Just past his sixth birthday, handsome Bailey of Wisconsin recently found his life turned upside down. A beloved family pet, Bailey was placed in ESRA's care to assist him because his family did not have the means to care for his needs after he was involved in a very unfortunate accident.
A typically active Springer, Bailey was enjoying playtime with his family when tragedy struck. We are not sure exactly how the accident occurred, but Bailey had a run-in with a railroad tie, which abruptly ended his play and caused him to require immediate medical attention. Sadly, Bailey had badly broken both front paws. There were several breaks at the metacarpal bones in the areas just above the adjoining toes on both feet.
Immediate treatment of Bailey's injury resulted in the splinting and bandaging of both front legs. His condition is quite painful, as would be expected. Bailey does not take well to wearing an e-collar to limit his accessibility to his injured limbs, and he had continued, in his original owners' care, to try to remain somewhat mobile. However, this presented additional problems for Bailey in the form of a skin infection and ulcers which developed under the splints.
Once Bailey came into ESRA's care on June 18, his treatment options changed and a plan for a more permanent fix to his broken limbs was developed, rather than months of wearing splints, continuous sedation, and bandage changes. Luckily for Bailey, his foster parents are both veterinarians and are working in conjunction with a surgical center in Appleton, Wisconsin to aid him in a faster recovery and a better prognosis for a much brighter future. With his foster family's help, Bailey is being medicated for comfort and to keep the anxiety caused by his trauma to a minimum. Splint and bandage changes are also occurring frequently to aid in the healing of the skin underneath the necessary wrappings.
The treatment plan for Bailey will be surgery to place a minimum of four or five plates and pins over the top of the weight-bearing metacarpal bones in both paws. This will help to stabilize and give strength to the badly damaged area. It will also help to eliminate the potential for further infection and skin lesions that have been troublesome to Bailey and to his caregivers. Of course, a procedure of this nature comes with risks, mainly in the form of potential infection, rejection of the foreign material (plates/pins), or complications from the administration of anesthesia. The the cost of such a procedure is also very high. Currently, however, his caregivers, his surgeon, and ESRA management all agree that this is the best course of treatment for Bailey's successful recovery. After a period of time has elapsed and healing has begun, further treatment in the form of physical therapy will be needed to ensure that Bailey will regain normal use and mobility of the affected limbs. Thankfully, his veterinary foster parents are the perfect caregivers to help him with this therapy.
We ask for your support of Bailey's ongoing care, both financially and in the form of your prayers, well-wishes, and concern for a successful outcome to his imminent surgical procedure. With your help today and in the weeks to come, we can ensure that Bailey continues to receive the care he needs and deserves so that he will be able to enjoy a happy, mobile life once again.
We are happy to report that the worst is over for dear Bailey! His surgery on Thursday, June 28 was successful, and he was released the following day into the care of his veterinary foster parents!
Surgery lasted for three hours, during which plates and screws were placed on the middle two toes of each paw. Because of the splints that Bailey had worn previously, he had already begun the healing process, so there was quite a bit of scar tissue to get through in order for the surgeons to be able to insert the apparatus that will provide strength and stability to Bailey's front paws. Everything had started healing properly, however, so there was no harm done. This necessary procedure has already made this sweet boy feel more comfortable. The splints that he must wear for the next few weeks are much smaller than the previous splints, so he will have more mobility. While he needs to take it easy, he will be allowed to have leash walks for five to ten minutes two or three times per day, in addition to potty breaks. Bailey is not required to be crated as long as he can be watched. He must not overdo it, however. Running, jumping, and playing are off limits for the next few weeks while he heals. After that period has passed, swimming can be added to his exercise regimen, and we know he's looking forward to that!
Splints/bandaging will need to be changed frequently during the next few weeks. His surgeon has created custom-made fiberglass splints, molded to fit Bailey's front legs. These will be much more comfortable for him to wear. The splint on the right leg is longer and covers more of his leg than the left one does. This is due to the skin ulcer that Bailey had developed at the elbow while wearing the previous splints, due to too much activity. The skin is open in that area, and additional tissue growth is required before sutures can be placed to close the open wound. Currently, special dressings with honey have been placed over the area to help facilitate the healing process.
Bailey will have prescription medications to take for the next couple of weeks to ensure that infection does not set in and to keep his pain and inflammation to a minimum. His foster parents report that he is clearly much more comfortable now, and they are grateful that ESRA allowed Bailey to have this surgery to help him have a good chance for a normal, healthy, active life. We are grateful to everyone who has helped Bailey receive the treatment he needed to free him from the obvious pain that he had previously been living with. With your financial support, along with your prayers and positive wishes, Bailey is well on his way to a much better life ahead. Many thanks to each of you!
Just ten days after surgery, Bailey has come so far in his recovery. There were some adjustments that needed to be made with his splints this week, as his left one kept slipping, but he is healing quite nicely overall. His pain medication has been reduced, and he has almost completed his course of post-surgical antibiotics. The large open sore/skin ulcer at his elbow finally healed enough so that it could be sutured closed. This will allow much faster healing, and Bailey's comfort will increase, too. The previously painful splint changes that used to require sedation are now being done while he remains awake!
