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Monday, 21 April 2014

Cumbrian man's £4,500 vet bill after pet dog's back broken in hit-and-run

Ruby the black Labrador is lucky to be alive after she was badly hurt in a hit-and-run accident.

The 18-month-old much-loved family pet dragged herself 500 yards back home after her back and hip were crushed.

But now after four-hour emergency surgery Ruby – described by vets as incredible – is recovering at home from her serious injuries.

Ruby’s hip was dislocated and several lumbar vertebrae fractured in the accident but amazingly she was able to make her way home.

Her owner Tom Iredale, 25, from Patterdale, rushed her to the Paragon veterinary surgery in Dalston where her condition was assessed.

Vet Anne Noble said Ruby was in a lot of pain but still wagged her tail. Her injuries were consistent with her being involved in a road accident.

“We got her comfortable and treated her with antibiotics.

“X-rays subsequently showed she had a dislocated hip and fractures to her lumbar spine,” Anne said.

“Commonly with this type of injury there is spinal damage and often paralysis. Luckily this was not the case with Ruby and she could move her back legs and wag her tail.”

Ruby was referred by Paragon to specialist Simon Roche at Kentdale Orthopaedics near Kendal for surgery, where she had seven screws put in her back and two titanium plates in her hip.

Simon explained: “She was in a terrible state when she came to us. Incredibly she hadn’t severed her spinal cord but she did have substantial injuries and it was amazing that she had been able to get back to the farmhouse.

“We used a combination of bone screws and titanium plates to repair her injuries. “Myself and another vet worked for three hours if not four on Ruby. Her response to the surgery was very good.”

Ruby had been missing for a couple of hours from her home at Greenbank Farm when she returned with her injuries.

Tom, who farms with his mother Beverley and father Peter, said: “We didn’t see the accident but the vet said she would have been hit by a vehicle.

“We were really worried because she was in such a state. When we left her at the vets she was in shock. We found out the next day the extent of her injuries.

“Simon Roche said he could operate or we would have to have her put down – there was no half-way.

“He said it was worth us going ahead with the operation because she was a strong, young dog. She was amazing. When I went to pick her up four days later I thought she would be carried out but she came out walking with her tail wagging.”

Tom was left with a vet bill of around £4,500 – and unfortunately doesn’t have pet insurance.

He added: “I’m just glad to have her back in one piece.”

He is now hoping to go-ahead with his plans to let her have a litter of pups this summer after a reassurance from Simon that she should be fit enough.

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