By Lilybeth Santiago, LVT
When puppies face orthopedic (bone) surgery, there’s often an added challenge – their treatments need to grow with them!
French Bulldog puppy Clyde was only 5 months old when he came to The COVE’s 24-hour emergency room with left rear limb lameness. To determine what was causing it, our team took X-rays, which revealed fractures of two bones in his left leg, his tibia and fibula. Clyde was referred to our surgical department for an evaluation with our board-certified veterinary surgeon, Jeff Stallings, DVM, DACVS.
Given Clyde’s young age, the location of the fracture, and the involvement of his growth plates, Dr. Stallings determined that the best surgical treatment would involve an external fixator. An external fixator consists of a metal frame with pins and screws that stabilize the fractured bones above and below the fracture site until the breaks are healed. With an external fixator, we were able to maintain stability of the orthopedic repair without disrupting Clyde’s bone growth over time. It looks a little extreme, but it was the best possible choice for Clyde.
Clyde’s recovery was smooth, mostly because his pet parents did a great job of abiding by Dr. Stallings’ post-operative recommendations. After 4 weeks of multiple rechecks, medication, and plenty of rest, Clyde healed as anticipated, and the external fixator was removed. Clyde then had at-home rehabilitation for 6-8 weeks to help him get back to full strength.
Today, Clyde is back to his normal activity level and loves to spend time with his big brother, Dutch. They recently celebrated Clyde’s first birthday, and we are so pleased to see him looking well!