A few days ago Michael (from Sighthound Underground US) very kindly took Esca to our vets for a review and check her leg. As soon has our vets removed the bandages it was apparent that the bone had completely broken and xrays confirmed this. Eduardo referred her case to a trauma specialist at the veterinary college in Murcia who responded that afternoon.
When Esca arrived my vets and I discussed the options. Do we try to save her leg and go for surgery straight away which has many risks to the fetus . Or save the puppies and delay her surgery. Has the damage to her leg was already done .That she was anemic and low platelet count which is most likely because she is positive for anaplasma, we decided to delay the surgery. This could buy us some time give her a chance to have the pups and today her bloods showed although still anemic its much better and her platelets are back to normal.
On her first xray the bone was not completely broken so with good luck on our side by bracing and stabilising the leg the healing process could begin and the hopefully fuse straight. Today the xray revealed it had completely broken and the end of both pieces of the radius there is no regeneration of new bone, its actually necrotic and will only get worse. The surgery will involved cutting away this bone putting a compression plate and grafting some bone marrow from another bone to help with the healing process. She also has a lot of muscle wastage in the shoulder so we should not delay any longer. This could be the first of 2 or three surgeries for we still don't know the extent of damage to to the ligaments or tendons. But the priority is to address the radius in the front leg, it means her leg will be a little shorter but she should be able to compensate for that. If not the only alternative is to amputate the leg.
This means she will no longer be able to nurse the puppies and they will need to be bottled fed- Esca has done her pups proud and given them the best start.. I have bottled fed many times but I think she will be distressed she can no longer care for her pups. But this is not a time to be sentimental and we have to proceed with the surgery, the specialist has booked her for Tuesday.
Abandonment of dogs in Spain is a major problem and Podencos are very resourceful and able to survive until they get into difficulties. What started has a reasonably healthy dog on the streets with anaplasma which is easy to treat. Escalated into a more serious situation Esca was caught in an animal trap, also pregnant resulting in veterinary costs running into thousands not to mention the pain she has been in.
It´s an ongoing war with an invisible enemy that can never be held accountable and they would not care if we could track them down. All we can do, like we always have done before, is pick up the pieces and put these dogs back together. Its a war we will never win for the numbers are so high, but we remain positive and celebrate each one we can save.
Esca is such a happy ray of sunshine and she has proven she is a fighter and despite every thing thrown at her she is a survivor. Together we will get her through this and in a few months hopefully she will be doing zoomies round the paddocks.'
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