Manassas Park Dog Walker

How Emergency Vet Surgery Saved Injured Greyhound’s Life

By George Malnati, DVM

As a veterinary surgeon, I am often faced with pet health challenges that, depending on the outcome, can greatly impact the animal’s life and the lives of those who care for them. This is about one of those challenges.

Some seven years ago a rescue group brought us a severely injured Greyhound that had been involved in a horrific eleven dog pileup at the dog track. He was almost euthanized on the track when the accident happened but his trainer begged them to save him. His leg was broken and the bone literally stuck out through the skin. Upon admission he had a 104 degree temperature and a number of areas of skin and tendon around the fracture had died as a result of loss of blood supply from the accident. The rescue group and their veterinarian recommended putting the dog down.

Even though the area was infected, we knew the bone would heal in the face of infection if it became stable. So, we immediately put a bone plate on the injury, thereby creating the stable environment in which the healing process could begin. After approximately 8 months of closely monitoring the leg and twice daily bandage changes, this brave, lovable canine had recovered enough to become adoptable. Interestingly, during his recovery, he had adopted ‘us’ – so the adoption process was seamless.

It was very rewarding to watch him learn how to become a dog instead of a racing machine. His previous life was only running around in circles chasing a rabbit that wasn’t real. He knew nothing else. Whenever he went to visit ‘Aunt Nancy’, who rescued Italian Greyhounds, he would return having learned a new dog trick. These ‘dog tricks’ were new for him but are normal in our canine friends. One weekend he learned how to play bow (bending down on his front legs to entice another to play). Another time he learned how to bark! Really.

During the first year after we adopted him he stayed at the clinic because we lived in a small condo without a yard. When we bought a house (with a yard big enough for him to run) he chose to stay at home for the first two weeks and one day he demanded to come to work at our office. At first he was very shy and would only go up to other greyhounds and once in awhile their owners. Gradually he became more out going and would allow certain people to pet him. Now he looks forward to going to the clinic to work every day and goes up to almost all clients and demands to be petted.

As office manager he wears the hat of ‘official greeter’ and also took on the job of giving comfort to patients as they recovered from anesthesia.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 at 3:41 pm and is filed under Manassas Park Dog Walker. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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