When a disowned lurcher puppy needed complex surgery to fix a severely broken leg Davies Veterinary Specialists (Davies) immediately stepped in to help out free of charge. The puppy, now named Mickey, not only made a complete recovery but also captured the heart of the veterinary nurse who cared for him and found a home for life.
The six-month-old lurcher was taken to Scott Veterinary Clinic in Bedford with a mid-diaphyseal transverse fracture of the tibia and fibula in his hind leg. The dog’s owner was unable to pay for the treatment so opted to disown the dog and leave him at the practice. Without prompt surgery from an Orthopaedic Specialist the puppy at best faced amputation of the limb or at the worst euthanasia.
Scott Clinic’s Vicki Fabon put in an urgent call to Davies, the private small animal veterinary referral practice based on the Hertfordshire/Bedfordshire border, asking for help. To her relief the puppy was immediately admitted on a pro bono basis.
The fracture repair was performed through a medial approach to the tibia and with the aid of a femoral and sciatic nerve block. The fracture was reduced and stabilised with a Synthes 3.5mm locking plate placed in compression. Mickey recovered very well from surgery and was walking on the operated limb within 24 hours.
“It was really rewarding to be able to help such a lovely dog and see him recovery so quickly,” said Davies’ Orthopaedic Surgeon Rob Adams. “Had he not already had a home I would have rehomed him myself.”
Rob was one of many people who would have liked to adopt Mickey but Veterinary Nurse Hayley Mills had got there first. She was instantly smitten the moment he turned up at the practice and promised him she would care for him forever.
Mickey had an eventful recovery. Although the surgery went very well he suffered badly with separation anxiety which meant that he couldn’t be left for more than five or ten minutes at a time without being destructive. As his leg gradually became stronger his behaviour improved because he was able to exercise more to burn off steam. Now one year on, it’s almost impossible to tell that he once had a very badly broken leg.
“He’s my world,” says Hayley. “I wasn’t in the market to adopt a dog. I had recently lost a cat that I was very attached to but then Mickey came along and it all just seemed to fit. The rest is history!”
Scott Clinic were also touched by Davies’ kindness. Clinical Director Vicki Farbon said: “We would just like to say a huge thank you for your help with Mickey. Thanks to you guys he still has four legs! It was such a kind gesture to help that has gone above and beyond what most Specialists would ever offer.”
Mickey went to Davies for surgery in March 2017 and Hayley applied for the position of veterinary nurse at Davies a short time later. She is now employed by the referral practice and Mickey comes to work with her every day.
“I actually ended up operating on Mickey again six months later once Hayley had started working here,” recalls Rob Adams. “She asked me to castrate him, although I’m not sure he was quite as pleased with the result of second surgery!”
Find out more at http://www.vetspecialists.co.uk