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XRay Picture, final round of advice before tommorrows surgery
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Georgia
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So almost everyone is sounding the amputate call but a couple of holdouts are saying set it and see what happens and how it grows back, "a bent leg is better than no leg".  I'm inclined to go with majority and the knowledge of the vet and go ahead with the surgery when I look at those bone shards but wanted to see what folks here might see in relation to their own pets trauma's and related experiences. No cancer involved just roadside accident, thanks in advance.  http://i1356.photobucket.com/albums/q730/whimsicalone/gingerleg1_zpsjng60s6x.jpgImage Enlarger

Joined forum after Ginger, 2 1/2 year old German Shepherd, had front leg shattered by car on 4/1/17. Front leg amputated on 4/5/17. Still learning to be a tripawd mom.

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4 April 2017 - 11:02 am
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I'm afraid I just don't know enough to be able to interpret. Purely based on my own experience (my Meg suffered an explosive fracture of her elbow), one thing that strikes me is that as this fracture does not involve a joint, I would have thought the prognosis would be better both in terms of ease of repair and long term complications such as arthritis (but I am absolutely NOT an expert). The other thing is that as the break is below the elbow, based again on my limited understanding, I would think a prothesis MIGHT be an option (you need two working joints, you've got them) and if you do decide to go the amputation route then this is something that needs to be decided before surgery, as it affects how they amputate. If you possibly can, I would try and see a board certified orthopaedic surgeon, but I realise this may not be an option.

Good luck with it all. Keep posting. You have come to the best place for advice and support, and we really do understand what a terribly stressful and upsetting time this is.

Big hug,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 8, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Elsie Pie, & Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


Georgia
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4 April 2017 - 11:08 am
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megstamum said
I'm afraid I just don't know enough to be able to interpret. Purely based on my own experience (my Meg suffered an explosive fracture of her elbow), one thing that strikes me is that as this fracture does not involve a joint, I would have thought the prognosis would be better both in terms of ease of repair and long term complications such as arthritis (but I am absolutely NOT an expert). The other thing is that as the break is below the elbow, based again on my limited understanding, I would think a prothesis MIGHT be an option (you need two working joints, you've got them) and if you do decide to go the amputation route then this is something that needs to be decided before surgery, as it affects how they amputate. If you possibly can, I would try and see a board certified orthopaedic surgeon, but I realise this may not be an option.

Good luck with it all. Keep posting. You have come to the best place for advice and support, and we really do understand what a terribly stressful and upsetting time this is.

Big hug,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx  

Thanks for the warm welcome, for clarification I personally did not see an orthopedic surgeon but asked my vet to consult one by sending xrays, etc.  After that conversation they shared with me was $5,000 minimum to start surgery approach and no guarantees, of success, mentioning plates, rods, pins, etc.  I asked about prosthetics and they said yes it's an emerging field but not well established yet, especially here in GA.  Probably a couple years they'll be able to print out a new leg from a 3d printer *sigh*

Joined forum after Ginger, 2 1/2 year old German Shepherd, had front leg shattered by car on 4/1/17. Front leg amputated on 4/5/17. Still learning to be a tripawd mom.

Germany
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4 April 2017 - 11:51 am
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Hi! Stupid tough decision, isn't it? Sorry you're going through this! That looks like one nasty break! I'm not qualified to give advice here either, I can only tell you how it is for us. Manni is a front leg amputee (like Clare's Meg but in our case cancer). He gets around great. No doubt. BUT no, it's not the same as it was before. We used to take 2-3 hour hikes on weekends, he would run next to my bike... nothing of that is possible anymore. Which in itself is fine because Manni's still with me. I do worry about him a lot if he falls again, which happens. Would I amputate again? Yes. Absolutely. Your case is obviously very different. I can totally understand that you don't really want to go with an option where it's not clear if that will be successful and that nonetheless costs big bucks and where you may end up with having to amputate. 

