Published: 14:49, 07 July 2021
| Updated: 17:41, 07 July 2021
A "very lucky" puppy escaped death by millimetres thanks to Tunbridge Wells vets, after a 2ft tree branch ripped through her leg and came out the other side.
Unbelievable pictures show the inch and a quarter thick branch pointing up to the sky after getting wedged in the right thigh of Roxy, a whippet, during a woodland walk.
Warning: Graphic images below
The stick was a just a fraction away from severing a major artery in Roxy’s leg — and came to a rest on her sciatic nerve.
Senior veterinary nurse Anna Moran was part of the Vets Now emergency team who managed to surgically remove the stick without damaging either the artery or the nerve.
She says it was one of the most dramatic nights of her 12-year vet nursing career.
Anna, who manages the Vets Now pet emergency clinic in Tunbridge Wells, said: “In all my time working with animals I’ve never seen anything quite like this.
“It was a pretty extraordinary case, as the photos show.
“But amazingly, and probably against the odds, our vet Peter was able to remove the stick without doing any harm to Roxy and she was well enough to walk the next morning.
“Roxy’s owners thought they were going to lose her but her case shows that even in the bleakest of situations there’s always cause for hope if you act quickly.”
Roxy suffered the injury while out for a woodland walk in the Wadhurst area in May.
While darting in and out of the trees, she somehow managed to land on the branch, which then reared upwards and impaled her.
Despite the injury, brave Roxy managed to drag herself back to a path where her owners found her and scooped her up.
They carried her half a mile to their car and then set off immediately for the Vets Now emergency clinic where the team anaesthetised Roxy before cutting the branch at both sides.
Then they began the nerve-wracking task of prising out the remainder – knowing that if it snapped the consequences could be serious.
Fortunately, they were able to remove it whole and then went to work to flush out pieces of bark from the entry and exit wounds.
Roxy was kept in overnight for observation, and much to Anna’s surprise she recovered quicker than expected.
The next morning Roxy was transferred to her daytime vets before being allowed home.
Within days she was back to her normal self – doing “zoomies”, which is running at high speed in ever decreasing circles with her tail wagging frantically, and sniffing out food at a hundred paces.
Anna said: “We’re all so pleased that Roxy has made such a good recovery, she was a lovely little character who made a big impression on us all.
“The branch had penetrated through the quadriceps, very narrowly missing a major artery and had come to rest right up against the sciatic nerve prior to exiting the caudal aspect of the thigh.
“What an incredible escape she’s had! She’s a very lucky and very brave puppy.”