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Dog with broken pelvis

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  • Dog with broken pelvis

    Sadly my lab Charlie was hit by a car yesterday. The good news is he only suffered a broken pelvis (It is not great news but al least there is no internal damage). The vet said that it would heal on it's won if he had complete rest. I consulted with another vet who said the same thing and I am having the x-rays sent to a orthopedic vet.

    I was wondering if anyone else has had this type of injury and if they had surgery or if they let it heal on it's own. Was it successful? Any advice would be great.

  • #2
    Pelvic fractures in dogs are generally inoperable, as thers is usually not enough strong bone left to plate and piece back together. But letting it heal on it's own works very well for the vast majority of dogs. I haven't had a dog with this problem, but I worked in a emergency and speciality practice with two great orthopedic surgeons. I don't think we cut a single dog for pelvic fractures the whole time I was there. Best of luck to you and your dog, and as hard as it is, the more quiet and restricted he stays the better and faster he'll heal.

    Katherine
    Vet Tech
    You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thank you so much for your reply. I just want to make sure I am doing the best for him. In your experience did any of the dogs have later trouble with arthritis(sp?)? is there anything I can do to help prevent or lessen any trouble later in his life? We are going to crate him for a month and then re-check him after that.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have had two dogs with broken pelvis's. One was a raggedy stray that I found in the middle of the interstate after she got run over (which was what caused the broken pelvis) and the other is a dog that I kept after I arrested her owner on animal abuse charges. The second dog is a three legged dog (due to the abuse) and we have no idea how she broke her pelvis. She did it after she had been with me for awhile. Of course she goes everywhere at about 100 mph so there's no telling.

        Anyway, I kept both of them as quiet as possible (in the house a lot and no jumping) and both healed 100% with no limp. Well, the three legged dog healed with as much of no limp as a three legged dog can have I had the old raggedy stray for 12 more years and she never limped a day in her life.

        Being as your guy is a lab, if you have trouble keeping him quiet maybe see about getting a mild tranq for him. They don't have to stay entirely still, just no chasing squirrels, jumping etc. Diazepam might be a good one just to chill him out. it only took a few weeks for both of mine to heal pretty well.

        ETA: I didn't crate either of mine, just kept them in the house and they were good patients. I was concerned in a crate they would have a harder time getting comfy. I only gave them the pain meds at night before bed, I felt it was better for them to be a little ouchy so they would stay quieter.
        "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

        Comment


        • #5
          Had a friend who's dog got hit and broke it's pevlis quite a few years back and he was put on complete rest w/o surgery. In a few weeks he was healed up nicely. Had a little hitch in his git along but not really any worse for the wear.

          Comment


          • #6
            Typically you won't see any increased problems with arthritis, unless the pelvis fractures involve the socket for the head of the femur, which is the only time we have done surgery. That being said, we are discussing a lab, so overall general good guidelines are keeping him at a lean body weight. If you think he's too skinny he's probably just right. Also new studies are comfirming what we believed, a good joint supplement can go a long way if started before joint damage occurs. Nutrimax laboratories puts out really good supplements, and their products meet label claims better than some others. They make Cosequin and Dasequin, and a lot of others. Omega fatty acids also can help joints, as well as mental and skin health. SAMe is a good liver supplement, and also a natural mood enhancer.
            You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a 9 yr old male lab that I adopted from a rescue last fall. He broke his pelvis last summer - so would have been 8 at the time. He goes like stink although he has sort of a "throws his back legs" a bit when he runs. He gets joint supps and will for the rest of his life but he healed well and his future is bright.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thank ya'll so much for all your input! I bring him home today and will see how he does. I am going to crate him this week and then confine him to a bathroom. We have another very hyper dog so I need Charlie confined so Bo does not hurt him trying to play. I will let you know how it goes.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My kitty broke her pelvis a month ago. They gave her pain killers and she was confined. Once she pooped and peed, she was out of the woods in terms of survival. Maybe ask you vet about a stool softener. I think it was very painful for her to poop.

                  FWIW, Heidi the cat is up and about now, and you can't tell she broke her pelvis. The puncture wound took longer to heal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Allowing a dog to be "a little bit ouchy" to keep them quiet is disgusting and not acceptable,

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Twoblackcats View Post
                      Allowing a dog to be "a little bit ouchy" to keep them quiet is disgusting and not acceptable,
                      he is on pain killers so he is not in pain. I am not sure what post you are referring to.

