Dr. Phil Zeltzman’s Blog
Remember Mochi, the 1 year old, 3 pound dwarf bunny who had a shattered femur (thigh bone)?
It was a big challenge because the bone was smaller than a pencil…
But 2 months later, follow up X-rays made me happy. Look at the beauty of Mother Nature in action.
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.
Toga, a 1 year old standard poodle, was playing outside. He slipped on ice and ran into a tree. This apparently benign incident led to severe limping on a back leg.
X-rays confirmed a shattered femur (thigh bone).
I was called in to repair the fracture at Blairstown Animal Hospital in NJ.
We ended up using a big plate, a wire, a pin and 15 screws.
In order to heal, Toga will need to be strictly confined to a small room, with no jumping, no running and no stairs for 2 months. He also needs to be walked on a leash to eliminate only.
So far, 1 month after surgery, he is recovering nicely at home.
Mochi is a 1 year old, dwarf bunny who weighs a whole 3 pound.
She is “free rooming”, which means that she doesn’t live in a cage. She has access to the whole house.
Sadly, something happened, unbeknownst to her owner.
She started to hold her back leg awkwardly, acted painful and was reluctant to move.
Her owner took her to the vet:
X-rays revealed the diagnosis: her femur (thigh bone) was shattered.
I was called to the Animal Clinic of Morris Plains to fix the fracture. The repair involved using a tiny plate, 7 screws and 2 pins.
The bone was smaller than a pencil…
It’s been one of the most challenging fractures I’ve had to repair in a while!
So far, Mochi is recovering smoothly.
On the 12th day of Christmas, I saw… chimps!
After visiting the Georgia Aquarium, I had the unique opportunity to visit “Project Chimps” in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia. It’s a 240 acre sanctuary that is currently home to about 30 chimpanzees, all rescued from a biomedical research facility.
It will eventually be able to provide sanctuary to 300 chimps!
If you remember the compound where the cute dinos are kept in Jurassic Park, it gives you a pretty good idea of what the chimps’ amazing permanent retirement home looks like.
Because they were used for research, these chimps make their caregivers and veterinary team’s lives somewhat easy. They can show you their hand, stick their arm out or open their mouth, all on command. The sanctuary has a fully equipped veterinary clinic with X-rays and a surgery room; a prep kitchen (made possible by Rachael Ray !!!); and a room full of toys used for enrichment!
The team is now working on completing the outdoor habitat. This will allow the chimps, who have lived their entire lives in research facilities, to play outside for the first time in their lives.
Chimpanzees are great apes who can live over 50 years. Project Chimps was founded to provide a permanent, long-term home where they can thrive.
Do you love the idea?
How can you support this amazing project? The sanctuary is not currently open to the public, but private educational tours will be available soon. Meanwhile, you can help out financially (https://projectchimps.org/support-us/donate/).
You can literally sponsor a chimp for $23 per month!
You can also buy toys, supplies and… nuts through an Amazon wish list.
Or you can purchase some pretty cool gear, for yourself or as a gift for someone you love (http://www.ecojoia.com/index.php/stores/partner-all/ecojoia/pc).
I hope you’ll join me in supporting Project Chimps.
Thank you also for following our 12 Days of Christmas, I hope you enjoyed the amazing wonders Mother Nature has to offer. I wish you, your family and your pets a wonderful New Year.