We would love to introduce you to Buster, the 4year-old springer spaniel. Buster was brought into practice to see vet Mhairi after sustaining a large injury to one of his hind limbs. Following investigation and x-rays to assess the damage, it was discovered that he had severed his Achilles tendon.
Did you know this is one of the strongest tendons in the body? Also known as the ‘gastrocnemius tendon’, it helps us to stand and support our weight, without it we would become crippled.
Buster was given supportive care and a few days later was admitted for surgery to repair the damaged tendon. As tendons are slow to heal and not the easiest to repair, it was decided that a Calcaneotibial fixation screw were to be placed to immobilise the movement of the hock joint. The placement of the screw ensured that Buster was unable to bend the leg, fixing it in a straight position. Flexion of the joint would put pressure and stress on the tendon, increasing the chances of an unsuccessful repair. The placement of the screw made Buster walk on his tip toes, allowing the tendon to heal and repair much more effectively.
A dressing with a splint was placed on the limb for around 8-10 weeks, this was to help support the leg and keep the wound clean, preventing infection. Mhairi and the nurses enjoyed seeing Buster weekly to check and change his dressings. He was a fantastic patient and never complained about his rest or multi-coloured bandages.
After nearly 3 months Busters big day arrived, where he was ready to have the pin removed. The pin removal surgery went well and the vets were happy with how the tendon had healed. Luckily for Buster the dressings could now be reduced and he was able to move his leg again!
Buster has been recovering well and is currently being seen by a physio and hydrotherapist to strengthen the leg again, after many weeks of immobilisation. They are pleased with his progress and we are all so happy that he is doing so well! For his bravery and patience, we want to say a BIG thank you and well done to Buster!!