|Hal broke his leg in 1993 when he was almost 3 years old,
but the surgical team at NC State Veterinary Teaching Hospital successfully
operated and used an interlocking nail to stabilize the fracture.
of x-rays between the 1993 surgery and Hals' condition in 1997
Hal's leg became
very swollen very quickly while we waited for surgery
|Hal recovered fully, could run full speed even
without a limp, and things seemed fine for the next several years. In 1996
Hal developed what appeared to be a small cyst or infection in the shoulder.
By that time, weíd moved to another state. We consulted a local veterinarian
who tried a round of antibiotics and even some minor surgery to try to
determine what was wrong; the vet told us at the time that the problem
might be related to the old injury and that possibly the nail needed to
come out, but we hoped that was not the case. Hal went through long periods
of time without problems, but the infection continued to reoccur. We were
very caught up in getting established in a new state and realize, looking
back on it, that we did not give this recurring problem the attention it
deserved. But it seemed like such a small thing and Hal did not seem to
be in pain, although he began slowing down a bit which we attributed to
his getting older. Finally, in early 1997, Hal developed a limp. Doc Horner,
our local vet, said the infection was actually draining from the site of
the fracture and that the nail needed to be removed. We put Hal on the
surgical calendar at NC State Veterinary Teaching Hospital to have the
nail removed. In the meantime, Halís condition grew worse. Over the course
of a very few days, his leg began to swell and the antibiotics didnít seem
effective. Our stoic big friend began to show how much pain he was in.
Those last few days before the surgery were painful for him, but they also
broke our hearts.