We recently met Taz, a 6 year old tabby cat. for the first time when he was rushed into us following an altercation with a neighbouring staffy. Luckily for Taz, his owner heard the fight and managed to extricate him from the dog’s jaws.
When Taz reached the hospital, he was examined by one of our veterinarians, Dr Nicole Laing. She found that he had suffered some very serious injuries, but he was also in shock from the incident. Once we had stabilised him with intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy, pain relief and antibiotics, we were better able to assess those injuries. Poor Taz had multiple fractures to his left front leg and also a dislocated left hip, on top of a lot of wounds and soft tissue bruising.
The fractures to his front leg were too severe to repair so the only alternative was amputation. This was complicated by his dislocated hip, however. Under a general anaesthetic, we replaced the hip back into the joint but it was clear that it would require further intervention to ensure it wouldn’t ‘pop’ back out.
Following consultation with Vetwest Whitford’s veterinarian Dr Jonathon Spanoghe who has a special interest in orthopaedic surgery, Dr Cirsten Werndly decided to perform what is known as a ‘hip toggle’ procedure. This is because the other method of repair for this hip involved a very long period of recovery, something not viable with only 3 legs. The hip toggle involves replacing the broken ligament within his hip with a prosthetic one.
Following surgery to amputate his front leg and to repair his hip, Taz made a steady recovery, thanks to lots of care and attention from the nursing staff. He spent several days in hospital whilst we controlled his pain, tempted him to eat, and encouraged him to stand on 3 legs. Once he was able to stand and it was clear he was ready to go home, he was discharged to his very relieved owners.
Now a couple of months down the road, Taz’s left hip has returned to full function, making him a ‘normal’ three-legged cat.
His owner reports that “he is back to full activity (& mischief!) & playing fetch again with more excitement & persistence than a staffy!! In no way has this accident affected his attitude & personality, he is still the same lil guy just on 3 legs & sporting a more interesting haircut! We cannot thank the emergency team, Cirsten & the entire Vetwest staff we dealt with enough for giving Taz the best care & opportunity to come home again. Thank you for also putting up with all the tears & allowing us to visit him every day without making us feel like a nuisance! We appreciate your professionalism, empathy & follow up throughout his entire journey even when things were so uncertain & are so grateful for everything you have done for Taz.”