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Sparky gets his Sparkle back!
2 November 2016
Sparky, a lovely and very active 2 year old Whippet, was referred to the soft tissue service at Willows because he was lame on his left front limb and was not able to enjoy his long walks anymore. Sparky had previously undergone surgeries to remove some suspected foreign bodies in the same pad of the left front paw.
Unfortunately for Sparky the lameness kept reoccurring after each surgery and radiographs of the paw continued to show some mineralised tissue in the pad that had had the surgery. Sparky’s owner was a veterinary nurse and was able to keep changing Sparky’s bandages every day after each surgery, but Sparky’s quality of life was affected by the fact he was not able to run in the fields anymore and had to be strictly rested in the house. Sparky let Specialist surgeon Vincent Guerin examine him. There was a small lesion in one pad of the left front paw which was painful when examined. Vincent suspected it was a corn and not a foreign body. Corns are lesions of the pad mainly reported in Greyhounds, it is characterised by abnormal keratin of the pad causing pain. Corns often reoccur when they are not removed completely causing ongoing lameness. Amputation of the digit is sometimes required if repeated removal of the corn fails to resolve the pain and lameness. However, Vincent felt it was worth another surgical procedure to try to save Sparky’s toe, so that he could again run fast without any pain.
During surgery, a compressive bandage was placed around the leg to avoid severe bleeding. The affected pad was cut around the corn up to the bone of the toe, to remove it completely. Four stitches were used to close the wound and a bandage was applied to protect the wound. With Sparky’s owner being a veterinary nurse, she was able to keep a very watchful eye over him and change his bandages regularly for a few weeks until the wound healed. The great news is that the wound healed well and he could keep his toe as recurrence of the corn has been reported in 50% of patients after surgery.
Sparky’s owners were delighted with his recovery and said “We would like to thank Vincent and his team for sorting out Sparky Whippet’s troublesome toe”. Sparky is now doing what he does best - running around at a hundred miles an hour and more importantly, he is back in his role as a seeing eye dog for his partially sighted companion, Scout.