Dirty, Infested, and a Femoral Head Ostectomy

Our little quarantined friend is finally “home” and by home I mean our house. Yep, we’re keeping him. And we’ve officially named him Kiffin (we found him outside the USC campus, after all). This Beagle-Corgi mix is really a good dog. I can’t imagine the life he must have had and he’s only thought to be two-years-old.


Introducing Kiffin Sweetie-Pew. I’ll always think of him as Pre.

On Thursday, Animal Control signed off on him (no rabies!) and the vet was finally able to evaluate him and his injuries. Fleas had ravaged the poor guy, his ears were filled with dirt and dust, he is missing two of his front bottom teeth (which was a good thing for my husband or he would have had another puncture wound in his face), he has a seriously bad case of whipworm, and of course his injured leg.

You know it’s never good news when the vet comes in and lets out an audible sigh. It’s Kiffin’s hip that is the problem. The vet believes the injury is old because the muscles in his leg have totally atrophied. Basically, one of his hip bones has completely come out of the socket. Yes, popping it back in is one solution but since the injury is old it’s doubtful the ball will stay put in the socket. Second option is leaving it as is. But, it’s painful to watch this guy hop around on three legs or drag his hind across the floor as he climbs into your lap. The vet believes the hip bone is sitting on top of the socket bone and causing some bone-on-bone friction which may or may not be painful for him. Third option is surgery. It’s specifically called a “femoral head ostectomy” where they saw a portion of the bone off and fit it back into the socket in hopes that scar tissue will form around the bone and within the socket keeping it in place. The risk with the surgery is that he may or may not start even using the leg again because it’s been so long since he has. Rehab would include lots of running, jumping, chasing – anything to build the needed scar tissue and regaining movement of his unused leg.

Femoral head ostectomy X-ray



He’s so damn cute. He’s surprisingly acclimated to his new environment (hey, he pretty much hit the jackpot in my opinion). Our almost ten-year-old Vizsla hasn’t been fazed and, in fact, I’ve seen some glimmer of her old puppy spark since he’s been home.

For now, we’re working on putting some pounds on him and opting for coffee at home instead of Starbucks to pay for his surgery!

Are we nuts?

A Lose-Lose Situation | The Problem with Helping a Stray Dog

So, do you remember where we left off in my tale of the dog otherwise known as Pre? My husband was oh-so-close in nabbing the little guy but after our second failed attempt we decided that it just wasn’t safe to chase that damn dog back and forth across traffic in South Central with our four-year-old in tow. We caught our breath – well, actually, my husband did – and we piled ourselves back into the car. As we pulled out of the parking lot towards the same direction the dog last was seem heading my hubs says “I’m afraid to turn this way.”

We turned right onto Exposition Blvd. and what do we see crossing the street back to the USC campus? You’re right! My husband asks “What do you want to do?” “Let’s try again” I say.

We pulled onto the USC campus with protests from the little girl in the car seat. She’s refusing to get out of the car and I’m feeling a little thankful because I just didn’t know how much more I could take. I sit with her and my hubs sets out with the blanket in hand. Not only does Miss Thing not want to help get the dog, she sure as heck doesn’t want this dog coming home with us. To change the topic, I suggest we say a little prayer that the dog stays safe. I decide that I should send out a few tweets about a lost dog and jump out to get my purse from the back of the car. Just then, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I see my husband turn the corner with the pup cradled in his arms. Holy shit, prayer works!

As he gets closer I see that he looks like he’s been filming a scene for True Blood. He’s got blood streaming down his face and chin from the puncture wounds in his left cheek. Oh my God, there goes my hero.

We put the dog in the back of the car where he chilled the entire hour drive back to Orange County. Not a bark or a whimper, only a huge crap. But hey, he was totally under distress and who can blame him?

I couldn’t believe when my husband told me the story of capturing the dog. He said that the little guy was laying in the wet dirt beneath some bushes and totally let my husband approach him {hey dog, this would have been great plan earlier}. The dog smelled my husband’s hands and allowed him to wrap him up in the blanket but when he went to cradle him in his arms the dog went all Mike Tyson on my defenseless husband.

Yay! We saved the dog!! Oh but wait…

Did you know you aren’t supposed to cross county lines with a stray animal? Did you know that rabies is fatal in humans? Did you know there isn’t a test to determine if a dog has rabies other than euthanasia and brain dissection? Did you know if you seek medical help for an animal bite that the doctor is required to the contact the county animal control?

Hello, ye ol’ can of worms.
Because of where the dog bit my husband – his face – it becomes an urgent situation to determine if the animal has rabies. Of course, there is no medical history on this dog because he was a stray without a microchip. He was also “intact” or un-neutered which likely means he has not had any vaccinations. If your neighbor’s dog bites someone, you can assume that the dog has been vaccinated. But this stray could have belong to any irresponsible college student or one of the several homeless people near the adjacent freeway underpass or he could have even been brought over on a truck from Mexico where rabies runs rampant. Even though the possibility of rabies is slim we obviously weren’t going to risk my husband’s life – right?

Right. I left the vet in a sobbing mess. My husband ended up in urgent care to have his wounds treated. And my girl had her special birthday dinner at McDonald’s. “No good deed goes unpunished.”

However, this little guy may have received a pardon.