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Jessica, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 568
Experience:  Licensed Veterinary Tech with 7 years experience in small animal practice
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My dog broke his leg, I took him to the vet and they ...

Customer Question

My dog broke his leg, I took him to the vet and they splinted it & sent us home with Tramadol 50mg and metacam. He is not resting, just lying there whimpering in pain. Barely slept all night, just whimpered. I wanted them to give him something stronger for pain but they wouldn''t. He just lies there sometimes wimpering, sometimes literally screaming. It''s torture. Called the emergency vet but they said that they couldn''t guarantee that they could give him something stronger either. My regular vet is not open until monday AM. Have had 2 surgeries on this dog with that vet and they always gave him a long acting shot to keep him comfortable. Am I just being a baby? Why won''t they give him somehting for the pain?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jessica replied 8 years ago.
Hi there! Your dog IS on two medications for pain, which is why they won't prescribe anything else at this point. Either way, he IS still going to be in some discomfort for a little while. You are NOT being a baby; I am sure your dog's crying is making you feel like crap! I know I would feel bad, too. FYI: Huskies and Eskimos tend to be HUGE babies about surgery and pain, in my experience. Not sure why that is, but it tends to be true.

You're going to have to give it a few days and be patient. If after a couple of days he still screams in pain, call your vet and tell them. Maybe the dosage can be increased on one or both of the meds (but it depends on what dosage they already have him on and what size dog this is, of course!). Broken bones hurt, even with pain meds. Soon he will feel better. Make sure he rests and is not walking around on it and follow all your vet's directions. I do have to yell at you for one thing: DO NOT GIVE ALCOHOL to your dog! You could potentially kill him! PLUS, he's on medications that you don't know if the alcohol will mess with. So please don't do that again.

Likely they DID give him a pain injection before or during the surgery, but typically they send home pills for the owners to give. That's pretty standard operating procedure.

I know with time your dog will stop crying; just be patient, loving, and keep him from moving around on that leg. The more rest he gets, the faster he will heal and the quicker this will all be over with! I wish you both the best of luck and a fast recovery!!

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Is it possible that they did something wrong when they splinted him? Maybe splinted it too tight? I had a cast once that was too tight, and after a miserable weekend, went to a second doc who cut it off because it was too tight. Recasted it, & all was fine after that.
Expert:  Jessica replied 8 years ago.
Very could ask your vet to check that as well. Likely it's fine, but always something to look into! Unless they've already done so, that is!
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It turns out that this answer was WAY not correct.

They did do something very wrong when they splinted him, and I was right to be concerned about his intense pain.

The vet hospital I originally took him to (A Small Animal Hospital in Federal Way, WA) splinted a fracture that, turns out, is not splint-able at all. So the following was not true at all:

> "I know with time your dog will stop crying; just be patient, loving, and keep him from moving around on that leg. The more rest he gets, the faster he will heal and the quicker this will all be over with!"

When I took him to the regular vet when they opened Monday AM, they told me that it should never have been splinted. (it was a perfectly straight snap through both leg bones and would never have healed because there were no overlapping pieces of bone to bind together)

They said it wouldn't heal in a splint even if I kept him in a tiny crate for months and months, because even the slight movement in the crate would cause the bones not to bind together.

We got him in to surgery ASAP and moved on with the healing process (it was still awful, but not the agony he was in with the splint, & bones grinding against each other)

So "You're going to have to give it a few days and be patient." and "Soon he will feel better." were not true and I am glad I trusted my gut and not this answer.

Expert:  Jessica replied 7 years ago.
Hi there. I'm exceedingly sorry you are now not happy with the answer I gave you last year. I specifically said that if the dog did not stop crying, to have the leg rechecked by the vet in a day or two (you had posted this question on a Sunday and said your vet wasn't open til Monday). Then, when you mentioned that you yourself had had pain with a cast that was too tight, I agreed that you could have that checked out just to make certain that was not the problem. Usually, dogs who break legs do act painful for a few days--your question about pain meds was valid and not uncommon. Your question asked if there was something more you could do for the pain and why they wouldn't give you something else for it; not whether or not you suspected a mistake had been made by your veterinarian. I was simply answering what I thought you were asking: why they couldn't do more for the pain and what else you could try. It's not an uncommon story--pain for a few days following a fracture and the surgery to repair it--but occasionally, as in your unfortunate case, there is a problem with the procedure itself. I apologize that your veterinarian did not do the correct thing in the case of your animal.

I operate on the assumption that veterinarians are doing their jobs correctly. As a tech, it is not my job to question a call by a licensed veterinary doctor or diagnose anything...just give you some guidance and feedback on avenues to follow if you are not feeling right about something. If your vet really did incorrectly splint a fracture that should not have been splinted, and you have proof of this, I highly recommend you contact your local Office of Professions and file a complaint about that doctor's alleged malpractice. They will do an investigation and, in the end, may fine him or have him refund your veterinary bills or pay for the further care you needed to seek after the initial problem. I am not sure how they work in your state, so you should contact them and ask lots of questions.

A link to help you find the information on reporting alleged malpractice by your veterinarian:

Again, I am very sorry you were not satisfied. I will contact a moderator about this after I post this reply. Thank you for letting me know what was going on and I do hope your dog is well, happy, and healed.

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