11 months 2 weeks
The vet phoned me with the results after Knightley had been at their hospital for a couple of hours.... she asked if I wanted the abdominal or hip results first.... and in my ignorance, I just assumed the hip results would be ok. After all I have done all I can to prevent hip dysplasia, from finding great lines, to slow growth feeding and not letting Knightley jump or run too much. So I asked for the abdominal results first, which were so-so, and they wanted to do an ultrasound for further information. Then she said "and here are the hip results.... I'm really sorry to say, but they were terrible". I just couldn't say anything at first, I was completely stunned. I managed to choke out enough words to ask if she was joking.... but she said that the left hip was worse than the right, but both were bad and that he already had the beginnings of arthritis. I was extremely upset when I got off the phone, so very very upset. I contacted hubby and my parents, and then the vet phoned back to say the ultrasound was fine, although they are still worried about him (there is a big gas bubble in his intestine which may be caused by a blockage of some sort).
So we picked him up this afternoon, and saw the various x-rays. His hip x-rays are pretty shocking, the ball of his left hip is barely in the socket. I was appalled. The vet said his hips are the worst hips she had ever seen and the fact that he hasn't been showing symptoms until recently (but really not much at all) is because I have been doing all the right things - no running up and down stairs, no jumping, fish oil, slow growth etc. So at least he has had a pain free puppyhood.
The important point though is that Knightley can no longer be considered a viable prospect for a mobility assistance dog. Of course I am completely and absolutely crushed and devastated. I haven't really taken it in yet. I don't know whether to just stop doing all task training with him, or what. I think that he can still help me at home? I just don't know. Do I immediately stop all public training?? The vet thinks we may have a couple of years of reasonable function left, but he is the worst she has seen, so really, who knows how it may go.
Hubby and I have talked just a little about what we are going to do. Knightley has a permanent home with us, no matter whether he can work or not. But ideally we are going to look for another puppy if we can.
I am beyond upset. Knightley is home now, and is completely exhausted. We are not sure if we are going to the coast at the moment, it depends how Knightley is tomorrow morning and if he eats tonight. Frankly I think we should be cramming as many awesome things as possible into Knightley's young life while he still has good mobility. I'm also going to start him on a joint supplement, and he will be getting regular special injections to improve the quality and fluid in his joints.
Anyway, that is my bloody awful news. I am still in shock.