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Old June 18th, 2007, 09:53 PM
it'sazoo it'sazoo is offline
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Amputation dilemma

Hello my name is Rebecca and I came here to get some information and support as my husband and I are going through a really tough decision at the moment. Our 81/2 year old Lab/Boxer mix(Lanfear) attempted to jump her 7' pen last Tuesday as there was a thunderstorm. She however got her back leg caught and hung upside down for several hours I'm sure. We had to dismantle the whole pen to get her out. Once out, we took her to water and kept her in the bathroom for the night until we could get her to the vet.

The vet took x-rays, did blood work, kept her overnight as she was dehydrated and stated that she did not break any bones or dislocate anything. However, he was concerned about nerve damage and the swelling. It has now been three days since she has been home and the swelling has not seemed to go down. My husband took her to the vet again and he wanted to give her a week to see if she would start using the leg again. He also mentioned that amputation was possible.

I was devastated to hear this not only because of the loss but also because of monetary reasons. We have an 11 month old son and can't afford much. We just spent 600 at the vet for her last visit. I was wondering if anyone could give me an approximate cost of the amputation. And please pray or put our beloved Lanfear in your thoughts to help her get better.

Thank you,
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Old June 18th, 2007, 11:17 PM
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One Beagle Girl One Beagle Girl is offline
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Your poor dog! I hope she starts walking. As for the cost of an amputation, just call your vet in the morning. Vets understand that people worry about the costs of procedures, and I'm sure your vet wouldn't mind outlining the costs of the potential treatment options. Then you won't have to fret about the unknown.

Do you have anywhere you could take your dog swimming? That way she might start using her leg without having to put any pressure on it.

Rescued is my favourite breed.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 11:27 PM
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krdahmer krdahmer is offline
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Swimming may be a good idea. Also, Traumeel drops work well for soft tissue type injuries if you want to try holistic.

Best of luck that she heals without surgery.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 01:02 AM
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mummummum mummummum is offline
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What is your Vet's explanation for the swelling ? Is there deep tissue bruising ? Gangrene ? I'm not sure that amputation is the only answer here.

If the leg is swollen, your dog is not going to want to use it because it hurts to use it. I think providing her physical support through the healing process is likely more helpful. I would use a towel under her abdomen near her hind quarters like a sling to assist her getting up and with walking. If possible, no stairs. No jumping up or down off furniture. No running. Try to keep her hind quarters slightly elevated when she is lying down to allow the fluid to move back into the rest of her body from the swollen leg. At the same time use a heating pad on her leg to encourage blood circulation.

Personally I think it's too early for swimming and may cause further complications. I would wait until she is able to bear some weight on the leg and only then allow swimming with full support under her abdomen.

I also strongly recommend that you get a second opinion if your Vet tells you that amputation is the only answer.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 07:24 AM
it'sazoo it'sazoo is offline
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thank you so much for the advice and warm wishes. I know that swimming right now is not an option because of her stitches, but I will try elevating her leg and using a heat pad, also assisting her when walking. I will also get pictures up tonight.

Thank you!
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Old June 19th, 2007, 07:28 AM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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I'm so sorry to hear about Lanfear it'sazoo! No advice to offer beyond what's already been given, but best of luck with your girl!
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Old June 19th, 2007, 08:07 AM
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jessi76 jessi76 is offline
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I'm so sorry to hear of the trauma your poor dog went through!

my dog was hit by a car earlier this year, and was paralysed on his right side. he could not use his right front or rear leg. amputation was also suggested to us, IF by 6 wks he did not regain use of his legs. My dog also had no broken bones, and the vet was sure it was all nerve damage & swelling. He gave an agressive round of cortisol to reduce the swelling to see what we'd be left with.... after about 3 days, my dog could stand up with help but was unable to walk properly. If he took a step, he fell down.

we took him home, continued the med at home, slowly weening off... we got a doggy "sling" to help carry him out for potty breaks and such. we pampered him and made him really rest - to help promote healing.....

long story short (somewhat) - he regained use of his legs. we had to wait for all the swelling to subside, and the nerve damage to heal. (my dog also had slight head trauma, so that played a part)

my vet suggested that normally healing is done by 6 wks. at 6 wks, generally what you see is what you get. by 2 wks after the accident my dog was walking. we took it very slow, walked him in the yard, and strengthened his legs by walking on uneven surfaces (around the yard). we didn't attempt any walking though until our dog showed clear signs of wanting to attempt it. we kept him on leash outside to keep him close and assist when necessary.

we considered seeing a neurologist, and even water therapy, but thankfully, the damage healed on it's own w/ patience, TLC, and some steroid help.

he had to learn to walk again, learn to run, learn to go up/down stairs... but with gentle encouragement and help, he did it. I just wanted to give you some hope, and an example of miraculous healing. don't assume the worst right now, just take one step at a time. (pun intended)
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Old June 19th, 2007, 08:19 AM
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mastifflover mastifflover is offline
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I am sorry about your baby. I agree a second opinion would be a good option. I would also consider accupuncture as an option or deep tissue massage they have both been known to give good results. You can always call university of Guelph for the name of some therapists
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Old June 19th, 2007, 11:33 AM
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Frenchy Frenchy is offline
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Before you decide on letting her swim or walk or have her leg amputate, please talk to a vet, any vet ! You could make things worse by doing something you think could help.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 04:24 PM
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ChancesMom ChancesMom is offline
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I totally agree with mumm... every word.

I am also sending positive healing thoughts...
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