Accidents and Injuries


At some time in a working dog's life, accidents and/or injuries do occur. Some are severe, some are not. Broken teeth seem to be at the top of the list. Second would be bruises, pulled ligaments and tendons, lacerations and just plain old ouches. Leg injuries, including breaks are among the injuries that do occur and unfortunately, sometimes death. Sometimes no matter how careful you are, or how well trained your dog is --- accidents, injuries and death occurs.

We have had some unfortunate accidents in the past. Nothing prepared us for Guy's accident. Hopefully, we will never have another dog that has to endure such a severe injury.


It is March 7, 2003 -- Guy is our star pupil. He never complains and just does whatever you ask. His drive to work and intelligence is outstanding.

He will go where no dog has gone before! Unfortunately, it gets him into trouble....lots of trouble. If the accident is there...he will find it. We watch him closely and he is always with us. Just a few times that he lagged behind, he found "the accident waiting to happen".

I would not trade Guy for a million dollars. He is a wonderful dog. His work ethics are impecable.

Heel Nippin' Maguyak - "Guy"

Eon Rico X Eon M'Naughten Rule


Here is his story:

Guy was whelped April 25, 2002. From the start, he was a fearless explorer. At 3 wks old, he could climb like a monkey. He wanted to "go". It didn't matter where, he just wanted to go with us.

When he was 9 weeks old, he found a Copperhead. He tried to herd the snake and was baffled as to why it refused to move. He learned real quick that the long coiled up rope looking thing --- bites! A shot of "Dex", Benadryl gel caps (2 every 4 hours) and a trip to the vet --- he was fine. You would think that would stop his exploring, not in the least bit. If he couldn't get his nose in it, he'd stick his head in it. He has caused a few, many actually, gray hairs on my head.


At 17 weeks old, while following closely behind, we rounded one corner of the barn as two other Kelpies were rounding the other corner and spooked the otherwise non-afraid-of-anything horses. Before I could grab Guy, we were both ran over. He did not fair well. His leg was broken in two places at the humerus and radius. He spent the next day at the vet clinic after having surgery. Thanks a million to Dr. Rick Bennett, he pinned the humerus as it was a very thin hair line from being a compound fracture.

A couple of weeks went by and his injured front leg started taking on an odd shape. After more radiographs, it was found that the trauma of the accident caused the distal ulnar physis to close prematurely (growth plate), thus causing the ulna to stop growing. This was not good, because the radius continued to grow and a right forelimb valgus deformity at the carpus developed. The leg was taking a "bow" shape.

Dr. Bennett recommended him to Texas A&M University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for surgery to correct the deformity.


Post surgery June 28, 2002

Guy's right humerus and radius were fractured on August 22, 2002. Surgical fixation with an intramedullary pin was performed and the humerus successfully healed. Dr. Rick Bennett performed the surgery and we thank him tremendously for that.


Hinged Ilizarov External Ring Fixator

On December 03, 2002, attending Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. W. Daniel Mertens, Texas A&M University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, after a physical examination and diagnostic tests, he recommended that Guy would be a good candidate for surgical repair with an External Ring Fixator device to slowly lengthen and straighten the leg.

The 15 degree external rotation of the radius was acutely corrected during surgery and the External Ring Fixator was attached.

It was our responsibility to turn the nuts on the motor and on the hinges twice daily. The Fixator was wrapped to ensure that Guy didn't catch it on anything.

Post surgery June 28, 2002

Guy's right humerus and radius were fractured on August 22, 2002. Surgical fixation with an intramedullary pin was performed and the humerus successfully healed. Dr. Rick Bennett performed the surgery and we thank him tremendously for that.


Another view of the External Ring Fixator

Heavy gauge wire and pins were used to hold the Fixator in place. Since Guy's right elbow was luxated, a wire was used to hold the elbow in correct position.

Ulna being held in place

A wire held the ulna in place. The wire was removed on December 17, 2002.



January 22, 2003 --- Day of removal

Guy was bearing more weight on the limb than previous visits. His carpal extension seemed to be improving.

Radiographs showed regeneration of bone formation and normal limb alignment. The healing was sufficient for Fixator removal.

We still had to restrict exercise for three more weeks.

Guy post operative (12/03/2002)

This is Guy after surgery with the External Ring Fixator attached.


Without the surgery, Guy would have been crippled for the rest of his life. At some point, he would have to have the elbow surgically repaired.

Several people, including other Kelpie breeders, asked why we would spend so much time and effort on a "dog"? Guy isn't just a "dog". His work ethics are impeccable, his intelligence is overwhelming, his temperament and drive are outstanding. He deserved to be treated with respect and given a chance to reach his full potential.

We are deeply grateful to Dr. Bennett and Dr. Mertens. Without Dr. Bennett's guidance and Dr. Mertens surgical saving grace, Guy would not be able to continue his herding career.


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