Hello there! My name is Amy. I, along with my family, consisting of a husband, 4 kids, 3 dogs, and 4 cats, live in a wilds of western Alberta, Canada, right on the edge of where the Foothills meets the Boreal Forest. We have a farm, just a quarter section of land with goats and some hay, but it's a good life, all around. Like everyone, we have our ups and downs and have always been able to pull through the downs, and help others during the ups, but one of our puppies needs more than we are able to provide. Calli's story is below, and I hope I've done her justice in describing why I am ask for help for the Barkiest Rottweiler in Canada™.
Meet Callisto, aka Calli.
In April 2021, an injured seven week old "Rottweiler cross" puppy was dropped off at a local veterinarian in the middle of the night. They stitched her neck up, and my family had the opportunity to bring her home at 8 weeks old. Our six year old Rottweiler, Artemis, very quickly took to her and became a lovely big sister/mama dog.
In Mythology, Callisto was the hunting partner to Artemis. In typical Greek God fashion, a bunch of drama and jealousy happened and she got turned into a bear. This has played out well, as our Calli has grown into a floofy teddy bear/dog.
She wormed her way into our hearts in seconds and dug in deep. We were completely smitten with this little lady.
She recovered from her injury and grew and learned, and grew, and grew..... and kept growing....
It was pretty obvious early on that the "cross" part of Calli was probably a Great Pyrenees (GP) or similar Very Large livestock guardian dog, and her temperament was fun to watch develop as aspects of the Rottweiler and GP worked themselves out to create the Barkiest Rottweiler in Canada™.
We were able to adopt a Husky-German Shepherd cross in the summer of 2021, and Storm and Calli teamed up to puppy-torment their big sister/mama Artemis and make life an amazing and wonderful chaotic mess of fur and mud (it's a farm).
Unfortunately, the barking wasn't the only thing she got from her odd genetics. She had developed a limp at around 4 months old and we started her on a joint supplement from the vet, with the plan to take x-rays when she got spayed to check for hip dysplasia. The limp got worse and worse, so at the recommendation of the vet, we had her spay done at 7 months old (normally we'd have waited until after her second heat, like we did with our older Rottweiler). The x-rays came back: Panosteitis, aka "Growing Pains," aka inflammation of the long bones, but with no dysplasia. We breathed a sigh of relief. She got Metacam for pain and time went on, with modified exercise to keep her active.
She loves baths though.... it was hard to keep her from jumping into the tub....
The limp never went away. Circumstances (the addition of a herd of goats to our farm) prompted us to work with a new vet: Greenview Veterinary Clinic in Valleyview, Alberta. I knew something was truly wrong so we took her in for a first general check with the new vet, at 13 months old. He knew what he was looking at when he watched her move, but did all the tests and x-rays to be sure.
I turned the corner into the x-ray room and felt my heart crack into pieces before the vet could say anything. Oh my heart. It still hurts.
Those are Calli's hip bones on her March 4, 2022 x-ray. There's no hip sockets; she has the severest form of severe hip dysplasia. I don't know where they went between 7 and 13 months, but wishing isn't going to get them back.
She needs a complete set of new hips, I knew it before the vet said it. The vet said he'd consult with the surgeons - there's 2, maybe 3, in all western Canada, who do Total Hip Replacements (THR). He was able to get back to us pretty quick.
The good news is Calli is an excellent candidate for THR. It would remove the extreme pain she is in, restore her hips to brand new functioning, and keep the rest of her body from degrading as the damage from not moving properly wore her down.
The bad news is.... this is Canada. All those google searches for the "cost of a THR" are mostly quotes from pre-pandemic and in the US. The surgeon in Calgary (at Western Veterinary Specialist and Emergency Centre) - 7 hours south of us - is $10,000 per hip. The surgeon at the veterinary college in Saskatchewan is $6000 per hip, but they are significantly further away and the extra costs and time off work would probably negate any cost difference, and Calli needs 2 hips done, separately, that means 2 trips.
There's another option called a Femoral Head Ostectomy, which has the benefits of being able to be done by our vet, for a significantly lower cost (from the THR) of just $1200 per hip and would also remove Calli's pain once the healing period is over. The downside is that it would not restore her ability to move correctly, so the rest of her body, particularly her front legs, would develop arthritis much earlier than she ever would have, so she'd still be dealing with significant pain management for most of her life.
FHO is a last resort; if we do that, she don't be able to get new hips. I'm putting this fundraiser up with the plan to raise enough to do both Total Hip Replacements. If we only get enough to do the FHO, we will do that. It would at least give her a life with less pain, for as long as we can (a wheelchair might be utilized). If we only get enough to do one hip, we'll do one hip and one FHO, but I hope we are able to take care of both hips plus post surgery care and all the incidentals that are needed for major surgery (x2).
I will update with written costs from the surgeon as well as other details, we are awaiting a formal consult with the surgeon.