Eastbourne Museum Service; A Watching Brief Find…

Recently I was given a collection of bones to analyse from a watching brief conducted by Eastbourne Museum Service.

Within the small assemblage was a rather interesting bone; a dog tibia with rather gruesome pathology, which I thought I’d share with you all. I’m currently researching the type of disease, if you have any ideas do let me know.

Dog tibia 5 Dog tibia 4 Dog tibia 3 Dog tibia 2 Dog tibia 1

The context this bone came from possibly dates to the 19th Century or earlier, from Pashley Road in Eastbourne.

The dog must have been in considerable pain, the modification and infection had spread into the trabecular bone and may have been spreading through the body in the blood. As the articulating surface had been affected by the pathology it could be suggested that the dog was not able to use this leg. You can see from the photo’s that the fibula had begun to show pathological changes and it’s also likely that the patella and distal aspect of the femur were also affected.

Was this dog somebody’s pet? The disease (depending on its type) may have taken some time to progress to the stage it had, was somebody caring for it? Was it a working animal that was from ‘good stock’ and the owners took care of it for as long as they could?