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Broken Leg - Vet ProBono work?

September 25th, 2006, 05:54 AM
Here's the situation. Our dog Missy was in the backyard for less than 10 minutes tonight. All of a sudden we hear her screaming. We found her at the front door. We think she climbed the chain link fence and either got her leg caught in it or jumped from the top and landed wrong.

Of course I'm feeling extremely guilty and can't sleep. I NEVER let our dogs out at night without standing outside with them. I was doing dishes though, so I just let them out for a few minutes. Now this.

The result of whatever she did, is a broken radus to her front leg. (The part between their joint and paw.) We took her to the Emergency Vet Hospital. The xrays show that the muscles have already contracted and have merged the lower bone on top of the upper bone. They doped her up and tried to pull the bone down to realign it and cast it. They could not get it down to align it.

The vet said in order to repair it, she will need it surgically plated. The cost is $1200 - $1500. We discussed amputation as well, $500 - $800.

They put a splint on it and wrapped it for the night. Gave her enough pain killer that she should be fine through Monday afternoon, but that's it.

We do not have that kind of money. She's going to need immediate care, so no time to save up for it. My question is, do Vets that are willing to do probono work exist? If we can't find a Vet in Wichita, KS or surrounding areas that can work with us or help, we will have no choice but to put her to sleep. My husband is adimant that he can't put her down over a broken leg. I don't want to put her down anymore than he does, but I REFUSE to make her suffer.

Any contacts someone can suggest or recommend please? GREATLY appreciated.

September 25th, 2006, 06:04 AM
First off:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: I'm so sorry to hear about what you are struggling through.:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:
I've never heard of vets doing pro bono work, but many will take payment plans. Would you be able to afford it if you payed for it over several months? Ask your vet if they will take payments. Explain your situation and they may even drop the price a little (do it closer to cost).
Good luck:pray: :fingerscr

September 25th, 2006, 06:06 AM
Oh that is so difficult. There are many vets that will accept payments for major surgeries. Have you tried calling around? If you can't find one call your local shelter or SPCA. They may be able to refer you to a vet that will accept payments.

September 25th, 2006, 06:10 AM
Yes we could do payments. The vet at the hospital said most likely our regular vet would refer us back to them. He doesn't believe our vet does either fact he claims there are very few that do in our area.

So if that happens we are screwed, because he will not take payments. He has a vet credit card, so we applied for that, but were not approved.

So unfair.....she's only 1 1/2. Too young to let go.

September 25th, 2006, 06:13 AM
No I haven't been able to call yet. It happened around 9 Sunday evening. We just got home about 4 hours ago. No one is open yet as it's only 6 am here.

She's trying to wake up from the meds. She keeps trying to get up and yelps everytime she does. Hubby is holding her now to try and keep her from moving. Gonna be a long 2 hours till I can start calling.

September 25th, 2006, 08:46 AM
Go to and immediately fill out a request for an urgent plea. Things can get moving pretty quickly if you work hard at it.

Good luck ! :fingerscr

September 25th, 2006, 09:03 AM
THe kansas state veterinary teaching hospital

bottom line this page about arranging a payment plan

September 25th, 2006, 10:26 AM
Thank you for the responses! My aunt has a Care Credit card. She called and told me to find someone that would take it. I found someone!

It's All Creatures Vet Hospital for those in Wichita.

They had us bring her in immediately after we hung up. He also told us she broke it in the worst possible place. Apparently it's hard to get a good blood supply in that area, particularly on small dogs. He does not do plates, doesn't know how, but he has done 26 exact break surgeries using cross pins. Success rate of 25 out of the 26.

He said she has an 85% chance of recovering if the blood supply is good. If not, they would have to amputate down the road. I asked about amputating rather than chancing the surgery. He said if that's what we wanted, he would do it, but he would really struggle within himself over amputating a healthy limb. That right there made me cry, as if I hadn't cried enough already. I knew he had her best interest at heart and was not after the money.

