My Friend the Fox
Late one day, a vet clinic called us about an adult female fox that had been hit by a car. A fellow had rescued her not only
from the situation but from a Police Officer who was going to shoot her to "put her out of her misery".
The animal had two compound fractured toes on her back right leg and multiple lacerations on the tummy and inner thighs. They
couldn't treat her, so they put the bones back in place, under the skin, bandaged it and called UWR. We picked her up and took
her back to the facility.
Our usual vet was out of town, so we asked Dr. David Manobla of Hiwan Clinic in Evergreen if he would perform the surgery. He
agreed to do so for a modest fee.
The fox's paw had been fairly well mangled and was deeply infected. The outlook was grim. Dr. Manobla pinned (attaching the
bones together with the use of a metal pin)the two broken toes and stitched two of the deeper tears on the tummy. When we
brought her home she was moaning and showing pain. Bone surgery is always painful.
Unfortunately, after a few days it was evident that the infection in the paw was too severe to save the foot. The leg would
have to be amputated.
We wanted to make the right decision about agreeing to amputation. Was it in the best interest of the animal? We consulted
two Vets and got the opinions of some knowledgeable professionals and arrived at a consensus to go ahead with the amputation
of the leg. All of the experts had direct experience with amputated back legs. Each found that the animal had survived and
had speed and dexterity. We ourselves have had much experience with amputation of toes and paws from leg hold traps. The leg
hold traps themselves sever the digits by prolonged pressure. These animals have been released and are doing well at last sighting.
If the injury was to the front leg then the outcome isn't as good. They rely on their front legs to support the main weight of
their body, for balance and for pull when running.
After the surgery, she did much better than before it. She was in noticeably less pain and she was curious about her surroundings.
She moved a great deal more.
She was released on a misty, raining night back where she came from.
When we reached the release site she became very excited, her little nose was just twitching with familiar scents.
She was actually doing happy-panting and she started pawing at the front of the carrier, ready to be free.
Once the door was open though, she cautiously stuck her nose out, then very gracefully pranced about 15 ft. away and stopped.
She looked back at us, holding her tail proud and her head high. She watched us, then went a little further, stopped and
looked again. She did this many times until she reached the ridge in the road and then dipped out of sight, never to see
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