When you think of a puppy, you think of a ball of energy. Always on the move, uninterrupted energy and always wanting to play.
But for a seven month old puppy, that’s a whole different story.
Life is not normal for Cane Corso-cross (an Italian mastiff breed) Leia. She has hip dysplasia and therefore cannot live like a normal puppy.
She is limited to 20 minutes of walking a day, she does not let herself be let off the leash, she cannot walk and she certainly cannot play with other dogs, all that a puppy should be able to do.
With hip dysplasia this severe, life is tough for this young dog, although her owner Mike Jupp of Littlehampton, Sussex is determined to make her as happy and comfortable as possible.
She is currently on medication to relieve her symptoms, but after taking Leia to the vet and then asking two more for a second opinion, Mike is now raising money for vital treatment that could include surgery and possibly a full hip replacement.
To learn more about the condition of this adorable puppy, Team Dogs spoke to their concerned owner Mike.
It’s clear that even after just over three months, Leia is a huge part of his life as the couple share an incredible bond.
She was the dwarf of the litter, one of the reasons this adorable dog stole his heart.
Mike said, “Your personality was very relaxed and relaxed, but that was due to a lack of nutrition.
“Once we get her diet right, she’s literally a ball of energy, but she’s very bumpy right now and I think that’s mainly because of the pain.”
After Mike noticed that Leia whined when she sat down or lay down in a certain way, Mike took his furbaby to the vets only to find out that it was due to a muscle problem.
But when he noticed the pain was getting worse, he went back to the vets where it was found that she had hip dysplasia.
Unfortunately, Mike was only with Leia for the first 14 days of his insurance plan, so she was told she was not insured.
The concerned owner is waiting for Leia’s consultation, but has been told that she would need a triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO) depending on how far Leia has progressed with her condition.
“If we missed that window of time, we’ll have to wait until she is older to have a full hip replacement,” said Mike.
“I asked about hydrotherapy, they said you can do hydrotherapy, but it won’t be a long-term solution, after all, she will need a full hip replacement.”
Mike added, “To quote you, it’s the worst case of hip dysplasia you’ve seen in a puppy your age.”
Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that is passed on from a puppy’s parents. Getting mom and dad to have a hip assessment prior to breeding can be avoided, although this is not required by law.
Nevertheless, Mike initially blamed himself for Leia’s condition.
He said, “I love Leia down to the last detail, as if I want her to have everything we can do to make her better, we are going to get her.
“When I was first diagnosed, I automatically blamed myself for feeling like I had done something wrong.
“For example, when it came to the stairs, I wouldn’t allow her to go upstairs. I would pick her up … I was just racking my head and all … there was a lot of guilt on my part. “
But this devoted owner goes out of his way to ensure that their precious pup leads a happy and healthy life.
Mike added, “It breaks my heart. Right now she can’t be full, I mean just to be free and have fun, it’s heartbreaking. “
“When she’s on medication, she’s perfectly fine, but when she’s not on medication, you can tell when I wake up in the morning before we have breakfast and all, she whimpers and all that and it’s horrible to see.
“I’m trying my best to make sure she is as happy as possible.”
To top up the money and thank the kind people who donated to Leia’s cause, Mike pledged to run a mile for every £ 500 raised, all while dressing up as Chase from Paw Patrol.
Touched by the support, Mike said, “It’s humble and emotional in the same breath.
“I can’t explain how grateful I am for that, because if these people don’t help, then of course I don’t want to think about what the alternative might be.
“Despite her health problems, I love her down to the smallest detail. It is overwhelming to be honest with yourself. And I don’t really know how to process it properly. “
To donate to Leia’s GoFundMe, visit https://uk.gofundme.com/f/2e8xe9viq0.