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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
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Experience:  Veterinarian
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my puppy is a maltese pomeranian mix 4 months old. we went

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my puppy is a maltese pomeranian mix 4 months old. we went to the er vet todayand the vet said because hes still a puppy its difficult to determind what and where exactly the fracture is in his right leg. he said maybe the tibia or ankle or femur not sure. he said he will either need a splint or surgery depending what the ortho specialist says tomorrow when he sees him. my puppy wont put weight on his right leg as of the moment. i was wondering if puppies at his age can heal fractures with splints or do they usually need surgery? i just wanna be financially prepared and im so anxious i cant wait any longer. just want your expert opinion thanks.
Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your 4 month old Maltese Pomeranian cross Perker who has fractured his right hindlimb! A lot of the time fractures in young dogs can be left to heal with just a large bandage on (a splint and padded bandage). Bones grow at such a rapid rate at this age, that many times this approach is perfectly valid and will allow for a quick and painless solution.

It ultimately depends on where exactly the fracture is (as you say, tibia vs femur vs near a joint vs in the middle of the bone shaft) as well as the type of fracture (ie a complete fracture vs an incomplete fracture for example - as well as the number of segments present). This is why we will not know the best approach of how to repair this fracture until xrays have been taken to confirm where the fracture is as well as the exact nature of fracture.

Whatever the case - it is great that you are getting the orthopedic specialist to deal with Perker's fracture and this is very important. Depending on where the fracture is, and the type of fracture, repair could include anything from simple splint and cast for 4 - 8 weeks, to a pin and or plate applied to repair the bones, to an external fixator to hold the bones in place and ensure they don't move while bone healing takes place. The worry with fractures in some areas in small breed young puppies, is that if they are left to heal via splint and cast and the fracture is not stable, a mal or non union can occur - where the bones do not heal across the fracture line. This is a real problem and why it is so important you go with the specialists recommendation tomorrow. If he or she feels splint and cast is an option - great, go with it. If they recommend against it for the above reason, then be sure to go with their recommendation for repair.

Best of luck and let me know how you get on tomorrow if you get a chance. Please just reply if you need any further information.

Kind Regards,

Dr Edwards
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