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This morning, Anette, Manny and I left Santa Clara around 7:30am and spent the morning on the beaches of Santa Cruz. There is a dog-friendly beach right off of 41st ave in Capitola. Manny enjoyed playing around with other dogs – but he isn’t yet comfortable in the water (as you will see). Notice that when he runs from the water, he is running normally with all four of his legs!

Westies are by nature diggers and hunters. Manny loves the sand because he can keep digging and digging – and then find a new spot.

This is Manny in the back seat of the car, on the drive home. He positions himself so that his face can catch the wind drifting from the open windows.


One of the best ways to rehab from Legg Perthes surgery is by using the under-water treadmill. By being under water, dogs are unable to ‘favor’ a particular leg – forcing them to really work and stretch the hurt leg.

So yesterday Manny started his first of ten rehab appointments. You will notice that the nurse is in the ‘tub’ with Manny and Anette is holding his leash to keep him walking straight. He did three rounds of two minutes of walking and then two minutes of resting. At the end of the day, Manny was very tired but neither groggy or in pain.

You can watch full videos of Manny rehabbing by clicking here – I had to host the files on beRecruitedTV since they are too big!

He returns tomorrow for session #2. 

Manny has had the sutures out of his leg for 6 days now and is starting to walk very well. As long as we walk him at a comfortable speed, he carries an almost fully regular gait. He also is able to jump and run for spurts. His best activity comes in morning and early afternoon – later in the day, he becomes fatigued and starts favoring his other leg.

Yesterday Manny went for a nicely paced, one mile walk. We went for a coffee (with Anette, Leigh and Rusty – who were both in town for the WildFlower Triathlon) and I carried him home. We then had about 15 people over for a bbq and Manny enjoyed the day before passing out for the evening around 8pm – completely wiped out.

Tomorrow Manny has his first official rehab session with the clinic and will do underwater treadmill – a good exercise because the water forces him to use all legs equally.

This video is from this evening – as you can see, he is functioning very well! The last week has been terrific and every day is an improvement.

Manny continues to improve – he is even beginning to walk somewhat normally while at slow speeds. Today he met the newest member of our household – Mr. Roomba. Manny finds it fascinating – a mixture of scary and interesting:

This video is too big for YouTube – so the second is hosted at the new beRecruited TV

As promised – two new pictures of Manny are below. You will notice that his sutures are now looking very good and his shaved rump is getting a little whiter and furrier. Today Manny had a pet-sitter named Debbie who he really enjoyed (coming soon to is a list of recommended pet-sitters and daycare places).

Manny Victorian Cone

Manny Legg Perthes Sutures

Pictures to come soon … I promise.

Manny is doing quite well – he is full of energy (despite the medications) and his personality has returned. While he is napping more than normal, when Anette and/or I are around, he is playful and energetic. In fact, the biggest struggle is to get him to rest and stay off his legs. When he walks slowly, he is starting to actually put pressure on his hind right leg and squats normally (on all legs) when going to the bathroom.

To keep Manny off of his legs, we are keeping him busy with lots of chew toys, bones, and peanut-butter filled kongs.

In other news, Anette interviewed a petsitter who will come spend a little time with Manny on day’s that our schedule’s keep us both away from the house. This will be a big help and Manny seems to like her (Debbie).  And the breeder has yet to return my latest email about Manny.

One week from today Manny’s sutures will be removed and rehab will begin! Very encouraging.

Manny continues to show good progress. He slept peacefully through the night – except for the noise of his victorian collar rubbing across the cage when he moves (probably bothers us more than him!).

He is starting to get his energy and personality back – he is even getting more comfortable and confident in his mobility. We aren’t supposed to encourage too much movement – but his mobility at least makes sleeping and eating more comfortable. It also allows him to go to the bathroom more easily. Today he went to the bathroom outside twice – once for a #1 and the other for a #2… another big improvement. Manny’s appetite is back and he got a treat – last night’s dinner and this morning’s breakfast were boiled chicken!

The negatives of the day:
* Manny really hates the pills and he tries to regurgitate them up. I’ve found that the only solution is to bury the pill in a small, swallow-able cube of cheese.
* Manny is getting his energy back and wanting to move around more than he should be
* He is clearly not enjoying the neck cone – he gets itchy and tries to scratch his ears, but all he can do is scratch the cone! Very depressing!
* The cone makes it hard for him to eat and drink out of a bowl. We boiled him chicken so that he can be ‘hand fed’ and I got him a water bottle to hang in his crate (think the type of water bottle that hamsters drink out of by sucking the nipple). Manny had no idea what it was, but once we put peanut butter on the bottle’s tip, he quickly figured it out!

Today we scheduled time for Manny’s sutures to be removed and his first rehab session (next Tuesday), I contacted Manny’s breeder (more to come) and am seeking a pet-sitter to visit Manny a couple days this week while Anette and I are at work.

Yesterday morning was the roughest moment so far – Manny was truly in pain and was actually in fear of me. After a long morning nap, Manny improved during the day and we did our icing and exercises. The breakthrough of the day was around 4pm when Manny actually alerted me through normal signs that he needed to relieve himself (until then, he had no control). I carried him outside to his normal bathroom area and he actually squatted (seemingly painlessly too).

Today (Sunday) has made big improvements – he is getting his personality back, he has been outside to go to the bathroom, and he is getting more active and aware. His whimpers of pain are also less frequent and he is eating relatively normally – drinking as well. Today we move from icing to heating his hip- which is far prefers. His sutures (shown below) look excellent as well.

Manny has been chewing on lots of chew-sticks and has been spending a good part of the day sitting upright (quietly) or laying down.  I am hopeful that the progress made in the last 24 hours continues through the week. Manny is even trying to ‘walk’ around although he is very careful not to put any pressure on his leg. At some point soon he will need to learn that the leg is functional (will require rehab trainers most likely).

Anette working on hip flexibility and movement with Manny.



Manny’s sutures look great.

Anette picked Manny up from the clinic and he was certainly out of it. You will notice in the below pictures that his legs were shaved (for the IV drip) and his entire back section was shaved for the operation. His sutures span his right hip and look very good.

Manny is also on heavy medications – both pain (pill and the green patch) and sedatives. He is not only confused and insecure, he is certainly in a lot of pain and trying not to put any pressure on his leg.

You will also notice that he has a shield on his head / neck. He will be wearing this until his sutures are removed in two weeks. He clearly doesn’t enjoy wearing it and has struggled to figure out how it affects his normal activity (walking, sleeping, etc).

For the next three days we have to ice his hip 3-4 times a day for 5 minutes. Afterwards, we have to work on stretching his hip gently – trying to eliminate stiffness. We do this 3-4 times a day, also for 5 minutes.

While everything looks good and is going as expected (according to the doctors), it is quite saddening as Manny is clearly uncomfortable, nervous and even scared of Anette and I at times. He has little control of himself – emotions and bowel movements. Hopefully everything improves quickly.

Manny Legg Perthes

Manny Legg Perthes

Manny Legg Perthes


I spoke with the surgeon today at roughly 4pm and he noted that the surgery was successful, everything was as expected and that we could pick Manny up the following morning.