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Poplar Farm
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Meet the oldies and nervous dogs that have settled here............

Posted Image. . Houdi's story is quite long but for those who are interested, read on.

Houdi's Story - part 1 November 2004

A few weeks ago we got a phone call from the nurse at our vets. There had been a Saluki Lurcher brought in to one of the Group's surgery's as an emergency the night before and she wondered if we could help with him. Houdi was found at the side of the road by the tip in Peterborough with a badly shattered front leg. Both ends of the bone were poking through the skin and he also had a large open wound on his wrist where he had been walking on the joint due to lack of feeling and use in the leg. The local large rescues had advised to put Houdi to sleep or at best amputate the leg but staff felt that in such an attractive, young and otherwise healthy dog that it would be better to try and save the leg if possible……………..that’s where we came in.

We agreed to take on responsibility for the dog and also for the vets bills so that they could try and save the leg. Houdi spent the next five days on a drip being given fluids and antibiotics to try and control the massive infection that had got into the wound. Also due to the high degree of swelling it was difficult to tell whether or not there was still any feeling in the leg. We reluctantly agreed that the vets would amputate if they felt there was no other choice but on day five (Tuesday) the vets felt that the infection and swelling had gone down enough to be sure that there was still blood supply and feeling to the leg so they went ahead with an operation to plate the fracture.

Two surgeons and two nurses worked on the operation. As far as we know the surgeons are not charging for their time and one of the nurses even went into work in her own time to assist in the operation to help keep the costs down. Wednesday morning we got a call to say that the operation had gone well and things were looking fairly positive. Houdi remained in the vets for another week as he was initially having daily dressing changes done under sedation. By the following week though, he was on dressings every other day and without sedation so we got a call to say we could pick him up and bring him here.

This was the first time I had seen this dog and he was GORGEOUS. He was also very subdued and wary of things but he was also amazingly placid and gentle. Two days later I took him for his bandage change and got my first sight of the leg. Houdi was, and still is, absolutely amazing with his dressing changes. He is lifted on to the table and he just lies there and doesn’t move whilst the old bandages are cut away. The dressing always sticks a little to the open wounds but he never moves or flinches, just lies there until the new dressing is finished and then waits patiently to be lifted off the table.

Not content with all this drama and attention, Houdi decided the next weekend to worry us even more. On Saturday he vomited up a large piece of cloth which had obviously been in his stomach for some time. We thought that was the end of that but he continued to vomit bile all through the day and he refused both food and water and seemed a little under the weather. I rung the vet nurse for advice and continued to try to get him to take fluids. Sunday morning he was still not eating or drinking so I took him to the vets who gave him a thorough check over and an injection to stop the vomiting. They also changed his antibiotics and gave him some other tablets to help settle his stomach. By Monday morning he was still not eating or drinking so when he went for his bandage change he was sent over to the other branch surgery for x-rays. There was nothing showing on them so it was felt that his problem was just severe irritation to the throat due to the size of the object he vomited. Finally Monday evening he started drinking and by Tuesday morning he was eating again.

We have now had two weeks of dressing changes three times a week but today I got the good news that we may only have to have a couple more before we can leave the leg open to the air. Obviously he will still have to be on restricted exercise for the next couple of months until the pin is removed but hopefully he will eventually be sound and at least he will still have four legs.

I would just like to finish by saying a big THANK YOU to the vets and staff at All Creatures vets at Chatteris and March and to Vetsavers at Wisbech (all part of the same group) for all their help with Houdi. For calling us to give him a chance and for helping to keep the costs of all this down as much as possible. We have not yet had the bill for any of this work and it wont be cheap, although they are helping as much as they can, but when you look into
a pair of the most wonderful deep brown eyes and stroke the velvet ears then, whatever the cost, its got to be worth it.

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