Rocky! Rocky! Rocky! – Part One: Identifying injury and seeking treatment
As a child of the 70s and 80s, that chant conjured up emotions of triumph. The Rocky movies symbolized overcoming adversity and finding the strength to reach the pinnacle of success.
Now there’s a new guy reaching for the stars. No, I’m not talking about the new movie Creed where Rocky trains a former fighter’s son. I’m talking about a dog with that name (spelled slightly different: “Rockie”).
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I first met Rockie while attending a Tails of the Trail event at Williamson County Animal Center in Tennessee. He was a happy-go-lucky guy with a love of walking. But there was one problem: Rockie showed signs of an impairment with his back legs. He would limp off and on. Since it would come and go, volunteers didn’t know if they should continue on his beloved walk.
The implications of an injured dog in the shelter system are more than just the dog’s pain or inconvenience. An impaired shelter dog is less likely to get adopted, and some shelters might turn to euthanasia.
After taking one look at him, I knew what needed to happen: an orthopedic consultation with Nashville Vet Specialists (NVS).
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Enter Dr. Wes Roach, board certified veterinary surgeon on staff with NVS since 2010. He examined Rockie and confirmed the initial diagnosis of two rear luxating patellae (kneecaps that move side to side out of the normal position which caused the limp to come and go). With a grade 3 out of 4 for severity on the right and 2 out of 4 on the left, he recommended surgery. Since surgery on both patellae would make his 8-week recovery extremely difficult, he recommend repairing the right leg and a reexamination of the severity of the left one after his recovery. It’s possible repairing the right one will allow the left one to remain stable and avoid further surgery.
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On Tuesday, December 29, I brought Rockie to NVS for his surgery, gave him a hug and a kiss and told him I’d be there for him when he was awake. Rockie came through surgery like the champ that he is and Dr. Roach is confident the surgery was a success.
After a few days of severely limited activity and I can report Rockie is still the same happy-go-lucky guy I met that fateful day.
After the upcoming eight weeks of recovery time, he’ll be available for adoption. Stay tuned to the Tails of the Trail blog and Facebook page for updates and photos of our champion!