A DREAM trip to the Lake District turned into a nightmare scare for Lutterworth dog owners whose two-year-old pet was seriously injured while romping across the Cumbrian hills.
Martin and Laura Sands were left horrified when Weimaraner Max fractured his kneecap after careering down a steep hill and crashing into a wooden stake.
Their first challenge was to carry Max off the hillside before trying to find a vet to look after him when they were 150 miles away from home.
Martin said: “It was the second day of a 10-day break to the Lakes and we were up on the hills when Max suddenly went running off down the hill after something.
“I called after him but Max wasn’t listening. Then I heard him yelp and when he didn’t come back, I realised something must be wrong.
“I went down after him and discovered him by a wooden stake in the ground which had stopped him in his tracks.
“I was very concerned. I could see he was hurt and my first thought was ‘how am I going to get him down off the hill and into the car’.
“Being new to owning a dog, we didn’t really know how it was going to end – especially when the local vet couldn’t fix the problem and we had to be referred to a specialist vet practice.”
Max was transferred to Cumbria animal hospital Kentdale Referrals for emergency surgery to repair his fracture, which was overseen by veterinary surgeon Gemma Holloway.
She said: “X-rays confirmed Max had a fractured patella. Patella fractures can be difficult to manage, with a high risk of it not healing, so this was not a straightforward case.”
During the surgery, an external leg brace was attached to Max which stayed in place for six weeks, after which he started an intense course of physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
A delighted Martin said Max had made a fine recovery and you would barely know he’d had such a nasty accident.
He said: “Max is good, to the point where you wouldn’t know he had a serious injury if it wasn’t for the scars on his leg. He is still having physio which should be ending next month and he’s made really good progress.”
Martin was full of praise for Gemma and the Kentdale team for all their care and support.
He added: “Being new to dog ownership, we were going into the unknown and we were also on holiday which didn’t help.
“We felt safe in the knowledge that Max was in great hands.”