Maya is our loving, energetic 18 month old rescue Border Collie
. She loves playing at the beach, exploring the woodlands, and meeting her friends for play-dates.
Before I dive into her current situation, let's start from the beginning. Maya was born in the Border Collie Spot Rescue Centre in Bracknell after her Mum was taken there while in pup. She was one of 9 puppies born at the Spot before she was adopted by my family and I to start her new exciting new life with us in our countryside home at 8 weeks old.
When she was just 6 months old, we noticed some abnormal patterns in the way she moved around or in the way she would do certain things. She would skip and hop with her rear legs rather than take steps in a normal pattern and when she squatted she would do so lopsided with one leg off the floor. She was also incredibly clumsy.
When she was 8 months old, we took her to the vets for an assessment as these things continued to happen more regularly. It was here that she was first x-rayed and we were told that she had signs of being at high risk of developing a form of hip dysplasia. To counteract this, our vet recommended we focus on building her rear leg muscles to increase joint stability through hydrotherapy which she started at 9 months on a weekly basis. They also recommended pain management treatments to help her cope with any discomfort and diet control to keep her weight at a healthy level. Our insurance policy covered the costs of these treatments, however at this point we had only taken cover for £1,000, as we had adopted a healthy puppy from the rescue and had not considered that she would need treatment at such a young age that would exceed this amount.
She started to show signs of improvement and the hydrotherapy was doing its job really well, as she built 3cm of muscle up on both sides of her rear legs which allowed her to continue with her normal exercise routines and enjoying life. This continued for about 3 months and we thought that she was getting better with each session.
Sadly over the following months, Maya began having increased difficulty walking and running around without tripping or falling over and began to show signs of needing help with getting up from sitting or laying down, and sometimes even needed help with support when she was squatting. We also noticed that she started to pant a lot when she was experiencing frequent discomfort and would occasionally stare at her rear legs and whine as they were causing her pain.
We halted hydrotherapy and took her back to be re-examined where they initially thought she had damaged her Cruciate Ligament. She was booked in for another examination and x-ray to determine the problem. The vet advised us that they were not sure if it was her ligament or hip causing the issues as the x-ray showed that the hips had gotten worse since the 9 month x-ray, but the physical exams were exhibiting symptoms of Cruciate Ligament damage. Our vet wanted to refer us to a specialist for further diagnosis to be certain.
We were referred to the orthopedic specialist in Surrey, where Maya had further x-rays and examinations. Upon viewing her latest set of x-rays (pictured below), it became apparent to the specialist that Maya’s right hip had deteriorated drastically and there was no longer much of a right hip socket remaining. The left hip was showing the same signs of future deterioration which we were told to expect to happen. The specialist gave us the worst case news possible; Maya would need a double hip replacement starting with the right side. He was amazed that she was so lively, given that these were one of the worst pair of hips he had seen.Compare Maya's X-Ray to that of a Normal Dog's Hips At this stage, we received a quote that each hip would cost approximately £8,000, which doesn’t include the post-surgery rehabilitation costs. We can expect our total costs for both hips to eventually total £16,000 when the time comes for the second replacement later on down the road.
From here we took Maya home with the intent of building some more muscle mass to help prepare her for the expected hip replacement. Not long after, Maya had a worrying fall which resulted in her dislocating her right hip where she was in considerable pain, being unable to sit down for 24 hours and not being able to use her right leg to stabilise her body. She went back to the local vets who then referred her back to the specialist as an emergency case.
During all this time we tried to increase our insurance cover with our current provider, however because her condition was partially diagnosed at 9 months it is treated as an existing condition and we were unable to increase the cover limit. As Maya is enduring pain and suffering everyday, we could not let her live with this. We made the decision to go ahead with booking the operation as soon as possible. Maya is booked in for her right hip to be replaced on 18th September and we are hoping to fund-raise the cost of her first hip at this stage with the intent of possibly raising funds at a later time when we know more about the health of her second hip.
After both replacements, we have been told to expect pain free hips for Maya for the rest of her life! We are entirely committed to giving Maya the fullest and happiest life we possibly can, which is why we adopted a rescue puppy rather than buying one from a breeder, but we currently cannot achieve this without your help.
Maya is not just a dog, she is a member of our family and means the world to all of us. We want to give her back the life that she loves; visiting the beach, going in the sea, playing with all her friends and generally being able to do everything that other dogs can do - pain free.
We need to raise the funds urgently before 18th September as we need to pay for half of the costs prior to the surgery and the other half when we collect her, 3-5 days after the operation. We therefore need as much support as you can provide and are extremely grateful for any donations received.
Thank you for taking the time to read Maya’s story.