Sally the border collie is back home on all three legs after enduring an amputation, four major operations and weeks of recovery at Narooma Veterinary Hospital.
Dr Kym Sutherland was left hugely impressed by the courage of the five-year-old dog after she endured having one of her back legs amputated due to a massive wound caused by a kangaroo on her owner’s property south of Narooma.
“Over 30 years of practice, she would have to be one of the bravest and most courageous dogs I’ve dealt with,” Dr Sutherland said. “She a great example to all us human beings of courage to endure hardship without complaining and being able to come out the other end.”
It all started on December 31, when Sally disappeared after tangling with a big grey kangaroo, limping back home after about 24 hours. But by then the massive 2-foot, V-shaped wound on her abdomen was badly contaminated with dirt and already showing signs of infection.
Dr Kym and his wife Kate, the vet nurse at the practice, did their best to clean out the wound and performed the first of what would turn out to be four operations.
After the third operation, they realised they were going to have to amputate one of Sally’s back legs in order to fully close up the wound and give her a chance of living.
“There was a massive amount of skin and tissue damage, as well as contamination within the wound,” he said. “We attempted to reconstruct the wound three times with surgery but due to contamination and infection, they failed, leaving us no other option but to amputate.”
The vet couple have grown very close to Sally taking her home each night during her recovery and slowly nursing her back to health. They were amazed at how quickly she adapted to walking on three legs and expect the muscle on her remaining back leg to grow and compensate for the extra load.
Not once during all the surgery and countless dressing changes did she show any sign of shying away or mistrust. Even so, she seemed happy to hop out of the surgery this week to go back home.
Dr Sutherland and his wife thanked owners Bill and Judy Anderson for their patience and persistence under difficult and emotional circumstances.
They also say it is a reminder of the importance of keeping pets away from wildlife, which can cause massive damage in certain circumstances.