heal this baby both physically & emotional

Chris said...

Thanks for the love, Patrick, Janet, and Anonymous!

A clarification: I don't believe underfeeding was the issue with Rufus - I think he was allergic to what he was fed, and unable to properly assimilate the nutrients to build strong bones.

Again, thank you!

SharonP said...

Poor puppy Rufus! I hope he heals quickly in his (padded?) mosh pit! Having three pups myself, I know injuries are very expensive.

lauren said...

hello :)

i just wanted to stop by to thank you for being part of the love bomb team. it means a lot and i really appreciate you.

- lauren

Chris said...

Thanks for the love Sharon and Lauren! Yes, Sharon, the mosh pit (a 4'x4' exercise pen) IS padded - greyhounds are notoriously thin-skinned, so padding is a must. Rufus gets lonely in the mosh pit, so he has taken to sleeping on Archer's bed at night - it's sweet to see my two little boys cuddled up together!