Davies Performs Rare Partial Limb Amputation

Davies Veterinary Specialists

Oncology, Physiotherapy, Soft Tissue Surgery, Therapy Centre

21st February 2023

Veterinary experts at a leading animal hospital have performed their first partial limb amputation to be subsequently fitted with a stump socket prosthesis.

The operation was successfully completed at Linnaeus-owned Davies Veterinary Specialists in Hitchin on a Miniature Schnauzer called Freddie, who was then fitted with a prosthetic limb below the elbow.

Freddie has now learnt to walk and trot again, similarly to how he walked before his amputation.

The 10-year-old dog’s owners were offered the partial limb surgery as a limb-sparing surgery after declining a full limb amputation following the discovery of a soft tissue sarcoma on the dorsal aspect of his right front paw.

Partial limb amputations are extremely rare due to the percentage of complications being high. With Freddie’s owners preferring to give him the chance to have a prothesis fitted, he also benefited from the multidisciplinary team at Davies which includes an industry-leading physiotherapy and rehabilitation service.

As well as the surgery, Freddie has also received rehabilitation and physiotherapy at Davies, highlighting the multidisciplinary services available at the pioneering practice, whose other notable operations include hi-tech cataract surgery to restore a West Highland terrier’s vision, saving the life of a working police dog who was stabbed in the line of duty and using human techniques to cure dogs with life-threatening heart conditions.

Diane Messum, Head of Physiotherapy at Davies, said: “Whilst many dogs will lead a fulfilled life on three limbs, it is not without the body undergoing numerous biomechanical changes in order for them to walk and run independently.

“The ground-breaking partial limb amputation surgery at Davies was only undertaken after several conversations with Freddie’s oncologist Luca Schiavo, soft tissue surgeon Alberto Sesana and his owners. The surgery was planned very carefully and was successfully completed.

“Freddie has been the perfect patient from the first day and also stayed perfectly still for his prosthetic limb casting.

“He may not have liked it when the prosthesis was initially applied or removed, but after lots of reassurance and treats, Freddie now associates it with a limb that can give him the freedom to explore with his sister, Gertie.”

Freddie’s owner, Bob Boyle from St Neots, said: “When we learnt what was wrong, we were very shocked and concerned as Freddie is very sociable and confident with other dogs and people, so we were worried about how it would affect him.

“However, after just four to five weeks of using the prosthetic he was walking, trotting and running around on his walks again.

“The team at Davies looked after Freddie in a professional and caring manner and we’d have no hesitation in recommending them to other dog owners.”

For more information about the Therapy and Fitness Centre at Davies Veterinary Specialists, click here.

For information about Oncology and Soft Tissue Surgery, click here.

Linnaeus Veterinary Limited trading as Davies Veterinary Specialists 01582 883950

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