Zuka case study

Zuka: Good recovery after road accident

Zuka with Julia

Clinical summary: Pelvic fracture requiring femoral head excision arthroplasty

Nick and Linda Cook (foster carers) described how physiotherapy played a vital part in the recovery and rehabilitation of Zuka, a young Saluki whose pelvis was shattered in a road accident. "X-rays showed serious and extensive fractures, and to add to the challenge, Zuka was severely underweight and nervous of both people and other dogs.

“After a four-hour operation to reconstruct his pelvis and several days in intensive care, Zuka was allowed short lead walks and his confidence began to grow. He was introduced to Julia just two weeks after his operation.

Zuka walking shortly after his operation

“This was the start of an amazing relationship which was to grow over the coming months. Julia gained his trust and was able to carry out carefully graded manual therapy and electrotherapy treatment techniques, alongside progressive rehabilitation exercises.

“However further x-rays showed that a second operation was needed, from which Zuka made a good recovery. Julia resumed physiotherapy and this, combined with hydrotherapy, played a major part in his rehabilitation.”

Zuka is now back to full mobility. His magnificent recovery was thanks to a massive team effort: those involved included veterinary and support staff at Grove Lodge Veterinary Hospital; Vikki Turner and Billy Elliott, the animal rescue officers at the Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service (WADARS), together with WADARS fund-raisers and supporters; Nick and Linda Cook, his foster carers while he was being treated; Mandy Govier, the owner of the White Orchid hydrotherapy pool in West Chiltington, West Sussex; and a company in Hertfordshire which provided a made-to-measure jacket to keep him cosy in the chilly weather.

Zuka was operated on at Grove Lodge Veterinary Hospital by veterinary surgeon Eamon Draper. Eamon felt that Julia’s physiotherapy had been “a godsend and a real benefit.” He added: “It was very good to reinforce post-operative management after veterinary treatment.

“It is also good for home management; it’s important for owners to take a vital role in rehabilitation, to get involved and to appreciate the issues.”

Zuka walking at a more advanced stage, with increased hind limb muscle development