Bollo's Back in Business!

As many of you know, Bollo was born with elbow dysplasia; a degenerative disease of the elbow joint presenting joint and cartilage problems. He had his first operation on both front legs before he was a year old.

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you’ll also know that Bollo is a very effervescent Labrador. Not the calm, wander down the street, walk to heel sort. More the ‘Marley’ knock you to your feet fizz ball. Needless to say, there’s an awful lot of energy to be expended in that 35 kilo ball of fur.

His condition means that he’s probably not going to reach the usual lifespan of ten years old, he’s on permanent medication and further treatment will be on the cards, at some stage. After the first operation (and the subsequent six weeks of nil exercise which drove him – and us – crazy) he’s done really well, and as the days, weeks, months go by, you lull yourself into a false sense of security thinking that the worst is past, that all will be OK, that some miracle has mended those bad joints.

His consultant specifically told us that he must never be lame. Even a slight limp is an indication that the condition is deteriorating and another operation is due.

A few weeks back we noticed a slight limp when he got up from a long sleep. I admit, we ignored it the first couple of times, shrugged it off, put it down to weary limbs. We always knew those elbows were going to cause us more problems, but thought it would be in a few years, when he settled into middle age. Unfortunately, the limping became more pronounced and we had to take action.

We decided to calm him down, restrict his exercise for a while, in an effort to stave off that inevitable visit to the vet that always lingers somewhere in the background. So, for almost a week, we walked Mr Bollo on a lead. Now this hound is used to pounding the fields, chasing bunnies (he really just wants to play with them, but don’t tell his friends that), jumping around with his mates and playing ball. He isn’t interested in strutting around on a lead. Every morning, I watched his pinched face as we hit the field and I didn’t remove the lead. Every day, his spring coiled just a little further.

Finally, after several days, he stopped limping. Yay! I tentatively let him off the lead – and he ran like the wind. (Not at the front of the queue when the brains were handed out.) We all watched him intently for the rest of the day and… No limping. More days have passed and I’m happy to report he is still walking (or should I say running, he rarely ‘walks’ anywhere) normally. Phew!

It appears that, for the moment at least, we are through this current scare and the boy is back. He can now run, jump, play just like any other doggy down the field. Watch out bunnies, foxes, badgers, birds, leaves (yes, he will chase anything that moves even if it doesn’t have a heart beat) – he’s back in business.

This post is dedicated to all those who sent their best wishes for Bollo through Facebook, Twitter, email etc. It was very heartening to know that you were thinking of us and rooting for our little chap.




14 thoughts on “Bollo's Back in Business!

  1. I’m so happy Bollo is good again! I can still remember the day you released your first book. You were home alone but danced around the lounge with Bollo to celebrate. Same goes for me. For both releases it was just me and Charlie, my German Shepherd. Dog’s truly are family.

  2. As a coffee lover, I got a kick out of your blog name. Congratulations on the publication of “An Unfamiliar Murder”. Your book sounds very good; intriguing. Thanks for the follow. d:)

  3. This post was so lovely to read. I know how much a dog in the family means. I also know about dogs with little to no brains! Mine being a Springer Spaniel. I’m glad Bollo is doing better and can imagine how worrying a time it was when you saw him limping. Bob (Springer) would be mortified to be left on her lead. I can just imagine Bollo’s face! Wishing many more free runs in his field!

  4. Great news that Bollo is back in form! Isn’t it amazing – in a good way – what a close relationship we develop/have with our dogs? We’re immensely attached to our dogs here. My Border Collie Vince has so far defied the vet’s predictions that he’d be prone to developing arthritis early on in his life having done a very thorough job of tearing ligaments in his back leg when a boisterous 4-month-old boy pup. He’s close to 10 years old now and doing well, but the fussing over him and making sure that his weight doesn’t go over what it should be and that he doesn’t as is his wish, of course, immerse himself in the freezing cold river when we’re out walking has been a constant feature.

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