The staples at Bailey's incision sites will be removed in the next day or so, and his bandages will be changed again at that time. Later in the week, Bailey will be put under general anesthesia once again to be neutered. Given what he's already been through, this procedure shouldn't be too much of an ordeal for our boy.
The Fourth of July presented some challenges for Bailey as he became quite anxious due to the noise of the fireworks. However, his foster caregivers have experience with their own Springer's similar reactions, so they knew just what to do to help keep both dogs calm throughout the evening.
Bailey has met new people this past week, and he has truly enjoyed getting even more attention. His spirits are high! We are so pleased at how well he has handled the trauma to his front paws, along with the entire recovery process.
It's hard to believe that Bailey has been in our care for three weeks already and that he has been through so much in that time. His rapid progress has been amazing, and we are very hopeful and happy for him. Because of your outpouring of generosity and support, a better, more active, and less painful life awaits him. Bailey, his caregivers, and ESRA extend many thanks to you all.
Bailey's recovery is coming along nicely. Both splints were recently removed, and his time wearing the cumbersome apparatus has proven to be successful. He does favor his right side, however, and he is limping pretty noticeably on that side. Bailey has also been overly attentive to the incision on his right front paw and has licked/gnawed it a bit raw. We remind ourselves, though, that his left side may have healed more quickly because there was one less broken metacarpal in that paw. To be certain that there was no underlying issue, Bailey underwent x-rays to ensure that all is well. The implanted plates and screws are all in their proper positions, and there is no evidence of infection. Both his primary care veterinarian and his surgeon agree that his bones are healing very well and are on track with their projected prognosis. Because of Bailey's actions, however, his surgeon has recommended that he wear the splint on the right leg for an additional two weeks. While his veterinarian foster parents were somewhat disappointed to receive this recommendation, they, too, agree that this will be in Bailey's best interest.
Bailey is given short, five- to ten-minute walks multiple times a day. These walks are controlled, on leash, and are mainly to allow him time to relieve himself. They also help to keep his joints mobile and aid in the recovery process. Bailey's overall activity level is kept to a minimum, and he tolerates being crated very well. We are certain that he will really enjoy more freedom in the weeks to come after the right splint can be removed again and he can, with care, become more mobile.
We look forward to sharing another positive update with you soon, and we ask for your continued prayers and support to help Bailey achieve another milestone. Our sincere thanks to each of you!
We are happy to share one of our final reports on Bailey's recovery. It appears that the old saying about being in the right place at the right time has certainly applied in the case of this sweet Springer. Bailey's caregivers and veterinary foster parents could not have been a better fit for him during his time of medical procedures and recovery. His needs were many, and these good people perfectly fit the bill in aiding his return to health.
Bailey is officially splint-free! His right leg is healed enough to go without the support of the splint. There is a nice bony callus now at the fracture site on each foot. These calluses help support the bones that weren't repaired surgically. To celebrate this milestone, Bailey was taken to a deep creek on a private farm and was allowed to swim on a long line for three or four minutes. He also "helped" with his foster mom's farm chores that day, and he is now not limping at all! Bailey still has raw areas on the top of his right foot, which he continues to lick, but that was monitored for the first twenty-four hours without the splint, and he is doing much better now without the cumbersome apparatus.
Bailey continues with leashed exercise -- walking and swimming. Exercise time is progressively increased as long as he doesn't start limping. Bailey is also crated when he isn't being directly supervised. There will be no running, jumping, playing, or off-leash freedom until another four weeks of healing have passed and he gets an all-clear from his attending veterinarian.
It is now time for Bailey to move on. As hard as it is for us to say "so long" to this special boy, he has found his Forever Home and is now adoption pending. We're so happy for Bailey and his new dad, and we wish them much love and happiness!
Many thanks to everyone who has helped Bailey achieve this time of celebration. He couldn't have come this far without his caregivers, his supporters, and his ESRA helpers. We are grateful to all of you.
While Bailey’s formal adoption is still pending, we feel that it is important to share with all of his supporters and followers that his medical needs are not quite finished.
As part of Bailey’s follow-up to his surgical procedure, x-rays were performed in anticipation of giving him and his foster the “all clear” in regard to the healing process. His left front leg has completely healed, and the first, second, and third metacarpal bones on the right leg also appear to have healed properly. Unfortunately, the fourth metacarpal bone in that foot has not healed as it should have. Therefore, further surgery will be required to aid in the complete healing of that foot.
It appears that an infection found its way to the bone underneath the plate that was placed over the fourth metacarpal, and this infection has hindered proper healing. His veterinarian and surgeon have recommended that Bailey undergo another surgery to remove the plate, thereby exposing the infected bone. A culture will be performed to identify the specific type of infection so that a treatment protocol can be devised. This additional procedure should provide Bailey with the best opportunity to completely heal. Surgery is scheduled for October 18.
Please keep Bailey in your thoughts and prayers while he undergoes yet one more procedure. This is not what we were expecting he would have endure, but it was a good thing that the infection was found and can be further treated so that Bailey can continue on his journey toward a happy and completely healthy life!
We thank each of you for your concern and support of Bailey. The life he is enjoying now is a direct result of your kindness, generosity, and ESRA’s commitment to his continued care.