IT’s an injury commonly associated with football – but not with dogs.
However, Alfie, a three-year-old West Highland Terrier, managed to damage his cruciate ligament during a kickabout in the garden.
And while the injury can end a multi-million-pound footballer’s career, it was feared three-year-old Alfie may struggle to even walk again.
As the injury is seldom seen in animals, he needed specialist surgery to repair the damage.
But now his owners, John and Debbie Thomson, from Penicuik, are celebrating as following the op and months of recuperation, he is now said to be back in “light training”.
Debbie said: “Alfie was playing in the garden with our grandson, who absolutely loves visiting him, when he somehow twisted his leg. He was limping very badly, but we couldn’t understand what had happened.
“We were extremely concerned that he may never be able to run around and play again. We’ve had Alfie from when he was just eight weeks old and we adore him.
“It broke mine, John’s and our grandson’s heart to see him in such pain and not know how to help him.”
The Thomson’s took Alfie to the Vets4Pets surgery inside the Pets at Home store in Straiton, in an effort to solve the cause of Alfie’s pain – and it was there that the long road to recovery started.
Amy Dyce, owner and surgeon at the Vets4Pets practice, said: “We X-rayed Alfie’s leg and found that the cruciate ligaments were damaged.
“This is a classic injury that humans often sustain whilst playing football, and is not usually seen in dogs.
“The corrective surgery Alfie needed is very difficult and specialised, but without it he would struggle to lead a normal, happy life, as running and playing would cause him serious pain. During the operation on Alfie’s knee, the surgical team implanted wires and plates around the knee cap to stabilise and support the joint.
“Alfie was then put on a programme to help him get back to full physical health, starting with physio and short walks.”
Debbie added: “Now Alfie is close to a full recovery and should be fully fit by Christmas.
“Words cannot describe how grateful we are to the vets team for helping Alfie.
“They explained every part of the surgery, so we understood what was happening and all the nurses were so caring and kind.
“I cried when Alfie came out of the surgery. He’s like our baby and it is such a relief to know that he can now continue having a full and active life. He is out walking around the garden with John again, occasionally lightly playing with the football.
“It’s great to see him back to his happy little self. Now we’re looking forward to a long walk at Christmas.”