Dogs don’t hesitate to face occupational risk

X-rays revealed that Mo's fracture did not extend into the joint itself.
X-rays revealed that Mo's fracture did not extend into the joint itself.

Being a working dog brings hazards. Man’s best friend doesn’t hesitate to put itself in harm’s way in the course of its duties and devoted service. Two recent cases exemplified this.

Mo is a six-month-old border collie belonging to Ashley. They were featured on BBC’s Countryfile. Mo was showing great promise as a working sheepdog before disaster struck.

Mo sustained a fracture to her olecranon (the pointy bit of the elbow). She was in a lot of pain and unable to bear weight on her right front leg. Luckily, x-rays revealed that the fracture did not extend into the joint. If Mo was to stand any chance of regaining full use of her leg, she needed surgery. I operated at Rothbury surgery with colleague Richard Cuthbert.

As I write, two weeks after the operation, Mo is pain-free and starting to bear weight on the leg. Ashley is following the plan of strict kennel rest for six weeks, then a gradual increase in exercise, and return to full training after 10 weeks.

Another case is Zeeke, a three-year-old cross German Shepherd/Belgian Mallinois police dog, who is a real softy until given the command by his handler PC Vicky Lott.

On one mission, he was in pursuit of a criminal who had broken into student accommodation. Unfortunately, he did not take into account the plate glass door that stood between him and the culprit and ran through it.

A severe laceration to his left front leg caused significant bleeding. Zeeke was rushed to our Morpeth surgery, where I was able to suture and bandage the wound. Fortunately, there was no permanent damage to blood vessels, nerves, ligaments, tendons or nerves. He has since made a full recovery and is back to work.

Two working dogs who selflessly do their owners’ bidding and have owners who make sure they get the best attention.