This seemingly unbelievable circumstance is not as rare as you might imagine, and we see dogs regularly whose bones break during normal activities like jumping. It is a timely reminder to us all of the relative frailty of our bodies, and how even though the accident may not have seemed too bad at the time, there is always the potential for there to be serious damage done.
So Ravan arrived at our Waihi clinic, and x-rays showed she had fractured the tibia and fibula in her back leg. Ravan had the leg splinted and was given plenty of pain medication, then transferred to Pukekohe for orthopedic repair.
In this case, we wanted to use implants that were going to be very strong, as Ravan is such an energetic dog that she is going to try and be active before the bone has completely healed. So we chose a plate-rod combination, using a pin down the middle of the bone for strength against bending, and a plate and screws along the outside of the bone to prevent rotation at the fracture site.
As usual, there were some surprises for us. The lower fragment was splitting, which couldn’t be seen on the x-ray. This was stabilised with a single screw first, before applying a long plate to the whole length of the bone. To help the bone heal faster, a bone graft was taken from the shoulder and packed into the fracture site.
Ravan managed to survive the horrors of not being able to run around for a few months, and at almost three months post-surgery she had the pin removed, X-ray showed that the fractures had healed nicely.
Ravan is now back to normal again, jumping up and down…
Netballers please take note…
Paul Eason BVM&S MANZCVS (Surgery; Emergency and Critical Care Medicine)