He is doing the pins for $700. That includes the surgery, antibiotics, pain meds, bandages, splints, after care, everything. So it's all going on the card and we make monthly payments and get to keep her with us!!

He blocked all of his appointments out for this afternoon and will start the surgery at 1:30. They will call us around 4:00 to let us know how it went. We should be able to bring her back home tomorrow or Wednesday if all goes well. She will have to be crated or confined to a play pen for 6 to 8 weeks. So she's got a long road ahead of her.

Say some big prayers for Missy please.

Thank you again!

September 25th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Good news! I'm glad you found such a compassionate vet. Fingers crossed that all goes well this afternoon.

September 25th, 2006, 01:39 PM
finger crossed good luck and we will keep her in our prayers

September 25th, 2006, 01:42 PM
big prayers sent your way! you are :angel: s for doing whatever it took to get your girl back to healthy! she is sooo lucky to have you! :love:

September 25th, 2006, 03:20 PM
Fingers crossed here as well :fingerscr :fingerscr and thank you for finding a way to get Missy the care she needed. :grouphug:

September 25th, 2006, 04:13 PM
I see all the time on"Emergency vets"(Animal planet)how there is a veterinary hospital who help people and their pets for free,but maybe that is just in one state.
Anyway,I am happy you got some help with Missy and that shell recover quickly:fingerscr :dog:

September 25th, 2006, 05:13 PM
So it's five o'clock in Kansas, any news yet?

September 25th, 2006, 08:05 PM
Great news, :highfive: It seems the vets have really worked well with you on the price for the surgeries both the pin and the plate.
One of the most common type of fractures in racing greyhound is blowing their right hock in the turns during a race, I have one broken legged racer(Sunny) lucky for him he was a favorite and one of top dogs at the track at the time finishing in the top three positions in almost every race he ran, so unlike many other racers instead of being euthanized his race owner and the kennel he was at , who benefitted from his winnings paid for his surgery. Since adopting and learning the fate of many of these broken legged racers I have helped out with fundraising to help pay for some of these surgeries to help adoption groups who take in broken legged racers. The discounted price by orthopedic surgeons to adoption groups for plate surgeries often runs around $1800 to $2000 US. This very special adoption group where I got Maya a special needs very fearful girl, takes in several broken legged greyhounds, on the home page they quote the prices of surgery on 2 that just underwent surgeries who they are raising funds for , their special needs page shows other greyhounds that have underwent surgery.

This should help to give you an idea just how special the vets you have been dealing with really are ;)

September 25th, 2006, 08:44 PM
Sorry for the delay in updating. We've been busy cleaning and making special areas in each room for her, so we can move her with us if we need to be in another room.

The surgery went very well the vet said. The bones, instead of meeting at the break, overlapped each other. He had to get her muscles relaxed in order to pull the lower bone down. He got it down, aligned them, and inserted 3 titanium pins to hold them together. He stitched her back up, put a hard splint over her leg, and then wrapped it in bandages.

He said she's doing so well, we can probably bring her home in the morning. Her age and otherwise perfect health made it easier. They are going to check her vitals and rewrap the leg, then they will call us.

I'm sure I won't sleep good tonight. She's never been away from us since she was born. I'm hoping they have her pretty sedated so she doesn't realize she's not at home.

I have a webcam...doesn't take the best photos, but I'll take some of her tomorrow to share. I'm just glad I'm able to have kept her around to take the photos. :love:

Thank you all, once again.


September 25th, 2006, 09:09 PM
Glad to hear the surgery went well. :thumbs up Your poor baby has a long recovery but I hope it goes as well as possible. :fingerscr :fingerscr

Keep us updated as she progresses. :grouphug:

September 25th, 2006, 09:11 PM
I'm glad the surgery went ok. :fingerscr that the recovery goes well.

