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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19767
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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Can 13 year old rat terrier live with a broken Right back

Customer Question

Can 13 year old rat terrier live with a broken
Right back leg after it's been in a cast for some time
Without amputation.
Our vet said she needs an orthopedic surgery
The tibia n fibia are broken to further aid is in an answer
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Thanks for the question.

I routinely cast tibia/ fibula fractures in dogs and they do quite well. As long as the bones are lined up reasonably well (~ 50% alignment), they can heal if we give them time. I usually tell owners to expect at least 6-8 weeks in a cast. In an older dog, 8-12 weeks is a reasonable expectation.

Surgery to plate the leg will allow it to heal faster, but the cost associated with surgery can make it an unrealistic option for most owners. In those cases, casting is an appropriate plan B. If it were the femur, then amputation is a better option as casts along cannot immobilize the hip. In a tib/fib fracture, though, casting is sufficient.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?