Tails from Ralston Vet

November 1, 2012

Mac is Lucky

Filed under: Veterinary Care — Ralston Vet @ 2:23 pm
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On October 1st, an emergency came in. It was a very unique situation with a happy ending, we wanted to share Mac’s story with you.

Submitted by: Bob W


I’m “Elvis Mac Lucky,” a four-year old black Labrador retriever.  My family calls me “Mac”.  We live on a lake south of Papillion, and I spend lots of hours every week swimming, chasing tennis balls, and walking around the lake.  I have two little boys, Tyler who just turned 5, and Trevor, who is 3 years old.  Because Gerard and Erin, my Mom and Dad, both work, my “grandparents” next door, Bob and Mary, take care of me a lot of the time.  At dinner time, everyone comes home from work and school, and I get to go home to be with my boys.

I love when Bob and Mary have yard work to do, because I get to be free in the yard and lake.  They always throw the tennis ball for me, and I’d bring it back a million times if only they’d throw it that often.  I get so excited when the ball goes in the lake, because I love to run as fast as I can and jump as far as I can before hitting the water.  But that got me in trouble one awful Monday afternoon.  Bob threw the ball for me way out into the lake.  Even though it wasn’t the direct line to the ball, I decided if I took a detour off the dock, I’d get lots further lots faster to get that ball.  I forgot that Bob’s boat was tied up at the end of the dock, and didn’t even pay attention that it was in my way when I leaped off the dock.  Bad mistake.  I caught my left rear leg on the trolling motor skeg that was sticking out in front of the boat.  That’s the last thing I really remember because the pain was just incredible, and I found myself flailing in the water, terrified and confused.

Thankfully, Bob saw me crash, and raced to my rescue.  He jumped into the water and carried me all the way to the front of the house.  I know he was terrified, too, because I was really torn open, and blood was everywhere.  Thankfully, our neighbor was nearby.  He went and found Mary who was working on the community flower garden, so she could hurry home with the truck.  Bob bound my leg with towels and packing tape, and as soon as Mary got home we raced off to Ralston Vet.  The staff met us at the “emergency door” with a gurney, because Bob and Mary called ahead to say we were coming.

My new best friend is Dr. Jernigan.  He quickly realized how badly I was damaged, and advised Bob and Mary that there was little probability that my leg would heal properly even if we tried to save it.  The femoral biceps was totally severed, and the bone was fractured, as well.  I guess Bob and Mary were crushed to hear that amputation would be the most practical treatment.  We called my Dad, Gerard, and he was in shock with the news, also.  But everyone agreed what had to be done.  Dr. Jernigan assured us that I could be back to (almost normal) in a couple of weeks after amputation, and that made everyone feel better about the decision.  So, the team got to work on my leg right away.  I know they saved my life, and I really am normal old happy me after just a few weeks.

Amputating my back left leg took a few hours, and it took a few hours more before the anesthesia wore off.  I was up and walking on three legs the next morning.  I had wonderful, caring attention.  Everyone at Ralston Vets acted like I was their very own baby.    They did such a good job with my surgery, and they lavished love on me the whole time I was recovering.  They even gave me a squeaky stuffed animal to play with.  They must have known I love stuffed animals.  I almost always carry one around except when I’m chasing tennis balls.

The third day after my accident and surgery, I went home.  I was so happy to be home I ran down the stairs to go to the beach.  But Bob said I had to wait a few weeks before I could go into the lake again, so I ran back up the stairs.  It didn’t seem too tough to me, but Bob and Mary were amazed I could do that so soon and so easily on just three legs.  Recovery went very fast and seemed pretty easy for me after a few days.  I felt silly wearing that lampshade on my head, but everyone feared I might rip out my stitches if I without it.  In the end, even that part really didn’t bother me much, either.

After one week, the doctor pulled out the drain tube from my stitches, and said I was really doing well.  Everyone at Ralston Vet made a big fuss over me.  They said I was one of their favorite patients, and they made me feel like it, too.  Two weeks after surgery, I went back and had my stitches removed.  I stopped taking the pain medicines then, so I really felt like my old self quickly after that.  Now I get to run and walk around the lake every day.  Everyone at Hawaiian Village where I live knows each other by their dogs, and everyone by now seems to know my story.  People are amazed how quickly I healed, and how I’m running around just like the other dogs.  Just this week, I got to hang out with my boy Tyler at his 5th Birthday party, so I know we’re back to normal, now.

I guess I’m not the only dog in my neighborhood who has been injured jumping off a dock, so I’m going to try being more careful from now on.  I’m just so glad to be alive and running again, and I am so grateful for Dr. Jernigan and everyone at Ralston Vet for the wonderful care they gave me to make me better.  I know my family is relieved and grateful, too.  I get lots of hugs every day.  I’m so glad to be home, and now I won’t have to miss any of my boys’ birthday parties for many years to come.

Your best friend,



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