By Chelsea Whitfield, LVT
Sometimes, when pets need emergency care, the road to recovery can be a bit rocky. That was the case for a 1-year-old Pomeranian named Rocky, who arrived at The COVE’s Emergency Department in very rough shape. His owners didn’t know exactly what had happened, but because of the extent and nature of Rocky’s injuries – including multiple abrasions – we suspected he had been hit by a car.
Oftentimes, when a critical patient is examined during an emergency, multiple areas of concern arise, and that was the case with Rocky. Once we were able to take X-rays, we found that he had multiple pelvic fractures that would likely require surgical treatment.
Before he could undergo surgery to treat his broken bones, Rocky needed to be healthy enough for such a procedure. The COVE’s intensive care unit provided supportive care for several days until he was stabilized. He then had a surgery consultation with our board-certified veterinary surgeon, Dr. Jeff Stallings, DVM, DACVS.
Dr. Stallings confirmed that Rocky had multiple pelvic fractures and dislocations (luxation) associated with various bones that make up the pelvis. He determined that operative intervention with internal fixation was the best treatment plan. Internal fixation is a method of aligning fractures with hardware such as screws, plates, rods, wires, and/or pins. The right SI luxation and ilial body fracture repair was successful, and Rocky recovered well.
Due to the severity of the fractures, and the complexity of the repairs, we rechecked him after seven days to see how he was doing. However, during his exam, Rocky wouldn’t put any weight on his right rear limb, and he had weakness in his thigh and gluteal muscles. He required more assistance with stability to help everything stay in place during his recovery, so Dr. Stallings elected to place hobbles on him. Hobbles are a specialized bandage technique that would help prevent Rocky’s back legs from splaying out from under him while his fractures and luxations healed.
Two weeks after his surgery, Rocky’s owners brought him back to see The COVE’s surgical team for a recheck evaluation. At that time, we were pleased to see that his walking and movement had improved. We removed the surgical staples and the hobbles, and we referred him to a special facility for post-operative rehabilitative therapy.
Rocky was seen for his final follow-up exam four weeks later. We sedated him and took X-rays of his pelvis again to ensure full bone healing. The radiographs revealed stable implants and healed fractures. He has since recovered from his traumatic injuries and is back to enjoying his normal daily activities with his loving family.
If you have questions about The COVE’s Emergency or Surgery services, give us a call at (757) 935-9111.