Thursday, 20 November 2008


Bugger. Bugger. Bugger.

Tilly and I are nearing the end of our first week of six weeks of incarceration.

The x-rays she had at the end of last week led to some very disturbing news. Early indications would suggest that Tilly has Elbow Dysplasia (ED). I can't believe it. Of course, I wouldn't wish her to have any problems, but of all the problems she could have, this has to be one of the worst. Tilly thrives on activity, long walks and high-octane games. And here we are, starting six weeks of house-rest, with the prospect of ongoing lameness problems and limited exercise for the rest of her life. God, I hope they're wrong. I also hope that all the things I've read only apply to the most severe cases. There must be some good news stories out there, but I can't find many.

She's almost the opposite of your 'typical' sufferer of ED in that she's not a big dog, and without putting too fine a point on it, she's some way from being a pedigree.

She's coping quite well with being stuck in the house and resting, all things considered. Apart from the two or three hours a day we would have spent walking, we're also not allowed to play the active games we'd usually fill the rest of the time doing. Consequently, we now spend a lot of time looking at each other in bewilderment.

I'm sure Tilly must think that I've suffered a debilitating accident or something, now that I appear unable to throw a ball more than two feet, or indeed muster the energy to leave the house. She now spends most of her time looking a little sullen, looking hopeful, destroying toys, bullying me, or eating.

The latter activity worries me in itself. We'll need someone to come and grease the front door frame in six weeks time to squeeze us both out. Obesity problem in the UK? You bet.

It's not all bad - I've got an excuse to enforce more 'smooching time', and Tilly occasionally forgets herself and 'comes over all affectionate'. The very grainy picture above, taken in the dark with a camera phone, was an attempt at capturing the 'temptress' look she likes to give from the other side of the room if she feels that attention is lacking.

On another note, Saturday is Princes 'official birthday'. I've never known his real birthday, so the day I got him became his official birthday. Nine years ago I was getting awfully excited - only a few days before I could go and pick up 'the funny looking little dog' we'd met at the rescue centre. My little boy. My love.


Cheryl said...


I'm sorry to hear this, but I just wanted to let you know that my dog Harlem had joint problems and a couple of big surgeries in his life, and he was active and happy right to the end. Dogs are very resilient with stuff like that. Tilly will overcome!


p.s. thanks for your kind words about Harlem, by the way. We just don't ever stop missing them, do we...

Emily and the Labradors said...

Poor Tilly! I really hope that it is not elbow displaysia, or if it, that it isn't too serious. There was a guide dog puppy in our group career changed about 8 years ago for elbow displaysia and he is doing fine, even despite the fact that he was allowed to become obese.

Oh, and my advice for a housebound dog going nuts is to feed them most of their food soaked and frozen in kongs (do you guys have those?). Maggie had a ruptured disk in her neck that caused paralysis and required surgery (and you thought chemo was expensive... I spent nearly twice her chemo bill on the neck surgery). She made a 97% recovery after the surgery but had some very strict activity limits. Initially she was crated for about 23 hours a day (yikes!) and then was only allowed 5 minute walks for a few weeks. It was about 3 months before she was allowed to resume normal activity. She ate most of her meals out of frozen kongs...

BamBam and Eski said...

hey graham, sorry to hear abt tat but would you consider gettin a second opinion?
anyhow, its good to hear tat she's coping well.

and now you guys can spend more time cuddling and smooching!

sending our furry hugz and wet licks!

p/s: thanx for dropping by too, indeed P.P. was a sad case but we're sure he'll be really pleased to know tat there are so many who cared for him.

sama said...

oh graham! how awful. do try a second opinion though - sometimes it is worth it.

google sends you both a licky kiss!

HandH said...

I just caught up with your blog - so sorry! Round here it's labrador country, and I know of at least three that go off for acupuncture on a regular basis to keep their hip dysplasia under control - maybe your vet could refer you? You have my sympathy for trying to keep Tilly quiet. Holly was bad enough for a fortnight - I had to take her for long drives in the car, because looking out of the window exhausted her. Some days we'd drive down to Helmsley market place and just sit there and watch other dogs being walked. Sort of dog TV.

Flowerpot said...

Oh Graham I am sorry but as some of the others have said - a second opinion? Interesting about acupuncture too - I was talking to a very No Nonsense dog owner the other day and her daughter is a vet who is a great believer in rescue remedy and acupuncture for horses. So it might be worth a go. Do kieep me posted and give Tilly a big hug from me and Moll.

Beanz said...

Hi Tilly

Ask your Graham to get the clicker out. You will be so exhausted you will be glad you can't go out on long walks! My brain gets happily tired when it has to do some work. 10 minutes and I'm ready for my bed!

Graham: hope you had a special time on Saturday and had lots of lovely and fond memories of Prince


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sama said...

graham, update us?

Anonymous said...


How is Tilly doing? Has the house arrest ended? My heart goes out to you in celebrating Prince's birthday. We never do completely heal that hole in our heart that is left when our wonderful pets are no longer here. We can only hope for a lessening of the pain.

Hugs! I hope you and Tilly have a wonderful holidays!