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What is Surgical Fracture Repair?

The majority of bone fractures that occur in dogs can be treated via a simple bone realignment and containment within a cast or splint. However, some breaks are not clean enough to simply fit back together via traction and require surgery to properly heal and allow for a return to a normal quality of life.

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Surgical Fracture Repair Procedure in Dogs

As with most major operations, the dog will have to be anaesthetized before the surgery can begin. The vet will then make an incision along the affected area. When fixing the bone into place, there are two main methods that are used dependent on the type of fracture present. External fixing uses screws to attach the bone fragments to a metal bar placed on the outside of the leg - these screws penetrate through the skin, bone and any other tissue in the way. This is most commonly used on complex fractures of the limbs. Internal fixing on the other hand, means that the screws are retained entirely within the body and merely secure the bone fragments to each other (or to an internal plate), instead of piercing through the skin to affix to an external mount. This is most commonly used on fractures in the torso (especially the spine) and head. 

In total, the surgery will usually last for between one and three hours, with especially sensitive fractures, such as those of the spine, taking the longest to repair.

Efficacy of Surgical Fracture Repair in Dogs

Surgical repair of fractures is the most effective way to deal with broken bones in animals. Whereas humans can often make do with a simple splint and cast (because of our ability to understand the necessity of restricting movement of the offending body part), animals are far more likely to require a solution that can withstand a degree of force. Provided that the fixtures are not knocked out of place by violent movement, the dog should make a steady recovery from surgery.

Surgical Fracture Repair Recovery in Dogs

Following the operation, the bone should knit back together and heal fairly quickly. Although this process is much faster in younger animals, most fractures in adult dogs will be fully healed after two to three months. When it comes to aftercare, there are several main areas that owners will have to pay attention to. First is stopping the dog from chewing or otherwise disturbing the wound, bandages or fixtures - this is most easily accomplished via the use of an E-collar and restricting their exercise.  Second is maintaining the bandages themselves. Whilst the vet will apply and adjust fresh bandages during follow-up visits, it is important for the owners to keep the bandages sanitary in order to prevent infection. To accomplish this, they must keep the dog's living area sanitary and prevent them from picking up dirt and bacteria from the floor. It is also worth bearing in mind that painkillers will have to be administered to prevent further discomfort.

Follow-up visits will be required throughout the duration of the healing process, as the vet will need to check on the progress the bone is making and eventually surgically remove the fixtures. Additionally, they will most likely want to conduct physiotherapy so that the dog can maintain a full range of motion  and not incur additional injuries once they are allowed to exercise normally.

Cost of Surgical Fracture Repair in Dogs

Due to the amount of time, equipment and aftercare required, a typical surgical repair for a leg fracture can cost upwards of $2,000. This price can be considerably higher depending on the age of the dog and any other medical conditions they may have.

Dog Surgical Fracture Repair Considerations

One of the main risks of surgery for fractures in dogs is the requirement for general anaesthetic during the operation. Additionally, owners may want to consider the possibility that their dog will not heal particularly well (especially if older) and may require further treatment. That said, a surgical solution to broken bones is often the only practical way forward when dealing with many types of bone fractures.

Surgical Fracture Repair Prevention in Dogs

Whilst owners cannot be expected to monitor their dog constantly in order to prevent accidents that can cause broken bones, there are some things they can do to mitigate the risk. One of the most effective ways is to make sure their dog is receiving a good, nutritional diet that will create strong, healthy bones. This is especially true early in the dog's life, when their skeletal structure is still developing. Another measure that can be taken is to ensure that any large drops and precarious ledges in their property are blocked off. Much like young children, dogs are naturally curious and left to their own devices can blunder into a number of hazards around the home.

Surgical Fracture Repair Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Hunny
Pit bull/lab mix
13 Weeks
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

broken leg

My 13 week old puppy broke her leg. I went to the vet he said that since it was towards her hip he would need to do a surgery. The surgery was him putting two pins in the leg. They gave me a cone for her head so she doesnt chew or mess with it. I Have restricted her walking. I've been watching her and giving her pain medicine. Is there anything else I should do?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. If Hunny broke her femur, that is a bone that requires surgical repair, unfortunately. It isn't clear from your email if she has had the surgery ? If not, she'll need to have surgery for that bone to heal. If the surgery has been performed, it would be best to follow up with your veterinarian on any after-care instructions. I hope that all goes well for her.

