A dog owner has admitted she feared the worst when vets revealed her precious pet had broken his neck in three places.

Carol Pilkington, from Chorley, Lancashire, said she heard a snap when her whippet-cross went ‘head over heels’ while playing in a field and has heaped praise on our expert veterinary team, who were able to heal her beloved pet.

Despite the happy outcome, Carol revealed she was stunned when Specialist Vet Graham Hayes initially told her the extent of the damage to four-year-old Gybe.

Carol explained: “Gybe was running in the field with his sister, Storm, when he went head over heels. We heard a snap but when we took Gybe to our local vets they thought it was a muscular problem, so gave him pain relief. After 10 days, Gybe wasn’t improving so we were referred to Kentdale and learned that Gybe had broken three vertebrae in his neck.

“We were shocked and even the specialist, Graham, was surprised Gybe had managed for so long like that. “We were very concerned and were expecting Graham to say there was nothing that could be done but he and the Kentdale team were fantastic, and Gybe has now fully recovered. We are so grateful and I would definitely recommend Kentdale Referrals to other pet owners.”

Expert Vet Graham, an RCVS Specialist in Small Animal Surgery, carried out the intricate surgery to repair and re-stabilise his seriously damaged spine.

Toby Gemmill, Managing Director at Kentdale and an RCVS and European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery (Orthopaedics), explained: “Gybe had suffered a comminuted fracture-luxation (broken in at least two places and dislocated) of the fourth cervical vertebra.

“One dorsal articular facet was fractured, the vertebral body was fractured into two major pieces, and the vertebral canal was narrowed as a result, compressing the spinal cord and the nerves.  The cervical spine was unstable and surgery was needed to stabilise the vertebrae to improve alignment and minimise the risk to the spinal cord from any instability during healing.

“Surgery went very well and we succeeded in stabilising the cervical spine using screws and bone cement. We placed four bicortical screws in Gybe’s C3 and C5 vertebrae, along with four short screws in the fragments of the C4 vertebra. Gybe has subsequently recovered really well. At his recent post operative check eight weeks after surgery he was managing walks of between 20 to 30 minutes a day with no neck pain reported.

“It’s a very good outcome and we’re delighted Gybe has made such excellent progress after his dramatic somersault accident in the field.”