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Thread: Femur head fracture

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Femur head fracture

    Our 6mo foster kelpie injured herself this morning. I let the dogs off at the entrance of the dog park (there was no one else there) and they both ran off at great speed. There's a little rocky hill in the middle so I temporarily lost sight of them and that's when I heard her yelp.

    She managed to limp to the car and inside. I seriously regret not taking her to the vet then, but I decided to go to work and see if she improved first. I went back home after 3 hours and she was sitting on the bed and didn't want to move.

    Long story short(er), after an X-ray it turns out she fractured the head of her femur. She must have slipped on a rock and forced her leg sideways.

    Options are, 3 weeks crate rest. Successful in 30% of cases.

    Or surgery to fix the fracture with pins. Very expensive, though they do offer a significant discount to rescues, bless them.

    Or remove the femur head. Half the price of the other surgery, but it would mean she'll be permanently incapacitated.

    Hearing option 3 made me have to fight back the tears. A young kelpie unable to run or jump well just sounds very sad.

    The vet talked to the head of the rescue org and it was decided to rest her one week and then reassess.

    She is in a lot of pain now. Carrying her to and from the car was a nightmare. She's now in her crate and I've given her a pain killer. They also gave me sedatives for if she starts to fret. But at the moment she's exhausted from the pain and shock.

  2. #2
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    Oh the poor darling I hope you can sort things out!! What a horrible situation, especially for such an active pup!

    If you can afford it, then i imagine the pin surgery would be best for her... but money is a big factor i guess.

    It sounds awful, but would amputation be an option? I've heard dogs cope really well with amputation... I know how awful amputation sounds though... but in terms of quality of life, to me it sounds better than being permanently incapacitated. Thats just a thought though, i have no idea what would be best for that kind of fracture... way out of my field of knowledge.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Ouch ..thats no good. Sorry to hear this.

    Yes a Kelpie unable to run or jump just doesn't seem right ..or fair.

    Hopefully after a bit of time out she'll be in a better state. Maybe a nice hot water bottle to rest on might help a bit ...couldn't hurt.

    Good luck Beloz. Let us know how she goes.


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  4. #4
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    At least she is eating. But it hurts her to go from sitting to lying down. And it's very sad to see her just sitting there, not reacting to anything much.

    My biggest immediate issue is that she doesn't want to come out of the crate. And she isn't used to asking to go outside to toilet because we have a dog door.

  5. #5
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    I think you're going to need to go back to basics with the toilet training - and just take her outside - ready or not.

    We had an aussie terrier with a crappy hip joint. In the end - I think the vet removed the ball top of the leg bone (femur?) and she healed up and ran around without one for the rest of her life - but she was much smaller than your average kelpie. So I think the success of that would have to do with the size of the dog. Ie the bigger the dog - the less likely it is to work.

    Crap - when you let the dogs go for a run, somewhere that ought to be safe enough and they injure themselves like this - yikes.

  6. #6
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    We managed to persuade her out of the crate to take her out. She stopped to stalk the kitten and walked a few steps unsupported outside (had to allow her to wee) and even wagged her tail. Pain killers must have kicked in.

    It's been funny and a bit sad to see how much Banjo is enjoying the peace and quiet. And the foster kitten is bored without her shadow and tormenter and will lie in front of the crate to stare at her.

    Oh and the biggest irony is that we got 2 inquiries about her today. The first in weeks.

  7. #7
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    sometimes life is a b*tch...

    At least she did the potty thing ok.

  8. #8
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    Oh poor pup, and poor you Beloz - it's awful to see them suffering. Thinking of you both.

  9. #9
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    She seems much better today, which of course makes it harder to keep her confined. I did lift her onto my bed this morning and she watched the soccer game with us.

    I'm considering if I can let her sleep on my bed at night, with a lead attached to her car harness maybe. I'm a pretty light sleeper. But cannot at all risk her jumping off the bed.

    We went to stock up on chews and toys to keep her busy in the crate. At least she'll fatten up a bit!

  10. #10
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    We did ok this week. Made 2 mistakes which resulted in yelping (one was through lack of attention, the other was me trying to prevent the pup from climbing on top of me), which had me sitting with my head in my hands muttering about what a horrible human being I am. But compared to how she was the first 2 days after the injury to now, I have hope she is healing. I stopped the pain killers after 2 days to prevent her getting overconfident, but if she does feel any pain, it's pretty mild.

    I couldn't stick to confining her to the crate while I was at work. Because it meant I had to sedate her as I'm away for at least 7 hours each day. So we now leave her in my daughter's bedroom, which has no furniture she can jump up on (she has one of those loft beds) and is too small to run in. We leave her with 2 kongs, a fresh bone and a rawhide chew and she can look out of the (low) window to the street.

    We're taking her to the vet for a check-up today. I'm very nervous. If they can see improvement, I'll be happy because I now feel confident that we can keep her calm and rested for another 2 weeks. If there's no improvement... It'll be up to the rescue organisation to decide what happens, which is a very scary thought. She's a healthy dog, with a good temperament (for the kelpie lovers ) and deserves the best chance she can get to regain her mobility. But we've already spent more than her adoption fee will cover now, so it'll be a big blow for the organisation to add the cost of invasive surgery and aftercare. So cross your fingers for us this arvo...

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