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Joan
Joan, Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 14995
Experience:  Vet Tech for over 30+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
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Hi, I am very distraught and at a loss over what to do for

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Hi, I am very distraught and at a loss over what to do for my little male chihuahua who was injured two days ago resulting in his femur being broken right next to the joint of his right hip . We were given two types of pain medication and a cd of his X-ray and two ways of helping our precious Davy. We could have his leg amputated or take him to a surgeon who would put pins in his leg at a cost of at least $2500 . I am disabled and my husband works but his income is less than
$15,000 a year and my medical bills are so high that he cannot afford health insurance. I can't stand the idea of my baby being in pain or becoming crippled all because of my low income. I feel ashamed for not being able to give him the life he deserves. Will you please give me your opinion on what I should do ? Thankyou, Mary
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. John replied 7 months ago.
Hello. My name isXXXXX will be happy to help you. With a fracture in that location, surgical correction is really your only option for proper healing. That is not an area that can be immobilized with splinting or casting. If a fracture is not immobilized, it will have a very difficult time healing. With your financial situation, it really doesn't leave you much of an option, unfortunately. You do have to think about your health first. What I would try doing in a case like this would be to splint the leg as high as possible and extending the bandage under his abdomen to the other side and around his other rear leg and hip (your vet would need to do this). If the bandage is thick enough around the fractured leg, you may be able to immobilize it enough that he could not move that hip joint. It won't immobilize it completely, but it is your best option. Wrapping it around the other rear leg at the hip joint would help to keep the bandage from slipping, but it may limit its movement some if the bandage is too thick there. You have to be careful to not wrap the bandage around the opening to the prepuce and anus, so he can urinate and defecate normally. They can also flex that rear end all the way up and bandage it, so it stay that way. He will only have that other rear limb to put weight on. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Dear Dr John, if I understand you correctly there is absolutely no way that Davy is going to be able to heal his leg just by resting and taking pain medication for the next three months which is what I was afraid of. My daughter has worked with dogs for many years and she is also a registered nurse working on the cardiac unit of Children's Medical in Dallas and she has told me repeatedly that the best solution is to have Davy's right left leg amputated. She said that he will heal and adjust to only having three legs. Do you believe this to be true ? I don't want to refuse to do what is right just because of my feelings of guilt for not having enough money to properly fix his little leg with surgery and pens costing more than I have.do you think I should try to get a vet to immobilize him like you said or would it be easier on him to amputate the leg. I trust you.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Relist: Other.
I have been waiting for Dr John to answer my second question and I understand that he may be working with another person now.so,no problem there but I appreciate your offer to put my questions out to whoever is available now.i need all the help I can get ! Thank you !
Expert:  Joan replied 7 months ago.

Hello,

Doctor John is not on right now and he comes on at random times, since he also has his practice to attend to. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X have been a Vet Tech for 30+ years. I would be happy to try and assist you, or I can try and find another Veterinarian for you. Please let me know what you would like to do. Joan

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It is hard for me to type . Can you just see what I explained to Dr John and then we can take it from there ?sorry,but I am very ill.
Expert:  Joan replied 7 months ago.

Hello,

Yes I can see what has happened to poor Davy. I am so sorry you are so distraught and I understand what you are going through. Surgery and having a pin placed in can be very expensive and when disabled it is very hard to deal with the situation. I would have to agree with your daughter on having the amputation done. Dogs and cats can adapt very well to the loss of a limb. Once amputated the recovery time and care will be much less than having the leg pinned. The pain will not be there once the healing starts. We the Pin surgery repair it takes a longer recovery time and physical therapy, may be needed. There is also no guarantee that the surgery will not leave Davy with arthritis that will cause pain later on down the road. I personally have worked with dogs that have had limbs amputated and seen them up and going within a few days, where recovery time with the pinned bones is a much longer process.

I know you want to do the best for Davy, but under the circumstances, you need to consider yourself as well as Davy and in my opinion, I feel with the situation the amputation would be better for Davy as well as you and your husband. Please let me know if you have further questions. I would be more than happy to continue with you. Joan

Joan, Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 14995
Experience: Vet Tech for over 30+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
Joan and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. John replied 7 months ago.
Sorry it took me so long to respond. I had to go into surgery right after typing my response to you. In order for a fracture to heal, the joint on either side (in this case, it would be the hip and knee joints) have to be immobilized. If Davy is moving either joint, it will cause movement at the fracture line, which will not allow it to heal very well. Plus, it depends how displaced the fracture is (how far apart the bones on either side of the fracture are from each other). It was my understanding that you wanted to avoid surgery altogether. That is why I was recommending the bandaging first. Most likely, it won't help as much, and you can always consider surgery if it is not healing. If you just want to get this over with and not worry about healing, amputation would be the best option. Dogs learn to adapt to 3 legs very well, especially one as young as Davy. I had a similar situation with my own down (nerve damage not allowing her to move her front leg). Amputation was the best thing we could have done for her. Let me know if you have any other concerns. I may not be able to get back to you immediately, but I certainly will within 2 hours. Hope this helps.

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