Bongo is Sara and Russell’s much-loved family Labrador who acts like another brother to their sons, Milo and Marley. But despite only being two years old, Bongo has been affected by osteoarthritis on all four legs

Their Story

Bongo is a member of the Grimbley family. Married couple Sarah and Russell see Bongo as a third son, and kids Milo and Marley see him as their brother. Despite his many problems, the family are determined to do their best for him and because Bongo is still a young dog they want to give him the chance of living the life a young dog should.

The Problem

Bongo is affected by osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) in both of his hock joints which has also led to arthrosis of the joints and elbow dysplasia on both sides.


Following arthroscopic surgery on his elbows, Noel needed to turn his attention to Bongo’s hocks. Due to the level of deterioration in Bongo’s joints, Noel recommended partial replacement of the joint using a custom implant or complete fusion of both hock joints. Bongo’s family chose to fuse both hock joints, so Noel’s team of engineers designed and manufactured custom plates in an attempt to give this young dog the best life-long outcome. In the surgery, Noel opened the ankle joint out to expose the cartilage. All the cartilage was removed and bone marrow taken from Bongo’s shoulder during the same procedure was packed around the ankle to help fuse the bones together. The custom, strengthened plate was attached to the joint with 12 screws.

That’s the sad thing, he wants to do so much, because he is such a young dog - he has a puppy mentality but an old dog’s body


Following a few months of recovery at home with his family, he was brought back to Fitzpatrick’s to have a check-up to see how his ankle fusion was progressing. The results were fantastic, and the joint and bone was rock solid and fully healed. Noel was able to give the much-anticipated news that he was signed off and fit to go!

A wonderful result for the wonderful Bongo - a brilliant reflection of the love and dedication of his family who stuck with him on his long journey through thick and thin, and now they can enjoy living with a bouncy Bongo once more.