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Any tips for caring for a dog post leg surgery/broken leg???

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So many of ya'll know tomorrow i will be bringing little Norris home. He is having orthapedic surgery today on his broken leg. I have never had an animal with a broken leg/ who has undergone orthapedic surgery. So i am REALLY looking for all of the tips/advice i can get. He will be kept in a large crate while i am fostering him for as long as the vet says. Today i'm going out to get a very comfy bed for the crate and some stuffies for him to play with without moving around soo much. I also have an E-collar ready should we need to use it. Any other tips/advice?? It's his back leg that's broken and needing surgery. Also- any advice for moving him out of the cage/around while i clean it and all of that???
post #2 of 17
The only thing I can think of....you might want to pad the sides of the crate(are we talking wire crate?) so he doesn't bump his leg into them. Just a couple of inches up to be sure....like in a baby's crib is what I'm thinking.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
The only thing I can think of....you might want to pad the sides of the crate(are we talking wire crate?) so he doesn't bump his leg into them. Just a couple of inches up to be sure....like in a baby's crib is what I'm thinking.
that's a great idea! (yes it's a metal crate- one of those nice black metal ones with the removable tray). what should i use to pad it??
post #4 of 17
My only advice is keep him off that leg even if he tries to use it for awhile unless the vet says otherwise. I had one foster dog that really messed up his broken leg because I thought he would only use it if he felt like it was ok. Well that wasnt true. It took over a year to heal and still didnt heal properly. Also ask the vet any questions you might have. Go by the vets intructions to a T because there is a reason for everything they say even if it doesnt seem to make since.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fostermomm View Post
My only advice is keep him off that leg even if he tries to use it for awhile unless the vet says otherwise. I had one foster dog that really messed up his broken leg because I thought he would only use it if he felt like it was ok. Well that wasnt true. It took over a year to heal and still didnt heal properly. Also ask the vet any questions you might have. Go by the vets intructions to a T because there is a reason for everything they say even if it doesnt seem to make since.
thanks hon! i think i'll call the vets office before i head to the pet store and see if there's anything else i should pick up for him while i'm out today. norris will be kept in a crate so that he can not move around too much/do any damage post op. he is a very smart/active dog and i could definitely see him doing damage to his leg if not confined while he heals
post #6 of 17
Try to keep his mind busy. You say he's an active dog...does he like Kongs? Nylabones? He'll definately need something...esp. if he's gonna be in a cast 'cuz he'll eat that!
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Try to keep his mind busy. You say he's an active dog...does he like Kongs? Nylabones? He'll definately need something...esp. if he's gonna be in a cast 'cuz he'll eat that!
when i go out in a little bit i think i'll get a few different varieties of toys for him (i'm not sure what his favorite is yet) and a really comfy bed!
post #8 of 17
I gotta turn on the way back machine in my head - Tyler had his leg surgery about 16 years ago. He was abandoned in a cage when 3 months old and the malnutrician from that experiences caused a severe malformation in his wrists (his foot was at nearly 90 degrees twisting outward from his leg). If left untreated, he would have had arthritus by the time he was 3 and would be in pain all his life. The surgery split the 2 long bones above his wrist, cut off the end of one bone so that they were the same length and fuse them back together. He had pins from his foot up past his elbow to hold the 2 bones in place while the bones fused back together.

The vet wrapped it in gauze that was probably over an inch thick so that he didn't have much if any movement with it. The gauze was covered in a stretchy sheath so that we could change that when it got dirty. That bandaging really prevented him from moving it very much and also eliminated the need for an Elizabethan collar - he really couldn't get thru all of it even if he tried. He had his "cast" on for over 6 months and I want to say closer to 9 months.

The vet was more concerned about movement after the pins were removed than when the pins were in place. I vaguely recall having the pins in for a few months, then after they were removed, he cautioned us to keep him calm for a while. He gimped right after the surgery, then again when the pins were removed (they had to cut open his arm to remove the pins). In between he was able to put a little bit of weight on it.

He got very good at running on 3 legs (he was a greyhound after all). He looked far more pitiful when he walked than ran, as he couldn't hop well when he walked. I'm guessing that it took him about 6 months to be able to put nearly full weight on it, but closer to a year before the limp completely disappeared.

He was on antibiotics for a long time. Any infection to a bone can be life threatening. He was also on pain meds for a while, then switched over to simple aspirin. We had vet visits weekly for the first few months, then every other week for the next few months, then monthly up to a year after surgery.

After that time we had him on maintenance meds to ease any arthritus from settling in on the injured joint.

