Fallon's Story

Fallon is a 4 month old(D.O.B January 13,2009) 2.0 lb. Malti-Poo(Maltese/apricot teacup Poodle mix). She was surrendered to rescue by her owner due to an orthopedic issue that requires expensive surgery and extensive rehabilitation and we were so concerned with her safety and future that we agreed to take her even though we knew how extensive her medical needs were. This sweet, loving, joyful little angel has a problem that affects the bones in her legs. Fallon has now been to two vets in MS(where her foster home is) for diagnosis and x-rays. She now needs to see an Orthopedic surgeon. Her x-rays revealed that starting from the hip, these bones form an "S" of sorts and are not properly formed, affecting her ability to walk and rendering her handicapped. Unable to walk or stand, it is even now affecting her ability to use the bathroom normally. Fallon's bones are shaped incorrectly. Whereas a normal leg starts at the hip socket and curves slightly outwards to the knee joint and then has a slight curve from there down, Fallon's curve out, then in, then out....... almost forming an S shape. This situation will only get worse as she gets older so we need to try to get her surgery and/or therapy as soon as possible to correct this situation and try to help this baby have as normal a life as possible.
Unfortunately we are out of funds due to the overwhewlming need of the many other rescue animals in our organization and the only way for us to be able to care for Fallon is to receive donations for her expensive and extensive care. She is just a baby and needs our help. We will be posting more photos, x-rays and vet report info in the coming days.
Update: May, 10, 2009:Fallon has seen 2 more veterinarians, a specialist and an orthopedic surgeon. More invasive, digital xrays were taken and some are posted.

The findings are as follows: Fallon has angular limb deformity of both hind legs, medial luxating patellas - grade 4, she is unable to manipulate her legs as her knees are locked in.

We are going to try to explain it in the simplest terms we can and hope it is understandable. The knee cap is on the outside of the joint, all the ligaments and tendons are connected to the knee cap and the leg bone. Thus the ligaments and tendons are pulling across where the knee cap should be, making the bone curve somewhat "S" shaped. The veterinarians conferred it was the worst case they had ever seen.
Fallon needs two separate surgeries per leg.One which will address the deformity and straighten the leg, one which will address the patellas(kneecaps). After each surgery extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy is needed. Fallon has yet another vet appt. for a consultation and fifth and final opinion on her situation. It is with the orthopedic surgeons at MS State Veterinary at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 14. We will update her info after that appointment. All of these consultations are to ensure Fallon gets the best possible care and that the best surgeon possible does her surgery as it is a very invasive and delicate surgery that if not performed correctly could be devastating to Fallon. We want to make certain that we get the proper diagnosis/treatment as it is imperative to her well being.

Update: May, 14, 2009:

Fallon had her appointment at MS State Veterinary Center today and the findings are as follows:
Case summary: Fallon is a 4 month old female Maltese/Poodle who was presented to MSU-AHC surgery services for bilateral hind limb lameness. Upon presentation Fallon was bright, alert and responsive. A physical exam revealed congenital angular deformities of the hind limbs, bilateral grade IV/IV medial patellar luxations with lateral bowing of the femurs and medial rotation of the tibias. Fallon was sedated and radiographs were taken of her hind limbs. Radiographs confirmed the presence of severe lateral bowing of the distal femurs, bilateral medial patellar luxation, and approximately 90 degrees of internal rotation of the proximal aspect of both tibias. At time of discharge, she is still bilaterally lame in rear limbs.
Diagnosis: Bilateral Grade 4.4 Medial Patella Luxation
Procedures performed at MS State Animal Health Center: Physical exam, orthopedic exam, sedation and stifle radiographs.
Attending DVM: Dr. Mac Maxwell
Intern: Dr. Christina Choate
Resident: Dr. Cory Fisher
Student: Paul Taylor
Client Report: As we discussed, Fallon has bilateral patella luxations. Due to the severity of the luxations, femoral and tibial osteotomies (cuts in the bone) will be necessary to correct the malformations. Surgery is recommended to give Fallon the best chance of having a functional limb; however, due to the severity of the deformity and her tiny size, there is no guarantee that the surgery would be successful. The expected recovery time for the procedure is approximately 2 months without major complications, and the anticipated cost of the procedure is $2000-$3000 for each surgery. Multiple surgeries may be needed to correct the angular deformity (could be up to 3-4 surgeries required.)
Patella luxation is a condition that tends to be progressive in nature. Even with the surgery, Fallon would likely benefit from lifelong management of osteoarthritis (joint disease). This includes joint supplements (chondroitin sulfate) and maintaining a normal body weight.
Prognosis: Without surgical treatment, the prognosis for having a functional hind limb is guarded. However, if surgery is elected, Fallon should have a fair chance of having good quality of life. Multiple surgeries may need to be performed on each leg. Despite surgical correction, lameness may be present for the rest of her life. Lifelong medical management for osteoarthritis should also be instituted. An osteoarthritis handout will accompany the discharge for Fallon.
Recheck exam: No recheck examination is needed for Fallon at this time. If you elect to pursue surgical therapy, please schedule a surgical appointment at your earliest convenience. A CD of the radiographs taken by MSU-AHC are being sent home with Fallon today.