September 26th, 2006, 11:43 AM
She's home! Sportin a bright green cast. :D

She wants to be held constantly. I took her outside on the leash to see if she would use the bathroom. She stood up and hung on to my leg. If I thought she was spoiled before this happened, I'm in for it now! lol

Vet said to bring her back in 2 weeks so they can do more xrays...make sure the pins haven't moved at all. Have to keep her movement very restricted. Can't let the cast get wet or dirty. Have to check her paw at the end to make sure it's warm....if it gets cold that means her blood supply is gone. Just a list of things to do and not do.

Anyway, she is doing pretty good. Here's a photo as promised. (Sorry, couldn't figure out how to get it smaller.)

September 26th, 2006, 02:03 PM
Aww, poor baby, no wonder she wants to be held all the time. :D

She sure is adorable and has such a sweet face. :angel: I hope her recovery goes well. :fingerscr :fingerscr

September 26th, 2006, 08:44 PM
Your story has brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy that everything worked out for you. As the saying goes, "where there's a will, there's a way".

She looks so happy now to be home with you.

September 26th, 2006, 08:51 PM
OMG...I love love love the way she is looking at you...pure love:love:

the gang
September 26th, 2006, 09:29 PM
theres lots of good people in this world, we just have to find them, she looks like she is the light of your life, all the best to the two of you, keep us posted and good luck brenda.:D

September 27th, 2006, 02:31 AM
Poor baby.....You guys are great to have gone through all that to get her help....we have many paws crossed that the leg makes a wonderful recovery....


Angies Man
September 27th, 2006, 04:22 PM
My last standard poodle, Charlie, got out of the yard and ran out into a busy street. Got hit by a Coke truck! And luckily all that was hurt was that he broke the tibia/fibia in his front right leg. After hours, of course, so I had to take him to the emergency vet clinic for an xray and a splint (and some pain meds) to tide him over until the next morning. Fairly straightforward break, didn't require surgery, just anesthesia so they could reduce it and put the cast on. But the cast had to stay on for 8 weeks--tough for an active dog to take.

After a few days he was able to get around okay, he'd pegleg his way on it--but it really was very important that it stay clean and dry (especially dry,) so I got some nice heavy cotton socks, and some small bungie cords--had to bungie a sock over his cast, then using as heavy a plastic bag as I could find, I covered the sock with the plastic. Socks lasted a week or so, but the plastic bags had to be replaced every day. The sock and bag would go on before he went out and come off immediately after he came in--it takes a lot of patience. I didn't baby him, but I did carry him up and down the stairs, just easier on both of us. The cast survived the 8 weeks, the leg mended just fine--the vet commented on how clean and nice we kept it. I probably couldn't have afforded to get a replacement cast anyhow!

$800 was the damage, btw. Might have been less, but I moved from one state to another during the period, so followups and cast removal were totally extra.

I congratulate you on being able to get it done, btw! You and your husband absolutely did the right thing, in my opinion. The financial hardship is nothing compared to what you would have faced if you'd made the alternate decision. She looks like a sweet little dog!:thumbs up

I'm sure they told you this already, but keep an eye on her toes--make sure that they're nice and warm--a sign of good circulation. And regularly sniff both ends of the cast--no 'off' odors are allowed--a sign of infection. During her recovery, she should perk up pretty quickly to her normal levels of energy and disposition. If she doesn't, get her back into the vet for a checkup.

doggy lover
September 27th, 2006, 04:52 PM
Glad to see you puppy is doing good, its hard when things like that happen. I'm sure most of us here have been there, my last dog was like that we had three large surgeries on him, and in the end he ended up with bone cancer. I'm now looking into pet insurance for the dog I have now. Better to be safe than sorry I guess.

September 27th, 2006, 10:39 PM
So sorry about your pet:sorry: Check a college or university near you. They may have a program called Creditcare that allows payments over extended period at most times very low or interest free. The college or university must be one with a vet program..Hope this helps

September 27th, 2006, 10:45 PM
Anyway, she is doing pretty good. Here's a photo as promised. (Sorry, couldn't figure out how to get it smaller.) Wow, she looks like such a person with her cast.:love: