A broken leg after a bird chase
Jasper, a little 6 month old Yorkshire Terrier puppy, weighing in at only 2.2 kg, came in to see us with a very sore right front leg. Jasper had been excitedly chasing birds on his daily walk when he took a tumble in the gutter beside the road. He immediately felt the pain and didn't want to put any weight on his leg. When his lameness hadn't improved by the time they got home from his walk, Jasper's owner decided that she'd better get Jasper's leg checked by our vet.
Jasper came in happy and excited and wanting to play, but he was still walking on only three legs, and didn't want to stand on his right front leg at all. He was extremely brave as we examined his leg, but he couldn't help letting out a cry as we touched around his wrist area. We decided it was best to take an x-ray and this confirmed that he had two broken bones in his leg.
Luckily for Jasper, the fracture wasn't too close to his wrist joint. We decided that the best repair for the fracture was surgery to put a plate with screws onto the bone to fix the two broken ends in the right place so Jasper's leg could heal straight. With our staff surgeon, Dr Andrew Jacotine, at the clinic already that day, we were able to prepare Jasper immediately for surgery and a few hours later, he was waking up with his leg back in place and in a supportive bandage and splint. When his anaesthetic had worn off, he was already starting to put a little bit of weight on the leg.
Jasper was able to go home the next day for 6 weeks of strict rest (very hard for a puppy!) while his bones heal. He will be coming in for regular checks to make sure the injury is continuing to heal as expected and that his pain is controlled.
When we are sure that the fracture has healed well enough for Jasper to enjoy walks and runs again, he can go back to his daily exercise. For now, the birds are off-limits!