Dog's rib is pushed in, how likely is it to get healed on its own?

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Dog's rib is pushed in, how likely is it to get healed on its own?

This is a discussion on Dog's rib is pushed in, how likely is it to get healed on its own? within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; So here's the thing, my 3 years old dog got in a fight with 3 bigger dogs (he's somewhere in between small / medium size), ...

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Old 06-24-2012, 09:12 AM
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Dog's rib is pushed in, how likely is it to get healed on its own?

So here's the thing, my 3 years old dog got in a fight with 3 bigger dogs (he's somewhere in between small / medium size), not for too long, I was able to separate them quite quickly, but despite all the nasty bites he also ended up with a fractured rib and a sprained leg.

I brought him immediatly to the vet who gave him something for the pain and recommended amoxicillin to prevent infections. The first three days he went through horrendous pain, but after that he was able to climb on the bed/sofa like before, walk and pee normally, the only odd thing I noticed is that he'd pee a lot of liquid, but the smell and color wasn't nothing out of the ordinary so I didn't really worry about that.

The 3rd day, after giving him amoxicillin the day before, he started puking a lot, and I mean A LOT, a minimum of 10 times throughout the night and the morning, he seemed fine judging by his aspect, but he'd eat, drink and puke it out. I freaked out and called the vet again, he said it could've been a side effect of the amoxicillin but recommended me to hospitalize him just to be safe.

So after calling him today (4th day) he told me that he seems fine but there's only one problem, his broken rib is pushed in (like, there's a whole where his rib used to be) and this could either cicatrize on its own or require surgery. I felt so bad suddenly, I was really looking forward to see him today but the vet asked me to keep him in there one more day so he could check for any symptoms. To get any surgery done I have to travel about 70 miles because this silly town doesn't have the equipment for it.

So what are the chances of him getting better? I really feel like I'm about to cry, I got a final on tuesday and I can hardly concentrate at all, sigh.. This is gonna be a long day.

I swear, if I ever see the dogs who bite him walking by.....

Last edited by fawkese1; 06-24-2012 at 11:19 AM. Reason: language
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:32 AM
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I don't think any of us here can have much to say that is more knowledgeable than your vet, who has the x-rays and such.

Wishing you and your dog the best...
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:33 AM
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I don't think any of us here can have much to say that is more knowledgeable than your vet, who has the x-rays and such.
How about how often these cases get to a really serious degree? Or how often surgery is needed. He seemed fine until he started puking, and I don't know where I'm gonna get the money from in case he needs a surgery.

Dealing with uncertainty is not my strong point, I apologize.

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Wishing you and your dog the best...
Thank you.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:48 PM
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Care Credit is a life saver I suggest you apply for it if your dog needs surgery, or even if your dog doesn't, that way you know you have it on hand.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:55 PM
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How about how often these cases get to a really serious degree? Or how often surgery is needed. He seemed fine until he started puking, and I don't know where I'm gonna get the money from in case he needs a surgery.

Dealing with uncertainty is not my strong point, I apologize.



Thank you.
I understand. I'm not so good with uncertainty myself!
The vomiting is very concerning, and may or may not have anything to do with the rib.

Look for a reply from Holly. She may be able to offer more insight on this, but again, she'll likely say what you are asking is a specific question about a specific case that has its own complexities... that is there are not general answers.

As far as a broken rib goes, the concern is usually in terms of a sharp bit of bone causing damage to the chest, particularly puncturing the membranes around the lungs. You would normally know if that happens within hours, as the pup would start to have difficulty breathing, although until there is some healing to stabilize the bone ends, he's not totally out of danger of that happening for a while, which is why you don't want him romping about. Do you know how many ribs are broken and if any of them are broken in more than one place? You describe the ribs as displaced and that would be the concern. Do you have a digital copy of the x-ray you could post? That would be the sort of information needed for someone to give you any meaningful feedback at all. Again, Holly (or Mythbuster if she comes on) would be the two regulars around here who might be able to say something knowledgeable.
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:04 PM
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^^ Pretty much said it all.


It really all depends on how displaced the rib is and if it's close to puncturing anything vital.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:50 AM
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Hey everyone! I just came from the vet, and he's fine! apparently I overreacted a little. Turns out his vomiting was caused by a combination of poor food choices made by me, and that pesky side effect of amoxicillin. Gotta make sure that doesn't happen again.

For those who are curious, his broken (dislocated, rather) rib was the top right rib (the one beside his arm), and it's slightly pushed inside, not far enough to cause any serious damage though, when I walked into the vet he was being his unruly self barking and running around the cage, so maybe it wasn't as painful as I thought it was (I might be wrong).

Now the real challenge is to keep him calm until the rib and sprained leg heals (yeah right, I'll have better luck trying to grow oranges off an apple tree). Any suggestions? The second I turn around he starts being messy jumping on and off things all the time, I swear he was raised by a cat.

-Angie
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:55 AM
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That's wonderful news!

Its a very good thing when a dog is feeling so good that your hardest challenge is to keep him contained.... ever so much more preferable to trying to revive a dog who is down in the dumps!

A crate is your friend.
So are kongs filled with something easy to digest, such as a mild canned dog food frozen, or his regular kibble soaked and frozen. I'd be careful of giving him anything "special" such as a marrow bone or rawhide or fatty treats that might upset his sensitive tummy.

Another thing you can do to tire him out is clicker training. Are you familiar with this? Its easy, fun and dogs love it, and the mind work will truly help satisfy his brain and need for stimulation.

Here is your introduction. Start with that exercise the "default leave it" and there are lots more videos with examples of what you can do with this technique. Work in short sessions, like only 5 minutes at first!

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Old 06-25-2012, 07:54 PM
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Ditto crate, 100%
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:51 AM
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@Tess Thanks for the tips! I definitely didn't know about that soaked & frozen kibble thing, do I just soak it with water or milk? and how frozen does it have to be to be optimal?

The clicker thing, I regularly do the same but snapping my fingers instead, that's my way of communicating with him, sort of; when I want him to go out or in, sleep, wake up, eat or stop making trouble I snap my fingers and he instantly does it (most of the time!), such a loyal dog.

He seems much better now, I've seen him do everything he used to do except one thing: Bark.

He can't bark under any circumstances (I know I said he barked when i walked into the vet, but it wasn't really a bark, it was more like a "let me out of here!" moan). I don't know how much pressure the chest has to put up with to let out a bark, but he definitely cannot do it, the only times I see him try it's more like a groan and it's not nearly as loud. Sometimes he coughs afterwards.
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