Archived Story

Owners’ care does much to speed up healing process

Published 6:12pm Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sometimes there are owners that just seem to go above and beyond the call. I am not talking about the owners who take their pets to Ohio State or Tennessee University for expensive treatment and poor odds, but the ones who do things that we all could do, yet don’t.

Take BooBoo’s owners: BooBoo was in his own driveway when he was backed over at speed. I know this had to be fairly fast, because it broke his left front radius and ulna (in three places), his back left tibia and fibula (in seven pieces) and his pelvis (in four pieces).

Now none of these fractures are especially hard to get to heal except that BooBoo is a 9 year old chocolate lab and somewhat overweight. But when all of these fractures happen at the same time on the same dog, that becomes a management nightmare.

Of course, an obvious answer is to do surgery on the fractures for a quicker healing, but this does not take into account that specialist surgeries and at least two of these would be are in the neighborhood of $2,000 to $3,000 each.

And that the leg is supposed to be not stressed, which means more use and pressure on the other three, oh, wait… BooBoo doesn’t have that option unless all three are fixed. And three times…. well, that is a lot!

Thankfully BooBoo is doing well. He wags his tail and likes his food. With two splints he can stand and walk a little.

He has come a long way from three days ago when he could not sit up and was in shock. But this is where his owners get my vote for going above and beyond.

Although they could be described as older (that is defined as my age or older, but of course does not include me) and BooBoo could be described as chunky (significantly overweight was the comment in the chart), they took BooBoo home today. They are concerned.

At nearly a hundred pounds, BooBoo needs help to get up, but he complains when they try to help. And he has numerous wounds that will require care.

Then there is the special diet. In short, BooBoo is going to require a lot of care. So much care that they took off work this week and canceled a vacation to be with him. BooBoo is not out of the woods, but I think his owners will do fine.

Then there is Gabby. Gabby is also a Labrador Retriever that was hit by a car and found laying in a muddy ditch. Instantly I knew there was a lot of spinal trauma. Her back legs and tail had some tone, but not a lot. Her owners knew the odds and wanted to treat her.

Once the internal injuries were taken care of, Gabby had to have surgery to remove the weight of her broken tail. She also has to be carried out side and kept clean.

Her bladder has to be expressed twice a day and kept from getting bed sores. She seems to be getting some feeling back, but it may be months, if ever, before she walks by herself. Meanwhile, her owner gets her up, takes her out and cleans her up several times a day before and after work. He is already looking into building a cart for her.

Then there is our own Stephanie. She searched for days after her two huskies chewed out of the barn to go on a lark. After weeks, she still is on the look out for them. And Logan’s dad who was never taught about heartworms and is now going through expensive treatment to help him.

And don’t forget Trooper’s dad, who is bringing him in weekly for cast rechecks and dealing with a cast because Trooper fell in the house. Or Hershey’s folks who drop her off twice a week for injections and physical therapy after a surgical repair of a fracture.

Oh, and all those owners who are cleaning their dogs ears daily or more to help with the pain and infection.

And then there is the owner that left their 15 year old dog for surgery even though they were scared of anesthesia. She is home doing fine, by the way.

Come to think of it, we have a lot of extraordinary owners who do a lot of extraordinary things for their pets. And all of these are just from this week! We are lucky to have a lot of clients who feel as we do. And do as we do!

 

MJ Wixsom practices veterinarian medicine at Guardian Animal Medical Center in Flatwoods, Ky. For questions, call 606-928-6566.

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