Honey Gets Straightened Out

August 23, 2014Surgery
Author: David S. Thomson DVM

Honey had been hit by a car as a youngster, fracturing her left front leg. The bones had knit back together, but at a 90-degree angle from where they should have. When Honey ran, her left front foot turned straight out to the side. Rainbow Rescues (www.rainbowrescues.org), located in Chicopee, had taken Honey after her owners gave her up. They brought the charming 3-year-old Yellow Lab to Riverbend to see if we could fix her foot.

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Above is our initial radiograph of Honey’s front leg. You can see how the foot turns. Honey was getting around pretty well, but she rolled over on the inner aspect of the foot when she walked, and the area was becoming irritated. Left untreated, her foot would eventually become ulcerated, with the wrist, foot, and maybe even elbow becoming arthritic. Surgery to realign the front leg was the answer. We gave Rainbow Rescue a big discount, but still this was an expensive surgery. They didn’t blink. “Do what’s needed,” they said. “Honey deserves a normal leg and a chance to live in a good home.” So we moved ahead. We cut both the radius and ulna on the fractured leg, realigned the bones, stabilized them with pins and metal bars, and inserted a bone graft from Honey’s left shoulder.

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Above is the post-op radiograph. Honey recovered wonderfully. The big puppy was using the leg the day after surgery with only a mild limp. Eight weeks later the bone was fully healed, and I removed the pins.

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Here is our last radiograph. Honey has a straight leg — and now she has a new home.
A happy ending for a really great dog. Makes us feel pretty good too!

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