Sweet Hedgehog "Peg-Leg" was brought into care after she was spotted out during the day dragging her rear left leg.
On assessment, she was a healthy bright and alert hedgehog, but she was also suffering a rear leg break, and was in need of surgical intervention, as soon as possible.
Working with small mammals means working with even smaller bones, and this requires some very delicate handling! Thankfully, our vet, Meriem, has a deft touch where it comes to orthopaedic surgeries, and we knew Pegleg would be in good hands!
Peg-leg was X-rayed to determine the extent of the damage and the viability of repairing the leg.
Thankfully, she had a clean break, and so the possibility of re-aligning the leg was good! If the fracture had splintered and contained multiple fragments, then securing the bones together would have been a difficult task with the fragility of the remaining bones being an issue.
Meriem had the tedious task of re-aligning Peg-leg's left tibia, and securing the bones together using a metal pin.
The pin had to remain in place for over four weeks, allowing the bones to form a callous. It was vital that the leg was kept stable to ensure optimal callous strength.
Over the following weeks Peg-leg proved to be quite the star patient, eating all her meals, and putting up with bandage changes every few days. During bandage changes, the vet team would also take the opportunity to provide Peg-leg with some very minor physiotherapy, holding the leg in place whilst flexing her foot forward and back. This helps prevent the leg from swelling, whilst also maintaining good circulation.
As the weeks went on, Peg-leg continued to do well, and show his distain for still being in care by trashing her pen every night, but would also show her appreciation for her food by clearing the whole lot.
Four weeks later, vet, Meriem, had the honour of removing the pin she'd put in place, but, Peg-leg decided she'd make the whole process a little more dramatic.
Whilst she was under sedation, she suddenly stopped breathing! Meriem had to act quickly to get Peg-leg breathing again. Even with multiple efforts at externally encouraging air into her lungs, Meriem was left with no other option but to intubate Peg-leg and provide manual ventilation. Thankfully, after several pumps, Peg-leg finally took a breath for herself, and we all took a huge sigh of relief! She was given some time to recover, before the pin was then fully removed.
In need of a little more cage rest before fully starting the rehabilitation process, it was a week later when Peg-leg began her daily short exercise regime to encourage her to use the previously broken rear leg.