Meet Coco, an 11 week old long-haired Chihuahua puppy, who came to visit us after his owner noticed he was lame in his left hind leg. His owners were not too sure what had happened to cause this lameness but brought him in to make sure nothing was wrong.
Coco was checked by our locum vet Dr Angela, who prescribed some pain relieving medication. It was recommended that if Coco was not walking on the leg within 24 hours, he would need to have x-rays taken. Coco's owners took him home and made sure that he rested overnight.
The next day, however, his lameness was just the same. They decided to bring him back to the clinic for x-rays to be taken. Dr Andrea admitted Coco into our hospital and Nurse Lauren assisted her in taking the x-rays of his leg. The images showed a fracture in Coco's left tibia. Dr Andrea sent the x-rays to Dr Andrew Jacotine for a second opinion and he suggested that as Coco was so young and so small, the fracture would probably heal very quickly. Rather than perform surgery to pin the bone in place, they decided it would be best to merely cast the leg and allow the bone to heal on its own.
The next day Dr Andrea sedated Coco and Nurse Dee assisted with placing the leg in a cast. Coco was awake the whole time and was very well behaved. He went home later that day and was soon figuring out how to move about with the cast on his leg.
As Coco is so young and still growing, the cast needed to be removed and re-bandaged a week later. This allows his leg room to grow inside the cast.
Again Dr Andrea and Nurse Dee treated little Coco. This time he needed general anaesthetic as the saw used to cut the cast is very noisy and would have been distressing for little Coco. Another x-ray was taken while Coco was asleep and found that the fracture is healing well and was almost completely healed! This was great news as it meant that Coco would have to spend less time in his cast than we first had thought.
We are very happy with Coco's progress and expect him to make a full recovery in the very near future. He will soon be running around like the bright and active puppy that he is.