Age: 22 weeks old

Family: Nala lives with Shannon and her Mum. Shannon had always wanted a pug, and describes Nala as being a lot like her in personality!

Her Story: A month ago Nala ran into a plant pot and fractured four of her toes. The wound has been treated but has now become infected, and she has lost two toes as a result. Their vet told them that the best thing they could do was remove the leg, but Shannon wanted to find out what else was possible for her young pup before giving up and removing the leg completely, and so they were referred to Professor Noel Fitzpatrick and Fitzpatrick Referrals.

Treatment: When Shannon went through the story of what had happened to Nala, Noel explained that they were going to have their work cut out because the paw may need plastic surgery to reconstruct it. Nala was missing her main stopper pad, which is the pad that dogs walk on. Further to this, unfortunately, the bandage ate into the pad causing it to die and due to the absence of blood supply, it caused the two toes to die. To find out whether a reconstruction was possible, Noel visited his specialist soft tissue centre.Dr Laurent Findji assured Noel that it would be possible to reconstruct the paw if it came to it. But before any potential reconstruction surgery could be done, Noel needed to stem the infection and let the foot heal. He surgically removed the dead toes and used manuka honey, which has antibacterial properties and would keep the wound moist so that the tissue in there would get a chance to grow. Once this was done Nala went home to continue to heal, and then would return to see what needed to be done further to construct her a new paw.

Outcome: Six weeks later, the family returned with Nala so Noel could see whether she was ready for plastic surgery to reconstruct her paw. On looking at her foot, Noel was delighted, Nala had recovered so well that she didn’t require any further treatment at all. Part of the missing stopper pad had grown back! Noel had never seen anything like it before.

We love it when biology throws a positive curve ball – simple is always best. If there’s a simple solution you absolutely do that before you move onto anything complex. A wonderful outcome for a wonderful family. Have a full and happy life crazy Nala.