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Thread: Help Needed for Dog in Pain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Sydney, Australia

    Default Help Needed for Dog in Pain

    Hi there

    I write this with a heavy heart, and hope that someone can give me an idea of what my and my pup's options are.

    About 20 months ago my husband and I adopted an approx 6 month old puppy from the Blacktown (NSW) pound. We called him Ringo. He appears to be a mix of lab/Rhodesian Ridgeback, although it's hard to tell! And we don't really care anyway.. He is a beautiful boy.

    In Aug 2009, my husband came home from work to find little Ringo limping in the back yard. It seems he had been playing with our other dog Teila, and had broken his back right leg. After X-rays and a specialist appointment he was diagnosed with right tibial crest avulsion. Long story short, we spent around $4K and the leg was fixed, and he spent a month inside with very restricted outside activity.

    All seemed to be ok. He did still have a very slight and sometimes unnoticeable limp on this leg, but this was to be expected. At the time of the accident, Ringo was around 20kg. Has has now grown to be around 35kg.

    A couple of weeks ago, we noticed that Ringo was limping quite heavily on this leg. We took him to the vet who prescribed an anti-inflammatory to see if that settled things down. No improvement or deterioration happened over the next week or so.

    This week however, is a different story. He has quite a pronounced limp and doesn't seem to be his happy self.

    The next step with the vet would be x-rays, specialist visit and perhaps surgery to remove the pins etc in his leg from the original surgery.

    Problem is, I am on maternity leave, 7 month old baby, living from pay cheque to pay cheque and we literally cannot afford this next step. A couple of weeks ago, it was difficult for us to even buy groceries for the week.

    Now... what do I do? What are my options? I cannot afford the treatment to get Ringo's leg fixed. This is not an option.

    Can anyone help?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Some people take out a loan that will allow them to spread the payments.

    Some people get (pet) insurance for this kind of surgery - though you'd want to get the insurance before the first injury - because there's not much help for getting insurance to cover injury caused or deriving from a pre-exisiting injury otherwise.

    Some people have a good relationship with their vet who will either help them with the loan or allow them to pay in installments - though this gets abused so much (people don't pay as they promised), that many vets refer you to the professional short term money lenders like cash converters...

    What would you do if it was your child that needed the help? I'd be asking my family (mum) for help.

    I think, this might be something you talk to your vet about. They may be able to recommend what options are available that you can afford right now. One of them may be PTS but at least you'd have some idea.

    I know a German Short Haired pointer (GSP) that busted an acl or something like that, and vet recommended surgery but a good outcome was not guaranteed - so the alternate treatment was supervised walks (not kamikaze running that she used to do). And that has worked out ok and she's good to go now, a year later, just can't corner as hard.

    And if you still decide you can't keep your dog, I would contact all the rescue orgs in your area and ask for advice.
    The PetRescue Shelter Directory | PetRescue

    Or I'd take the dog back to the vet and get it PTS. I think you would find that RSPCA and the like will PTS a dog that is injured and needs a heap of vet time spent on it. Because for them it's better to spend the money and vet time on healthy dogs - they can save more of them that way.

  3. #3


    Through personal experience with a dog who has leg issues. If you want to try an alternative for a while and see if it helps I would highly recommend some hydrotherapy for your dog. It may ease the pain and ease the limp or stop it completely.

    Someplace like this Dog Overboard would be fantastic. Not sure if there is one a bit closer to Sydney but this one is in Newcastle. You usually just pay a small fee to use the pool for a certain period of time, its generally pretty affordale and only needs to be done once a week really. Otherwise if you have access to a pool at home or someone elses home you could use, even better then its free

    My dog had patella surgery at 10 months and started limping again at around 18 months - 2 years, it looked like further xrays etc but I got her into swimming and the limp subsided and she is more mobile now and in less pain it has been 18 months since then with no recurrence of a limp. She has severe hip displaxia so probably different to what your dog has. But it may just be high impact excercise which is causing your dog to limp and getting him into hydrotherapy could do wonders. PLease consider it before taking any drastic measures.

    Good luck keep us up to date.
    Last edited by Keira & Phoenix; 04-01-2011 at 05:21 PM.

  4. #4


    My mums dog has a lot of issues with his legs, he has elbow displaysia and arthritis in the front and he has done his ACL several times in the back.
    She swears by Metacam, it's a pain drug. Jordy went from barely walking to being able to run just on that drug.
    The drawback is it is pretty pricey, $120 a bottle but it sure works.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    Try to get his weight down to where you can see hip bones, only just, but this will help most city dogs are over weight even though most city vets will not say so.

    feeding beef brisket bones is a kind way to do thi as they take a lot of chewing giving the dog an idea of big feed yet helping to get that weight off.

    Surgery on dogs often does leave ongoing problems later, you may not have realised this before you started, also you may be able to afford a green lipped muscle based supplement to his food, this can be a huge help, check out your local super market for same.

    But no use to do any of this unless you keep weight right down.
    Cheers and good luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Depending on the severity of the affliction, amputation may be a possibility. It sounds like a harsh reality, but if this is going to be a constant source of pain throughout the dog's life, then it may be the wiser option.

    If the condition is totally treatable, just expensive, then you can seek a repayment option or credit which most Vets now offer. The surgery can be paid off over several years, months or whatever.

    If you feel it your dog isn't worth the grief of a debt such as this or you really can't justify spending large amounts on a dog (it is reality regardless of who reading this accepts it).... then the kindest thing is to find a carer willing to do it or put him to sleep.

    Personally, my dogs are my responsibilty and I would do whatever I could and pay for it however I could, in the best interests of my dog. I understand that not everyone thinks like this, even though to me, it would be utopia if they did.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  7. #7


    Joined this discussion recently. Feeling bad to hear this. Try to get your dog to loose weight. Most probably consult with animal doctor.

  8. #8


    I've been told that I'll never walk again after a motorcycle accident.
    I have had more surgery than anyone I know and I was in constant debilitating pain for years and then I heard about serrapeptase.
    Now I can walk and carry out most of my daily tasks relatively pain free.
    Serrapeptase is an enzyme derived from silk worms (or a bacterial ferment these days), it dissolves scar tissue and is great for inflammation of all kinds, for me it worked where anti-inflammatory drugs failed.
    I believe some vets are now using it for animals.
    Animal Treatments |
    Last edited by Bundybear; 04-14-2011 at 03:30 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Queensland. Australia


    First thing to think is What is best for Ringo.
    Other members have offered good advice, as has your vet. There are also lots of web sites and university libraries filled with veterinary books/ magazines etc to look for more info. Would you be willing to ask for help from a university vet campus and have students helping with Ringos treatment ?
    I understand being broke and needing help and hoping for a good outcome for you and Ringo.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009



    Had a look at the website, has the feel of snake oil to me... did a bit more googling and the independent studies are divided about whether it helps or not. And one doctor asked how a protein in a pill could survive our digestitive system to do any good. He suspected that the therapudic use in Japan involves intravenous administration.

    I had several knee ops, and it took years for the pain to reduce to a tolerable level where I'm not continually aware of it. I occasionally took some glucosamine type supplements but not sure if they did any good either.

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