Buddy, our Pet Hero #1, is one of life’s great enthusiasts; full of energy and vitality. Unfortunately, when he was still only four months old, he took a leap too far by jumping off a balcony and breaking both his right front and right hind legs very badly. He arrived at Isabelle Vets cradled by his owner and in obvious shock and distress. He was greeted by the emergency vet who provided pain relief, medication to relieve the shock and intravenous fluids and was admitted to assess the extent of the injuries. Once Buddy was stabilised it was essential to determine the extent and severity of the injuries. A light anaesthetic and x-rays revealed the damage! The poor little fellow had broken all four of his metacarpal bones (the bones across the front of his foot, below the wrist) which meant that he had no stability and they would need extensive surgery on many of these bones to allow the leg to function normally again. The x-ray of the right hind leg revealed an equally calamitous situation with the tibial tuberosity (the part of the lower leg bone to which the kneecap is attached and from which, in a young dog the bone grows) torn away from the main part of the bone. Surgeon, Doreen Ford decided that it would require two periods of surgery and that it was essential to firstly stabilise the right hind tibial fracture. Surgery was performed to place an internal orthopaedic pin and wire. Everything went well, and intensive nursing with pain relief medication kept him comfortable, and in the morning he had three good legs! The second piece of surgery on the front paw was far more complex taking several hours. The metacarpal bones of a young, small dog are only millimetres wide and also very soft and easy to damage. An additional problem was that the bones were considerably displaced due to by the severity of the impact of the fall. Doreen Ford had to reset all of the bones and surgically placed very fine pins within the bone structures to stabilise the toes. It was a success, and within a couple of days, Buddy was reunited with his owner.
Buddy had to wear a leg support to protect the surgery for several weeks. Young dogs heal rapidly, and within a month he was walking well. Six weeks on it is lovely to see him active, happy and pain-free. Surgery has been a great success. We hope Buddy has a long and happy life ahead of him and perhaps learns to hit the brakes before the balcony next time; but he is, to us and his owners, a true Pet Hero.
‘Pet Hero’ is a monthly competition where Isabelle Vets will nominate a pet who they believe has overcome, with stoicism and bravery, an exceptional medical condition, injury or surgery. This could be your pet and with the love and care of his owner and the help of Isabelle Vets they have battled through to become happy and healthy pets, again. At the end of 2017, we will ask all readers to vote for the ‘Pet Hero of the Year’ who will receive a prize in keeping with their position of being a very special animal.
You can follow the competition at www.facebook.com/isabellevets
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