Posted By: Martin - Vet

The story of Inkpot

Owning a pet is a wonderful experience, that’s why many of us do it, and keep on doing it. However, that isn’t to say it’s always plain sailing. Indeed there can be a lot of heartache and stressful experiences involved. It’s the nurturing and caring for another being that ultimately provides the rewards, and coming through those stressful experiences sometimes only reinforces this.

One owner that could certainly testify to having stressful experiences is that of Inkpot, the young male hound. Inkpot and his sister lived together with their owner and, typical of their breed-type, they were an adventurous and energetic pair - both egging each other on to explore. Their owner was aware of this and had to have a careful eye on them at all times. However, this was a full time job and one day he returned from doing a small task to find that the lively pair had broken out of their pen and had disappeared.

Panic stricken by their disappearance their owner set off in search of the pair. After a short while of scouring the area and then hearing a train horn coming from a nearby line he made an immediate connection and set off in the direction of the sound. When he arrived he was distraught to see that, tragically, the young female hound had been hit and died on the line. Inkpot though was nowhere to be seen.

Inkpot’s poor owner was distraught - the upset caused by one of his beloved dogs losing their life in such tragic circumstances would have been hard enough to bear. But this was compounded by his anguish in knowing Inkpot was still on the loose. So when Inkpot suddenly returned home it was a huge relief. But the stress continued as it was soon realised that Inkpot had a severe hindlimb lameness.

Inkpot was brought to the practice and, despite his obvious ordeal, was well other than his very lame leg and a few abrasions on his body. It was obvious that Inkpot was going to require treatment for his leg and so he was admitted for anaesthesia and x-rays. The results of this were of little surprise - Inkpot had a nasty fracture to the tibia, the bone below the knee.

The fracture was close to the knee joint and was very unstable. As such the only real solution to treat Inkpot’s leg was to perform surgery. The owner was immediately onboard with this, although slightly daunted by the prospect of trying to keep Inkpot quiet after surgery.

Inkpot’s X-rays were studied, measurements taken, a plan was made for how it could be repaired and the correct implants were ordered. Within a day Inkpot was anaesthetised again and surgery was performed. The first stage was to drive a metal pin down through the knee joint and thread it down the entire length of the tibia. Once this had been completed, and the fractured bone fragments were aligned, a bone plate and screws were placed to provide the final bit of stability. The soft tissues were sutured and X-rays were taken again to check that we were satisfied with the positioning of bone fragments and metalwork.

Once out of surgery Inkpot was hospitalised overnight for more pain relief and to monitor his recovery. The next day he went home with his exercise instructions and a plan for when he would be seen again. At this point his owner had the tricky job of managing all of his post-operative care, and ensuring Inkpot didn’t do anything too exuberant on his leg. As the days progressed, and Inkpot began to realise that he could actually walk on the leg again, this wasn’t an easy task. However, it was a good sign that his leg was more comfortable, and after 6 weeks X-rays were repeated, confirming the fracture was healing well and we could sign off Inkpot with only a plan to increase his exercise.

The entire episode was clearly heartbreaking and incredibly stressful for Inkpot’s owner. However, the tremendous care that he was able to provide for Inkpot ensured there was at least the happiest possible ending.

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