                      Charlie came home today and has been laying around on his nice comfy bed. I was surprised at how much weight he is putting on the leg. I am going to order cosequin Ds for him to help ward off any long term problems. I know he was glad to get home. However he wants to go back to normal routine and id having trouble realizing he can't.

                      Thanks for all the responeses. It is scary when a vet tells you to let a broken bone heal on it's own. I feel better after doing research and hearing for ya'll!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I had a lab cross (bigger than usual labs and stockier) who had a broken pelvis, as diagnosed by the vet. I don't remember doing ANYTHING different (CERTAINLY would never crate a dog in this condition!!!!!!) except carrying him up and down the front steps when we went to visit my boyfriend's house). Healed very well.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          They recommended a crate to keep him quiet and still. I am going to try it today since he busted out of the bathroom with a baby gate yesterday. The crate is huge so it shouldbe ok. If it isn't i will need to come up with a new plan.

                          Just a question for everyone....How long was your dog in a great amount of pain? When did you see improvement?

                          Thanks Again Everyone!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We found a stray puppy, around 6-8 months, on the side of the road which had been HBC with a "shattered" pelvis, fractured neck of the femur, and 2 fractured tibias. He was a body condition score of 0.5/5 and 16 pounds. He had erhlichia and very low platelets, and was shock-y He was barely alive when I found him, and wouldn't stand up at first. We named him Ricky.

                            There was too much remodeling to consider surgery (besides the low platelets). The injury looked to be about 2 weeks old.

                            He was crated. He had never been in a house, so crating him ensured he'd stay quiet and not run around. I highly recommend crating a hyper lab with this sort of injury. Outside of the crate he should be leased. You can ask your vet for sedatives. We kept Ricky on Tramadol for a good month.... it's an analgesic which can help keep them sleepy, too. As he learned to be an inside dog, he was kept in a small confined area, maybe 5' x 5', because he didn't go crazy and stayed quiet.

                            Ricky healed very well. It's been 8 months. He did have a FHO (removed the head of his femur) due to that fracture 2 months ago . He is 55 pounds now, and was adopted by another student, who named him Trooper.

                            The biggest thing you worry about with the pelvis is that it heals too narrow and causes constipation. We fed Trooper Ricky lots of wet food at first. He has no problems now.

                            Ricky when I found him:
                            http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...t=Ricki059.jpg
                            http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...t=Ricki057.jpg
                            http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...t=Ricki015.jpg
                            Video:http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...t=Ricki070.flv
                            http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...t=Ricki072.flv
                            (He had learned to eat grass to survive. I was amazed at how quickly he learned people were good)

                            At the clinic:
                            http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...eclinic008.jpg

                            Coming more and more alive:
                            http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...eclinic009.jpg

                            http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...inghome003.jpg
                            (He bore weight on the less fractured leg)


                            Trooper 2 months after I first found him. He is even bigger now. :
                            http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...=Sept08045.jpg
                            http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...=Sept08041.jpg
                            Video:
                            http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...=Sept08090.flv

                            His owners do swim him all the time, which is great rehab for him.

                            Just found a recent pictures of "Trooper". Here he is with his owner (a fellow student) and her fiance (another vet student). He is HUGE compared to the broken 16 lb critter we found less than a year ago.
                            http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...nt=trooper.jpg
                            Last edited by FatPalomino; Mar. 22, 2009, 04:24 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ETA: I didn't crate either of mine, just kept them in the house and they were good patients. I was concerned in a crate they would have a harder time getting comfy. I only gave them the pain meds at night before bed, I felt it was better for them to be a little ouchy so they would stay quieter.[/QUOTE]

                              spotnnotfarm:
                              This is the post I was referring to...
                              I am glad you got some answers for your puppy. I am a vet tech that works in a surgical practice and have seen my fair share of broken pelvis dogs/cats. Some we are able to repair surgically - some that we let mother nature take its course. Most have a good outcome.


                              Good luck!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by ttldr1 View Post
                                Had a friend who's dog got hit and broke it's pevlis quite a few years back and he was put on complete rest w/o surgery. In a few weeks he was healed up nicely. Had a little hitch in his git along but not really any worse for the wear.
                                I had a cat that got hit, and we just put him in a dog sized crate. He was probably in there 2 weeks until he could really try to get up and move around. As he progressed, I would let him out to walk around a little bit as long as he behaved and didn't try to jump on furniture!

                                He was limited probably 6 weeks total. He has an interesting gait now, we say he walks like a pimp.

                                Has no trouble jumping up on anything. This happened maybe 6-8 months ago?

                                I'd say give it a shot without doing surgery. If you are careful during the recovery I'd say you are in good shape.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Twoblackcats View Post
                                  ETA: I didn't crate either of mine, just kept them in the house and they were good patients. I was concerned in a crate they would have a harder time getting comfy. I only gave them the pain meds at night before bed, I felt it was better for them to be a little ouchy so they would stay quieter.
                                  spotnnotfarm:
                                  This is the post I was referring to...
                                  I am glad you got some answers for your puppy. I am a vet tech that works in a surgical practice and have seen my fair share of broken pelvis dogs/cats. Some we are able to repair surgically - some that we let mother nature take its course. Most have a good outcome.


                                  Good luck![/QUOTE]

                                  Ok I am going to say here that I discussed this with my vet, and the vet agreed that for this particular dog it was better to keep the pain meds to a minimum to help the dog regulate itself. As opposed to a higher doses of meds, wherein the dog would feel better and think it was fine and want to hop around. The dog did fine, did not express any discomfort at all and healed to more than 100%.
                                  every situation is different, every animal is different, and that's why there are vets. To help us care for our animals. What worked for my animals might not work for yours.
                                  My equine vet has also helped me to manage pain for some of my horses for various things in this manner with great success.
                                  I am also going to emphatically state that I would never let any animal needlessly suffer.
                                  "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Update

                                    Charlie is still resting all the time. We put him in the crate yesterday but my husband said when he got home Charlie had a hard time getting out of the crate. So we have reinforced the gate at the bathroom door and he spent some time in there yesterday. He appeared to be much more comfortable. This morninghe was putting a little more weight on the leg.

                                    Fat Palomino-Thanks for the pictures! WOW what a recovery he has made. I hope Charlie makes one like that.

                                    Jaegermonster-I to have had a vet recommend not giving pain meds for a horse. Charlie is a calm dog so I am giving him meds. However, if it was my VERY hyper coonhound/cattle dog cross I may have to do the same thing. HE NEVER rests!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Twoblackcats View Post
                                      Allowing a dog to be "a little bit ouchy" to keep them quiet is disgusting and not acceptable,
                                      First off, if you want a color-background quote easily, just left click on the "quote" button at the bottom right of a post.

                                      Second, different doctors (&, probably, different vet practices) have different philosophies about pain. I know when I broke my leg (33 years ago), the doctor would not prescribe pain medication of any sort; he told me "Pain is a message to your body; listen to it". That was in the days before you could buy ibuprofen or naproxen sodium over the counter, too. I lived in misery for many months.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by spotnnotfarm View Post
                                        This morning he was putting a little more weight on the leg.
                                        You may want to ask your vet about that. I'm not sure if you would even want him putting weight on it at this time.
                                        Our dog was 'toe touching' while standing when we found him 2 weeks after the HBC but did not use his bad leg for many weeks after the injury... but did have several other injuries. When my husband broke his hip, they insisted he not put any weight on it for weeks.

                                        Originally posted by spotnnotfarm View Post
                                        Fat Palomino-Thanks for the pictures! WOW what a recovery he has made. I hope Charlie makes one like that.
                                        The dogs around here are known to be amazingly resilient. Honestly, we were amazed at how well he recovered *and* retained his happy, kind disposition. He's a really popular dog among the vet students... everyone knows his story.

                                        Just found a recent pictures of "Trooper". Here he is with his owner (a fellow student) and her fiance (another vet student). He is HUGE compared to the broken 16 lb critter we found less than a year ago.
                                        http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...nt=trooper.jpg

                                        Keep us updated
                                        Last edited by FatPalomino; Mar. 22, 2009, 04:23 PM.

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