Posted By: Greg - Vet

Tilly has cast aside her problems

Tilly is a fantastic specimen of a whippet, who like all dogs of her breed, loves nothing more than to run and run at full pelt across fields. However all this letting off steam caught up with her one day when she pulled up suddenly lame. Tilly’s injury was not a straight forward one – and required a visit to a specialist and 6 weeks in cast to get her back to her best.

Whilst playing in a field with another dog, Tilly got her leg caught in a small hole whilst running at full speed. Inevitably, she came back to her owner hopping on three legs, and was promptly rushed down to the practice. Tilly’s back right leg was held tucked up close to her body, and she refused to bear any weight on the limb. Remarkably for a whippet (that tend to have low pain thresholds), she was fairly comfortable when her leg was examined. There didn’t appear to be any fractures affecting the longest and largest bones in her legs, but we couldn’t rule out any further damage. She was given anti-inflammatory pain relief and examined again in a few days’ time.

At her next appointment, Tilly’s owners felt she was more comfortable, but was still reluctant to place her back leg on the floor. She had also developed a swollen ankle. At this point we booked her in for an X-ray. Under sedation, we were able to X-ray the ankle and found a lot of disruption within the joint. A few of the very small bones within the ankle had become broken, and some had slightly dislocated – moving from their usual position.

A dog’s ankle is a complicated joint – especially if something goes wrong. There are several little bones that fit together snugly like a jigsaw. Because of this, Tilly’s unusual injury required quite a complex, costly repair. Her owners were faced with a tough decision – to have Tilly’s leg amputated or to take a chance and visit a specialist to see if anything could be done to save her ankle. Tilly’s owners decided to visit the orthopaedic specialist, and she was admitted to the referral hospital to have her ankle surgically repaired. Tilly needed to have her ankle bones fused together, joined by metal plates, and thankfully the surgery was a huge success.

Once she had woken from her procedure, Tilly found that her leg was now in cast and would have to stay that way for six weeks. This meant no more dashing around in fields, and in fact meant that she needed to be confined to strict rest, initially in a cage, and then for only very short lead walks as she improved and healed. Tilly needed her cast replacing weekly, to clean and check the wounds and skin of the leg, and to initially remove the stitches. Some dogs need to be sedated for this to be done successfully, but Tilly was such a brave girl that we were able to do this with her awake, distracted by tasty treats.

Week by week, Tilly enjoyed her visits back to the practice, and had taken to walking with the cast on really well. Swelling around the ankle was reduced, and her wounds had healed. Eventually, her six weeks were up; some of her leg muscle had wasted but she was raring to go chasing in the field again to build up the strength in her legs – she just had to watch where she was running this time!

Other Articles


Search through our previous blog posts by month.

View All

Feel free to contact us for any advice you may need

Shepton Veterinary Group Limited
Allyn Saxon Drive
Shepton Mallet BA4 5QH

©2024 Shepton Veterinary Group Ltd., All rights reserved.
Privacy PolicyTerms & ConditionsCookie Policy