Vet Scam Butchery

It was March 2009 when Troy and I brought our second Rottweiler home, this time an eight week old male. We talked to a plethora of people about raising this puppy as close to perfect as we could. Our vet was very informative with a very favorable reputation in our community in that they are the primary service providers for the Orlando Police department canine unit.

Because we had been warned to get an early neuter to prevent Freddie from raising his leg to pee, after five months, we asked for the surgery. Everything went well and after a year we decided to adopt another more active puppy, a Boston Terrier, whom we named Ziggy. Layla, our oldest rottie, turned out to be Freddie’s half-brother, by accident, because when their mother was in heat, one of the breeder’s males was able to inseminate her, and thus our Freddie boy was born.

Freddie is a wonderful dog being social and loving towards people. He runs to our neighbor’s front door on a regular basis hoping she’ll let him in to visit. All of our neighbors comment how friendly Freddie is to them and they love him. After both Ziggy and Layla experienced leg joint problems that Glucosamine fixed, we were blessed to see Freddie have no symptoms of any problems. In addition to leg problems, Layla had a thyroid problem that took months to recover, and we were pleased to see her return to a normal lifestyle and energy.

But then one day on a family walk when he was a little over 5 years old, Freddie yelped, fell to the ground, then jumped up with a wounded right rear leg. We were shocked. We walked home and made an appointment with the vet only to learn that it appeared he had sprained his muscle. The symptom was that he held his leg off the ground and hobbled on three legs when walking. The vet recommended we give it some time to see if it returns back to normal. He never told us to limit walks or playing, so we continued to do so with no improvements.

During the next couple months, we continued to walk the dogs on a regular basis but Freddie never regained his leg use. Then one day, totally unexpectedly, he yelped while lying still on the couch. That was the last time we took his injury lightly and repeated a trip to the vet.

During this visit, the vet surgeon, who had not inspected Freddie before, suggested we take him to a specialist surgeon who could perform an operation on the leg to realign his cruciate ligament (CCL, like ACL in humans). Since we had an X-ray exam the first time we visited the vet, we knew it had to be something more than just a sprained muscle. Then we got serious about researching this problem and not relying on the vet diagnosis.

It was during our research, we found many articles about conservative management before considering surgery. Following the vet’s advice, we scheduled a surgeon appointment for a few days in the future but filled our heads with anecdotal evidence. One author claimed to refute most “scientific” facts, as in the article at the link below.

Questioning Canine Cruciate Ligament Surgery

Others went as far as to say that early neutering changed the hormonal levels that would help bone and tissue development had they not been neutered earlier in life, as in the article below.

Don’t Neuter Your Dog YET – Read This Life-Saving Information First!

At this point, it was too late for the conservative care before the surgeon appointment. We listened to the surgeon tell us that we should have surgery soon before it advanced into a worse condition. After the surgeon told us of three options, we decided to wait for 8 weeks to see if Freddie regained his leg functioning.

The three options included the following and their estimated pricing.

TPLO Surgery (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy): $1,500
TTA Surgery (tibial tuberosity advancement): $3,500
TTO Surgery (triple tibial osteotomy): $4,500

More can be learned from the article below. What offended me most was that everything we read said TPLO would never work for large dogs and is a waste of money. The surgeon responded that she was offering all the options. But that was not an option and would be deceitful to those not knowing the difference.

Different Types of Surgery for Dog ACL Injuries

During our 8-week rehabilitation period, we refrained from walking Freddie. Because he whines for unknown reasons we call him a “Rott-wheiner” and for that reason we chose not to confine him from jumping up on the bed or couch, as articles suggested. He ran in the yard occasionally for short distances but outside that, he was restricted for 8 full weeks from his normal walks.

Since Christmas eve 2014, Freddie has now been walking daily that includes off-leash running, jumping, and climbing and declining down 45 degree hills. His leg shows very few symptoms and appears normal. We feed him a Glucosamine tablet once a day, mainly for precaution.

We have now learned that neutering should be after the dog is full grown and that our Boston Terrier, whom we never neutered, has not run off seeking a female in heat. We hope that this article helps others with a difficult decision to butcher their dog and that patience worked for us. It is a sad reflection on the animal healthcare profession where mutilating an animal by a human is acceptable, even if they cannot guarantee it won’t happen again.

Epilogue

on 25 September 2016, Freddie died of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, a rare disease caused by bacterial infection usually fatal within 24 hours. This was another lesson learned the hard way, to watch him die in our arms, hopelessly. However, once he recovered from the CCL, he never had a problem again for the rest of his life.

Ziggy’s First Beach Day

Florida’s maximum temperature average for May is 66F low and 88F high but 6 May 2013 was an exceptionally cool temperature when our whole famdamily boarded our CR-V mini-SUV to visit Ponce Inlet. This trip was for our 7 month old male Boston Terrier to experience the beach for his first time.

We arrived around 10am to setup our site on a 1/4 mile inlet beach with no other campers. There were a couple of people walking their dogs but after a few minutes, they departed the desolate beach.

Beach Vista

The temperature was in the mid-60s with breezes that chilled the shadowed parts of our bodies. Ziggy was timid to the water but eventually swam until the waves beat his nose and he realized he had no bottom to stand up out of the water.

Beach Camp May 2013

Ziggy obsessed with his blue ball as he chased, snorted, and volleyed it around the camp while Layla dug a quahog clam shell through the sand until she had a sand-beard.

Beach Dog Layla

Ziggy, being the puppy he is now, snorted enough sand into his stomach to produce sand castles from his butt.

