Finn’s post-op care following leg surgery was hugely difficult, not just due to his immense size, but to complications with healing
Problem? A ssistance? Welfare?
Immobility, daily post-op veterinary care Suitable care and venue, owner support Vital daily pain management
Finn was a giant of a dog - even by Irish Wolfhound standards. Standing a fraction under 40" to the shoulder, he was the tallest Wolfhound in the UK. His owners' difficulties in dealing with his recovery from essential surgery to repair his cruciate ligament, had become insurmountable. Post-op complications meant that he needed daily veterinary care for him to stand any chance of recovery.
Even transporting him a short distance to the vets became virtually impossible as he could not walk, stand or weight bear and his hind leg could not be bent or be placed under any strain whatsoever, due to the delicate nature of the surgery. So ensuring that he received essential daily treatment and medication from the vet team looking after his case, was proving to be an impossible task for his owners.
He needed to be kept on a level surface at all times, have round the clock home care and veterinary attention at least once a day.
He faced euthanasia, if these challenges could not be met.
After discussion between the referral vet, Finn’s owners and a member of PAWS, Finn was transported from his home to the home of the PAWS team member. This accommodation was ideal, as it was located close enough to the surgery to enable the vets to make daily "home" visits, so Finn did not have to be lifted in and out of a van and carried to the surgery every day to receive care. Finn was also able to be kept on one level surface with easy access to outside. His environment was made as homely and relaxing as possible and the PAWS team member was on site 24 hours a day, to ensure a high level of care.
Veterinary staff were given access to the venue at all times so that Finn could receive the vital care he needed. Finn’s owners were also able to visit him and to help with the practicalities of feeding, cleaning and toileting. After a week, Finn's progress was much improved and the visits from the vets were needed less frequently, so Finn was able to return to his own home.
His recovery process continued successfully for many weeks, with the PAWS team member remaining in regular contact and accompanying Finn and his owners to subsequent vet visits. However, tragically Finn lost his life when his leg eventually fractured and further surgical repair was impossible.
Although this was ultimately not the happy ending that everyone had hoped for, the help and support offered by PAWS enabled Finn to have the best chance possible of making a recovery and a return to health. Without intervention by our support network, he stood no chance at all of survival. As well as the practical assistance given to Finn, his owners were also extremely grateful for the emotional support offered, both during his illness and following his tragic death.
What was achieved:
The PAWS team member consulted with the veterinary referral team to discuss a practical way forward in providing the best and safest environment to give Finn the optimum chance of recovery.
Alternative accommodation was provided for Finn during the most intensive phase of his treatment, enabling him to have access to 24 hour care, in a safe and supportive environment. The difficulties associated with lifting and moving him were minimised and veterinary attention was easily accessible.
The PAWS team member accompanied Finn's owners on subsequent vet appointments to note information given and also to ask pertinent questions during a very stressful and traumatic time. The emotional support offered following his untimely death, was much appreciated by Finn's owners.