A beloved pet whippet is back on all paws and no longer feeling blue after specialist spinal surgery carried out at a leading Cumbrian small animal hospital.

Four-year-old whippet, Blue, was out on his usual daily walk when he had an accident while playing with a larger dog. The incident left Blue limping and in pain before his owner eventually had to carry him home.

After seemingly recovering naturally from his injury, around a year later Blue suddenly began suffering with constant lameness and pain, sparking fears the beloved pet had suffered lifechanging damage.

The whippet was referred to Linnaeus-owned Kentdale Referrals in Milnthorpe, Cumbria, where an MRI scan of his spine and hips was carried out.

The scan revealed disc associated right-sided foraminal stenosis in his lumbar spine, causing Blue to be in constant pain and unable to walk normally.

Jan Beranek, an EBVS European specialist in small animal surgery, took charge of Blue’s treatment and initially administered an epidural steroid injection to reduce the inflammation which was contributing to his significant discomfort.

However, the steroid had minimal effect and Jan planned a surgery to try to get Blue back to full health.

Jan said: “After we established the steroid injection had minimal effect on Blue’s condition, we planned to carry out surgery.

“It was an intricate procedure and, as such, we ordered bespoke 3D-printed drill guides made to match the shape of Blue’s vertebra to allow exact placement of the implants.”

Jan, who has been a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons since 2018, carried out a lumbosacral distraction and stabilisation, which involved using the 3D printed guides to place implants and screws to stabilise the vertebra in Blue’s spine.

The surgery to repair Blue’s spine was a success and owner Stephanie Walkington, from Preston, said her pet was now back to his old mischievous self.

Stephanie said: “Blue was accidently jumped on by a lurcher when they were playing. He stopped limping from the incident after about a week but then some time later he became affected with constant lameness and pain.

“I was shocked by the diagnosis from Kentdale but, at the same time, thankful that we could finally sort out his pain.

“Kentdale explained everything and really helped to put me at ease, while Jan was amazing. He explained the two variants of Blue’s condition and what we could do.

“They even had a 3D-printed drill guide to ensure perfect screw placement for the operation which was above and beyond what I expected. Jan was also so kind and Blue loved him!

“Blue has now fully recovered and his quality of life is amazing. He’s back to stealing things off the counter and running around with other dogs like a puppy again!”

Kentdale Referrals is a specialist-led practice offering expert services in diagnostic imaging, arthroscopy, laparoscopy, anaesthesia, infection control, orthopaedic surgery, spinal surgery, soft tissue surgery and physiotherapy.

For more information on Kentdale Referrals, visit www.kentdalevets.co.uk or search for Kentdale Referrals on social media.

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