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Juneau's Amputation


Guest newyorkgrey
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Guest newyorkgrey

I posted here recently about complications from a bone plate. The surgery failed, and the stress from the plate refractured the leg. The plate was removed and the bone has withered to the point that amputation is now unfortunately our best recourse. Any words of advice would be very appreciated.

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Guest FordRacingRon

I hope all goes well with you. YOu have our prayers.

 

Not missing a leg,,but Leia almost had her front right leg chewed off by a pitbull when she was 3 1/2 (she is now a month from being 13,,fingers crossed). It took over 3 months to heal and she had a cast on and didn't use her leg for most of that time (she couldn't bend it so she didn't use it). When ever she has to number 2,,she has to jog a bit before that. In a couple of days she was jogging just fine on 3 legs.

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I can only offer good thoughts and that tripawds rock as they say. My boy was almost two years on three legs and that did not slow him down.

Edited by Charlies_Dad

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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I'm so sorry to hear this. Jake just broke his leg a few weeks ago and had it repaired. We went with the repair to try to save the leg, but most people actually told me that recovery from an amputation is easier. I would say leave them at the vet with those good IV drugs as long as your pocketbook will allow. Also, try to be at home with them for the first few days. Good luck!

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Guest newyorkgrey

Thanks, all. The surgeon gave three options, more trying various bone grafts, etc., amputation or leaving it and seeing what happens. I'm favoring the third right now. This is a very small-boned girl, and I fear she may tumble and break the remaining foreleg. I'm also going to check in with some orthotic specialists.

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Guest LazyBlaze

tbhounds IIRC Juneau is an iggy (?), though no doubt your same good advice holds.

 

Everything crossed for a good outcome, and I'm sorry you're having to deal with this newyorkgrey. Lots of love to Juneau, hope she heals and is happy whatever happens.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest newyorkgrey

I don't know if anyone is still looking at this thread. Here is my update. I became extremely concerned about Juneau having to stress out her good front leg if I went through with amputation, so I started filming her on my phone and taking a much closer look at how she uses the lame limb. I see that it plays a major role in her balance and posture, especially when eating and going to the bathroom, so for the life of me I can't see how amputating it will improve anything. In addition the ortho specialist I last saw, who gave me amputation as one of three options, failed to get me the X-rays and a treatment plan despite contacting his hospital 8 times. During this time, she developed a bandage sore, so I had to return on a near emergency basis. At this point the man was so rude I knew I would never go back. The place I want to go to is so booked I can't get her in for a few weeks. I honestly feel like I've been to half the vets in NYC only to have had my dog damaged by incompetence, and all roads lead back to three hospitals, two of which I've already been to.

 

Any comments on taking your dog's health into your own hands when the vets fail you? I'm increasingly interested in rehab and orthotics, which just seem so hard to find. Thank to any who might see this slightly older thread and respond.

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Will Juneau withstand going to chiro? Often that helps compensation issues on other legs....I just don't know if she'd but up for that or if it would put more stress on her. Also, will she do water? Perhaps underwater treadmill?

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What about a consult with Dr Couto?

Agree. Considering what you've done already, consider a drive to PA. The lower cost of medical care will make up for travel expenses most likely. It certainly did when I took Zuri to OSU (from MD, a 7 hr drive and an overnight stay) for his dental. Start with an internet consult. He may be able to tell you a lot just from medical records and x-rays.

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Unless her good front leg is already compromised in some respect - arthritis or other aging issues - or her leg broke initially from a disease process like cancer which can spread throughout her body, then amputation may be a reasonable outcome if you can't get it to heal to a point she can use it properly. Many, many dogs of many breeds survive quite well with a single front leg due to amputation of their other front leg.

 

Yes, you need to take care, especially since she's just a little mite of a thing ;) but she's still a dog, and her body will heal and deal with what it has to, as it can. She will learn to potty on three legs - it was the first thing our amp boy did when he came home. She will do stairs again - and you'l have your heart in your throat. She will love to go for walks - a little faster, probably, than before since she'll need the momentum. She'll even dig and play with toys an beg for food. She *will* be your dog - just with three legs.

 

At some point (considering your other thread started today) you do have to stop and do what is best for her whole being, not just for healing her leg. You may not be at that point yet, but it is something to add into the mix as you move forward.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Well I'm so sorry for the poor little thing! Darn. And you are certainly to be commended for everything you have done to try and help her. I don't know what I would do or even what might be best. That Dr. Dyce might be an option. I have had dogs grievously harmed by incompetent vets before as well so I certainly identify with how hard it is to muster up any trust for them and entrust your precious little girl to them again. You might check out the FB page for OrthoPets: Orthotics and Prosthetics for Animals . They seem to help a lot of animals with mobility issues. Maybe that vet has seen a case like yours before. I don't know. Just sending love and positive healing energy to Juneau! :beatheart

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Guest newyorkgrey

Thanks all. In a world where so few things make sense, its great to see how much we love our dogs. Juneau's leg has not experienced critical trauma since the Thanksgiving evening leg break. She is tiny, the tiniest IG I've ever seen, and she loves to climb. On the dining room table, on the desk. If there is a dog destined to break the other forelimb, it's her. So, keeping what she has is very important to me (along with baby gates etc. everywhere to keep her off the furniture). I reached out to an orthotics specialist to get a referral to a NYC rehab vet, which I now have. I'd be more than happy to flil the tub and hold her in the water for swim therapy as healing permits. All of this has brought me closer to how much life my little girls have. (I have 2 of them).

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Guest newyorkgrey

I got the second dog to keep my first one company. They were playing tug of war and racing around when the original fracture occurred. If I knew then what I know now I would have splinted the leg and called it good. All of our troubles have come from the plate surgery. Meanwhile, she's the fastest thing around on 3 legs and is using the lame one for balance. Unstoppable joy and a complete goofball. She weighs 6 and the older one around 8. The older (5 years) is smart enough to do tricks and plays ball all of the time. They are super sweet just like the big ones and otherwise very healthy girls. I don't have room for the big ones but wish I did!

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  • 1 year later...
Guest newyorkgrey

UPDATE October 2017: I never did proceed with amputation or any further surgery. Over time my dog's leg rotated into an awkward position at the break, but this basically happened from her leaning on the leg. Gradually it found its final resting place, where the bones rejoined and strengthened. While disfigured, the leg is very healthy. I love seeing the paw twitch when she's dreaming and am always glad to see her using it to lean on and for balance. Prosthetics and all of that went into disuse pretty quickly. It just isn't natural for a dog to have anything to strapped to it, if it can get around on its own. The nails grow very quickly on the paw, which never touches the ground anymore. We still live with gym mats all over the floors. She is a very happy, healthy dog, and I'm so glad all of her nerve endings are still firing in that leg, which was the size of a spaghetti noodle when I finally gave up on splints. It is pretty robust now. I post this update because I know people will find it and apply it to their own decision making about our awesome greyhounds.

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