So I am afraid I don't have mich in terms of advice apart from: yes, they manage perfectly well on three and can have a fantastic quality of life but no: it's not going to be the same as before. 

Do you maybe have a teaching hospital in the vicinity? Many here have had very good experiences with those and maybe they would be able to see you as an emergency. More than one opinion in those matters are usually really helpful. 

All the best, keep us posted!!

tina & Manni

Guardian of Manni the Wonderdog. -Or is it the other way 'round?

Manni was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in Dec '15 and immediately had his right front leg amputated, followed by 5 rounds of chemo. Manni's real name is Manfred and he turns 10 on Jan 28 2017. So far we are mets-free...

Michigan
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4 April 2017 - 6:52 pm
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Murphy also had cancer, so not a trauma victim.

But one thing to consider is that dogs carry the majority of their weight in the front - I think they say 60% of their weight (I'm sure someone will chime in with the correct percentage) ...so with the complex surgery your dog will need, I would imagine that healing will be a little more difficult as will the likelihood of future damage to that leg.

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old.  He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  

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The Rainbow Bridge

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4 April 2017 - 9:14 pm
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As you know we aren't vets so there's only so much we can interpret. I tend to agree with Clare's insight, that a clean break like this would be easier to fix. But yeah, it's not cheap and unfortunately we've seen many folks spend lots of money to save the leg, only to have to resort to amputation later on when the fix didn't take. It's a gamble and if the cost is in your budget, then many people would say it's worth the chance. But so much of the situation lies in the hands of the surgeon who's doing it, so unless you know for certain that your surgeon is awesome, it's chancey.

When it comes to amputation, the most current thinking is to save as much of the leg as possible so that a prosthesis is an option later on down the road. In fact tomorrow's News blog post is all about prosthetics. These devices are new and definitely a time and money commitment, but when they work they are amazing and awesome and restore a dog to almost 100% on four legs. When they are poorly made they are a disaster. And if a prosthesis doesn't work out, or the remaining stump doesn't heal properly, sometimes an "amputation correction" will be done via a second surgery to remove the extra bone. 

Amputation will get rid of the pain, and it will guarantee that you don't have these extra issues to deal with. What it will do however is bring certain factors into her life that wouldn't have been there before, such as extra weight on one front leg, and a compromised gait and stance that will eventually make her more prone to arthritis at an earlier age. The vast majority of people we've surveyed here still say that amputation was worth it. 

As you can see there are no guarantees or easy answers. Follow your gut instinct and you can't go wrong.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Georgia
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5 April 2017 - 4:28 am
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jerry said
As you know we aren't vets so there's only so much we can interpret. I tend to agree with Clare's insight, that a clean break like this would be easier to fix. But yeah, it's not cheap and unfortunately we've seen many folks spend lots of money to save the leg, only to have to resort to amputation later on when the fix didn't take. It's a gamble and if the cost is in your budget, then many people would say it's worth the chance. But so much of the situation lies in the hands of the surgeon who's doing it, so unless you know for certain that your surgeon is awesome, it's chancey.

When it comes to amputation, the most current thinking is to save as much of the leg as possible so that a prosthesis is an option later on down the road. In fact tomorrow's News blog post is all about prosthetics. These devices are new and definitely a time and money commitment, but when they work they are amazing and awesome and restore a dog to almost 100% on four legs. When they are poorly made they are a disaster. And if a prosthesis doesn't work out, or the remaining stump doesn't heal properly, sometimes an "amputation correction" will be done via a second surgery to remove the extra bone. 

Amputation will get rid of the pain, and it will guarantee that you don't have these extra issues to deal with. What it will do however is bring certain factors into her life that wouldn't have been there before, such as extra weight on one front leg, and a compromised gait and stance that will eventually make her more prone to arthritis at an earlier age. The vast majority of people we've surveyed here still say that amputation was worth it. 

As you can see there are no guarantees or easy answers. Follow your gut instinct and you can't go wrong.  

