Spike case study

Spike: Early referral
a key to success

Clinical summary: Front limb amputation and cruciate ligament trauma

Spike, a handsome ginger and white cat, suffered severe injuries after a road accident. His left front leg was so badly damaged it had to be amputated; there were two large hernias in his abdominal wall and also damage to the cruciate ligament in his left hind leg. But now, following extensive surgery and physiotherapy, he is making good progress and is well on the way to a full recovery.

“Following surgery, Spike was having great difficulty standing or even sitting,” says Julia, “so it was very important to encourage him, using carefully graded physiotherapy techniques, to rebuild good levels of function, balance and confidence.”

Spike spent just under three weeks in Grove Lodge Veterinary Hospital, and one of the keys to his successful recovery was the early referral to Julia from Grove Lodge veterinary surgeon Nicola Bromley. “This allowed me plenty of time to build a high level of trust and good rapport with Spike,” says Julia. “This was so important because I had to ask much of him, in physiotherapy and rehabilitation terms, in the weeks to follow.”

Since Spike has been discharged from Grove Lodge, his owners Mark and Maggie Killick have kept up the good work by using the various home management techniques which Julia advised, thus enabling Spike’s recovery to continue. During ongoing physiotherapy consultations Julia monitored Spike’s progress, developing new physiotherapy treatments when necessary, and advised Mark and Maggie on other ways of helping Spike at home.

“Spike made a full recovery only through the continued hard work and help of the veterinary staff and the physiotherapy from Julia,” says Maggie.

“In the early days he couldn’t stand or even lift himself up, but weekly sessions with Julia have resulted in his regaining full mobility to the extent that he can climb stairs and jump on to the sofa, and he sleeps happily on our daughter’s bed.

“It is hard to see a beloved pet go through so much pain and suffering, but you shouldn’t give up. If you receive the right help and continued support from someone like Julia, anything is possible: Spike is testament to that.”

*Spike is one of the winners of a Grove Lodge Braveheart award, given to pets who show outstanding bravery and determination in the face of injury or illness.