What a great thread!
This is our boy, Connor (or 'mahbaby' as I end up calling him most of the time.) who just so happens to be turning a year old some time this week! We think he's a German Shepherd x Labrador mix.
Poor Connor has been to hell and back in his short life, but we've pretty much gotten him sorted out for now. We found him along with his 6 other dead siblings in a cardboard box when he was approximately 5 weeks old, as the only survivor. We took him in and shortly after he contracted Parvo, when he was still only about six pounds. After multiple blood transfusions and almost two weeks total of hospital stays, he finally pulled through and was able to come home.
Once he began to feel better though, we began to notice some neurological problems that he had. He would sway around and seem to stagger a lot, constantly running into things and loosing his balance when he tried to run or jump. After extensive testing he was diagnosed with Wobblers Syndrome, and we soon found out that he was not a cannidate for surgery due to the placement of the damage in his spine. He also has luxating patella, which turns his feet outwards and causes his joints to be weak. He's had surgery on the worst of his legs, but it was only partially corrected.
Even though he has so many health problems though, Connor is a big bundle of puppy love and energy! He's such a goofy boy and his favorite thing to do is steal things and taunt us with them until we give in and chase him for it!
To help keep his wobblers under control, Connor is on a variety medications as well as weekly hydro-therapy to strengthen his legs. He has little to no muscle mass in his hind legs, and for a while he was dragging himself by his front legs until we began his new therapy. Good thing he's a born water dog! He loves his therapist and all of the games and cookies that he gets to have when he's at therapy ^^ I've also been trained to give him massage therapy twice a day to keep his muscles and joint limber, and he's on constant artheritis preventors, because he is at high risk to get juvenile artheritis.
These two pictures are to show just what kind of body condition he is in. In both pictures you can obviously see the joint displacement as well as the abnormal curve to his spine and shaky stature. He sure doesn't know theres anything wrong with him though!
Sadly, Connor was diagnosed with PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) a few months ago, and will eventually loose his sight. Thankfully, it seems to be very slow in progression and has 85% of his vision still.
Although he has many challenges, Connor is one of the happiest, most fun loving dogs I've ever met and he's an active part of our therapy program at the farm!
His favorite game? ATTACK THE SPRINKLER!