Labradoodle Mitzi is rushed into the practice after running out onto the road and being hit by a car. Professor Noel Fitzpatrick is concerned she could have nerve damage and Sheila and her daughter, Catherine, fear the worst.
17-month-old Labradoodle Mitzi was rushed to Fitzpatrick Referrals as an emergency after being hit by a car, having run out into the road. Shelia and Catherine were in shock as they had been told by their primary care vet that she had severe and complex pelvic fractures and would need Professor Noel Fitzpatrick’s help to repair the damage. The pair were dreading what the outcome would be and feared the very worst for their much-loved family member.
On examination, Noel suspected that one-half of Mitzi’s pelvis had become detached from her spine, but further advanced imaging was required to fully assess the extent of the damage. Based on his clinical examination, Noel was also worried that there may have been some damage caused to her neck. If the outlook was poor, euthanasia might have been the kindest option.
The imaging revealed serious damage to the pelvis; one side of the pelvis was detached from the sacrum, the other side had a large, displaced fracture up the ilium, alongside three further fractures at the bottom of her pelvis causing both sides of the pelvis to become completely detached from each other. Thankfully, Mitzi’s spine got the all clear. For the best chance of recovery Noel would need to begin operating on Mitzi immediately to ensure that the fractured bones in her pelvis didn’t start to cause nerve damage.
First, Noel needed to reattach the right side of Mitzi’s pelvis onto her sacrum, the base of her spine. He does this by driving in a long screw which pulls the two bones together and then inserts a second screw to stop the two bones rotating about the first. Next, Noel carefully joined the fracture fragments together using screws and secured them using a metal plate. The next 24 hours would be crucial for Mitzi and she was kept under strict observation overnight.
The following days saw Mitzi recover really well, and aside bruising and general soreness, expected following a road traffic accident and major surgery, she was well enough to continue healing at home. The family were delighted and in shock that not only was she better, she was almost her normal self!
“I was so worried that she wasn’t going to come back being the same Mitzi, but I know now that she really is going to be okay.”
Over the following weeks Mitzi remained on restricted exercise while her bones healed until the day finally came when Noel gave her a clear bill of health and allowed her to be exercised freely and return to normal life.
“She’s out chasing pheasants and rabbits, and squirrels again. She’s like another child really. It’s lovely to be altogether as a family again”