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Old Racing Fracture Pain. Help?!


Guest Sky2Chase
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Guest Sky2Chase

Hi!

I have a beautiful 5 yr old black female that had a devastating fracture to her Central tarsal bone in 10/15. It was a grade 5 fracture (for those of you unfamiliar with fx's, grades are 1-5, 5 being the worst with the worst prognosis, but they are getting better every day at fixing these) and she had external fixation for 10 weeks while her leg healed. The doctor reassembled her leg with the some of the 7 fragments left when her leg shattered and removed the rest. She now has screws and wires holding her right rear leg together and, as greys tend to do, she has recovered quite well even though it has left her right foot somewhat deformed due to the way everything healed. She was an excellent racer for the limited time she raced, winning over a third of her races. I only say that because she does not slow down. Even if she can't walk on the leg, she flies. You all know how they are. They use the other three like they never needed the fourth to begin with!

 

So, she has been limping since the day her external fixation came off. It gets better and then it gets worse. She's been to the surgeon and they have checked her out. This is expected, of course. I haven't been concerned until the last couple of weeks. She was running her normal zoomies in the backyard, like she does everyday, and all of the sudden she came up limp. It's not a huge deal. She does this on a regular basis. I don't know if she usually strains it or it is weather related but, regardless, I didn't think twice about it at first. Now it's been at least two weeks and it's not just the amount of time but the severity. I think she probably pulled something or stepped wrong when she was actually did put it down. She has been very careful with it, including the way she lays down. She is not herself. I've looked at it, as I've been told to watch it since a screw may need to be removed at some point, and it is very apparent where they are, but there are no physical changes. It's not swollen or hot. I think it's just sore when she moves it or puts pressure on it. Duh? I know that sounds silly, but what I mean is that I don't think it is hurting or aching otherwise, even with me putting pressure on it with my hands. I know a vet trip is coming but I wanted some feedback, especially from those who have greys on pain meds already. I've wondered if it's time to go on a long-term pain med. I take tramadol myself, and would give her one of them I had some, since she's had them. I've also wondered what other meds your dogs take that are status post fracture. I take neurontin/gabapentin for trigeminal neuralgia (I would never give it to her without talking to my vet first) and was wondering if that's something that might be an option. I could handle the occasional limping she had at first because she could, but this is hurting me!

Edited by Sky2Chase
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I had a girl with a serious hock fracture that caused her pain as she got older.

 

We started with the least amount of pain medication we could give her for relief of her daily pain - a low dose of the nsaid meloxicam. We upped that until it was no longer enough on its own, then added a pain med - codiene sulfate. (Tramadol has fallen out of favor recently as it seems to not be as effective as it should be, and the side effects can be major.) When she needed more help as she aged, we added gabapentin. That seemed to help the most, actually.

 

If she hasn't had trays recently, that might be necessary to check on the hardware. It's quite likely it may need to come out at some point.

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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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I have no advice, just hope your girl feels better soon. Our girl broke her ankle on both sides a few months back and I give her Cosaquin twice daily as a bone/joint supplement. She has screws and pins in ankle as well.

Edited by Houndtime

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
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Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
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Sweep, who is 8.5, has been on an NSAID off and on since shortly after her 6th birthday for a suspected old racing injury. (Not a break but likely something tendon-related which became arthritic as she aged.) As greysmom said, start with the lowest effective dose and work up as/if you need to. We're still able to get away with every other day, and sometimes less often than that, before her limp recurs. You'll need to do bloodwork every 6 months to make sure it's not affecting her kidneys or liver, but lots of dogs do fine long-term on NSAIDs. Keep in mind you might have to try more than one to find the best fit (always having a washout where she's on nothing for a week between trials). For example, Sweep did not tolerate Meloxicam and Rimadyl didn't work as well, but Previcox has been great. We tried everything else first (supplements, Chinese herbs, massage, laser therapy, acupuncture) so you might also want to explore those options, but in our case an NSAID is the only thing that keeps her limp completely at bay. Good luck!

Edited by ramonaghan

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Rachel with Doolin, feline rivals Tootie and Richard, and squatter cats Crumpet and Fezziwig.
Always missing gentlemen kitties Mud and Henry, and our beautiful, strong, silly
 Sweep:heart

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Conner had a break that left his back right foot, well, wonky. When I first got him at 9 (bounce) he favored the foot a bit, sometimes he would tripod, but it didn’t seem to hurt him or slow him down much. When he was 10 he developed a limp in his left front shoulder which was eventually diagnosed as nerve or possibly ligament damage because the chronic limp threw his gait off. He takes Gabapentin for that, and sees a chiropractor, which helps him quite a lot. He also developed something called sprung toe on his bad foot. This is an injury racers get where the ligaments in the toe joint basically stretch out and don’t work right. The toe joint swells. In an active racer, rest and cold laser treatments, and some pain meds can fix it, but in his case, because the foot is already wonky, it won’t get better.

 

All that said, he is now 13, and while he is a bit gimpy when he walks, he gets around fine and is a happy boy. In addition to his Gabapentin he gets Body Sore, a TCM medicine, his chiropractor treatments, and cold laser therapy. We added Tramadol a few months ago as his pain seemed to be getting a bit worse and he has proved to be ok with it.

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Guest Sky2Chase

Thank you to everyone who took time to reply! Envy very much appreciates your concern for her. I need to get her in to her vet. No, we haven't gone yet because I'm a bad mom. Since she usually bounces back, I was hoping to save her from the stress and anxiety. She is very anxious and panics as soon as we walk in. She has even been known to scream when they take her back for shots or x-rays. She's a bit dramatic when she can't see momma. When I got her, as a foster, she was so shy and scared that it took me a while to get her to trust me and relax in my home. She wouldn't even go to the water bowl for a while. Needless to say, after I earned her trust I couldn't send her away. I didn't want her to think I dumped her again! (She had already had one foster mom briefly while she was in her cast) I guess she's what you'd call my heart dog. I have 2 others that I love dearly, Sky and Chase (thus my username) but Envy is my world. Anyway, I very much appreciate it. I know she'll have to be on some sort of long term pain management at some point. The poor baby really did shatter her CTB. Her leg is deformed from reconstruction. It's good to know that I can come here for help and support.

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You should explore home visit options in your area for her. She probably won't like the vet any better, but her anxiety and stress level should be less.

 

Cold laser, acupuncture, Gabapentin, nsaid - those would be what I would focus on in her case. You might also see if some sort of support splint or boot might help her.

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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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I'd go sooner rather than later. It's a bit late at this point, but my mutt had a surgical bone trauma and ended up with a bone infection that almost killed him a year after the surgery. She could have a festering infection, although it's not terribly likely at this stage. But my dog's ONLY symptom was that the surgical site didn't seem to heal on schedule. The vet kept making excuses, eventually calling my dog a "wimp" for his ever ending limp.

 

12 months later his fever spiked so high he screamed when I touched him. Raced him off to my vet who admitted him immediately. Long story shorter, three months of two types of antibiotics is what it took to FINALLY cure his limp!


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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