It’s been a while since I tended my blog, the main reason has been, that Spud the dog has been in a bit of bother.

It started innocently enough, a game of ball in the field, we know he loves a ball.

New balls

It’s something  we’ve done thousands of times.  This time though, Spud the dog was in big trouble.

Spaniel Elbow

Mr Uphilldowndale, threw the ball and turned back to what he was doing, he heard Spud yowl, and looked up to see him on the ground.  His leg was limp like a ragdoll’s.

We rushed him to the local vets, who instantly knew what had happened. This my friends is Spaniel Elbow, who ever knew of such a thing, in layman’s terms, it’s a weakness where the bone in the elbow fuses, so that if it fails, the  resulting pressure on the bone  causes it to fracture, in one or, worse case scenario two places, a Y fracture, this is what happened to Spud. 

He spent the night in the care of the local vets, the surgery he needed was a specialist procedure, and we were referred to the Pride Park  veterinary centre  in Derby.  He was operated on the next day, its a procedure we were told, that is about ‘as complicated as canine orthopaedic surgery gets’. If he didn’t have surgery, the legs would have been amputated.  Here he is when he got home after three nights at the ‘hospital’

Ben Post Op

He’s had six weeks of crate rest, heavy weight pain relief and just short lead trips out to the garden to relieve himself ; tricky for a Springer, but he’s been a model patient*. His follow up x-rays show  the bone has now healed and he can now start to get moving again, to build up some strength in what his vet calls ‘his chicken leg’, he’s lost a lot of muscle tone.  He’s started having a course of hydrotherapy, which loosens him up a treat, he’s supposed to be tired after it, but he just gets giddy, I think it is because it makes him feel more like his old self, he wants to play again. 

Ben Hydro

Reading this post, I can see I’ve sifted out a lot of the emotions we’ve been through. We were all very upset as you can imagine.  Everyone has been so kind** and skilled. There are two things people want to know, was it expensive? Yes it was, and were you insured? No we weren’t.

* Spud scared the living daylights out of us all, when he tried to leap onto the vets examination table, just a few days post surgery! Ironically we’d been shown into an empty consulting room, so as to keep him quiet and still, away from the busy waiting room!

** When Mr Uphilldowndale rang me to ask me to say ‘get home quick’ I was in the middle of a shopping at Waitrose. I abandoned my trolley full of shopping, calling to a member of staff as I fled the store.  A few days later, I returned to try again, I saw the member of staff and apologised for leaving them to sort out my shopping, and explained what had happened.  As I was paying for my shopping, a dog bone came down the conveyor, amongst my shopping, I was confused, I hadn’t put a bone in my shopping? Where had it come from? The supervisor appeared at my side, ‘A bone for your dog, with the compliments of Waitrose, we hope he is better soon…’  


20 thoughts on “AWOL

  1. I’m so glad everything is alright with Spud! We have had similar adventures with our Labrador puppy, Henry, including two (!) abdominal surgeries to remove forgein objects that got stuck and, more recently, a torn knee cap. It is amazing the amount of love and anxiety you can have for anyone else, and I find it to be magnified for our animals. Good luck getting back on his chicken leg!

  2. Oh, dear. Thank goodness there’s a happy ending, but what a time you surely have had. Anxieties over an animal always are heightened because they can’t tell us “where it hurts” — although, in this case, the problem was obvious. Good care and general good health before the accident no doubt are contributing to his healing. Best wishes to you and to Spud, and hooray for that caring merchant who added the bone!

  3. Doug's Dad

    I’m both sad and happy for you in equal measures. A sick animal breaks your heart.

    Doug’s kennel mate Guinness recently disappeared down a badger set when my back was turned. I spent a torturous half an hour listening to his sub-terrainan whimpers and barks whilst I kept telling him he was going to be alright and not to worry because we would get him out.

    All the time I was terrified he was going to meet one of the official residents and would have to hear him getting ripped to shreds.

    Whilst I was crying down one entrance he nonchalantly appeared behind me having escaped via a different hole.

    1. The tough thing with animals is that you can’t explain whats happened or happening, what upset me most, was the thought that he was in pain and distress and we’d left in the vets and not brought him home! Maybe I’m placing too much human emotion on a dogs emotions. When I was small one of our terriers was down a badger set for days, my father and brother dug her out, as my brother pulled dad and dog out by dads feet, the whole lot caved in!

      1. Doug's Dad

        Can’t beat a bit of anthropomorphism!!

        I bet he was just as happy chilling at the vets.

        Your badger story sounds like one of those you regularly see in the news only with a better ending – dog get swept out to sea, owner jumps in to rescue, dogs survives, owner drowns.

  4. A terrible time for you. Dog owners have heavy responsibilities so it must have been very cheering to get the support of your supermarket. I hope that Spud continues to be a model patient.

  5. I am sorry this happened to Spud. Sounds like you have a great veterinarian though, and the dog is recovering nicely. And that was a lovely gesture from your local market, sending you home with the bone for Spud.

  6. I had tears in my eyes when you wrote about the dog bone incident. Yes agree – the two questions eh? Strangely enough our dogs aren’t insured but when Jon renewed house insurance he was asked about it – so we are getting a phone call apparently – made us do some thinking especially as come the New Year we are extending our doggy section of the Nesbitt mayhem.

  7. Oh, poor Spud and poor you too. It is such a bad feeling to see one’s dog suffer. Fortunately all went well at the end and he was well taken care of. I went twice to the emergency dog clinic with Ninio, my Beagle : once he ate some poisonous stuff in a field and last Christmas he was operated again because he had eaten three socks !

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