Behind the wheel, Howard motors down Interstate 15 counting the miles to Carlsbad with his wife, Jolene, sitting next to him. As he glances in the rearview mirror, their dog, Rosie, pokes her head out of the back window enjoying a sudden burst of wind in her face. Rosie retreats back inside, circles twice, and nestles into her memory foam mattress in back of the SUV.
Howard has already clocked 120 miles and he has 20 more to go. California Veterinary Specialists (CVS) in Carlsbad is a long haul for Howard and Jolene who live in Apple Valley – but when it comes to Rosie, their beloved German shepherd, miles mean nothing when knowing she is receiving the very best of care.
What brought Howard and Jolene to CVS only months ago was an orthopedic challenge. It started with some slight stiffness in Rosie’s hind end.
“Before Rosie turned three, we noticed that she was having a little more trouble after she ran and jumped a lot,” Howard said.
Following a series of x-rays with the veterinarian in their area, it was confirmed that Rosie had hip dysplasia. When Rosie was experiencing more soreness, their veterinarian recommended a possible hip replacement which prompted research on their end.
“We had read good things online about Dr. Dhupa and California Veterinary Specialists,” Howard and Jolene said.
On their first visit, the couple knew they chose the right place to take care of their girl.
“We could tell how Rosie acted that she really liked them,” Howard shared.
Dr. Dhupa agreed Rosie did have hip dysplasia; however, during her comprehensive exam, he noted that both of her back knees were swollen – an MRI confirmed her knees required cruciate surgery.
According to Dr. Dhupa, who is a board certified surgeon specializing in orthopedics, the symptoms of a cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture in dogs can vary.
“The common clinical signs are lameness and that can be variable. Some dogs are mildly lame and others are non-weight bearing lame,” Dr. Dhupa said. “From a patient perspective, there is swelling and inflammation of the joints.”
Dr. Dhupa wants people to know that CCL is not an injury. It’s a disease which triggers a degenerative process of the ligaments.
While there are more than 100 traditional techniques, he said, a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) has grown to become one of the leading mainstays for CCL tears, also commonly known as ACL in humans.
“We’ve been doing this surgery for over 20 years, and only now, has it become definitive that a TPLO is the treatment of choice to address cranial cruciate ligament disease,” he said.
Dr. Dhupa shared that Rosie was an ideal candidate for TPLO because she had cranial cruciate ligament disease before it developed into arthritis. Rosie had TPLO surgery first on the right knee, and a few months later, on the left.
The goal of orthopedic surgery is to slow down arthritis progression. And when pet parents follow postoperative instructions, the surgical outcomes are excellent.
“Rosie’s family has followed the rules, and it’s a testament to them and to Rosie as to how well she’s doing,” he said.
Howard and Jolene were impressed with CVS’s level of medical expertise and compassion – and they still are.
“We can’t even put it into words how pleased and thrilled we were with their love and care for our girl,” Jolene said.