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After lunch, a young slim brown female boston terrier named Wanda showed up and ran loose on the beach in front of our camp. Our family watched with amazement at the agility and bounce Wanda exhibited in front of another small dog while running along the shoreline. It was only minutes before we decided to unleash our terrier to experience another breed of his kind. Unfortunately, his day had exhausted him and he lasted about an hour before turning into a Zombie dog. Also unfortunate was my stupidity for not taking pictures of Troy and Wanda playing Ziggy, both bouncing with glee.

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Ziggy slept on his sister, Layla, part of the way home. They all had too much “gig-high” to sleep.

Beach Dog Freddie

Brother Freddie posing for picture. Thank you Troy!

Frank’s History Since 2001 Perú Tour Blog

As for what’s happened since the last time I shook hands with fellow travelers to Perú in 2001, I’ve been traveling south to visit our neighbors in the other Americas:  South and Central.  Before the US oligarchy took over the US economy, I traveled to Brazil (São Miguel do Araguaia, Brasília, and Pantanal), Perú, Costa Rica, El Salvador (twice, second time for b-roll), and Venezuela (twice).  I actually learned Spanish enough to communicate when I visited.  Until 2007, I was fully funded by corporate capital.  Then I graduated out of the corporate morass and back to nature.  Here’s a short clip of what happened to my Career History since 2007.

But what I’ve done in the last decade has been very rewarding in accomplishments.  I bought a video camera in 2002 and started shooting my own travels.  The first was Brazil when I took a two month leave to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in São Miguel do Araguaia to build homes for the locals, visited the IBM offices in Brasília, and counted animal species at the Conservation International’s Pantanal reserves, as a volunteer for Earthwatch.  Just before I left for that trip, I shut down several aquariums, sold our Basilisk lizards, and kicked my nephew out of the house (because he’d become a dead-beat), after, of course, the terrorist bombed the World Trade Center.  I went as a personal endeavor to show how US citizens care about neighboring countries and people.

The Brazil trip was quite interesting.  It is a tropical destination with an aggressive edge, like I imagine Africa.  In the Pantanal, plants and animals are a bit more protective with barbs and stingers to thwart attention.  But the birds, reptiles, and plants are incredible, think Hyacinth Macaws, huge Caiman, and Acrocomia palms (with long thorns covering its trunk).  I created my premiere cinematography and gave the video as a Christmas DVD gift; I just recently uploaded it to YouTube.  Because this was my first attempt to shoot video in foreign countries with strangers, I learned a lot, like use a tripod.  What I also learned from this trip was that the camera is no good for recording audio.  I spent hours using SoundForge trying to remove the camera hum or background motors at the same time preventing the sound from flanging.  What a waste of time.  So, I had to come up with a better solution.

Then in 2003, my partner Troy, my nephew Chris, and I went to just the Amazon river basin.  Troy is an audio engineer, so he provided the audio for my video that I produced into a DVD.  It will soon be online as a FREE download from MoPix to experience (MoPix is a startup company who offers VoD for independent feature film productions – they actually asked me to publish my Amazon Explorama video production on their site).  I also got great reviews from work associates with whom I had shared copies as Christmas (EOY) gifts, again.  My supervisor actually said he thought it looked as professional as National Geographic.  Of course, that was an exaggeration but incouraging.  What I learned from this trip was how to manage a crew and equipment, again in a foreign country but not necessarily strangers:  We ended up with Cliver Acosta as our solo tour guide, who was one of our tour guides our first time in the Amazon river basin.

It was a great trip.  We all got a long professionally (although Troy and I wanted to kill Cliver and Chris when they talked over the animal sounds, again I spent hours editing audio and creating foley to cover verbal reactions) and saw more unique and incredible stuff.  I included an interview with Dr. Linea Smith and the Amazon Medical Project she runs there.  On this trip, we got close to pygmy marmosets, tapirs, and natives who make charcoal on the river banks.  During this trip, I toyed with the idea of moving there or maybe somewhere in South America.  Dr. Smith advised me to learn Spanish, if I did decide to move there.  So, I started learning Spanish and started writing a script after I got home.

Then in 2005, I had learned Spanish from the first collection of Pimsleurs language audio CDs and took a trip to Costa Rica by myself to checkout possibly moving there.  What I learned from this trip was that it was a US polluted country and shortly afterwards Wal*Mart moved in.  So, I kept learning Spanish but the rest of this year didn’t do much in video until the end when I went to Boston to shoot an Earthwatch Institution conference, in particular Dr. E.O. Wilson.  That DVD turned out nice but was pretty boring watching speakers present their stories and statistics.  That Christmas gift sort of bombed.

Then in 2006, I got a call from a friend’s daughter who was going to El Salvador and asked if I wanted to shoot their trip.  I went to see what it was like there and learned how much the US had destroyed that country through proxy wars.  What an experience and shocking eye opener.  Oliver Stone did a pretty good job documenting the history of that country and my video never made it to a final production DVD.  I did share footage with my friend’s daughter for her to use to present at a fundraising event in San Diego.  My next two trips, I went to Venezuela once with my nephew (wrote a story about this trip) and then by myself to Margarita Island for Spanish emersion.  I had finished fixing up my house to sell by the middle of the year but the market crashed and I knew then I’d not be able to sell the house or move to South America.

Then I left IBM after 24.5 years working as a computer consultant and was ready for a change.  With IBM severance funds, I finished my Spanish courses and was certified as a Project Manager Professional.  If you watch my career history video, that pretty much sums it up to where I am today.

Oh, and on the personal side, Troy and I have adopted two Rottweilers, a female and her brother and in December, we adopted a Boston Terrier puppy.  We converted our pool into an aquaponic system with blue gill and tilapia.  Grew a load of okra this summer and are working on getting other veggies to grow.

If you’re interested in seeing more of my work, here’s my professional profile page:  http://frankgouldportfolio.wordpress.com