Medical Hold

  • Murphy
  • Dog ID: 16-062
  • Surrender Date:  12/29/2016
  • Gender: Male
  • Adoption Fee: $400 + tax
  • Age: 15 months
  • Energy Level: Medium
  • Interactions with dogs: Good
  • Interactions with kids: Good
  • Interactions with cats: Unknown
  • Medical or Behavior Challenge Notes: heart murmur, hip dysplasia


February 13th 2018:

In therapy this week Murphy went 25 minutes in the hydra tank. He was very excited and had a lot of energy going through the cavaletti hurdles. At home we continue to work on the commands "wait" (at the door) and "come" (when on leash).  

January 24th 2018:

From all appearances Murphy looks like your typical happy golden retriever. His fur has grown back from the surgery and he has all the energy you would expect for a dog his age. He loves to initiate play with our dog, which we can now allow to a minimal degree. He enjoys playing with kongs, toys, and bones. He roams freely on the main floor of our home, but we still keep the stairs gated. He can go up and down stairs with supervision. At the end of a busy day, he enjoys taking a nice nap by the fireplace.

January 16th 2018:

Murphy is 12 weeks post-surgery. He walked 20 minutes in the hydra tank without issues and worked on his doggy "sit-ups." The therapists agree that his right side is looking much better compared to last week and is comfortable with a decision to hold off another surgery. Murphy loves the snow -- running circles and taking a bite whenever possible! In general we are very comfortable with the progress he has made.

January 10th 2018:

Murphy is 11 weeks post-surgery. He is behaving more like a puppy, which makes keeping him inactive a challenge. He is eating well and would love to play with other dogs if he were allowed. He continues to have daily exercises and goes to active rehab therapy once a week. During these sessions he spends approximately 20 minutes walking in a hydra tank and 25 minutes with a therapist. This week he showed some signs of fatigue during his appointment, which could be a fluke as he has been doing exceptionally well to this point. We all have our bad days. We are to continue with Murphy's daily routine and video him going up and down stairs as well as going on a walk to show the therapist next week.

December 27th 2017

Murphy is nine weeks post-surgery. The therapists all agree that he is looking good. He is scheduled for x-rays on December 27, which will provide more information for his future.

December 21st 2017

Murphy is 8 weeks post-surgery and continues to grow stronger. He is doing a solid 20 minutes in the hydra-tank without issues. The therapist did a new balance exercise today using 2 disks. He had measurements taken today of his thighs. His non-surgical replacement muscle has remained at 37". His surgical muscle has gone from 32" (just after surgery) to 36". He is now released to go on walks for as long as he tolerates and will have x-rays performed next week.

December 12th 2017

Murphy is 7 weeks post-surgery and is progressing nicely. He went 20 minutes in the hydra-tank this week and is beginning to look like a pro! We did not have any other rehab this week due to employee sickness. Murphy is doing well with all his at-home therapy. Our biggest obstacle right now is his energy level. He seems to be feeling much better and doesn't understand all the restrictions to his activity.

December 8th 2017

Murphy is 6 weeks post-surgery. He has regained a lot of the energy of a puppy, which makes keeping his movements restricted quite a challenge. The rehabilitation therapist is pleased with his progress and he may now take two 25 minute walks a day. He still is not allowed to run, climb stairs, or play. This requires that he remain leashed to a human when out of the crate. A new exercise was added to his daily list. Think of it as doggy squats.

December 1, 2017

Murphy is almost 5 weeks post-surgery and continues to improve. He is now eating two meals a day; although being kenneled is still a struggle. He did well at his rehab appointment this week. He was able to go a full ten minutes without rest in the hydra-tank (pictured). Last week he began gait retraining using a cavaletti course (pictured) and a rocker board for stability. We are going to attempt to make one of each of these tools to use in our home therapy treatment. His walks have been increased to three a day for fifteen minutes each or twice a day for twenty minutes each--if we are limited by daylight. A new exercise was introduced, which we will add to his repertoire.

November 28th, 2017

Murphy is doing well with his rehabilitation. This week he was able to walk on the treadmill in the hydra-therapy tank for ten minutes. He continues to take three walks a day, each lasting 10-15 minutes. He still is required to be on leash at all times when out of the cage with limited activity--to his dismay. In addition to the six rehab exercises that must be done once a day, we are adding a cavaletti course twice a day. The doctor is satisfied with his progress and will not see him again until 8 weeks post-op.

In the home, he is doing better eating. However, he still does not do well in the crate--barking/whining. At night we have found that if we place the crate near the bedside, he does much better. Overall, Murphy is a sweet boy who is anxious to have more freedom!

