Caring Quality Service
160 Main North Road, Papanui, Christchurch
Northlands Animal Hospital
Science DietNorthlands Animal Care Hospital
Braveheart Award Braveheart of the Month - Maisey


Magee presented to us as an emergency as he had been accidentally run over in his driveway. On initial physical exam, his heart and lungs were considered normal, he had nice pink gums and was aware of his surroundings. There were several large grazes on his back legs and his scrotum.

What was concerning was that Magee was unable to place any weight on his right back leg but was also struggling to use his left back leg too.


He was admitted into hospital where he was treated with intravenous fluids. This was to help his heart efficiently deliver blood to all his organs as he was in a state of shock. He also received pain relief and antibiotics.

Once Magee was stable, radiographs were taken of his hips and back legs.

Figure 1


Radiographs showed that Magees’ pelvis was broken on the RHS on a non weight bearing surface AND his right hip had dislocated in an upwards direction (see figure 1).

As seen in Figure 2, the pelvis should look like a box shape, and the head of the femur lies in its socket (acetabulum).

Figure 2 also shows the abnormal placement of the femur in an upwards direction as seen in the radiograph (fig 1).

The femoral head remains in the acetabulum by a small tendon. If this tendon is damaged enough, the femur is able to become displaced and in some instances is hard to place back into its original position without surgical help (screws, wire, etc).

Magee was referred to the surgical specialist team at Vet Specs. His dislocated hip was repaired by removing the head of the femur.

Figure 2

In time, the body will form a false joint between the right hind leg and the pelvis.

Any fractures that occur BEHIND the acetabulum, seldom require surgical intervention as this region does not have to support much weight whilst walking.

Fractures in FRONT of the acetabulum, generally speaking, do require surgical stabilisation as these regions do bear a lot of the animals weight when walking.


Magee was encouraged to use both his back legs early but was only allowed to walk around the house. Running, jumping and walking on slippery floors was strongly discouraged.

Magee is making a good recovery and is able to use his legs more and more as the weeks go by. He has been an old gentleman the entire way through, never complaining of pain and he has a high will to live!

Good on you Magee!