Soon-to-be-married Nikki and Lee bring rescue Husky Botus to Fitzpatrick’s with suspected hip dysplasia. Botus has come all the way from Thailand, where he was badly treated. Noel makes the shocking discovery that the abuse he suffered may well be the cause of Botus’s hip issues and that not one, but both of his hips require surgery. The young couple long to give Botus his first experience of cold weather in his new adopted home, and hope that Noel can fix Botus in time for a white Christmas…

Their Story

Botus was rescued from Thailand 3 months ago by Nikki and Lee. Nikkis mum went over to Thailand to volunteer for a charity that rescue’s dogs and cats from the meat trade, called Soi Dog. The charity saved Botus from a life of neglect and abuse. He now lives in Portsmouth with his adopted family, and their other husky Kobi.

The Problem

Nikki and Lee suspected Botus suffered from hip dysplasia. Their local vet took x-ray pictures, which showed that Botus’ hips were severely damaged, so he was referred to Fitzpatricks. Noel was sorry to report that the cause of the problem was not the result of genetics, and he strongly suspected that Botus had suffered a bad trauma at a very young age. The suspected trauma had fractured the top of both of Botus’ femurs, leaving them to heal incorrectly and subsequently, cause him pain and difficulty getting around. Unfortunately, standard total hip replacement wouldn’t be possible for Botus, given the extent of his injuries. After running through the remaining options, Nikki and Lee decided to try and replace both hip joints with a customised system that would account for his deformities. Noel and his team of engineers immediately set about designing and manufacturing this challenging set of implants.


Botus’ surgery was a challenge from the very start, his previous trauma meant that an adapted approach had to be made and Noel had to be extra careful of cutting or damaging important structures such as nerves and blood vessels that might not be where he’d expect to find them. Noel begins the surgery by cutting the head off the top of Botus’ femur, which had become flattened and worn from being in the wrong position for so long. Next Noel inserts the first part of the custom-made implant into the worn cup of his pelvis. With the cup in place, Noel sets about preparing the femur and replacing the head, which proved very difficult because the original head of Botus’ femur was much lower than it should have been and so Noel needed to stretch the soft tissue to get the new head back in place. Fortunately, despite the difficulties, postoperative imaging showed that the alignment was good. Five days after his first hip surgery Botus was doing well enough to go home. Botus had his second hip operated on a few weeks later and, thankfully, that procedure also went well.

“He had a lot of wounds and scabs. He had hip problems and it was heart breaking to see any dog like that really. After that we couldn’t leave him out there.” Lee


Now that both hip surgeries were complete, Botus was able to go home to start his long recovery and rehabilitation in the hope that he would be pain free for Christmas. The house had been much quieter without him, so Nikki and Lee were delighted to have him back. Two and a half months after his second hip surgery, Botus is free to play with his brother Kobi after being signed off by Noel. He is doing very well, and is a markedly happier dog than the one he was before. Now Botus can enjoy his first Christmas with his new family free from pain.