Positive for heartworms?: 
Extraordinary Golden Fund recipient?: 

Grr Number: 16-090

Type of Surrender: Stray from Lockhart Animal Shelter

Status: Medical Hold

Age: 10-12 months

Weight: 72

Ready to party down & dance the night away?? Mason will be, too! It’s just going to take a few more months… and a lot of help from his many friends.

Only 10 to 12 months old, the gangly boy first appeared on the GRR radar in early August, when we got an SOS from one of our partner shelters. A platinum-blond pup with terrible skin had been brought stray to their facility in July. He was virtually bald over large areas of his body and itching to beat the band. Mange? Sure looked like it, but the ultimate diagnosis was awful fleabite dermatitis. Then there was the violent blow-out diarrhea, due to coccidia (an intestinal parasite) and likely acquired from ingesting bird droppings.  Oh, and the fact that he was noticeably lame on his left hind leg, likely from a torn ACL.

This lanky fellow was clearly a special case. The shelter director whisked him off to her own home for a few weeks of shampoos, meds, and plenty of meeting-and-greeting: he lived with seven other dogs, three cats, and even a hamster friend. “His personality is really sweet! I give him a ten out of ten.” As soon as Mason began feeling better and growing new fur (now looking merely “moth-eaten” instead of hairless), it was time to contact GRR for help in finding him a home.

With skin and tummy issues on the mend, Mason headed to the orthopedist to confirm the diagnosis of a torn ACL. But the X-rays revealed a different, more serious problem. Mason was almost certainly hit by a car several months back, before he even cropped up at the shelter, and the films show the aftermath of the trauma: “left femoral malunion with a secondary grade 4/4 patellar luxation.” In other words, the blow broke his left femur, which was then left to heal on its own. The bone knitted, but the two pieces are misaligned, with one of them twisted and angling inward. On top of that, his kneecap (patella), which should sit neatly in the groove at the end of his femur, is out of place; “grade 4/4” means it doesn’t move back into position even occasionally, but is actually stuck and fixed outside its normal resting spot. No wonder Mason is limping and can’t extend his knee without pain!

Luckily, there’s a solution: surgery to rebreak the bone, align it correctly with the help of pins and plates, and get his kneecap back where it should be at the same time. After that, he’ll need 8 full weeks of very strict activity restriction: no rioting, running, jumping, wrestling, or puppy crazies. And after that, another 8 weeks of gradually increasing gentle exercise to strengthen the new repairs. The price tag for the surgery is steep ($2200 even after our discount), and going slow will be a very tall order for a peppy young dog. But lots of mental stimulation and plenty of company will get him through it, and the prize will be a leg that’s just a little bit lame and working almost the way it ought to—certainly well enough to dance a jig. In fact, we’ll all be kicking up our heels in just a few months!

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