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Big Cocker's Top Gun, AKA "Ace"
Ace is a 4yr old English Cocker Spaniel who loves to hunt, play, and be a couch potato. Like most field bred cockers, he loves to be out in the bird field flushing and retrieving game birds. We have enjoyed many long hours together as a family with Ace and our other cocker, Scout, at hunt tests, field, trials, and hunting. At the end of the day we could all return home and the cockers would once again turn into lazy house pets.
In early December, Ace and I were coming back into the house after having a romp in the yard with Scout. As Ace took a step up onto the porch, looking back over his shoulder at me, he tripped slightly. His next step he was screaming in pain and his right front leg was non weight bearing. It was obvious that he was seriously injured but I could not imagine how a simple stumble could have caused such pain. I was able to get him into his crate, into the car, and rush him straight to Comanche Trail Vet Center thinking that, at worst, he had dislocated his elbow. When I arrived at the clinic the staff was wonderful. They helped me get Ace into the clinic and comfortable enough to take x-rays. When I saw the films, my heart sank. After many years spent as a veterinary technician myself I knew this was no simple dislocation or even a minor break. The Humerus bone above his elbow was shattered! Dr. Martin reviewed the x-rays and confirmed my worst fear; this was no minor injury and would require a specialist in veterinary surgery to repair. Lucky for Ace, Dr. David Allman, a veterinary specialty surgeon, works closely with the team at Comanche Trial and he was able to diagnose the problem as Incomplete Ossification of the Humeral Condyle. Basically it is a rare defect seen in this breed that causes a weakness in the bone and leads to sudden fracture. He also felt that he could repair the injury with hopes of giving Ace a shot at keeping his leg and keeping his active life style.
On December 15th Ace went back to Comanche Trail, where Dr. Martin had arranged for Dr. Allman to perform the surgery. The surgery took approximately 4hrs, in which Dr. Allman was able to put the puzzle pieces of Ace's shattered leg back together as best he could as well as put a pin in the other leg to ensure that it did not fail as well. For the next 9 weeks we kept Ace under strict bed rest hoping that the break would heal. We knew that he may have very limited use of that leg and he may never hunt again. But we prayed as we carried him in and out of the house for potty breaks and as the kids lay by his bed keeping him company as he recovered. Each week he did a little better and each week we rechecked the leg.
Finally on Febuary 12th, after 9wks of cage rest, Ace got the final thumbs up from Dr. Allman. His leg had healed better than anyone had expected and he was cleared to start slowly returning to his full activity.
Today Ace is happy and healthy! He has only the slightest limp in his injured leg and is able to run, jump, hunt, and cuddle with our family. I will always be a little protective of that leg but it is hard to slow down a dedicated dog. I cannot thank Dr. Allman, Dr. Martin, Mandy, and the entire staff at Comanche Trail enough for all their dedication, love, and care through this entire ordeal. Without them, Ace would not be with us today.
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