Japanese Shiba Inu’s are a relatively uncommon breed in the UK but their charms are obvious. They look like miniature foxes but are really confident, outgoing little dogs. They have a strong spirit and are an athletic breed that are inquisitive and playful. They were first introduced to the UK in 1985 but their ancestry can be traced back to 7000BC. Archaeological excavations in Japan show pottery and terracotta remains which depict small dogs of a similar appearance to the Shiba Inu.

When I was presented with Inca, a 6 month old Shiba Inu the other day, she looked anything other than playful and lively. While playing in the garden, she had pulled up lame on one of her forelegs and had not touched it down since. Manipulation of the leg produced not even a murmur from the stoic little dog but I could clearly feel a fracture. Inca was admitted for further investigation.

Under anaesthetic, I X-rayed her leg and the X-rays confirmed a fracture of the lower part of the radius and ulna, the bones of the forearm. The fracture was only just above the wrist joint and when measured, the diameter of the bone was only 4 mm. This fracture in a bone poses a serious problem. With so little bone available to repair, a pot or a pin was out of the question. We have a variety of sizes of bone plating equipment. The smallest kit has screws that are just 2mm in diameter. After discussion with the owner, we embarked on repair of the fracture.

The fractured bone fragments were reduced and held in place with a place with 4 screws above the fracture and 4 screws below. The 2mm kit is difficult to use as the size makes handling difficult but the post op X-rays showed the fracture to be well reduced. Support dressings were applied initially which have now been removed and with very strict rest for the next few weeks, we hope that Inca will make a full recovery.