Hello,
My 12 weeks old puppy broke his femur (he is only 5lbs). He had surgery with pins in his leg, but they put a splint on him covering the full leg, which is huge and he cannot even stand up and keep his balance to potty. All the dogs I know who had a broken femur did not have a splint or cast. Should I be worried?

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Gunner
Mini Australian Shepterrier
4 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Pain

My mini Aussie was hit by a car. Or so we think. He has a severe break in his hip. In 3 places. Our local vet wouldn’t even preform surgery because of the severity. Because of it being broken 3 times, is amputation a better option? We don’t want to have to have surgery again if it doesn’t have good odds of lasting, because we simply cannot afford it. But don’t want to take a good leg since surgery is an option. What should we do?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Without examining Gunner and seeing the x-rays I cannot say how severe the break is (I know it is very severe), most likely internal and possibly external fixation may be required to stabilise the leg to allow healing. You could try to see an Orthopaedic Specialist to get Gunner the best care, but amputation is a cost effective ‘cure all’ and he will recover quickly from it as well, you need to make a decision based on consultation with your Veterinarian and any other Veterinarians or Specialists you consult. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Bella
Pomeranian
6 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

5 months ago my pomerian had surgery on her hind left leg. Took her to the vet and she broke her leg. They were worried bone fragments may break off and kill her. Surgery was recommended. Had the surgery 5 months ago. They placed a steel plate and screws in her. Just about 2 days ago she would not use her leg at all. Took her to family vet and they did a x-ray. It showed the steel plate broke in half after having for 5 months. Is this normal? I know we paid an arm and leg so she could keep her leg. Now they are saying that she needs the plate fixed and they exspect me to pay again. I don't think I should be responsible. The plate broke in half no fault of my pomerian or myself. What should I do? Surgery scheduled for tomorrow in am.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Bella certainly requires another surgery and it should be carried out, whether or not the fault is of your Veterinarian or not is something I cannot comment on as I am not there to make an opinion. If you feel that there has been any wrong doing you should speak with your Veterinarian, ask them for pictures of the broken plate and ask them to explain the procedure, x-rays, choice of plate etc… You need to keep in your mind that sometimes plates, screws or pins may fail for a variety of reasons; unfortunately I cannot say why in this case. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Had the surgery. So far so good. I am praying this works. Thanks for your help and time.

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Maia
Yorkie
8 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Medication Used

Carprofen

Maia fell off the couch and is not in any pain. She is limping and the vet recommended we get surgery. I cannot afford surgery. Can this injury heal with a splint or a cast?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Without examining Maia and checking her x-rays I cannot determine whether I would recommend surgery or not; I understand that surgery can be expensive but a cast or splint isn’t as miraculous as many think. You should think about visiting another Veterinarian for a second opinion, but if money is tight amputation may be the cheaper alternative. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Kika
Bernese Mountain Dog
6 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

My dog was hit by a car 3 years ago and had to have a metal plate installed. They told us it didnt need to removed. She healed perfectly and could use her leg normally. During this year i noticed she was slightly limping but mostly was still using her leg. I went to the vet with her and they said she slightly hurt her leg again but that it will heal on its own if i toned down her activity. But two days ago she completely stopped using it. What should i do?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
With limb injuries, sometimes a simple approach like strict rest will work; however, if there are plates and screws in place it would be advisable to have an x-ray of the affected limb done to see if there are any anomalies in the plate or bone. You should return to your Veterinarian for a more in depth examination to check all possibilities. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Cuda
Labrador
14 Weeks
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Fractures
broken bones
whinning in pain
Femur
Hip

My Puppy Cuda who is 14 weeks, was backed over by a truck. He has a broken left hip, fractured right hip, and the ball on top of the left femur was broken off, plus some fractures in the pelvis. He is a purebred English Black Lab so is strong. we took him in right away they kept him there and did surgery but only removed the femur ball and ground the femur bone to make it smooth where the ball broke off and sewed him back up they said that the fractures will all heal themselves. Do we need to take him to a specialist? and will the fractures really heal on their own?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
It depends on the type of fractures, if a fracture is incomplete (part way through the bone) then strict rest would be sufficient but if the fracture is complete (all the way through the bone) or comminuted (broken into multiple fragments) then fixation surgery would be required. Your Veterinarian would have acted based on their observation of the x-rays taken; I cannot say whether or not the correct course of action was taken without seeing the x-rays, but if you have doubts have another Veterinarian look them over in your area. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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TABIAS
Chihuahua X PUG
14 Months
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

