Once in a while a patient comes along with
such horrific injuries that I am left shaking my head in
disbelief as to how they have survived. Monty, a 2 year
old Springer Spaniel, was one such dog who was involved
in a road traffic accident. This resulted in a dislocated
right hip, a shattered left shin bone and severe soft tissue
injuries to his right ankle causing marked instability.
Each one of these injuries is difficult and costly enough
on its own but to have all three to consider is a major
headache for myself, my colleagues and his owner.
Fortunately for us and Monty, his owners were
extremely understanding that no guarantees could be given
at the onset despite the estimated expense and duration
of treatment. Ultimately, Monty had to heal these injuries
himself, all we were trying to do was to create an environment
where that healing could occur.
Firstly, the hip was replaced then surgically
secured, secondly the shin bone was stabilised with pins
and a fixator. Finally, after stabilising the hock/ankle
joint with yet another fixator the soft tissue wounds had
to be cleaned and debriefed on a regular basis.
Throughout the entire healing process Monty
was a pleasure to treat and a firm favourite with all my
colleagues. On-going monitoring, repeated x-rays, countless
dressings and mounting costs underline the need for understanding
and compliant owners. If Monty was every worried he certainly
never showed it and seeing him now you would never guess
his recent traumatic past!
Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS