New England Old English Sheepdog Rescue

New England Old English Sheepdog Rescue, Inc.


The 2004 Annie Raker Rescue Award

The Annie Raker Rescue Award is offered annually to an adoptive home which, in our opinion, has committed to the challenge of an Old English Sheepdog requiring special care and consideration. This home has responded to unusual behavioral and/or medical problems and has shown a willingness to alter lifestyle in order to accommodate their new family member.  This silver Paul Revere bowl will be engraved by the New England Old English Sheepdog Rescue, Inc. and awarded at the annual meeting. The bowl will be maintained by the recipient for one year. 

Max's Saga, or A Cautionary Tale

By Alexander Bohm

In March 04 Max, my fourth Old English, was referred by our local Veterinary in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina to the North Carolina State Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Raleigh. Since Max had bilateral hip dysplasia, I wanted to explore improving his quality of life.

At North Carolina State it was determined that Max's right hip was a good candidate for an immediate total hip replacement. After a year or two if all went well, Max could have an FHO performed on his left hip. On June 14 he was introduced to two days of pre-habilitation at the Animal Rehabilitation and Wellness Hospital right down the road from the teaching hospital. The purpose of the pre-habilitation was to introduce him to an under water treadmill. On June 16 Max was admitted to the teaching hospital for surgery the next day. It was to be a one to two hour procedure, however it lasted five hours. After surgery he was returned to the Animal Rehabilitation and Wellness Hospital (ARWH). On July 1 his new hip luxated. During the preparation of his right femur for the implant of the ball his greater trocanter broke loose and had to be reattached in a different area. Left the way it was, it would have caused a problem with his new hip. To stabilize it, a plate and longer screws were used. On July 9 the hip again luxated, the surgeon and I decided that Mother Nature was sending a message. We agreed that the hip replacement prosthesis should be removed, the greater trocanter returned to its original location and an FHO be performed. On July 27 Max exhibited difficulty walking and a bulge appeared above his right hip. On July 28 he underwent additional surgery which reveled that his femur had moved upward pressing against the underside of his skin and that his major a muscle had shredded and was detached from his femur. A different muscle was diverted over his hip and attached to his femur. The pressure of the upward movement of his femur had generated necrotic tissue which led to an infection. This infection was persistent and resistant to standard antibiotics. There was concern as to the location of the infection, its exact nature and the extent of its invasion. Cipro turned the trick. Once again, Max faced surgery. This time the infection was found, a culture taken and a drain was put in place to speed drainage. After this surgery Max responded well and resumed his rehabilitation using the underwater treadmill. He was scheduled to be discharged on Saturday October 2. However, sometime during the evening of September 28, he suffered a fracture of his right femur. On October 1 he underwent his sixth surgery which required a steel plate screws and wire to repair the fracture.

As I write this on October 10, I am sitting with Max in his hospital room. I have been doing this every week since June 14th. It is a four hour drive from our home in Murrels Inlet, to Raleigh. I have spent a minimum of three days each trip with Max. While in Raleigh Max and I have met the most professional and caring people at the teaching hospital, including Doctors Simone Roe and Denise Marcellin-Little and Ms Annie Janis and her staff at ARWH.

When this process began I anticipated a single surgery for $3,600 and four weeks of rehab. for approximately $3,000 to $4,000. Needless to say I have exceeded my budget by many thousand dollars. In fact, I was faced with mortgaging my home. However that was not my major concern. Was I right in selecting a total hip replacement rather than a FHO? This question shall always haunt me. Our love for each other and my responsibilities as Max's guardian have to sustain us. We look forward to the future and resuming our daily hikes through the neighborhood where more folks know Max by name than they do me. Both Max and I thank Annie for introducing us.

Alexander R. Bohm

Prologue…as this presentation is being made, Max is on his way home top Murrels Inlet with his ecstatic owner. Both are most likely smiling.