Thanks for that advice, I spent 3 hours chatting with a UK vet friend last night and she likened our vet care to that of a 3rd world country before it was all over and had me wishing I had the money to hop a plane.  

I wish I lived in an area with more resources, I wish I had more financial resources.  But my gut is telling me now that the poor dog has been walking with jello leg for 4 days now without any kind of support and it's time to do something and not drag things out any longer chasing other options.  UK friend outraged that she didn't have any kind of bandage or wrap, didn't help my confidence much. They're going to do the full amputation -I asked about prosthetics and it's just still too new I guess to have made it into rural GA as a viable option. We do have University of GA, it's about 2 hours away, would it be bad to postpone another day and see what I could find out from them I wonder?

Also over course of last couple days had 2 orthopedic surgeons look at x-rays(not the dog), and neither were encouraging, whether they were lazy or pessimistic or giving me a well qualified medical opinion I won't know, but feeling kind of in the corner now, no one outside of this board, the bus driver where I work or the UK vet has given me hope or encouragement to try something else in a chorus line of amputate amputate amputate.  I also stopped at another vet on way home from work yesterday to show them the pictures, yet another "well you could pursue surgery, spend a lot of money, no guarantees, extending the pain for her, amputation probably your best choice",  

I'm supposed to drop her off at the vet in 2 hours unless I do a quick call in to work, drive past the vets office and drive where.... the only other orthopedic doctor within 2 hours that we didn't talk to because he is out of office?  If I ask the vet for another day to consult a 3rd surgeon, then we have how many more days of her limping around on 3 legs waiting for a rescheduled surgery *sigh*.  I guess I'm settling, do I think this is the best move, maybe not - but do I have better moves available, not that I can see.  *sigh*, heavy heart but if anyone here where I live had so much as given me a straw to grasp onto I would have.  I guess my main reservation is I keep hearing "oh they do great on 3 legs", from the doctors, which makes me wonder ok are we just grabbing that option because it's most conventional and "they do great", or is it because it's really the best one.

But it's harder than I thought as I lay here with her curled up next to me, still wondering if I should jump for something else and not play it safe for a change.  

Anyway thanks for the advice all

Joined forum after Ginger, 2 1/2 year old German Shepherd, had front leg shattered by car on 4/1/17. Front leg amputated on 4/5/17. Still learning to be a tripawd mom.

Germany
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5 April 2017 - 5:43 am
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If your gut tells you it's time to do something now and not let her be in pain for another day then listen to your gut. It's really really hard to give any kind of advice here because I guess we all feel that you're trying to do everything you can and there just doesn't seem to be one right answer. She willl be ok on three.

One question though: do you know if the U of GA have an emergency care or could you find out? and: is it feasible for you to drive those 2 hours? and: will your current vets be able to postpone the amp for a day or would that mean a delay of, like, a week or whatever?? Would that be possible with your work?

If you are able to answer all those questions with a yes, maybe give it a try? If she's able to play again, she probably is not in so much pain that she couldn't wait one more day. At least that way you can put your mind at ease a little more by having tried everything in your power.

But: if there is a no answer to any of that above, then go with what your gut and what your vets tell you and try to not second-guess because it WILL BE OK!!

There is no advice in this really but I hope this helps even a little bit. It's such a hard place you're in, I'm really sorry. Let us know what you decided.

Hugs,

tina

Guardian of Manni the Wonderdog. -Or is it the other way 'round?

Manni was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in Dec '15 and immediately had his right front leg amputated, followed by 5 rounds of chemo. Manni's real name is Manfred and he turns 10 on Jan 28 2017. So far we are mets-free...

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5 April 2017 - 5:59 am
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I agree with Tina. There is no one solution where you will think, yes, this is definitely the best thing to do. It's a question of weighing them against each other and making the best decision you can (taking all the factors into consideration) and then going with that.