My one bragging point: my vet loved me and only charged me $250 for the entire treatment (surgery, meds, and the year's worth of visits).
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I gotta turn on the way back machine in my head - Tyler had his leg surgery about 16 years ago. He was abandoned in a cage when 3 months old and the malnutrician from that experiences caused a severe malformation in his wrists (his foot was at nearly 90 degrees twisting outward from his leg). If left untreated, he would have had arthritus by the time he was 3 and would be in pain all his life. The surgery split the 2 long bones above his wrist, cut off the end of one bone so that they were the same length and fuse them back together. He had pins from his foot up past his elbow to hold the 2 bones in place while the bones fused back together.

The vet wrapped it in gauze that was probably over an inch thick so that he didn't have much if any movement with it. The gauze was covered in a stretchy sheath so that we could change that when it got dirty. That bandaging really prevented him from moving it very much and also eliminated the need for an Elizabethan collar - he really couldn't get thru all of it even if he tried. He had his "cast" on for over 6 months and I want to say closer to 9 months.

The vet was more concerned about movement after the pins were removed than when the pins were in place. I vaguely recall having the pins in for a few months, then after they were removed, he cautioned us to keep him calm for a while. He gimped right after the surgery, then again when the pins were removed (they had to cut open his arm to remove the pins). In between he was able to put a little bit of weight on it.

He got very good at running on 3 legs (he was a greyhound after all). He looked far more pitiful when he walked than ran, as he couldn't hop well when he walked. I'm guessing that it took him about 6 months to be able to put nearly full weight on it, but closer to a year before the limp completely disappeared.

He was on antibiotics for a long time. Any infection to a bone can be life threatening. He was also on pain meds for a while, then switched over to simple aspirin. We had vet visits weekly for the first few months, then every other week for the next few months, then monthly up to a year after surgery.

After that time we had him on maintenance meds to ease any arthritus from settling in on the injured joint.

My one bragging point: my vet loved me and only charged me $250 for the entire treatment (surgery, meds, and the year's worth of visits).
Wow! What an amazing vet for doing all of that for you!! And man- you are incredable!!!! Helping out that sweet pup through all of that!!!! Your a total angel! Did he by chance have rickets? We had a dog in our shelter a few weeks ago who had a SEVERE case of it from malnutrition. She could bairly even move- it was on all 4 legs /her entire body was just in shambles. It was the saddest thing We had to put her to sleep- the vet said that she was in a ton of pain. Her name was Cricket. I still miss her sweet little face! I am sooo glad to hear your good story though of Tyler and how he's done well with a lot of love and good vet care! (that is definitely inspiring to me!) So ummmm yeah.....the more i read up on orthapedic surgery/ recovery time etc....the more it makes me think...i should just go ahead and call Norris doggie #3 I don't think i could keep him for a year as a foster and not adopt him! Keep your fingers crossed Colin thinks the same
post #10 of 17
Make sure the bed you get for him is comfy, but not too thick. If it is too thick, he will have trouble manuvering on it, and he might fall or pull something in another leg while trying to favor that leg. My Corgi (who passed away a couple of years ago) had arthritis (which is why we lost him) and I bought him a nice thick comfy bed, thinking it would pad his joints well when he laid down and he would like it better, but he liked the thin foam one better, because it was easier for him to manuver on .

Poor thing- I hope he heals quickly and well!

Oh, and here's a link for a toy I got Mattie (our Boxer) for while she was staying with her "MeMe":

http://www.busybuddytoys.com/moreinfo.cfm?Product_ID=2

I got hers at Academy Sports and Outdoors .

She also has a "fire hydrant" that is Walmart's version of the "Kong", and I fill that with treats (dog treats, bananas, cheese- sometimes a combination) and seal it off with peanutbutter- that keeps her occupied for a while.

She is also a rawhide addict (came that way ), but doesn't care for nylon type bones, so I get her giant compressed rawhides from PetSupplies Plus. They are rawhide, but come off in small pieces, instead of long strips, so they aren't as apt to choke on them.

She also has a small squeeky stuffy (a trout) that she likes to squeek at us when she's bored (stands in front of us, bobbing head and chomping the fish "Squeeka, squeeka, squeeka..." LOL).
Hope that helps some!
post #11 of 17
We adopted him when he was 6 months old - he lived at Texas A&M Vet Center from the time they found him at 3 months old until that time. At first they thought he had rickets, then as he got a little older and we had him x-rayed, they realized that it was more than that. Since greyhounds keep growing until they are 2 more more, we had to wait until he was 2 years old to do the surgery - anything earlier than that and his bones might have continued to grow and negate the effects of the surgery.

We went into it knowing that he was our baby and it would probably take a year to recover. If Norris goes through anything like this, there is no way that you would turn around and adopt him after seeing him thru all of this. Tyler really bonded with me during all of this (he was a momma's boy) and while grey's are usually sluts to any human, Tyler would give me (and only me) that total adoration smile you see in dogs once in a while and there is no way that I could have ever given him up. He loved me too much for loving on him for that year.