Update: May, 20, 2009:It has been determined that Fallon does need the surgery to repair her legs. We had looked at other options and had hoped the surgery could be performed at a later date but it appears now that it should be performed as soon as possible. If this surgery is not done she will have no quality of life and the older she gets the harder the surgery will be on her. Our only obstacle now is that we need to raise the funds to get her first surgery for the first leg. Then she will have a 2 month recovery time and we will have to try to get the money for her next leg and so on. This is going to be difficult to accomplish(raising this huge amount of money needed for her surgeries) but we have to try. Fallon is already starting to have more difficulty than anticipated and it will only get worse. This is not "typical luxation surgery". Fallon has much more than severe luxating patellas. She has additional deformities of her limbs that need surgery and as stated before is "one of the worst cases" these vets have ever seen. The delicate and complicated surgery along with multiple surgeries needed has made the costs associated with Fallon extremely, extremely high. We absolutely cannot and will not ever be able to do it without your help. If/When we get enough donations to do one leg we will schedule the first surgery. Then try to proceed in geting enough donations for her second leg and so on. Please, please help if you can, without many people helping we are afraid Fallon will never be able to get the surgery she needs. We have asked the vets at MS State about a wheel chair for Fallon as an "alternative" and that is not an option according to them. We cannot have this surgery performed until we have full payment for her surgery in advance as the surgery is being done at MS State by orthopedic surgeons due to the severe nature of her disability/problem. We must reiterate Fallon is only 4 months old and this problem will become much more severe as she ages and it is in her best interest to get this down as soon as possible. As it stands it could take quite a while to raise the funds for even one surgery as our other permanent fosters with special needs have extensive vet bills as well. We have no idea how long it will take us to raise the funds, we only know we must try for as long as it takes because Fallon needs help and it is up to us, with help from loving donors, to see that she gets it and has a chance to live with a quality of life.

Every life does matter.

An update from Fallon: May, 25, 2009:
Wooooooooooofffff to all of my friends,

My foster mom keeps taking me to the doctor like I am sick or something. She says my back legs need surgery but that it is too expensive to be able to do it yet. The nice vet at MS State said that I will be in a lot of pain when I get a little older and have a very bad time dealing with this. I hope they get the money for the surgery so I wont be in pain and unable to walk. I dont think I would like that at all. I need a fairy godmother, a genie, a sugar doggy or something to get the money for me.
Yesterday, my foster mom and dad took me to a big Memorial Day picnic. It was nice to be at a picnic until the rain started. My foster parents had put their chairs under a cover so we stayed dry. The host of the party said that the theme for the day was animal rescue. I had so much fun playing with a lot of other little doggies and being loved on by almost everybody who walked by. I had on my new collar and a leash and wasnt sure what they were for. They had a hard time finding one small enough for me. Id rather chew on it than have it on me though. We came home when the rain started. I was completely exhausted and slept all the way home (only 15 minutes) and then took a long nap after we got home.
Another one of my friends here with ADR has really bad panic attacks when it thunders so my foster mom was worried about her til we got home. My other foster sister is so silly because she barks at the thunder. It has rained down here a lot lately. Rain, rain go away, Little Fallon wants to go out to play! Bella,my big foster sis is my bff! We play hide and go seek when we are outside. There is a big bush with a lot of white flowers that smell good. Bella will run and hide behind it, and me and my other foster sis will go find her. Well I just watch really. I wish I could keep up with the big dogs,hehe. Silly girl,Bella, she hides in the same place every time!
I like to ride in the car. We go out to Pet Smart when we need doggy things and I get put in a buggy. Lots of people stop us when we are in PetSmart to ask questions about me, and sometimes I have to walk and show them how my back legs are so they can understand my pawblems.
I just thought Id let you know how my holiday weekend was. Thank you for rescuing me and to all that care about me and want to help me. I am being a sweet little girl for my foster family.
Love and tiny maltese smooches, Fallon

UPDATE: May 30:

We have received two more opinions regarding surgery vs. non-surgery and what is the best course of action to help Fallon. Both highly respected Florida surgeons with 40 years of orthopedic surgical experience recommend not having surgery on Fallon's limbs as they believe the surgery will be extemely painful and debilitating, with limited chance of success or even better quality of life. Due to these new opinions, several other opinions from different surgeons, along with the lack of funds for even one surgery, we will not be proceeding with surgery for Fallon. If unmanageable pain develops in the future we will once again weigh all options and do whatever is best for Fallon. We are going to try to get her into water therapy with a physical therapist if possible. This will help manage her condition, provide long term relief and added mobility and hopefully minimize problems in the future. Due to her condition Fallon will remain a long term foster of ADR. If you'd like to help with Fallon's expenses, tax-deductible donations in any amount are greatly appreciated. If using PayPal or a credit card, a donation button is below. Please keep in mind that all donations are tax deductible and your donations are helping these babies get the care they need.
If you'd like to mail a check, you may make it out to: Precious Paws Asian Dog Rescue and mail to:
Asian Dog Rescue
P.O. Box 697
Madisonville, TN 37354
All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. We will gladly mail you a receipt for tax purposes if requested.

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