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Burnham House Veterinary Surgery

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Notes from your vets

Moby's Story

Moby underwent a left forelimb amputation due to an invasive tumour.  Mum Rose tells his story:


"This is about my beautiful Border Collie Moby who had to have his front left leg amputated due to a fast invasive growth at the top of his leg.  I hope this story will help anyone whose dog may need to have a front leg amputated.


"Moby was just four when the growth appeared and Jeremy removed the lump twice but it just kept growing back and each time it appeared it grew faster and bigger.  The decision was made to have the leg amputated.


"I remember walking my four dogs for two hours prior to the day of surgery making sure Moby had a last decent walk on four legs.  If he had been in a car accident maybe there would have been no choice and it may have been made for me, but to purposely make a decision to the amputation was hard. 


"I knew Mobes would not have a problem after he had fully recovered but leaving him that day even though in very good hands was one of the hardest things I have done.  I tried to fill my time up by keeping busy and went to Tesco shopping and I was putting the shopping on the conveyor belt when my phone rang and it was the nurse (I thought for a split second Moby had died!).  She explained that they had found the tumour had invaded into Moby's shoulder and Jeremy was asking to remove Moby's shoulder as well as the leg.  I said, 'do what you have to do'.


"When the operation was over we went in to see Moby who was comfortable and not in any obvious pain.  Moby made a few noises at seeing us and wagged his tail.  Jeremy explained that it was such a large and awkward mass to remove and that he had to put a drain in.  Stitching up wasn't as good as he would have ideally liked due to the large area that was removed.


"Moby was discharged, being carried to the car by Leasa (no mean feat!).  I actually sat in the back of the car with him.  My husband carried Moby out of the car and up the steps to the house and we had laid the vetbed in front of the fire in the living room and let our other three dogs quietly greet him.  We made wooden ramps as we had a little step from the kitchen to our sun room and a ramp from patio door to garden.  The first two nights I slept on the settee so I could keep an eye on Moby.  Moby was soon able to walk (hobble) to the garden using the ramps.  I felt so protective.


"Within five days the outer bandage came off then the drain came out just leaving Jeremy's very clever handiwork.  From operation day to sitting looking quite handsome in the garden was just 17 days.  Incredible!


"Obviously we had to build his exercise up gradually and although Moby would try, I never let him go across cattle grids as he did previously.  He could still jump clear a five-bar gate given a chance.  I could be walking my dogs in the fields and on more than one occasion someone who didn't know us would say 'your dog is limping', not noticing Moby only had three legs!


"Moby could still eat a pig's ear or chew a bone using his remaining leg to hold the item.  It didn't stop him doing anything.  I actually think the surgery is harder for the human to deal with than the dog itself!


"I hope Moby's story along with the photographs has helped in some small way if you and your dog are considering going through the same thing."