Please stay tuned and if you’d like to help Murphy with his health costs please donate here:

November 16th, 2017

Murphy is approximately 3 weeks post-surgery and did well his first full day out of the veterinary's office and into a home setting. His activity is very limited right now. He is not permitted to go up/down stairs, jump, run or engage in any play. When he is out of the kennel, he must be leashed and demands constant supervision. He definitely enjoys being with people and has taken quite nicely to resting on his mat by our fireplace. As part of his rehabilitation, Murphy takes 3 to 4 walks of about 15 minutes in length. The walks require 2 people as we use a sling to ensure his hip is not displaced by any sudden movements. He enjoys being outside and getting some exercise. Additionally, he receives a 30-minute series of massage therapy once a day, which he tolerates well.

November 6th, 2017:

Murphy had a total hip replacement on October 24. The surgery was very successful and he is undergoing rehabilitation that will continue for about 12 weeks. Please see the page devoted to his care.

October 17th, 2017:

Murphy gets along great with our dog Remington. Murphy has had some health issues one of them being hip dysplasia. He will be having a total hip replacement in October.

May 23rd, 2017:

Murphy will be eight months on the 24th. He continues to grow. We haven’t been to the vet for a while so I’m not sure how much he weighs. We do have an appointment with the cardiologist for June 15.

Murphy started puppy classes this week and was the star pupil. We had been working with him at home so the first class was a lot of review. He is already signed up for the next three classes in the series until he is tested to become a service or therapy dog. We have noticed he is not bending his knees in the back when he does stairs or walks most often. I told my husband it almost looks like he is walking on his toes. Maybe when he is finally neutered the vet can take X-ray's.

Murphy carries his ducky blanket everywhere. When I put him in his kennel prior to leaving I always put it in with him. It was once 2x larger. I cut the fleece blanket in half when I couldn't get it away from him to wash. By cutting it in half it doesn't get as dirty and I can sneak one in the washer while he carries the other everywhere he goes. 

April 4th, 2017:

Murphy has really grown since he came to live with us. He weighs about 40 pounds. At the last vet appointment he was able to get his shots and he is almost caught up. Our vet will be talking to Murphy’s cardiologist to see if he is well enough to be neutered.

With the weather improving we’ve been able to take him for walks. The cardiologist recommended he wear a halter while walking instead of a training collar. He wiggles quite a bit when we put it on but he has handled wearing it quite well. He is very social and loves to meet people and dogs. He has mastered the steep deck stairs and loves to run with our two dogs in our fenced in back yard. We have now added more to his growing list of commands - Sit! Down! Stay! 

March 13th, 2017:

Murphy will be 6 months old on the 24th. He weighs 35 pounds so he is growing but not at the same rate as a healthy puppy. Because of his heart issues he probably won’t be a large dog and his life expectancy will be shorter. He also won’t have the stamina of a healthy dog. He still has a cough which the vet said is probably related to the heart disease. For a few days in a row it was good enough that the vet did give him his puppy shots and we will go back to get the final one at the end of the month. Murphy can go up and down the deck stairs now. He plays so much with our two dogs that sometimes he forgets to go potty and we have to take him out again. We’ve added Come! Drop it! and Leave it! to our list of commands. Now that the weather is better we have started taking him for short walks.

Feb 23rd, 2017:

Murphy is five months old now and weighs 30 pounds. He still has an infection so we are trying a different antibiotic.

He has two behaviors that are driving me nuts. He jumps up on the toilet paper roll till he gets a piece so he can unroll it. There has been a few times where he just unrolls it and then runs down the hall. I have been taking it off the roller so he doesn't get a chance. The second behavior is he plays in the water bowl. This dog loves water!

He has started to learn how to go up and down our deck stairs in attempt to follow our dogs. The basement stairs aren't as steep so he is more adventurous. Coming up the stairs he gets easily out of breath. Murphy loves to play but wears himself out before his buddies.

Feb 7th, 2017:

Our visit to the cardiologist went fine. Murphy had an echocardiogram. His outlook is good. He is on an antibiotic for an infection that is not related to the heart murmur. He is an active puppy. Besides working on his potty training we've also taught him basic commands: sit, lie down, and shake. Murphy will not be available for adoption until we get additional medical clearances in the next few months. 

January 4th, 2017:

We have been to see our vet and Murphy had a good check up. He does have a heart murmur 2-3 out of 6. Our vet made a referral to a cardiologist so we have an appointmet on January 17.

Murphy does have worms still so is on a dewormer. He no longer has an ear infection, yea! And he gained 3 pounds!!! He is now 13 pounds!

Murphy has been doing very well with making himself at home. The hardest area is re-potty training him to our home. Our other two dogs go down a flight of stairs to our fenced in back yard. Eventually I am sure he will want to go out with them. He goes to the front door but doesn't always tell you he is there. I am getting better trained at recognizing his patterns but sometimes there may be a little pile near the door. He has one day left of the deworming medicine which may be contributing to the quantity of them. 

January 1st, 2017:

Murphy is new in foster care. More information will follow.