A collie named Lad is back on his four furry feet after being hit by a train, according to the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Emergency and Referral Clinic, which treated him.
“For a dog with such extensive injuries, Lad has really made a remarkable recovery,” said Dena Lodato, DVM. “A large part of that is the work that Mr. Foster and his family and friends did to keep up with his rehab exercises after surgery.”
Lad’s owner, Tommy Foster, had been mowing the back lawn one afternoon while the young pup played outside. When Foster finished mowing, he called for Lad and heard a distant whine.
Foster and his neighbor set out to find Lad, eventually coming upon the dog on the train track, unable to stand, with cuts on his head. Lad had been hit by a train.
Foster first brought Lad to a local clinic where X-rays revealed a dislocated right femur and multiple pelvic fractures. The injuries were so severe that Foster was referred to MSU’s emergency veterinary clinic.
Dr. Lodato repaired Lad’s left side on a Monday and his right side on the following Wednesday. Although both complex surgeries were successful, Lad still had a long, difficult road to recovery ahead of him, according to MSU. This included rehab sessions (up to three times per day), suture removals and multiple checkups.
Foster, a retired professor of physiotherapy and former coach, said he took it easy on Lad at first.
“I was very cautious during our rehab sessions, always using the sling to support his back end and always taking small steps,” he said.
However, Lad eventually proved he was capable of more when one day he got out of the car all on his own to meet Nancy Bennett, CVT, a member of the emergency clinic’s surgical team. She had come to the parking lot to get Lad out of the car.
“We realized we’d been babying him, and he’d been ‘playing’ us a little bit,” Foster said.
After Bennett’s reassurance that Lad was indeed capable of pushing harder, Foster and the rehab team stepped up their efforts. From that point, Lad progressed quickly. Only a month after the accident, he was walking down the street and back.
Lad, according to MSU, has an excellent prognosis.