Rocky is an 11 month Bull Arab rescue dog in the care of Forever Friends Animal Rescue, a charity organisation who do a fantastic job saving and re-homing unwanted pets. When he first presented to us at Southern Animal Health, Rocky had quite a bent leg as you can see in the above photos. He was limping and had a painful wrist joint.
He was assessed by our head surgeon Dr Karin Davids, who diagnosed a premature closure of the growth plate at the bottom of his radius bone. Early growth plate closure means that bone growth is halted, and this causes particular problems in the forearm because there are two bones here (the radius and the ulna), and when one stops growing and the other keeps growing, a bowstring effect occurs. This then leads to a bending deformity of the leg. When this occurs, it puts extra stress on the elbow and wrist joints which is painful and also progresses to osteoarthritis in these joints. If you look at Rocky’s initial x-rays below – you can see the bend in his bones.
Dr Davids performed corrective surgery on Rocky to straighten his leg. A cut was made in the ulna bone to release the bowstring effect, and another cut was made in the radius bone to allow it to be moved into a straightened position. A bone plate was then applied and a bone graft was placed to aid healing. This is a complex surgery that most vets would refer to a specialist, but luckily for Rocky, we are able to offer these procedures within our hospital.
Ten weeks later Rocky is walking without lameness and his bones have healed. As you can see, his leg is much straighter.
Rocky has another 3-4 weeks of recovery to go to regain full strength in his leg, and then he will be ready to go to his forever home. We would like to thank Rocky’s Forever Friends foster carers for their care and dedication to his recovery, and for carefully nursing him through his post-operative period. We wish this beautiful boy all the best for his future with his new straight-legs!