I do think that, IF you are able to, going to the University of GA would be a very good idea. I do believe it would be worth postponing a day or two for. I think it will help you going forward to know that you have tried every avenue. They may very well agree that amputation would be best, but I think it will greatly ease your mind (and get you in the best frame of mind to care for Ginger) to know that you have covered every base in arriving at that decision.

Whatever course of action you take, it will be okay. You will make it work. This is just such a hard thing to go through, but you will get through it, and Ginger will be fine. we are all here for you.

Big hug,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

PS I am in the UK, and though there is certainly some excellent vet care, there's plenty that isn't, trust me... I suspect it's very similar to North America, a mixed bag. We all just have to work with what we have.

Meg, Mutt, aged around 8, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Elsie Pie, & Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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5 April 2017 - 6:42 am
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If you can afford it, go to UGA. Am EXTREMELY familiar with the hospital and it is not a 3rd world facility/teaching/ practicing facility. What will happen is a team looking at how best to proceed and you will be given all viable options. Where are you in Georgia? Totally agree with Clare that there are extraordinarily fantastic vets and vets who may not have the training,  philosophy, or resources of others:always a mixed bag. But UGA is as good as any other teaching hospital anywhere.Before amputation ( and that may be the recommendation), maybe go through the emergency room and get expert advice? Terrible that you have to go through this! PM me if you have any specific questions as - literally- have been through almost every service there for the last four decades. Best wishes! 

Georgia
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5 April 2017 - 8:09 am
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Thanks Tina, Meg and Charliebear, wish I had an extra day and might take a day to brave the weather to make the trip to UGA, but already dropped her off this morning and praying I'm making the right decision.  If not then she will be a casualty of small town dog with owner with limited finances, times like this I hate being a social worker and living in rural area,most of the time I love it.  

Anyway pushing the panic aside now that she is probably already in surgery and working on changing to a positive mindset, long term complication risks aside know she will be happier not lugging around the jelly leg.  I appreciate the validation that there is no clear right answer that will present itself, and that's what I wanted - I caught a glimpse of it last night but from a country away so just putting my trust into the competency of the vet I have here and taking solace that even if the surgery would have worked and the leg would have been saved, which I'll never know, it's not significantly harming her to take the amputation route.  And now going to start engaging in some retail therapy to prep for her homecoming.  

So glad we found this board 🙂  Have a good day all, and anyone in SE US stay safe.

Joy & Ginger

Joined forum after Ginger, 2 1/2 year old German Shepherd, had front leg shattered by car on 4/1/17. Front leg amputated on 4/5/17. Still learning to be a tripawd mom.

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5 April 2017 - 8:38 am
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JOY! YOU ARE DOING THE "RIGHT" THING!! You are making a decision out of love and that is ALWAYS the right decision!!

You have gotten a lot of sound feedback from many, many Vets. And I really, really ,really believe everyone who gave you the advice to amputate (or leaned that way) think that is absolutely the best thing for Ginger. It's not something they were saying based on finances or anything else. It was based on what they believed would be the best for Ginger in the long run pretty much guaranteed! Additionally, all your thought processes you shared were very, very sound. Shhhh.....personally, I'm really glad you listened to your inner voice and went this route.

Okay, you are moving forward now and need to try and get some rest while Ginger is at the clinic. She'll be high as a kite on some good drugs not feeling a thing.....but seeing a lot of pink elephants!!

And YES, Ginger will do just fine on three legs.....but she has to get through revoery first and that's no picnic for about two weeks!

STAY CONNECTED!!!!

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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5 April 2017 - 10:57 pm
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Don't feel bad about having to consider finances!  Having all the money and resources in the world are no guarantee that the leg could be saved.  The truth is that we will NEVER know what would have happened if we chose a different path.  We do our research, consider all factors and make a choice.

As humans we do tend to second guess ourselves, but our pups don't look back. I spent lots of time mourning all the things Maggie couldn't do after her rear amp.  But when I finally shook off my funk I realized that Maggie wasn't missing anything at all- she was too busy figuring out how to do what she wanted to do.

I hope the surgery went well today, please update when you can.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

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