I ASKED A QUESTION REGARDING TREATMENT FOR A FRACTURE AT TOP OF DOG'S LEG. MY DOG'S LEG WAS COMPLETELY WRAPPED INCLUDING PAW IN BANDAGE. DID NOT HAVE TO GO BACK TO VET FOR 3 WEEKS. WHEN BANDAGE WAS REMOVED VIA ANESTHETIC. IT REVEALED THE LEG WAS SO BADLY ULCERATED, LEG HAD TO BE AMPUTATED.WAS THIS THE CORRECT MEANS OF WRAPPING LEG, OR SHOULD IT HAVE BEEN PLASTERED, OR WAS 3 WEEKS TOO LONG BEFORE BEING CHECKED.SINCE AMPUTATION HIS CONDITION IS OK. BUT THIS GORGEOUS ACTIVE LITTLE DOG HAS LOST HIS LEG.. HE IS NO LONGER THAT HAPPY LITTLE DOG.
ANXIOUSLY AWAITING YOUR RESPONSE
BEVERLEY

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'm sorry that little Tabias has had this happen to him. Without knowing more about the type of fracture or the bandage, it is hard for me to comment on his condition. Splints are commonly used to treat fractures other than those higher up that can't be isolated and immobilized. It is important to keep the bandage clean and dry throughout the procedure to prevent ulcerations and infections, and we typically give instructions to have it rechecked on a regular basis to check for odd smells, pain, slippage or other problems. The good news is that dogs typically do quite well after an amputation and adapt quickly. If you are concerned about the care that he received, each state has a veterinary licensing board that holds veterinarians accountable for their standards of care, and any client is able to report a problem and have it investigated. I hope that Tabias continues to do well.

Thank you so much, for your response Michele, and your kind words toward Tabias
I must add that there was an Odour coming from his leg by the time bandage was to be removed. Any wonder, part of his paw had to be removed, due to ulceration, and most of his leg had skin off it. Vet once again bandaged leg, this time, leaving an opening in the bottom. bandage was removed the following week, once again, requiring anesthetic. His Paw had worsened. Vet said there was no other alternative other than to amputate. I think I will go to the Licensing board, because I feel if it had have been checked within the 1st week, Tobias may still have his leg. Thank you also for including this advice.
Sincerely Beverley

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Jager
Chocolate lab
2 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

broken bones

My dog has suffered a complete lateral malleolus fracture. I am looking for the best surgery options for him. I have taken him to the vet and done all the initial and emergency care for him but I'm not sure how to proceed.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Generally surgical fixation would be the best course of action, the approach however would vary depending on various different factors however wiring/pinning the fracture closed is a common approach but sometimes external fixation may be required. You would need to speak with the Veterinarian which would carry out the surgery to determine the best course of action. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Ellie
Colliexcocker
5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Medication Used

none

My dog broke her shoulder on both sides 5 weeks ago, operated on installed plates and screws. Did everything to aid recovery as told by surgeon,now has a swelling on elbow and still limps. She only started 2 x 5 min walks per day 1 week ago,now have to stop exercising her. She is very miserable ,having been a very active 5 year old collie x cocker. Can you advise re above.

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Bodrou
Catahoula
11 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Broken jaw xray showed

My 11 month pup has 2 breaks in right jaw. Can he live normal life with surgery.? Everyone is telling me putting him to sleep would be better cause he won't live a quality life
I need second opinion please

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
If the fractures are managed properly, there is a good chance of a favourable prognosis but it all really depends on the severity and how your Veterinarian feels about the surgery; consulting a Veterinary Dentist or an Orthopaedic Specialist may be beneficial to help you make a decision. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

my 2 year old dog had fracture on front of bone of left front leg. Vet bandaged leg tightly, and said to return in two weeks to have bandage changed. Dog had to be anesthetized to remove bandage. on seeing the paw which had ulcerated so badly, and leg had become badly infected { I might add, it was a perfectly healthy leg that got bandaged. not a mark on it}Vet re bandaged leg and said to return in 1 week. Another anesthetic, and removing bandage, revealed and Leg had to be amputated. what would cause the leg to ulcerate so badly. It's been an absolute tragedy it has also cost almost $3.000

