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Lachie falls on his feet


Lachie is an eight year old Cypriot poodle-pointer cross. He was found in a roadside ditch one Sunday in March 1995 in the village of Lolossi near the British Forces’ Headquarters at Episkopi in Cyprus. He was emaciated to the point of starvation and had been hit by a car.

Immediately obvious injuries included a shattered and dislocated right hind leg. He also had some longer term injuries with shotgun pellets around his head and a damaged left eye. It also soon became apparent that he suffered epileptic fits, possibly as a result of his head injuries. All in all he was in an extremely sorry state, infested with fleas and ticks and within days of death.

Recommended

On the day he was found he was immediately taken by car to Paphos, where a local vet recommended euthanasia there and then. However it was decided to give Lachie one more chance. He was operated upon immediately, being castrated and having his leg relocated and pinned down the length of his leg bones. He was taken home the following day in a very fragile condition, with no certainty that he could survive. He was bedded down in the garage and the ticks were removed - over two dozen of them. Flea treatment had to wait until he was stronger but consequently he had to be isolated from the other family pets.

He had to be carried to the garden for toilet visits and the immediate priority was to build up his strength through an intensive feeding regime - sausage and eggs every morning and double helpings of dog food later in the day. Fortunately his appetite had remained unaffected and this was the one aspect of his treatment programme which he appeared to relish.

One week after his surgery he was taken to the British military vet at Episkopia. X-rays showed that the surgery had been unsuccessful - his leg had dislocated again and the pin had moved. Amputation was considered as an option but it was decided to wait and see whether circulation continued and the leg might heal. Fortunately it did so, albeit very slowly.

Treated

Over the next weeks, Lachie slowly gained a little weight and strength. He was treated for fleas and introduced to the rest of the family - three dogs and a cat. His leg remained very weak, but he was clearly learning to adapt, very well in fact - to the extent of clambering over a six feet high chain link fence to take himself for walkies. He also provided a few clues about his survival techniques - most notably his obvious enthusiasm for crunching up the large garden snails found in that part of the world. He had his inoculations and flew to the UK from Larnaca Airport in February 1996, going through six months’ quarantine with his new brother and sister at Birdlip near Gloucester.

Today, Lachie is a well-rounded, happy and contentedly spoiled pet. His leg remains dislocated and weak, but he has come to terms completely with his injury and still loves his runs in the countryside. He does have occasional epileptic attacks and probably will do for the rest of his life. He adores people, despite the horrific treatment he has suffered at their hands in the past and all in all now has a thoroughly happy life.