Dr. Phil Zeltzman’s Blog
How 2 patients lost their lives
I recently experienced two tragic examples of how pet owners get in trouble.
I am not sharing these stories to make you depressed, but to inform you so this never ever happens to you.
A pug, let’s call him Pugsley, had a broken shin bone (tibia). The bone was repaired with a plate and multiple screws. As always, I insisted that the owner follow the recovery instructions to a T to ensure a successful outcome.
This included strict confinement in order to protect the repair. This means strict rest to a large crate, on ground zero, with no furniture, no jumping, no running etc.
But those instructions weren’t exactly followed by owners… Pugsley fell and re-broke the bone. The bottom end of the bone was so badly shattered, that it was not fixable. The only option was amputation. The owner, mortified, agreed to sacrifice the leg.
And then, literally minutes before surgery was going to start, they changed their minds and decided to euthanize their dog on the surgery table.
This dog died, for no fault of his own…
It was a very sad day, both for the client and the veterinary team. And for Pugsley…
More broken bones
An un-neutered (aka intact) male, Labrador, was hit by a car.
It is very likely that he decided to follow his instinct – or his nose – after sniffing a female in heat in the distance. He was not on a leash and ran away.
The poor dog was hit by a car and ended up with multiple fractures and dislocations. On one side, the thigh bone was shattered, the pelvis was fractured and there was a dislocation between the spine and the pelvis (sacro-iliac luxation). The opposite side had a hip dislocation.
This meant the dog had no good leg to stand on. Surgery could fix all of these injuries, but at a high price tag…
The owner agonized over the decision, and ended up choosing euthanasia.
It is a well-known fact that non-castrated dogs are more likely to run away because they are attracted to a female in heat. That’s one of the many reasons vets recommend neutering, in addition to multiple other health benefits.