Hospital for Small Animals

Agility dog returns to competing following catastrophic injury to her leg

Young dog secures her first competition rosette following reconstructive surgery

Three-year-old Ella, a Border collie with a promising agility career, is back to competing after the successful reconstruction of one of her hind legs. 

Just nine months after suffering what veterinary surgeons described as a devastating injury, Ella has secured her first rosette in a local agility competition. 

Photos of border collie dog and xrays of her injured leg before and after surgery

Freak accident 

Ella was out for a usual morning walk with her owner Hannah Wade at the beginning of March when the accident occurred.  

Ms Wade said: “I suddenly heard a loud scream from Ella. I had no idea what had happened. She was unable to stand up and I could immediately see that she had severely damaged one of her back legs. I picked her up and ran back to the van and took her straight to the vets.” 

Ella’s vets X-rayed her leg and, on seeing the extent of the damage, immediately referred her to our Hospital for Small Animals for treatment. 

Severe fractures 

Orthopaedic veterinary surgeon, Sofia Garcia-Pertierra Garcia, confirmed that Ella’s right tibia and fibula had broken in several places – known as a comminuted fracture – and would need surgery.  

She operated on Ella the following day and placed two large metal plates with screws to stabilise the bones. The young dog was then closely monitored by clinicians and nurses for three days, before being discharged to her owners’ care to recuperate. 

Full recovery 

Following two months of strict cage rest, Ella was allowed short walks on the lead. In the following months, following guidance at her regular check ups, her level of exercise was slowly increased as her leg and muscles strengthened. Ella returned to agility training in August and competing in September, securing her first rosette at the Woodside Dog Agility Club Christmas Show held in West Lothian at the beginning of December. 

If you look at Ella now, you would never know that she had injured her leg so badly. She loves taking part in agility and it would have been heart-breaking if she was unable to do it anymore. I cannot thank the vets and nurses at the Dick Vet enough for everything that they have done.

Ms Hannah WadeElla's owner


We are delighted that Ella has made a full recovery and is back to competing in a sport that she loves.

Dr Sofia Garcia-Pertierra GarciaOrthopaedic Veterinary Surgeon, Dick Vet Hospital for Small Animals 


About the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies   

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is a one-of-a-kind centre of excellence in clinical activity, teaching and research. Our purpose-built campus, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Pentland Hills Regional Park, is home to more than eight hundred staff and almost fourteen hundred students, all of whom contribute to our exceptional community ethos.   

The School comprises:   

The Roslin Institute   

The Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems   

The Roslin Innovation Centre   

The Hospital for Small Animals   

Equine Veterinary Services   

Farm Animal Services   

Easter Bush Pathology   

The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education   

We represent the largest concentration of animal science-related expertise in Europe, impacting local, regional, national and international communities in terms of economic growth, the provision of clinical services and the advancement of scientific knowledge.