Castro-Castalia Bullmastiffs

Chata, The Cost of a Diagnostic Mistake, Castro-Castalia Bullmastiffs
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por Christina de Lima-Netto

Chata, The Cost of a Diagnostic Mistake, Castro-Castalia Bullmastiffs

On a winter evening a phonecall comes through; it is the owner of one of “my” girls, a five months old puppy. He tells me that she has been walking with serious difficulties and limping a lot for a few weeks, and that the treatment suggested by their Vet has proved useless. After carefully listening the description of the pup’s troubles I tell him that he ought to better bring her to Madrid (about a six to eight hours drive) as I would rather have her checked by my own Vets.

A few days later, the owner brings “Chata” to me for the weekend and I personally take her to the Clinic. The diagnosis is quite clear and quite different too, to what the other Vet had to say. “Chata” has an open fracture of the femur head with an important necrosis of the surrounding bone tissue. Being as she is less than six months old and going through an important stage of growth and development, the news are not that good!

“Jota”, my Vet, decides to ask for the professional opinion and advice of the most reputated Veterinary Traumatologist in Spain, Dr. José Luis Puchol, who after confirming his diagnosis suggest that there is a slight possibility of recovery if “Chata” is immediately operated and several needles are implanted in the bone, to try to induce the production of new bone tissue to regenerated the necrosated area. But the odds are very much against a 100% recovery due to the fact that the injury is old and has probably been there for several weeks.

Chata, The Cost of a Diagnostic Mistake, Castro-Castalia Bullmastiffs

Chata, Mini & Cooper

I immediately contact tht owner with the news and we agree that “Chata” will be operated in a couple of days and will remain with me at home for as long as necessary as it is wiser that she stays here, near the Veterinary Clinic, than having her come and go very few days and travel such long distances.

Two months after the first surgery is performed, Dr. Puchol decides that it is necessary to remove the needles as one of them is causing some pain, which is an impediment for the puppy to fully put the weight on that leg. The needles are removed with success a couple of days later and “Chata” surly looks much more relaxes after a few more weeks

Castro-Castalia Bullmastiffs

Chata play with Mini

Finally some six months after having come to me, the Vets decided it was about time that she went back with her family; by then she had recovered some 85% mobility of the injured leg and a recovery of 90 to 95% is to be expected in a few more months, if all goes well. Time will tell.

The moral of this story is that “Chata” was lucky enough to have a responsible owner who cared to seek for my opinion as the Breeder, once he noticed that she wasn’t healing well with the treatment imposed by his Vet. Lucky also because although she was in a dramatic situation when she first arrived, I am fortunate to have a good Vet team who immediately seeked for the best options and lucky that she could stay here for six full months and I could personally watch for her rehab and recovery day by day, minute by minute. But the true fact is that a wrong diagnosis like the one made over her limping at first, could have been responsible for a five months puppy to completely lose mobility and even have to have its limb amputated, simple because the Vet incharged wasn’t eager enough to interpret an X-ray!

Today “Chata” is again a happy female dog who is capable again to play around, jump, run and leaps with joy around her family and who spends endless hours enjoying the company of the three young kids. Better be so.

(Original text written by Christina of Lima-Netto and Federico Baudin specifically for this web page and protected with Copyright. Not even whole can be reproduced not partially by any way, without Castro-Castalia's express assent in writing)

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