Merlo the Kelpie had always been a happy and active young dog. But about 6 months ago she started to become stiff when taken on walks and would sometimes even lie down and crawl along the ground. Her family knew there must be something wrong, so brought her into the clinic to have her checked out. Her knee joints were thickened and she just wasn’t walking right on the back legs. A series of radiographs were taken by Dr Cathy Fodor, and tentatively diagnosed that there was some deformity of both her knees. We sent digital copies of the radiograph images to consulting Specialist Veterinary Surgeon Dr Geoff Robins. Dr Robins recognised the rare condition immediately. He had been the first vet in the world to recognise and report on this condition back in 1982. The growth plate that the bone grows from had slipped backwards off the tibia during development when she was younger, which led to deformity as the bone and Merlo grew taller. Unfortunately this wasn’t going to be a simple fix.
Surgery was needed on each of her knee joints, staged 6 weeks apart. This involved cutting out a piece of bone in the knee and stabilising the bone with a bone plate. Considering Merlo’s unique deformities it was considered best to have a specialist perform the surgeries. Dr Robins performed two knee surgeries in our clinic with the help of Dr Danielle Appay and our team of vet nurses, followed by post surgery exercises and mediactions.
It is wonderful to see Merlo now standing with straight back legs and able to run around like a normal young dog again. She certainly loves life!
Far Left :Dr Geoff Robins assisted by Dr Danielle Appay and Nicole List Nurse and Anaethetist Right: A post operative radiograph of the left knee
Below: Merlo in the afternoon after her surgery. She had a very good recovery and enjoyed cuddles with Dr Appay.