The body does remarkable things to heal itself. While it can't grow a new limb, it can do, what is called, "bone remodeling".
Jeffery and several other dogs were taken from a owner after he was charged with animal cruelty. Many of the dogs couldn't walk. Jeffery could walk, but with an incredible amount of pain.
When Jeffery came to Tiny Paws Sanctuary, his x-rays a story of abuse most can't even imagine. At some point in his life, Jeffery's right knee cap had been broken and his left hip dislocated. His owner never took him to the vet. His knee was so badly broken that his knee cap had shifted to the inside of his leg. His hip dislocation was extreme.
As the years passed, Jeffery's hip bone, which was completely moved out of its socket, his femoral head (the part of the bone that sits in the socket) began remodeling itself to give the hip some stability and structural support. Although, it left his body handicapped, it did retain his ability to be mobile.
Osteoclasts reabsorb the mineralized bone that it can no longer use.
Mononuclear cells appear on the bone
Osteoblasts lay down new bone until all reabsorbed bone is gone. The new bone becomes calcified and hard.
Jeffery's hip bone, the femoral head" remodeled itself back into the socket, but several centimeters higher than it should be. His patella/kneecap did the same, landing itself on the interior of his leg. In the x-ray, you can see that quite a bit of osteoarthritis set in over the years.
Since the bone had remodeled years before, changing their position was more than I and the doctors wanted to put him through. The key for him was pain management, and boy, what a difference it made.
Jeffery was able to run and play, most likely for the first time since he was a pup. Fetch was, and still is, his favorite game.
While one would think that the level of abuse he endured would make Jeffery afraid of humans, we are his favorite thing. He loves going to the vet, he loves meeting new people. Jeffery just loves. Period.
His pain management began with Gabapentin, a pain analgesic and anti-convulsant that is safe to use on senior dogs. When that was no longer sufficient, Meloxicam (Metacam) was added. Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It targets musculoskeletal disorders and helps treat the stiffness that comes with them. It also treats inflammation of the tissues as well.
Jeffery is a small dog. He's around 7 lbs. Considering his age and size, and the effects that drugs can have on the liver and kidneys, which process those drugs, yearly or bi-yearly bloodwork has been necessary to ensure that the medication is not too much for his system. His size has proven an advantage, according to his vet, because his joints don't have to deal with a lot of weight.
As Jeffery has aged, his pain levels have increased and walking is becoming more difficult. The vet started him on Adequan, an FDA approved injection for osteo-arthritis. Adequan helps protect cartilage and reduce inflammation. Adequan is unique, in that the injection is given twice a week for 4 weeks, then a maintenance dose is given every 4 weeks. The vet can teach pet parents how to administer the injection so it can be done at home. It has helped, and its easy to tell when his injection is due.
Below is Jeffery's gait as it is today.
Even with all of his struggles and pain, I don't think Jeffery has had a bad day since he came to our sanctuary. I guess its all in perspective. The life he lives now compared to the life he lived before, must be night and day.
Until the day Jeffery says "enough is enough" or another disease takes him, we will continue his pain management and help him continue to live his best life now.