Nettie presented to Bemidji Veterinary Hospital on Monday, May 9th. She had jumped out of the cab of a truck and injured both front legs. She was promptly sedated and radiographs were taken. The radiographs revealed fractures of both the radius and ulna of both front legs. Stabilizing bandages were placed on each front leg. The clients made the choice to go ahead with surgical repair. Due to Nettie’s small size, tiny bone plates had to be special ordered. She was prescribed pain medication and strict cage rest.
Surgery was performed on the left front leg first. A plate was placed and screwed into the bone to hold it in position. A cast was applied after surgery for extra support and to immobilize the leg. A few days later the same procedure was done on the right front leg. Nettie remained in hospital for 2 weeks total before being released to her owners with instructions for strict rest.
On May 31st, Nettie was sedated and the casts were removed. Cold Laser therapy was performed on each leg to stimulate healing while reducing inflammation and pain. Splints were applied to each leg. While in splints, Nettie was walking around trying to use her front legs.
Video of her walking with splints: IMG_1007
Two weeks later the splints were removed. Her follow-up radiographs on June 14th showed signs of healing at the fracture sites. She began attempting to walk. The challenge now was to keep her from over using her front legs and reinjuring them. Physical therapy via the Under Water Treadmill would encourage muscle re-strengthening without the legs supporting the weight of the body. Nettie was scheduled for physical therapy, both Cold Laser and Under Water Treadmill, once weekly.
Video of her swimming: IMG_1012
The time she spent swimming in the Under Water Treadmill was increased at each therapy session. Nettie continued to rapidly improve. She would attempt to jump off of furniture and run around. The owners had to restrict her activity even though she was doing so well to avoid a setback. Her most recent follow-up radiographs on July 6th showed marked improvement over the ones on June 14th. Her continued therapy plan will be based on evaluation at each session.
Video of her running July 26th: trim.B23C6EA5-4B4C-40DD-8C83-4352D274E0E6
Small dogs like Nettie have more fragile bone structure and should avoid jumping from high places. We have seen many of these tiny breeds get injured from jumping off beds, couches, and other places that would seem safe, but in fact are too high. Providing steps or ramps for your tiny breed, or teaching them to wait for your assistance, can help prevent injuries.