Jasper’s Story – Congenital radial head luxation
Jasper appeared in the first series of The Supervet in May 2014, when he came to Fitzpatrick Referrals with a condition called congenital radial head luxation. The radius is one of the bones found in the forelimb and in combination with the ulna and humerus it forms the elbow joint. In Jasper’s case, the top of the radius was popping out of the elbow joint causing him constant pain as he flexed and extended his elbow. Jasper was only a puppy – and it was important to his family that he be given the greatest chance of growing up strong and healthy!
Radiographs revealed Jaspers elbows to be seriously affected by the condition and it is clear in the attached radiograph that the top of the radius is in an abnormal position. After a heart-wrenching consultation, Jasper’s owners made the decision to commit to surgery to try and correct Jasper’s condition. The timing of the surgery was vital and Noel and the team were hoping to capitalise on the plasticity of Jasper’s young bones to help reconstruct his elbow joints.
Surgery went on late into the night and it was a complex process involving the application of a circular external fixator to try and hold Jasper’s radii in the correct position. After surgery Jasper underwent an intensive programme of physiotherapy to try and strengthen his weak forelimbs. Sadly for Jasper it was apparent the bones in his forelimbs were not growing as a group and one of his bones was growing too fast causing his legs to curve outwards.
Jasper was once again prepared for theatre but this time things did not follow the smooth path.
Shortly after anaesthetising and moving Jasper into theatre for surgery, he had a cardiac arrest. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was initiated immediately and within minutes Jasper was back with us. Surgery was abandoned and apparently none-the-worse for his dance with death he returned to kennels where he promptly ate his dinner! Cardiac arrests are an uncommon occurrence during anaesthesia and in Jaspers case, it was the prompt and professional attitude of the team that lead to a success resuscitation.
Despite Jasper’s unexpected cardiac arrest it was important to re-operate his legs and try and get this beautiful little creature back on the road to a normal life. Jasper’s second surgery went without a hitch and despite the obvious fear a second arrest may occur, we were prepared for all eventualities and Jasper sailed through his surgery and anaesthesia without a problem.
After a further programme of physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, Jasper was discharged back to his wonderful family. Their dedication to this amazing little pup was unwavering and it is a testament to the bond of unconditional love that exists between owners and their furry friends!
In Christmas 2014, Jasper appeared in the Christmas Special of The Supervet and the now grown up Jasper is thriving!