Whiskey Lee

Syracuse, New York

Wednesday April 23, 2014

Whiskey (aka CH MACH3 C-ATCH ADCH Top Shelf's Crown Royal MXF TQX SACH TM), an eight-year-old Brittany, woke up one morning in May 2012 and, in her excitement to go outside, spun in a circle, yipped, and was three-legged lame on her right rear limb. My veterinarian heart thought, "not good," and my owner-agility handler heart thought, "oh *BLEEP*!"

I brought her into work, was able to elicit a cranial drawer in her right stifle, and there was very mild effusion on her stifle radiographs. In short, she had ruptured a cranial cruciate ligament.

In tears, I called my friend (also her breeder) to let her know what happened, and her first response was, "You're taking her to the best, right?" Minutes later, I was on the phone with VOSM.

I first heard of Dr. Canapp through other Brittany owners in the mid-Atlantic area. I had also recommended that my employer consult with Dr. Canapp for her Labrador Retriever who suffered from medial shoulder instability, and she had a great experience with the VOSM team and was impressed with the facilities.

In a consultation with Dr. Canapp, the diagnosis was confirmed, and options for surgical stabilization of the stifle were discussed. My goals were (1) fix Whiskey so that she could continue to live a full life with minimal pain and, (2) return her to competitive agility, which she loved. Dr. Canapp felt these were achievable goals. Because Whiskey had a reputation for being "kinda crazy," I opted for the TPLO surgery.

Fifty hours after her injury, Whiskey was on a surgery table. VOSM has both in- and out-patient rehabilitation programs, but living in Syracuse, NY, I opted to work with a local rehabilitation program. Throughout the post-operative phase and rehabilitation, Dr. Canapp and his team remained interested in Whiskey's progress, and many emails with attached radiographs were sent.

Whiskey made her reintroduction to AKC agility in her regular height class at the AKC Agility Invitational in December. Our teamwork was still a bit rusty, but she put out several fast, furious runs. She exuded joy!

When we went back to regular AKC agility trials, she earned 4 double Qs in the first three weeks.

I attribute Whiskey's successful return to agility competition to: (1) an excellent surgeon (Thank you, Dr. Canapp!), (2) a rehabilitation program with weekly progress exams to determine when to add or intensify exercises, and (3) a patient, compliant owner (if I may say so myself).

Whiskey, my "Border Collie in a Brittany suit," never used to smile while doing agility. She does now.

- Andie Lee