Tough break, but Babe on the mend
By DAVID BRASCH
JASON Beck reckons it is one of the worst breaks he has ever seen.
Renald Attard was adamant though … it had to be done.
That’s the story of Belvedere Babe, the Spring Gun-Bogie Beltah bitch, a winner of 19 races and placed 32 times for $80,000 in stakes from a marathon 126 race starts.
Way back in April, Belvedere Babe was turned sideways at the first turn at Albion Park crashing to the track and shattering her near side front leg. Renald’s brother Martin had taken the bitch to Albion Park to race and it was he who rushed her to the North Lakes Vet Clinic for Jason Beck to care for.
“It was what we call a crushed ice fracture,” said Jason. “The forearm bone is about 30 cm long. She had about two centremetres at the top and bottom of that bone that was not smashed.
“When a break is that bad we don’t have a lot of options. Normally we would plate and screw that sort of break binding the broken bones. But in this case, we had to put in a plate the length of the normal bone and let nature takes it healing course.
“Bones are a living tissue and need blood supply to heal. We put a frame on the outside of the leg to hold everything in place.”
Renald and Martin had to keep Belvedere Babe, or Meg as she is known around their kennels, on the lead for the next 12 weeks.
“It healed up fantastic,” said Renald. “The first time we put her off in a yard, she went crazy. We had to stop her instantly.”
Belvedere Babe was not only the recipient of expert medical and home care, but she was also part of Racing Queensland’s newly improved rebate scheme.
Jason Beck has worked closely with Racing Queensland to ensure the scheme is utilised.
“It is a really good initiative,” he said. “Until recently, the scheme allowed for a rebate of $2000 for such operations. But this has since changed to $5000 and is being very well accepted within the industry.
“We have seen a massive increase in the uptake of the scheme. I will be very interested to see if this continues within the next 12 months.”
Jason said he was well aware the industry had a number of barriers in the past that sometimes prevented such intricate surgery being done of injured dogs like Belvedere Babe.
“The cost involved, the effort involved and the factor of will the dog get back to the racetrack to the same level of performance,” he said.
“The cost factor has been taken away now. The effort to get all this happening is also being looked at. It is a big commitment by owners and trainers.
“To me, this is an incredible scheme. There is zero excuse for dogs suffering such injuries not to be saved.”
Renald and Martin have breeding plans for Belvedere Babe.
“She’s been a very good dog to us,” said Renald. “She holds the record for the number of Masters victories at Albion Park on a Thursday night. We are now looking at what stud dogs we can mate her to.”
Pictured: North Lakes Veterinary Clinic Vet, Dr Jason Beck, with Belvedere Babe, now recuperating from a badly broken near side front leg.