This is Trench, a 16 week old Blue Male. He got his name as he was found lying in a ditch, left to die.
Thursday 3rd March 2011
Lissi received a phone call from a vet asking if Daneline could help, a man had been visiting a remote part of his land that was never in use or visited by anyone when he came across this poor little chap thrown in the ditch with no possible route of escape. It was through Trench’s good fortune that out of the blue the man decided to check over his land. Lissi immediately put the wheels into motion and Trench was picked up and transported to one of Daneline’s foster homes. Shortly after arriving it was clear to see there was a big problem with Trench’s front legs and he was finding it very painful to walk. Lissi phoned Highcroft, Danelines' local vet in Bristol, to make an appointment for Trench to be examined by Robert. Trench was transferred to Bristol and that’s when he ended up with us.
Friday 11th March
Lissi and I took Trench along to the vets were we were told the most accurate way to assess Trench’s deformities was to have Xrays and a Cat scan.
Monday 14th March
I took Trench back to Highcroft, where he was sedated and taken for a scan. The images showed what everyone was suspecting, that Trench needed to have major surgery on both legs.
Thursday 17th March
Trench went for his operation where he had 25mm of bone removed from both legs (see below).
Highcoft vets report
Trench was presented to us by Daneline because it had been noted that both of his front legs were bowing inwards and backwards making him walk on the outside surface of his paws and causing him to knuckle right over on one of his legs. We x-rayed him to confirm he was suffering form a condition commonly known as short ulnar syndrome. We also did a CT scan free of charge to allow us to more accurately assess the severity of the condition.
In the lower front leg in dogs (essentially the same as in our forearms) there are 2 bones that grow side by side, the radius and the ulna. In short ulnar syndrome the ulna develops a problem that stops it growing as fast as the radius and as the radius continues to lengthen, the ulna exerts a “bowstring” effect, causing the radius to deform and bend causing a bowlegged appearance. If allowed to continue the difference in length between the ulna and radius starts to put strain on the elbow and can even cause the joint to dislocate.
The treatment for Trench was to cut a section out of the ulna, releasing the tension on the radius and allowing the leg to straighten. Incredibly, even though a large section of bone is removed this can heal very quickly in puppies and it is possible the procedure could have to be repeated (though probably not).
The condition is most common in Great Danes and Wolfhounds which is easy to understand, given the length of there legs and the exaggerated effect this could have on any discrepancy between the growth rates in the 2 bones. Many different theories have been expounded to explain the problem from vitamin C deficiency to over exercise, but there is certainly a genetic component given the over representation of Danes and Wolfhounds.
Interestingly, there are many breeds where bowing of the legs is completely normal and often much more marked than in Trench, yet these breeds never have problems with associated lameness: just take a look at Bassett Hound next time you see one. This is almost certainly because these breed have been bred over hundreds on years to have just these characteristics and other deformities in their skeletons compensate for the bowing. In breeds like the Great Dane, which are designed to have completely straight bones, even relatively minor differences in growth rates between the radius and ulna will cause severe problems.
Hopefully, with the treatment he has received Trench will go on to live a completely normal, active life which would we great as he is one of the loveliest and friendliest pups I have ever met. Just 3 days after his operation, he came in to see me and bounded across the waiting room, splints pounding on the floor and tail going at full speed, straight in to the consultation room where he was desperate to make friends and get a bit of a fuss made of him. He seemed to love having his splints removed, was totally unconcerned about having his wounds checked, and bounded straight back out again after his consult, to see if there was anyone else to play with.
Saturday 19th March
I collected Trench from the vets & he is back home, with both legs in bandages and splints, recovering well.
Trench was taken to the vets, again, to have the splints & bandages removed.
Taking all of his adventures into account, Trent is the sweetest pup that you could imagine, his tail never stops wagging and he has the nicest nature. Even Duke likes him, so that must mean something.
Trench is due back at the vets in 2 weeks so I will keep you up to date.
Friday 18th November 2011
Just an update on Trench, who was renamed Logan!
He has grown into a fine young man, enjoying life to the full. He loves nothing more than to be out taking his walks on the local meadows and meeting playmates.
Logan seems to be fully recovered from his op and plays as though he is making up for lost time. A dream come true for all the family, never a dull moment when he is around! He gives and receives unconditional love.
He now weighs in at around 11 stone, so you can see his appetite for food and life has not diminished. Such a wonderful character, we would not have him any other way!
If you know of a Great Dane in need, please click here to see how to contact us.
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
To all at Daneline, just an update on how I am doing. Things are going really well, I have my walks every day and I have even been to the seaside but the waves were too scary, 3 inches was way to much to handle! My favourite playmates are Dallas and Sasha, two Daneline rescues that we visit as much as we can. Aunty Jean and Carol their owners always have a fuss and treats for me when we go down to visit.
The vet says my legs are fine and are as strong as could be, so a complete recovery from the op I had as a baby. Time to go now as Sunday roast din dins is being served!
Love to all, Logan.