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Rosie
Pit bull
1 Year
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Limb Swelling

My one year old puppy has a fractured femur, the vet said it's severe that I would be taking a chance at surgery to pin it because there can be a chance she may have nerve damage and that would lead to amputation. What are the chances she would heal and be ok with the pinning of the surgery? I really don't want to consider amputation

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Without examining Rosie and seeing the x-rays I cannot really give you any indication of prognosis; there are many variables involved including the type of fracture (complete or incomplete, transverse or oblique), number of fragments (if comminuted), exact location on the femur among other variables. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.acvs.org/small-animal/fractured-limbs

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Lacy
Chihuahua
5 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Pain

Medication Used

Gabapentin

Complete diaphyseal fracture of proximal tibia and fibula on my 5 month old 6lb Chihuahua. 1st quote for surgery was 4600.00. Would this be an amputee case if we can’t come up with the funds to get the necessary surgery?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
WIthout seeing Lacy, or the x-rays, it isn't possible for me to comment on her situation specifically, but fractures of the tibia/fibula can heal quote well in young dogs with splinting, and amputation may not be necessary. If you aren't sure of the quoted price and options given, it may be a good idea to have a second opinion before electing amputation.

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Dexter
Maltese
7 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

broken leg

My Maltese (7 months old) tried to jump onto the bed yesterday and fell backwards, breaking the fibula in his left rear leg. We went to the vet and they did xrays, splinted it, gave pain meds and referred us to a specialist for surgery. Cost of the surgery is $3,200 - $3,600 in addition to the $600 we already paid the vet. They are presenting us with no other options.

Is surgery the only way to repair a broken fibula?

Matthew

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
The answer is: “it depends’; a fracture can be either incomplete where there is only a partial fracture or complete where the fracture goes across the bone; also the fracture may be transverse (side to side straight), oblique (at an angle) or comminuted (in multiple pieces). If the fracture is complex, then surgery would be required, if the fracture is simple (incomplete transverse) then splinting or casting may be enough; the fibula is not as important as the tibia for weight bearing etc… but still needs to be fixated as appropriate. Please check the link below which is a useful guide on fractures of limbs. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.acvs.org/small-animal/fractured-limbs

My 9 moth old Pomeranian broke his left front leg and he needs surgery. How risky will the surgery be? How high are the chances that he might die in the surgery? should I be worried?

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Suki
Pomeranian
6 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Jan.24/18 : My pommy broke her leg when she was 2 months old. In my opinion and the opinion of my regular Vet, the surgery performed was not good. You can feel the plate sticking out from her leg, its only skin that's covering the tip of the plate.It did not bother her so we left it alone and didn't want to put her through anymore suffering.Her little leg (front)is crooked and it never did change. Its been over 6 years. she is constantly picking at her leg to the point she makes it bleed.I would wrap it and it would heal, but now she is having issues with the top half of the plate,thats towards her breast bone, it looks like she has been picking at it.She just started to limp on the leg, she won't put it down.she only started limping on it today. I'm not sure what is going on, but I am certain the plate and screws in her leg is causing issues.I am so scared the vet we are taking her to will tell me the plate and screws has to come out. I have not read or seen any post of anyone having to have the plate and screws removed. Please tell me what to expect. She can't see the vet till end of week. Thank you.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
For your description (I haven’t examined Suki or seen x-rays) it seems that the plate along with the screws will need to be removed if it is causing this much irritation and discomfort for her; I cannot give you any specific details because I haven’t seen her or the x-rays but prepare yourself for surgery. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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MELLO
Pug
11 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Pain

MY PUG HAD LEFT HIND LEG CRUCIA LIGAMENT REPAIR AND KNEE REPAIR. HAD F/U WITH ORTHO SURGEON AT 2 WEEKS. WENT YESTERDAY FOR 6 WEEK CHECKUP AND VET FOUND THAT HER FEMUR OF SAME LEG IS BROKEN. I DONT RECALL ANY JUMPING OR INJURY. SHE WILL WEIGHT BEAR AND VET SAID KNEE/LIGAMENT IS HEALING WELL AND HE HAS NEVER SEEN THIS HAPPEN BEFORE IN A DOG WITH NO WITNESSED INJURY.HE SAID IT IS TOO LATE TO DO SURGERY AND TOLD ME TO CONTINUE REST/DECREASED ACTIVITY AND F/U IN 3 WEEKS. HE WAS PUZZLED. I AM CURIOUS TO KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IF THIS CAN HEAL SOMEWHAT NORMALLY??

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
It depends by what you mean by broken femur as there are different types of fractures; an incomplete transverse fracture would most likely heal with rest whereas a comminuted fracture would require surgery or amputation. I’ve put a link below to an article showing different types of fractures. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.acvs.org/small-animal/fractured-limbs

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pork chop
Smooth Fox Terrier
4 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

broken bone

HI

I have a small 16 pound, very active smooth coast terrier. We adopted him from a foster family. His pervious owner broken his femur and was removed and put in a foster home. we decided to adopt him though he wasn't putting any weight on his back leg. we found out from our vet that the pins and plate had become loose and the femur was misaligned. We opted for the second surgery .it has been two weeks. I had been keeping him very contained until one evening my teenage daughter was holding him in her lap (he would normally lay there and enjoy the petting ) but the door bell rang and the other dog bolted out and He jumped off her lap with a yelp. I just got back from the vet and the tech took an xray. The pins have come out and it is not aligned. Is is possible to have a 3rd surgery, I am not sure if his little bones can take more screws. Is there other options? something like a sleeve that can encase the bone and still have blood supply ? Is amputation the only option? Let me know if there is any new techniques we can try . I am waiting for the vet return call.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
The decision to perform another surgery to fix the plates or to amputate would be at your Veterinarian’s discretion, your Veterinarian may refer you to an Orthopaedic Specialist since this would be the third surgery. Each case is different and needs to be assessed as such, without examining Pork Chop and seeing x-ray I cannot really comment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Roxie
chihuahua mix
6 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none

My chihuahua mix broke her leg Monday night, had to have a plate placed due to the clean break of the ulna and radius...I got to bring her home today and I’m scared to let her do anything...I either hold her or keep her in her pen because I’m
Scared of the sutures ripping or her breaking open the surgery site. She has put weight on it and is on anti inflammatory med as well as an antibiotic and trazadone and pain med...she has suture removal scheduled 2 weeks from today...how long does it take for her to be able to actually walk on it while still in the healing process?? I’m a nervous wreck and don’t know how to deal with this whole thing!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
If there was a complete fracture of the radius and ulna, I would keep her rested for a few weeks; crate rest is best and to take her outside on a lead to do her business. Your Veterinarian should have gone over everything with you when she was discharged from the clinic. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jackson
Catahoula Leopard
11 Weeks
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

My puppy was 8 weeks old when he broke his femur, and we paid for surgery to replace it. He is now 11 weeks I guess he was too active or something g happened and the plate has moved slightly and it hasn’t healed yet, we just got X-rays done this week, the vet said to return in 2 weeks and STRICT test for another X-ray to see how it is doing and what further action should be taken. I guess I’m trying to expect every possible thing. When puppies this young get plates and screws are they expected to be removed? If the plate moved and the bone isn’t perfectly aligned is there a chance it will still heal without another surgery? Will i still have to get the screws removed? I was never told that he would have to go under again to remove any plates or screws but I’ve been seeing t everywhere and i already spent an arm and a leg to get this surgery, and don’t really know what to expect, thanks

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without knowing more about the fracture location and type of repair that was done, it is difficult to say what exactly will need to be done, but we don't typically need to remove plates or screws unless they are causing problems. When you have the x-ray rechecked, your veterinarian will be able to give you a better idea as to what the next step will need to be for Jackson. I hope that everything heals well for him.

My dog judah who is a shitzu was struck by a car and has a broken leg. The vet took xray and said surgery is needed,hhowever we do not have 2,000 for surgery😩. The vet says that a splint will not help. What can we do meanwhile? Do we just continue giving judah pain meds until we can get surfery done? What happens if he is without the surgery to long.😩

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Molly
Shih Tzu
11 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

broken leg

Our dog was hit by a car and has broken both bones in her hind leg, the vet recommended surgery which involves a 16 hour trip, and an estimated $3500. We opted to have it splinter and hope it would heal. After 2 weeks she has been x-rayed and the bones are not healing the vet said the alternative is amputation. I'm torn because I don't want for her to lose her leg but the surgery would also be a huge financial strain as well as time missed from work for the trip. Can a dog have a good quality of life with 3 legs? Thank you

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Dogs do quite well after an amputation, typically - they tend to adjust very well to having 3 legs, and it seems to be harder on their people than it usually is on them! If that is your veterinarians recommendation, it seems a viable alternative to travelling. I hope that everything goes well for him.

