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Yikes! Poor Faye!

 

I have to admit, I think that photo of her pins & plate is fascinatingly cool. Even vet medicine has modern marvels!

 

The good news is that young Border Collies are like little kids- they bounce back pretty quickly. Trouble is, they tend to want to go before they're ready. She'll be back to normal in no time.

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It blows me away how mobile she is. The leg is stable. It's not a plate but a steel rod with the screws attached to it and her leg bones. The rod and screws are covered in tape but seems to be for preventing it from catching on things. She was trying to chew on an antler and held it with that foot.

She tried to chew on the end of the rod. I corrected her and she's quit. Doc said she can lick without damaging it. Hoping we can get by without E collar.

 

It's gonna be a long 2 week business trip for me.

 

Thanks for all the well wishes and I will update with DH's updates. I'm going to make him send me pictures of the progress.

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Poor girl, I'm glad she's home, looks like a serious break! Shiner borke his foot this past spring, not as serious, but he reinjured it just as it was starting to heal. It's an ordeal keeping them off of it once it starts to feel better!

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Faye is an ordeal! ;). Vet really didn't say to keep her totally still. Maybe I need to call him and see exactly what she can and can't do. I'm gonna need lots of duck tape to keep her still. Even on a leash she goes 150mph. Just smaller distantances.

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The orthodogs yahoo group does sometimes have people on there that have had dogs with broken legs. I'm sure you could find someone there that's been through something similar that can share their experiences. If you do join it I suggest turning off the email notification and just going straight to the link. It can be a bit overwhelming at first because there are so many members and most of them are ACL tears. But there are a ton of knowledgeable folks on there and the core group that are on there will likely know where to point you.

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodogs/

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I've gotta agree with Nick - the pins and plate thing fascinates me. I was going to ask you post a close-up so I could study the construction!

 

Do they do this sort of external hookup with humans? It seems so much less invasive that putting the pins and plates under the skin, and then having to do a second surgery to remove them afterwards!

 

Good luck. I look forward to hearing about Faye's progress.

 

Mary

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They use that device because of how bad the break is. It's really good for stablizing when there are multiple pieces and when the break may alter the length of the leg, like traction. Yes, they can use it in people too.

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They told me Faye's break was both the ulna and the radius but a clean break or is it breaks, right in the middle of the elbow and the wrist. He didn't really say why he was using this except he had the best luck with it instead of something internal, also say it was way cheaper, which is an issue but not if it's going to be less of a good fix.

There was no incision, just where they put the screws in and they the attached the steel rod and tightened it to the point of the bones being back aligned. I saw the xray of it before and after. Looked good to me but what do I know.

I will try and get a close up of it. The swelling is going away and it looks nice straight. We'll see. I'm thinking I might have him xray again before the 6 weeks, just to be sure we don't have to do anything else. I think I saw where an xray was only 30 bucks.

 

It's going to be a long 6 weeks and this first 2 is going to kill DH, I think he's kinda freakin out about it. I don't blame him though.

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I've gone through broken legs with 2 puppies. One was stepped on by his dam, the other injured herself playing in the yard (I didn't see her do it, but suspect she tried to jump the fence and got caught). It is very hard to restrict the activity of a young, active breed, but very important for a successful outcome. For one pup it was a full 4 months of restriction with several more months of slowly building her back up after that. Seeing her pain free and working for hours at a time makes it all worth it.

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Yep Liz, it is hard but we're working on it. I sorta wish it hurt a bit so she's be more likely to stay put but no she thinks I'm torturing her with the thing called a leash.

Before this she was very skitish about collars and leashes. She'd walk on one and wear one but hated getting them put on. Now she runs right into the leash as it means we're going outside.

 

Again.....long 2 months ahead!

 

Liz did your puppies have the external rod and pins too?

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I can't imagine how hard keeping Faye calm and quiet will be.

 

Three weeks of Keeva in heat was bad enough.

 

When we can't get out(hurricane Sandy etc.) I bought small tennis balls from target(they are soft)and we play in the house. I throw or roll them to her. She always has to gather all four of them in a pile. She can do this forever. It really doesn't use as much physical energy more mental.

 

Good Luck !

