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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Chester the Cheetah's Knee Surgery

Hello. I am the new vet for CCF, I have been here two weeks.
Chester, one of CCF's resident cheetahs, was taken to the Otjiwarongo Vet Clinic on Friday for knee surgery. He had been limping for about three weeks. After taking x-rays last week, it was determined that surgery was needed.
Chester on his way to the Clinic
Chester initially had surgery in February of 2008, when he was found as a wild-caught cheetah in a trap cage, where he had been for almost a month, with a fractured femur (leg bone) near the knee. A bone plate was put in at that time to repair the fracture, and he has been doing well since then. A few weeks ago he started limping quite badly on the leg that was previously broken, and we anaesthetised him on 12 July to try and assess what was going on. Radiographs were taken at Axel Hartmann’s clinic in Otjiwarongo which showed loosening of some of the screws in the plate. Also the knee was very stiff with reduced range of motion and there was significant inflammation in the knee joint. We decided to anaesthetise him and remove the bone plate, since the fracture had healed long ago. The surgery was done on 22 July and was successful. The entire plate and all the screws were taken out (photo - left), with myself and Dr. Hartmann performing the surgery and Rosie Glazier, our veterinary nurse, monitoring anaesthesia.
Chester just after surgery.
Chester is now recovering in a small quarantine enclosure and seems to be feeling better already. He is standing and walking on the leg and is eating well. He is receiving antibiotics and pain medications daily in his food. He doesn't have many sponsors. If you would like to sponsor him, please click here.

Gabriella Flacke, DVM, MVSc

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