Bailey the Springer with issues

by Boudicea
(West Midlands - UK)


My Bailey is a rescue and has many issues, which I have written about before.


Apart from his bad start in life in respect of owners, he also has what I call a bad skeleton, I dont think he is a particularly good example of the breed.

Bailey will be 5 this August and two years ago he had his back leg rebuilt due to a sliding kneecap, and although he favours it a bit, it is holding up remarkably well with just doggie joint supplements to assist it. However, last summer whilst running with a huge log, Bailey sommersaulted into the air and damaged his right shoulder. This has never really returned to normal and more recently he has done something to the good back leg. In spite of limiting walks to 10 mins on the lead, and X rays and Metacam, neither leg seems to be improving. I know the vet said it could be months but I cannot manage the no walks scenario for long, this was the longest at 14 days. This is because Bailey becomes extremely destructive and aggressive and is now back to attacking me in an aggressive manner and barking back at me when I tell him off, which is the behaviour he exhibited at 14 months of age when I first took him on.

Today, after two minutes off the lead, he has come home and is limping on his back leg again. I'm at my wits end. Does anyone have any thoughts. Basically I wonder whether I should just let him enjoy himself and manage the pain and my emotional state as best as possible, or should I put him in a cage for several months and then test the water again.



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Oct 27, 2011
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Bailey
by: Michele

I'm so sorry to hear this. Please know you did the best you could do for Bailey. You took a homeless dog and gave him the best part of his life. I do think you made the right decision for him and I know how terribly difficult that was for you.

Oct 26, 2011
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Such a difficult situation
by: Boudicea

Hello to all who have previously commented on my lovely Bailey's legs.

Unfortunately, after speaking to the specialist on 17th June, and being told that we were looking at 3 months in a cage (minimum) and back to ramps into the garden, being lead led into the garden for the toilet, and based on the arthritis in the already rebuilt leg, and the shoulder not responding to medication and no exercise, I made the heartbreaking decision to put my dear Bailey to sleep. I spent the weekend with him and took him for his favourite walks even though he was in agony afterwards and we said goodbye to all his friends. By Monday morning my 17 yr old son had accepted the situation and I rang the vet. I took him into the surgery where they kindly put him out of his agony whilst I held him in my arms. They assured me that although he was not quite 5 years old, I had done the right thing. I bought him home and put him in the garden with Sunny, who was killed 4 years ago, almost to the day.

4 months down the line I am still devastated, the house is empty and life seems dull. We cant yet talk about him with laughter, only with tears. They are streaming down my face as I write. I find comfort each morning in going into the garden to talk to my beautiful boys but it is all so raw.

The funny thing is, my mum is now very poorly and the time I thought would be spare is taken in looking after her. They say things happen for a reason but I could never have predicted this.

Although his time with me was short, exhausting, frustrating etc, I would do it all over again. Dogs give so much pleasure, but dear God, it hurts when they are taken from us.

God Bless to you all, enjoy every minute you have with your Springers.

If you have any lovely pics of your Springers, I would love to see them - Boudicea@blueyonder.co.uk

Oct 26, 2011
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Have you tried hydrotherapy?
by: Paula

Hi Boudicea,
I see this was June 2011, I've only just found this website, I hope I'm not too late with my thoughts...

I truly hope things are better for you all, I have heard that hydrotherapy works wonders, I've had no experience of this myself, but I have read up on it & it would be something I'd consider if I had to make the tough choices you're faced with.

Take care all,
Paula...

Jun 17, 2011
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Bailey
by: Michele

Oh Boudicea - I am so sorry for your situation. And Bailey's. It sounds like he has just had a rough road all along.

This is a decision only you can make. I have had to make it before when my Rottweiler was diagnosed with cancer and I know how difficult it is. But, I also know that when your dog no longer has good quality of life, it's time to ease his problems.

You have a lot on your plate with his medical issues and his aggressive behavior, then to add your Mom's health issues - it's a lot to manage.

Don't beat yourself up over a decision you may have to make. Remember how much you love Bailey, speak to your vet and you'll know what the right way to go. Whatever you decide, I wish you the very best. Sending a big hug your way -

Jun 17, 2011
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inspiring comments
by: Boudicea

Thank you for your comments. I have just returned from the specialist who feels that although there is an operation to sort Bailey's back leg problem, which is a cruiate ligament, Bailey may not be a good candidate in that without exercise he becomes aggressive and very hard to manage. There is an outside chance that the kneee could build up scar tissue which would assist recovery but we need to go 6 weeks with absolutely no exercise. A bonus if we make the 6 weeks, is that the shoulder may repair itself too.
However, if the aggression is unmanageable during the 6 weeks, there is only one option.

Speaking with my colleagues here at work, they all point out that Bailey is hard work all in all, his bone structure is obviously not good and so problems may reoccur at any time, and that without exercise his life is meaningless. They also believe there is only one option.

I am not strong enough to make this decision, I dont have any support network at home and am currently distraught over what is the right decision. Reading your comments has made me feel that I must try the 6 week quiet regime, but the devil on my shoulder is saying how much of a weight would be lifted from my shoulders without the stress, especially as my mum has parkinsons and I am struggling to look after her and help dad too. I am emotionally drained and at this moment do not know which way to turn. Your comments have really helped, and are much appreciated.

Jun 17, 2011
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A familiar problem
by: Julia Livesey

Poor Bailey - he sounds like a cross between my Springer (who is nearly 3) and my Staffy (who is nearly 4).

Starting with the staffy - she had the same knee problems at 1 year old and it took 3 operations to correct it. The last one was a femoral straightening which changed the angle of the thigh bone to the knee, putting less pressure on the joint. It worked a treat. This was only after I changed vets and her new vet referred her to a specialist orthopaedic vet. Have you seen an orthopaedic vet.

Then the next summer the staffy damaged the cruciate ligament in her left leg (but fortunately didn't tear it). She again saw her orthopaedic vet who referred her to a Chartered Animal Physiotherapist. After 7 months of physio and short walks she was fine. So animal physio is another option.

My springer also now has a problem with his knee - a grade 1 luxation according to his vet. But it doesn't bother him so we've decided to leave well alone. He does have a soft tissue injury in his right shoulder which has been causing problems for over a year. This is one of those time issues and he's had lots of short lead walks & piled on the weight as a result. We've been taking him for a swim every day to help though - we built up to 25 mins - and it seems to have done the trick. We just take him to the local pond and throw a knong for him.

Hope some of that helps, or at least gives you some ideas.

Jun 17, 2011
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:(
by: Anonymous

Oh poor Bailey and you! That has to be so so hard to deal with. I have no answers or suggestions, I know with my 2 that it would be really hard in that situation and thats with no previous history.

Hope Bailey gets better and that you can find a solution for him, poor man.
Charlotte x
PS I love the picture :)

Jun 16, 2011
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Bailey
by: Michele

I wish I had an answer for you. It sounds as if Bailey is the product of bad breeding, likely by someone who bred to make money, or because they wanted their kids to witness a birth, and not to improve the breed. These type of people need to slapped.

Have you considered acupuncture or any type of holistic healing?


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