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Lucky dog is rebuilt by 40 vets, nurses and students after near death crash


This lucky hound had the wag back in her tail after being completely ”rebuilt” by a team of FORTY vets, nurses and students – at a cost of £11,500.

Three-year-old Lurcher Ruby was run over and left for dead in a road collision near Cambourne, Cambs., on January 26.

The crash left her with two broken legs, a broken sternum, a broken toe, a dislocated knee, ruptured ligaments, several skin wounds and internal bleeding into her lungs.

Vets initially feared Ruby would have to be put down, but determined owner Vanessa Gillespie, 40, refused to give up on her.

The pooch was transferred to the Queens Veterinary School Hospital at Cambridge University where she spent five weeks undergoing a mammoth course of treatment.

Experts at the Veterinary School based in Cambridge managed to repair the fractures on both front legs with four metal plates and screws during a nine-hour operation.

Two weeks later a soft tissue and orthopaedic team worked together during a seven-hour operation to cover wound and replace ruptured ligaments in the dislocated knee.

Vanessa, a jeweller from Therfield near Royston, Herts., said luckily Ruby was insured for treatment up to £10,000.

But she and her husband Richard Youngman, 41, a businessman, estimate they are still going to be around £1,500 out of pocket by the time all treatment is finished.

Mum of-one Vanessa, whose son Oscar is seven, said: ”Ruby was in a very bad way. Her legs were so squished they looked like puddles.

”But because she did not have any head injuries the vets said if she could live through the next 24 hours she had a good chance.

”If she had not been insured we would have had to put her down.

”But she is doing brilliantly now. She has been on cage rest for a month and only allowed to noodle around the kitchen.

”Her legs will take about five months to heal totally but in herself she is happy, sweet-natured and an inspiration to the rest of us. It’s absolutely fantastic.

”The doctor said he had never seen a dog so broken still so happy. Most dogs would not have survived but Ruby is a toughie.”

Dr Heidi Radke, an orthopaedic surgeon and one of the team of 40 professionals involved in Ruby’s treatment and recovery, said the plucky hound should make a full recovery.

She said: ”Ruby is a fantastically cheerful dog. When she first came in she was unable to stand and could barely lift her head, but as soon as she felt a bit better she would try to wag her tail.

”Ruby is very special because her injuries were very severe and she has recovered particularly well.

”This was definitely one of our more expensive and long-term cases.”

”Every time she visits us now she gets hugely excited and greets every person she got to know during her stay in the hospital.”

”Ruby’s walking well on both forelegs and the skin graft looks great.

”Her left knee, which was very unstable, will probably always be weaker than her right but I hope she’ll be back to normal exercise in three months’



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