Xxandy, Port of Seattle

Like any dog who loves his work, Port of Seattle explosives detection dog, Xxandy, would have continued to happily work on only three legs!  But when he started displaying brief episodes of rear limb lameness, cooler heads prevailed and his handler, GeorgeAnn, brought him to board-certified surgeon, Dr. Allen Johnson, for an orthopedic workup to determine the specific source of the lameness.

Dr. Johnson examined Xxandy and diagnosed a Grade II Medial Patellar Luxation. In layman’s terms, this means that the dog’s patella (kneecap) was not remaining in its correct anatomical position within the stifle (knee). Patellar luxation has been described as the most common congenital anomaly in dogs and can manifest in different types of luxation and varying grades of severity.

Dr. Johnson recommended a surgical correction that would offer a very good prognosis for Xxandy to return to work within four months. He and GeorgeAnn also discussed the option of pursuing an aggressive post-op physical rehabilitation program for Xxandy, in order to give him the fastest return to duty. Physical rehab has long been recognized as being of significant benefit to humans undergoing treatment for injuries or chronic conditions, and we are pleased to be able to offer this same benefit to our patients with our in-hospital rehab service.

In early February, GeorgeAnn brought Xxandy into the hospital to be admitted for surgery. The anesthesia and procedure went very smoothly and he was ready to go home the following day. He headed out of the hospital on three legs, but with tail wagging!

At two weeks post-op, Dr. Johnson confirmed that Xxandy’s skin incision had healed, so GeorgeAnn met with physiotherapy vet Dr. Kari Johnson to plan the in-hospital and at-home rehabilitation options that could speed his recovery. That day, Xxandy had his first experience in the hydrotherapy unit (underwater treadmill) and he did great! Having a few treats provided during the session certainly didn’t hurt!

Xxandy continued to return to our hospital for twice-weekly hydro sessions, and at only 2 months post-op, his recheck radiographs showed that he was healed enough to return to limited duty, with full release at 3 months post-op. After visiting us for one final hydro session the next day, we said goodbye to Xxandy and GeorgeAnn, wishing them all the best in their work together.

We are so pleased that we were able to help return this amazing pair back to doing what they do best, keeping us safe!

Posted August 12, 2015 by ASCS in Patient Heroes with No Comments and tagged as , , ,

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