Another world first for vet

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A TINY dog has undergone a world-first operation — thanks to a Hucknall vet

Graham Oliver attempted the surgery on the nine-month-old toy chihuahua, Hunni, who had a badly broken heel after a fall.

The mini mutt was facing possible amputation until Graham, who runs the Buckley House surgery on West Street, stepped in to become the first vet to use a brand new veterinary kit to help pin the dog’s leg together.

The screws used are so tiny, they are even dwarfed by those used in spectacle hinges.

Graham explained: “None of the implants available before would have helped this dog and we would have had to do a chewing gum and string approach which probably would have not been successful!

“But the screws from this new kit were only just small enough.

“The guy that supplied the kit from Veterinary Instruments, based in Sheffield, did some checking and nobody has used them for this yet.

“This bone is small in a normal-sized dog, so it’s even smaller in a dog this size.

“It’s very important because it’s where the Achilles attaches, it’s usually a very strong bone but it’s a crippling injury.

“It was a total break and it removed the function of the limb.”

Taking around 75 minutes to complete the operation, Graham used four of the tiny screws, as well as inserting a metal plate, all within a 15mm x 5mm surgical entry wound.

He added: “I’m chasing 50 and have had a cataract removed — my eyesight is reasonable but it was still very difficult!

“Without this, the best she could have hoped for was multiple surgeries and an enormous bill. I’m happy with the way it went, we bandaged the leg up and the dog is doing very well indeed.”

Hunni’s owner, Tracy Greaves, was overjoyed with the outcome, but had little idea how significant the operation was until after it was completed.

She said: “I did not have a clue at the time, they only mentioned it afterwards! But I was surprised at just how small the screws were.”

n OUR PHOTO shows Graham with Hunni and owner Tracey