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Case of the Month

Posted on: September 2, 2014 | Case of the Month



Rusty is an eight year old male Blue Cattle Dog. He presented to Wingham and Valley Vets with a broken hind leg. He had been missing for a couple of days, and the cause of the injury was unknown. A motor vehicle accident was most likely.

X rays revealed a badly smashed tibia and fibula. The leg was grossly swollen, so a temporary cast was applied to provide some immediate immobilization and pain relief.

This type of fracture is unsuited to casting; it was too fragmented, and was highly unlikely to heal in a dog of Rusty’s size. More rigid immobilization was needed in the form of a stainless steel plate screwed to the bone.

To maximize the chances of successful repair, a heavy duty 8 hole plate was used, and bone graft material (collected at the time of surgery from Rusty’s pelvis) was placed around the bone fragments. After care is extremely important in these cases; to reduce the risk of too much pressure being put on the plate. It was decided to keep Rusty in the hospital for several weeks. Luckily, he’s the best patient, and all the nurses have fallen in love with him.

We are now 2 weeks after surgery, and Rusty is putting about 50% weight on his leg when taken out on lead. He will get a follow up x ray in about 6 weeks’ time to see how repair is progressing. Most likely, we will leave the hardware in place – which will set off the alarms if he decides to take an overseas flight……


Rusty's X-rays 'before'         Rusty's X-Ray 'After'




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