Home' The Tribune : February 8th 2012 Contents 20 THE TRIBUNE, FEBRUARY 8, 2012
For the hospital that thinks
'Outside the Square'
Responsible Homes URGENTLY needed
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Cnr of Napier Rd & Keith St, PN or phone our friendly staff on 06 357 2516
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021 142 8054
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We can't wait to see you!
5yo Male, Very muscley,
Bangers and Mash (awesome
names) can't go anywhere
without each other. Doris calls
them the ``terrierists''.
And it doesn't
matter what size the
adversary is, they only know one
speed and even rotties and mastiffs
are told in no uncertain terms who
is in charge.
But when Doris brought the duo in this week she
described Mash as running along quite happily and
then all of a sudden he will lift his back leg up and
walk on three legs for five minutes and then he will
come right again. But in the past week the lameness
had become a lot worse and Mash actually yelped
one day when it happened.
With Bangers circling on the floor looking very anxious
for Mash who was up on the table, I began to examine
Mash from nose to tail. At three years
of age there wasn't anything amiss
but when I got to his left hind leg he
became quite tense.
With any lameness it is important to
examine the whole leg, as sometimes
what appears to be a knee problem
can simply be a case of painful dermatitis in the
underside of the paw or a swollen and sore toe. But
for Mash the problem did appear to be his knee.
So what is the knee cap and what does it actually
The knee cap or patella (medical term) is an elliptical
piece of bone with a smooth under side. The large
muscle group at the front of your thigh narrows down
to form one wide tendon that goes over the front of
the knee and attaches on the boney
front bit of your upper shin.
In order for this tendon to sit and
slide freely over the front of your
knee, the knee cap is incorporated
in this tendon. Then the knee cap
itself sits in a deep longitudinal
groove in the end of your thigh
bone (femur). So normally the knee
cap slides up and down inside this
groove as you walk or flex and
extend your knee.
Quite a neat little system. Without
the smooth knee cap in the groove,
the tendon would flop around and
slip to the side all the time.
So what goes wrong?
In the bandy-legged critters the tendon pulls to the
inside in an effort to be straight, thereby trying to pull
the knee cap out of its groove and to the inside of
the leg. Bingo, sometimes the knee cap will give way
and pop to the inside of the leg out of its groove -- a
dislocated knee cap. It will then be locked there, as
long as the leg is flexed, which tightens the tendon,
but may pop back in once the leg extends and the
tendon is more relaxed. Therefore giving a small-
breed dog intermittent lameness!
Mash's knee cap was very sloppy and easily slipped
out of its groove.
Surgery is the best course of action only if it is a
consistent problem, so the next day we had Mash
sound asleep, shaved and ready for some carpentry.
Basically we make the groove deeper, tighten all the
side ligaments to hold it in place and sometimes we
shift the attachment of that big tendon across a bit so
the tendon is a bit straighter and not so inclined to
pull the knee cap to the inside.
After a play with the carpentry gear, Mash was
waking up with lots of nice-feeling painkillers on
board and keen to go home as soon as possible. That
afternoon Mash happily walked out of the hospital
with an equally happy Doris and Bangers.
Some cats and larger-breed dogs
can also have the same problem,
usually as a result of an injury, but
luckily it is easily corrected so they
can live a normal, happy active life.
Have a smiley week from everyone
Friendly & inquisitive
TWILIGHT STAR 3700
1 yo Female,
So many colours, shapes and sizes -- Come and choose your favourite
Licensed REAA 2008
236 Broadway Ave
If you're thinking
027 499 3707
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