MILTON, Ga. - Operation Max continues in full force here at FOX 5. The Golden Retriever learning to become a service dog had a big check up with the Canine Assistants vet this week.
We're happy to report Max is healthy and happy! Following a weekend of playtime at the 18-acre Canine Assistants farm, Max and his siblings had a series of x-rays to check their hip movement and a round of shots, and we were along for the vet visit Monday.
The 16-week visit for these pups included PennHIP X-rays and some vaccinations.
"We do them all at the same age. We do it so that we can compare everybody across the whole program. We just bring the whole liter in and do everybody on the same day and it makes it easy," Dr. Kent Bruner, the staff veterinarian at Canine Assistants explained.
Each of the roughly 25 pound dogs got a mild sedative, which makes X-raying them much easier.
"This is twilight anesthesia that we can reverse, so it's nice for the puppies, We're not doing anything that's painful, so they just take a little nap and wake up and wonder where they are," Dr. Bruner said.
Dr. Bruner was looking for possible signs of hip dysplasia or arthritis.
"We're looking at the hips overall, but what we're most interested in is this shot we're taking right now, because it tells us how loose his hips are."
In 2000, Canine Assistants partnered with North Carolina State University for a study on preventing hip problems.
"Dogs that develop hip arthritis or hip dysplasia over time, do so because their hips are loose and they're popping in and out, and it's wear and tear," he said.
With this screening though, they're able to spot it early.
"Right here, you can tell it's a puppy because all of his growth plates are open," explained Dr. Bruner.
However, Dr. Bruner said Max and his siblings, Harriet, King, Rosa, Eleanor, Abe, Frederick and Patton all look good.
"These are nice hips. Beautiful," Dr. Bruner said during Max's examination. "I can tell you, his hips are fine. So even at 16 weeks we know he's not going to have any problems."
"He's lost his two baby teeth, and one on the bottom there," Dr. Bruner said.
A couple of shots and a quick examination later and Max is ready to wake up and get back to playtime.
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