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Kathy : Jedda

Published on January 30, 2024.

Story from Kathy : Jedda

Jedda (10 yrs) has been a longterm patient at SASH since June 2022 and remained a patient through the following year until her most recent visit in January 2024. She has had multiple surgeries for Achilles Tendon Rupture (avulsion off the heel bone), a degenerative condition. I took Jedda to SASH in June 2022 after she had 2 previous surgeries at a different clinic (closer to home) to repair her chronic Achilles Tendon Rupture, one in 2019 and the second in January 2022. Although the first surgery was successful and she was fine for 3 years, she had a second rupture in January 2022 and the surgical repair of this second rupture failed after 5 months, mainly due to having her leg unsupported during the lengthy rehab time.

This is when I decided to seek help from SASH and Dr. Stephen Fearnside agreed to try for a 3rd and final surgical repair. Achilles Tendon ruptures mean that the dog’s leg collapses when they put weight on it. The repair involves a surgery to reattach the tendon to the heel bone and placing a screw in the joint to keep the leg straight, and a plaster cast so the tendon can heal back to the heelbone and then another surgery after 6 weeks to remove the screw. Then many months of rehab. Jedda has done this procedure now 3 times (so 6 surgeries, the last 2 at SASH). Even though the tendon had become very poor quality by now, we wanted to try to safe Jedda’s leg one more time. Because Jedda’s tendon has become so compromised we decided to put her in a brace after the cast and crew came out.

SASH has been an enormous support for me to salvage Jedda’s leg and give her the best chance of success by helping finding the best fit for the brace. There has been many many hours of travel (7 hours return) for the many many consultations especially in 2022 but some more follow ups in 2023 and 2024. What has made a huge difference in the experience with SASH has been the continued support from Sports Medicine Vet and physiotherapist Naomi Boyd who helped with a plan to make Jedda’s leg stronger.

I am so glad I decided against amputation and persevered with the surgical repairs because I always felt that maybe her other hind leg may also be at risk, and unfortunately at the end of 2023 Jedda’s other hind leg started to show signs of degeneration too and an ultrasound at SASH in January 2024 showed 40% tearing. However, Jedda again has been amazing to be able to wear 2 braces now without any problems.

Jedda owes her quality of life to me and SASH but most of all to herself. If she hadn’t been such an easy patient I don’t know if it would have been possible. From living in the dog pound to still walking into SASH with her tail wagging, it is in her nature to make the most of any situation in life. She has been absolutely amazing in her acceptance of wearing not one but since a few months two hind legs braces and can even run and swim with them.

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