Expert vets who helped save a young puppy’s badly-injured leg are now battling to make sure he’s not left out on a limb and homeless.

Farm dog Ben suffered a broken leg while playing in a farmyard and the damaged limb was initially put in a plaster cast to heal.

However, the cast became too tight for the 10-month-old Collie and cut off the flow of blood to his leg. He was then rushed to leading Linnaeus-owned referral vet centre West Midlands Referrals (WMR), in Burton-on-Trent, for emergency treatment.

WMR clinical director Jon Mills, a hugely experienced small animal surgeon, was able to save Ben’s leg and is now seeking to safeguard his future along.

Jon explained: “Ben broke his leg while playing around a farmyard and the local vets put it in a plaster cast.

“Unfortunately, the cast proved too tight and some circulation damage meant there was soft tissue loss at the end of the leg.

“Casts don't usually do this but dressings and casts are not benign, risk-free options; they can carry risks if things go wrong.

“This is what happened with Ben. He was left with a grossly unstable leg with widespread dead tissue and skin on and around his main pad, plus reduced sensation on the foot.

“Fortunately, prompt action in removing the cast meant that, at least, the leg could be saved, although a pin and a plate procedure at the outset would have done much less damage, which proves there's nothing more expensive than a cheap option that doesn't work.

“The team here at WMR had to spend five days gradually and carefully removing the dead, damaged or infected tissue to improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissue.

“We used wet-dry dressings, and antibiotics and anti-inflammatories until the soft tissue was in a state to make him a fit candidate for fracture fixation with a pin and locking plate.

“The fracture fixation itself was pretty routine. The only thing that made it a little harder was that 10 days had passed, so the young bone had started to try to fix itself and the muscles had all contracted slightly.

“It was a very successful outcome, though, and Ben was walking on the leg pretty much immediately and the soft tissue has healed very nicely indeed.

“Sensation in the leg and particularly the foot will take a few weeks to “normalise” but the fracture should be healed in five weeks.

“Ben, despite his age, was a superb patient throughout and tolerated the care and dressings with total cooperation.

“Now we are assisting in rehoming him, too. Apparently, he was turning into a pretty average sheep dog but we’re sure he will make an excellent family pet!”

WMR provides expert treatment in cases requiring orthopaedic surgery, spinal surgery, soft tissue and general surgery, as well as medical and ultrasonography cases.

For more information on West Midlands Veterinary Referrals visit or search for West Midlands Veterinary Referrals on social media.

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