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"Jack" - Dalmation with Large Osteophyte

If you resolve to do one thing in the New Year for your pet then I would highly recommend pet health insurance. "Jack" is one pet who is already covered and his owner is consequently very relieved.

"Jack" was brought to me as his owner had become increasingly concerned regarding stiffness in his left hindleg. Examination of his affected limb demonstrated a marked restriction in range of movement of his left knee (stifle). Palpation of that area also revealed an obvious abnormal swelling.

He was quickly scheduled for radiography and examination under sedation to cast further light on the problem. His x-rays demonstrated a unusually large calcification within his joint. An exporatory arthrotomy was scheduled to examine the boney mass directly. It was clear from the location of the boney lump that it was interfering with the normal smooth action of the cartilage surfaces limiting both flexion and extension of the joint.

The boney mass was then excised with an orthopaedic mallet and osteotome. Immediately the joint was able to move more freely and regain an excellent range of movement. Whilst it not uncommon to have to remove the occasional small boney mass or osteophyte whilst performing knee surgery these are usually only a few milimetres in size. I have never in all my experience had to remove something which was 3 inches in length from a patient's knee.

This type of case confirms that even after almost 24 years as a veterinary surgeon there is always the possibility of seeing something completely new and different.

The opportunity to treat "Jack" correctly is greatly helped by the knowledge that his insurance company are picking up his bill of £1200! Two months on and "Jack's" rehabilitation is going remarkably well and the prospects for both him and his owner look good!

Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

Knee joint with osteophyte

After surgery

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