Let me introduce you to: "BOB"

Simple name, complex dog!

July 4th, 2008

Hello, and thank-you for clicking on my story!  And MAN, do I have a story to tell!

I was surrendered to Love-A-Bull Rescue last week.  My owners were down-sizing and not able to take me with them.  They told my foster mom on the phone that I had some missing hair, and that "it has been like that for so long."  It's true.  I have no hair on my back, not one piece, not even a sprig!... AND  it has been that way for years.  WHY?  

I haven't seen a vet since 2004, only recently to get my shots up to date.  My old family didn't seem to think it was a big deal, when it started out the size of a quarter.  It could have been prevented! 

Now that I am in the hands of rescue, my foster mom has told me that she is dedicated to my health and rehabilitation. 

I saw the vet a few days ago.  On top of my raging bladder infection, hair loss, entropian, double ear infections, and infected tail, I have what is called a "luxating patella."  What is that?  SO glad you asked!

Normal knee anatomy

Diagram of a kneeThe patella is the bone we know as the knee cap. A groove in the end of the femur allows the patella to glide up and down when the knee joint is bent back and forth. In doing so, the patella guides the action of the quadriceps muscle in the lower leg. The patella also protects the knee joint.

Looking at the lower front portion of the femur (the thigh bone) in a normal dog, you will notice two bony ridges that form a fairly deep groove in which the patella is supposed to slide up and down. These structures limit the patella’s movement to one restricted place, and in doing so, control the activity of the quadriceps muscle.

The entire system is constantly lubricated by joint fluid. It works so that there is total freedom of motion between the structures.

What occurs when the patella is luxated?

In some dogs, because of malformation or trauma, the ridges forming the patellar groove are not prominent, and a too-shallow groove is created. In a dog with shallow grooves, the patella will luxate (jump out of the groove) sideways, especially toward the inside. This causes the leg to 'lock up' with the foot held off the ground.

When the patella luxates from the groove of the femur, it usually cannot return to its normal position until the quadriceps muscle relaxes and increases in length. This explains why the affected dog may be forced to hold his leg up for a few minutes or so after the initial incident. While the muscles are contracted and the patella is luxated from its correct position, the joint is held in the flexed or bent position. The yelp is from the pain caused by the knee cap sliding across the bony ridges of the femur. Once out of position, the animal feels no discomfort and continues his activity.

What are the risks?

Uncorrected, the patellar ridges will wear, the groove will become even shallower and the dog will become progressively more lame. Arthritis will prematurely affect the joint, causing a permanently swollen knee with poor mobility. Therefore, a good evaluation needs to be done by your veterinarian early in the condition to prevent long-term arthritic crippling.

Treatment for luxating patellas

As would be expected, medical therapy has little corrective ability in this disorder and surgery is therefore required and is the treatment of choice. 


So, now that you know what a luxating patella is, let me tell you what we are doing to get me back in shape.

First, we are waiting for test results to determine my hair loss.   It could be allergies, thyroid or hormonal.  It is NOT mange mites.  That has been ruled out already.  Once that is complete, I am going to be neutered, and have my eyes done (entropian.)

Then, after my foster mommy gets a grant (hopefully) :-) for my knee surgery, I am going to have that done too!  A patella surgery on a bulldog is approx $2500.  Not to mention, when it is complete, I have to be on crate rest for a full 8 weeks!  Which isn't TOO much of a problem since I LOVE my crate.  I go in there on my own and take a snooze, and then wake up and chew on a bone... Great FUN!

Now the big question:  YES!  I will be up for adoption someday!  I am only 5 years old, and the rest of my life starts TODAY!   I will need a home with little or no stairs, and someone who understands that it MAY take about 6 months to get my hair back... Hair is just for aesthetic reasons anyway, it's inside that counts! :-)  And I am a total sweetheart.  My foster mom says anyone who gets to adopt me, will be the luckiest home in the world... 

What we are doing for Bob:

- Natural Balance Allergy Formula food  "Venison and Sweet Potato"

- 2 glucosamine pills daily

- Anti-inflammatories

Good nutrition and LOTS of love will get him through these "RUFF" times and on the road to a recovery.  It will be a long road, but this little boy is SO worth it!

More updates to come!

NOT READY TO ADOPT?  Then would you consider making a donation towards my care and much needed surgeries?  I won't letcha down! 


July 31, 2008

Hello to all my fans out there!

I have so much to tell!  

I saw Dr. Cindy a few days ago, and I got neutered, and my entropian surgery done... (when the eyelids roll into the eyes.)  I have to wear a cone around my head for 10 days so I don't scratch at my stitches.  (BOO!  NOT FUN!)  BUT I am going to feel so much better once I heal!

During my surgeries the vet was able to manipulate my leg and discovered that in the same leg where my knee is bad, I ALSO have a torn cruciate ligament.  That will also be repaired in my knee surgery...We believe that is what is causing my limp... OUCH! 


(almost) normal


Without an intact cruciate ligament, the knee is unstable. Wear between the bones and meniscal cartilage becomes abnormal and the joint begins to develop degenerative changes. Bone spurs called “osteophytes” develop and chronic  pain and loss of joint motion result. This process can be arrested by surgery but cannot be reversed.


TIBIAL PLATEAU LEVELING OSTEOTOMY (TPLO)  aka the procedure recommended for me

This procedure uses a fresh approach to the biomechanics of the knee joint and is meant to address the lack of success seen with the above two techniques long term in larger dogs. With this surgery the tibia is cut and rotated in such a way that the natural weight-bearing of the dog actually stabilizes the knee joint. As before the knee joint still must be opened and damaged meniscus removed. The cruciate remnants may or  may not be removed depending on the degree of damage.

The TPLO rotaes (as indicated by the arrow) the sloped tibial plateau until it is perpendicular to the line between the stifle and the hock joint centers

This surgery is complex and involves special training in this specific technique. Many radiographs are necessary to calculate the angle of the osteotomy (the cut in the tibia). At this time the TPLO is felt to be the best way to repair a cruciate rupture regardless of the size of the dog and is probably the only procedure to be considered for dogs over 50lbs. This surgery typically costs twice as much as the extracapsular method.

  • Most dogs are touching their toes to the ground by 10 days after surgery though it can take up to 3 weeks.
  • As with other techniques 8 weeks of exercise restriction are needed.
  • Full function is generally achieved 3-4 months after surgery and the dog may return to normal activity.


SO, in many ways, I am a mess! BUT I won't be for long!

Again, this all could have been prevented with PROPER care!  My bladder infection has cleared up, the bacteria and yeast on my skin has cleared up, and my foster mom swears up and down she sees PEACH FUZZ sprouting up on my skin!  I am getting hair!

On August 10th, I am going to Arizona Vet Specialists to have a consultation done.  Will keep you posted!--"Bob"

August 13th

My consultation went great!  Dr. Enwiller at Arizona Vet Specialists was SO nice and she is going to do my surgery on Monday August 18th!  YAY!  Then all I need is 8 weeks of rest, then to my new home!  I don't know where my new home will be yet, but I am hopeful that someone out there is ready to fall in love with me!

My skin is healing, and it may take years before all of my hair is back... We are trying to reverse 4 years of damage... BUT it will come back!  I still turn heads everywhere I go, even without hair on my back!  Here are a few pics of me at my consultation...


Where's the vet?


Keep your fingers crossed for me!  I will let you know how my surgery goes!


My surgery went AMAZING!  I am doing so well! I am putting a little bit of weight on my bandaged leg, and I will have my staples removed next week... THANK YOU again to everyone who donated and supported me... I will be ready for a new home in exactly 8 weeks!  YAY!