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Frankie was stepped on by his dam at 3 weeks old. The force shattered the 1/3 of his femur that makes up the stifle and sent an embolus to his spinal cord. In other words, he had a broken leg and was paralyzed. Because he was only 3 weeks old, his bones were still very soft. That and the nature of the fracture (lots of tiny pieces), surgery was not an option. I had to do range of motion exercises to try to encourage the formation of a functional joint while his body healed on its own.

 

Frankie5weekstoy.jpg 4 weeks old, just days after his injury.

 

In a weird way, it helped that he was paralyzed and not trying to run on his leg. I did a lot of PT with him, every hour he got ROM exercises and 3 times a day he got water therapy in my bathtub. He only weighed a few pounds, so I would fill the tub with water and hold his chest so he didn't drown. Frankie hated it and would paddle to try to get out.

 

Frankie6weekscattoy.jpg You can see that at 6 weeks old his growth was a bit stunted, though he did eventually catch up.

 

By 8 weeks old he had enough function to totter across the room to get to his food and water dishes. By 12 weeks old he could finally run and play with his brother. His right leg is several inches shorter than the left, it bends out at an odd angle and the stifle is deformed, though it works and so far there are no signs of arthritis (at 6 years old). He was probably 10 months old before he could completely control his bladder. He is mostly retired now because if I try to work him for long his back legs give out and it takes him a full day to recover. He also had a stroke last year thanks to a bad case of Lyme disease.

 

FrankieNov2008runFrankierun.jpg

 

Hazel broke her leg at about 4 months old. I think she tried to jump the fence, caught her leg and twisted it because she had a spiral fracture of her humerus. She was in the yard with my dogs while we were inside. I heard screaming and went outside to find her huddled in a corner with her leg held up.

 

We tried crate rest and pain control, but the two pieces just didn't want to come back together. The section that broke off wasn't large enough to be important for weight bearing during recovery, so the surgeon removed the fragment. Damage had also been done to her shoulder by the loose fragment, so he had to do an arthroscopy to repair the cartilage and remove a section of joint capsule.

 

Just days after surgery we started ROM exercises. Two weeks out we started short leash walks, increases the distance a little bit each week. Like your pup, Hazel didn't know what a leash was prior to breaking her leg, but now she is my best dog for loose lead walking.

 

We were worried that the damage to the joint might lead to long term lameness problems, but she made a full recovery and has been pain free. I've worked her for hours at a time, gone on 15 mile bike rides and hikes up mountains. Since her recovery, she hasn't been lame. Actually, the hardest part of getting her back in shape was toughening up her pads!

 

I don't have any pics of Hazel during her recovery because my camera had broken and all my money went into her surgery, but here is a pic of her just months later.

 

HazelPamsWU2CROPPED.jpg

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Liz, did hazel have a cast or external stablizers? How.could just pain management and crate rest mend her leg? Did she have surgery? Faye's leg seems extremely stable. More than a cast. But it freaks me out to see the pins. She's like little Frankinfaye!

We are walking her on leash, sometimes I let her off cause she hates to go potty on lead. But even on lead faye hurries. She hurries in her sleep! She is just a speedy dog. If she's not running she creeping. She will bare weight on it if she's creeping.

 

I pray this is Faye's big injury and we are good to go.

But sometimes there are those dogs that are destined to get hurt, please let it not be speedy girl faye!

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Many years ago we had a yearling colt who broke his cannon bone clean. We actually took him, in the middle of the night, to a small animal practice where we maneuvered him, through the lobby and whole place, into the surgery. The vet did him on the floor between the tables and did the same thing. External. Very cool and it saved his life.

We had to do some cleaning around the wounds but he obviously was living in a stall and not a clean house too.

 

When my super high drive czech dog had to suffer 3 months of crate rest at less than a year old, good chew toys, some trick stuff (clicker), lots of simply ignoring her begging for play and patience did do the trick. I am sure your girl will be just fine.

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The fracture was high up on her humerus, and because the piece was in alignment, we hoped it would heal with strict crate rest. That didn't work, so she did have rather expensive surgery to explore the fracture and see what was going on. We were prepared to use a plate or pins if needed. The surgeon decided the fragment was best removed since it wasn't large enough to influence weight bearing. We then went into another round of strict crate rest and crossed our fingers that her body could repair the damage on its own. Thankfully, that is what happened.

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