Tue 13th May 2014

Pet of the Month – ‘Lilly’

Our friend Lilly is a three year old lurcher and an athlete in her prime! Built to run she loves doing just that when she gets an opportunity out on her walks. She also loves to chase, so when a deer darted out in front of her on April 1st she was off in a flash……at least she thought she was, that was until something in her leg suddenly went SNAP! whilst she was travelling at high speed. When her owners caught up with her she was limping badly, sinking down on her left hock as she tried to walk. She was rushed in to see us at Estcourt Vets where an examination confirmed an athlete’s worst nightmare (just ask Jessica Ennis) poor Lilly had ruptured her Achilles’ tendon. An MRI scan was arranged and this confirmed a complete rupture at the junction between the Achilles’ tendon and the¬†muscle in the back of the leg. The good news was this could be repaired, the bad news was it was going to be a long road to recovery, 3-4 months in fact! Worst still for poor Lilly, only lead ‘to toilet’ walks and strict cage rest for 6-8 weeks! At surgery the ruptured tendon was cleaned up and carefully stitched to the muscle and the whole of the surrounding area known as the tendon sheath was reinforced. However to prevent immediate recurrence of the injury after surgery, a hinged external fixator (a metal frame attached to the outside of the leg via metal pins drilled directly into the bone) was applied across the hock joint. The frame works by reducing any tension in the tendon repair. All running, jumping, playing is now forbidden for the next few months! Lilly’s frame still needs regular monitoring and checks by the vets to ensure there is no infection at the site of the pins. Hopefully the frame can be removed 8 weeks after her operation, then it’s only 6-8 weeks of physiotherapy and controlled exercise!……it’s all part of being an athlete I’m afraid. Fortunately Lilly is a dream to treat and seems to take it all in her stride. Just one last thing, we’re all very relieved that Lilly’s owners decided to insure her just before her accident on 1st April,¬†else April fools day would have been even less funny for all of us!

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