Interesting Cases

Meet Albert

Albert the Bearded Dragon came to Vets4Pets when his owner noticed his leg was swollen. Several years ago when Albert was just a few weeks old, one of his litter mates had bitten off his foot. The injury had healed up ok and Albert had gotten used to moving around normally despite his disability. Now years later the same leg was swollen and causing him problems. On examination we found a small penetrating wound on the leg. Xrays showed an area of bone damage under the wound which was consistent with a bone infection. Unfortunately the infection had already severely damaged the bone and the end of the leg needed amputating. 

Albert had an anaesthetic to remove the problematic part of his leg, leaving just his thigh. He stayed at the clinic for a few days during his initial recovery and all of our staff became very attached to him. Albert recovered very well from surgery. He was soon putting on weight and back to his old self again.


Meet Brax

Little Brax was unfortunately involved in an accident with a car. His mum rushed him down to Vets4Pets and he was seen immediately by one of our vets. Brax had severe internal damage and was bleeding into his bladder, he had a broken pelvis in 4 places and a very nasty break of his right leg (femur) at the growth plate.

Injuries to bones in young dogs can often affect the growth plate, this complicates the surgical plan as we need to allow healing while the bones are actively trying to grow.

We advised surgical repair as the fracture was displaced and needed to be “set” in place. We also advised strict cage rest to allow his pelvis to heal. As you can see in the postoperative x-ray we were able to set the bone in place and prevent movement by inserting 2 pins. Within 24 hours of surgery Brax was putting weight back on his leg. Brax went home 2 days after surgery and came in for daily checkups for the first 3 days, then weekly checkups for the next 3 weeks.

Brax is doing really well and we plan to take the pins out when he comes in for his castration after Christmas. We are really pleased that he is doing so well and his family can enjoy his awesome company this Christmas and hopefully for many years to come. Well done Braxy!!!

Meet Ella

Ella is a happy and very lucky Border Collie who now lives on a small farm. She was found abandoned early in life and was extremely skinny and malnourished. Despite worm treatments and antibiotics for an infection, Ella continually vomited after every meal.

When I saw Ella it was estimated by her teeth that she was between 5 and 7 months of age, and only weighed 4.9kg. After contrast X-rays, Ella was diagnosed with a congenital defect that caused a fibrous band to be trapped around her oesophagus and attached to her heart. This meant that Ella could only keep down 1 teaspoon of soft food, otherwise the food would get stuck and she would vomit it back up. Although the prognosis was poor, it was decided to attempt surgery to remove the fibrous band in the hope of finally allowing her to eat and keep her food down.

During the surgery we cut into her chest while she was being ventilated, and made a cut through the fibrous tissue that was attached to her beating heart.

Ella recovered well, and went from eating a teaspoon per meal to almost 1 cup of food per meal within a few days, quickly gaining weight. Within 2 months she had put on 10kg! Ella eventually caught up and now is an almost normal size and weight for her breed. The condition that she was suffering was called “Persistent Right Aortic Arch Syndrome” and is one of the rarest congenital diseases seen in dogs. Many veterinarians around the world will go their entire careers and not see this condition, so in many ways Ella’s story has become one of my favourite cases that I have been involved in.

Alex Hicks