Just tell Colin to not bother fighting with you on the adoption!
post #12 of 17
Just FYI-the Wal Mart fire hydrants aren't as sturdy as Kongs. I don't like to leave big chewers or unknown chewers alone with them as my two girls disasembled them quickly. I've got two large black kongs that I've had for 3 years now!
post #13 of 17
Oh! I've got another idea! I LOVE the J W Pet toys....my favorite is the Amaze-A-Treat ball. Rubber so Macey doesn't shatter it against the wall.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Just FYI-the Wal Mart fire hydrants aren't as sturdy as Kongs. I don't like to leave big chewers or unknown chewers alone with them as my two girls disasembled them quickly. I've got two large black kongs that I've had for 3 years now!

Wow! You must have some really big chewers! Mattie has had hers for 2 years now, and not a scratch on it (even going through the dishwasher) . I'll keep an extra vigilant eye on it, though.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsallover View Post
Wow! You must have some really big chewers! Mattie has had hers for 2 years now, and not a scratch on it (even going through the dishwasher) . I'll keep an extra vigilant eye on it, though.
Big chewers in an understatement! My girls are essentially wood chippers to toys!
post #16 of 17
Ask about using a sling to support him when he needs to go outside. Something along the lines of Watson's Bottom's Up. I've had a couple of friends whose dogs had back surgery and needed something similar, so I wil try to find out brand they used. I know they found it much esier on everyone than the towels.

You will also need to put a plastic bag, like the ones the newspapers come in over the leg before taking him outside. When my Golden cut his leg and had stitches, we had to do this. It was only for a couple of weeks, but it took him a year to get out of the habit of laying down for the bag to be put on before going out - and then laying down when he came back n for it to be taken off. We used a large stretchy girls hairholder to keep the bag up. If you get the harness, you may be able to rig up something that it held up by the harness straps. That would actually be quicker to pull on.

Expect it to be ackward and more time consuming for the first week, as you both figure out what works best you two. We have one of the plastic crates, the largest one made. We found that we could just leave 4 of the bolts in place (one in each corner) until it was time to take him out. We would then remove the bolts and take the top & door off. It made it much easier to get him out of the crate, using the sling (this was before the days of the sling/leash). We found that could push the crate around the house, so he could be in various rooms with us during the day (yes it was hard on the floors, but he is my baby and worth it). When we were home and he was with us, we were able to leave the crate top & door off and he would stay in the crate. He has one of the best "stays" ever.

He will spend most of his time lying on the nonsurgical side, so watch for any signs of pressure sores or wearing of the fur. If you have the funds, look around for an alternating pressure system. Basically it is a mattress overlay that inflates and deflates in a set pattern to prevent pressure sores. A bit noisy, but could be worth it as he is going to be spending lots of time on his side. I found one online for 80, you might find a better price on eBay or on another site.

Thank you for taking care of him. He is a handsome guy and deserves someone like you to love him.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 View Post
Ask about using a sling to support him when he needs to go outside. Something along the lines of Watson's Bottom's Up. I've had a couple of friends whose dogs had back surgery and needed something similar, so I wil try to find out brand they used. I know they found it much esier on everyone than the towels.

You will also need to put a plastic bag, like the ones the newspapers come in over the leg before taking him outside. When my Golden cut his leg and had stitches, we had to do this. It was only for a couple of weeks, but it took him a year to get out of the habit of laying down for the bag to be put on before going out - and then laying down when he came back n for it to be taken off. We used a large stretchy girls hairholder to keep the bag up. If you get the harness, you may be able to rig up something that it held up by the harness straps. That would actually be quicker to pull on.

Expect it to be ackward and more time consuming for the first week, as you both figure out what works best you two. We have one of the plastic crates, the largest one made. We found that we could just leave 4 of the bolts in place (one in each corner) until it was time to take him out. We would then remove the bolts and take the top & door off. It made it much easier to get him out of the crate, using the sling (this was before the days of the sling/leash). We found that could push the crate around the house, so he could be in various rooms with us during the day (yes it was hard on the floors, but he is my baby and worth it). When we were home and he was with us, we were able to leave the crate top & door off and he would stay in the crate. He has one of the best "stays" ever.

He will spend most of his time lying on the nonsurgical side, so watch for any signs of pressure sores or wearing of the fur. If you have the funds, look around for an alternating pressure system. Basically it is a mattress overlay that inflates and deflates in a set pattern to prevent pressure sores. A bit noisy, but could be worth it as he is going to be spending lots of time on his side. I found one online for 80, you might find a better price on eBay or on another site.

Thank you for taking care of him. He is a handsome guy and deserves someone like you to love him.

thankyou very much for those suggestions!!! those were very wonderful!! i really appreciate it!!
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