"Springer" Spaniels are very aptly named! "Springer"
by name and certainly by nature!!
"Milly" a 4 month old puppy was no exception
to that rule for it was during one of her typical boisterous
outbursts that she suddenly pulled up lame on her left front
leg. Concerned at the level of discomfort she was exhibiting
"Milly" was presented at the Fairfield Veterinary
From the radiographs it was clear that she had broken her
elbow (condylar fracture). This is a well recognised injury
by experienced veterinary surgeons and represents a "design
fault" within the "Springer Spaniel" breed.
It is assumed that the soft growing bone fails to mature
properly along certain fissure lines leaving an area of
weakness. Once stressed by the boisterous individual the
bone will then fracture along these lines of weak immature
Accurate reduction and compression at the fracture site
is imperative to minimise the development of osteoarthritis
later in life. This is usually achieved with a stainless
steel orthopaedic screw across the fracture line.
Trying to "rest" the patient afterwards is a
thankless task but fortunately in such a young patient the
potential for repair and reconstruction is remarkable. After
only 3 weeks the bone identifies the area of damage and
strengthens it leaving it stronger than before!
The healing powers of young animals is astonishing and
always makes the surgeon look good and the image of "Milly"
still bouncing around makes him feel good too!
Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS