Pet of the month
(Article written by Inca's owners)
As a puppy, Inca, our four year old black Labrador became known to millions for her appearances in the ‘Dolls House’ TV adverts for Tesco home insurance. There followed a huge You Tube following for the outtakes from filming when Inca seemed determined to demolish the Dolls House and its contents! However, Hollywood did not beckon and Inca settled down to life as a family pet with Tilly, our seven year old Golden Labrador.
When she was just one year old, Inca went lame in one of her hind legs and after investigation by Patrick, a ruptured cruciate ligament was diagnosed and Inca was referred to a Veterinary orthopaedic surgeon for consultation and a TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) was successfully performed. Subsequently it was discovered that the meniscus had also been torn and a further repair operation had to be undertaken and Inca spent a total of six months on a lead at all times.
It was explained to us at the time that when a dog has a cruciate ligament problem, there is more than a 40% chance that a problem will also occur in the other hind leg. When Inca showed some early signs of lameness last month, we were able to immediately take her to Springwell to see Patrick who confirmed our thoughts that Inca did indeed have a torn cruciate. Subsequent x-rays confirmed this but also showed that the cruciate had not fully ruptured.
With this in mind, Patrick advised us that since Inca’s first TPLO operation, a new technique was now being used where a partial tear was involved. This procedure is a TTA RAPID (tibial tuberosity advancement) involving the use of a titanium implant which allows the bone to grow completely around the implant. Patrick explained the full details of this procedure and confirmed that he had performed this operation at Springwell a number of times and therefore there was no need for Inca to go to an animal hospital. This had the added benefit that she could return home the same day.
The next morning a very hungry Inca (having not eaten since 5.00 pm the night before!) checked in early at Springwell for the pre-op procedures and Patrick called to say that everything was in order and he would proceed as outlined. A phone call later assurred us that everything had gone as planned and that Inca was now in recovery and looking good to come home early in the evening.
One of the key points to remember in any procedure like this is that the operation is only the beginning of a lengthy recuperation and rehabilitation period where a completely successful outcome is very much the responsibility of the owner(s). Careful control of the pet’s movements and activities over a period of some months begins straight away with the administration of pain relief and care when toileting, right through to the eventual re-building of muscle through controlled exercise.
Inca quickly felt that she was ready to do as she pleased, which although a testament to the success of the procedure, is not at all helpful in her recovery! Her nine large sutures were removed after twelve days and Inca is a pain free ( if not rather frustrated) dog once again. Another fantastic example of the expertise, knowledge and care that is available in-house for pet owners at Springwell Vets.