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Jack
Pomeranian
9 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Leg fract

Nine weeks ago our 7 month old Pomeranian mix had radius/ ulna fracture repair with bone plate and screws. He has been on exercise restriction since his surgery. His next recheck appointment is in a week. The fracture has not been x-rayed since his surgery. Should it be x-rayed before he is released for regular activity?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
It is good practice to take an x-ray to be on the safe side to check for any movement especially if there are any signs of pain or discomfort presenting; you should discuss this with your Veterinarian to determine if they feel it is necessary in this case or not. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Woofy
Pomeranian
12 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

N/A

my dog just had tibia bone fracture surgery and is on the road to recovery. however the vet suggested to remove the metal plate and 6 screws after three months.
Is this necessary? Will keeping the plate in his leg cause any issues in the future?
The metal plate they used was slightly bigger so as to secure his bone fracture.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
It really depends on the severity of the fracture and type of fixation used, some plates and screws can be left behind and others cannot. Generally plates and screws are left in place and are only removed if the plate moves or is causing an issue; if a larger plate was used or there is some other issue with the surgery the plate may need to be removed to be on the safe side, but you should discuss this with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Stella
Vizsla
11 Months
Serious condition
-1 found helpful
Serious condition

Hello - my dog has a fracture in in her radial bone (forearm, front leg). It appears to be a hairline, we had xrays. My vet said maybe go see orthopedic but he's not sure. I'd love another opinion of what to do with her!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Most likely Stella would do well with strict rest and a splint or cast; but due to their size and energy, your Veterinarian may be wondering if it is best to have some firm stabilisation of the fracture to be on the safe side. The specific location of the fracture and any points of insertion affected may cause issues in the future if not stabilised; if your Veterinarian is recommending a visit to a Specialist, a half way measure may be to send a copy of the x-rays to a company like PetRays who will give you a report on their findings. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://petrays.com/

My 8month old puppy had surgery yesterday for a fracture in her hind leg. The surgery went well, but the vet sent her hime with no cast or dressing over the stiches. The stitches are exposed to open air. Is that normal? Is my dog supposed to have a cast or dressing to cover the stiches?

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Rev
Australian Shepherd
3 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

rod petruding
broken leg

My Australian Shepherd broke his Tibia and Fibula in half when he escaped the yard(the bottom of the leg was hanging and twirling when he came home) in February of 2017. We chose surgery and he endured a 6+ hour surgery in which a rod was inserted into the middle of his bone and screws were put in as well. He puts weight on the leg when walking on a leash but rarely while at home after the surgery and now a year and a few months later, I was feeling around and could feel that the rod has worked its way out about an inch. We have an appointment with our vet in 2 weeks (we moved and it is a 15 hour drive back to our vet) for x-rays and whatever procedure is needed to be performed but I am nervous. Are the only options we are facing removal of the rod or amputation? Are there other possible options? Thank you in advance for sharing your advice and/or experiences with me =0)

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
If Rev is using the leg when walking and generally doing well, it is unlikely that the leg will need to be amputated. Without seeing him, or x-rays, obviously I can't say that for sure, but it is somewhat common to have those rods removed after orthopedic surgery. Your veterinarian will be able to see as well if there are any problems with the screws that required more extensive surgery, but these things are generally repairable. I hope that all goes well for him and that he is more comfortable once all of this is resolved.

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Gizmo
Shih Tzu
11 Weeks
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Limping, welping when being moved,

Medication Used

Metacam

I have an 11 week old Shih Tzu who has a fractured femur. According to the Veternarian, it’s a clean fracture. She told me my options are surgery, which I can’t afford, and strict crate rest for 6-8 weeks. Will crate rest help heal the bone? Is there anything I can do at home to help my puppy heal? There’s no way I can afford a $4300 surgery.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
A femoral fracture is a tough break, as it isn't possible to isolate that bone with a splint so that it will heal. If you are unable to afford surgery, which would be that best route for Gizmo, the other option is strict cage rest and see how the bone heals. It may or may not, and time will tell how she heals. The only thing that you can do at home is follow the instructions for strict cage rest, and not let her run around and move that bone while it is trying to heal.

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