URGENT- Anyone have a dog with untreated pelvic fractures?

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URGENT- Anyone have a dog with untreated pelvic fractures?

This is a discussion on URGENT- Anyone have a dog with untreated pelvic fractures? within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; We have a 4/5 year old dog we adopted about 6 months ago from a shelter. Archie is a beagle/GS/retriever/hound mix and about 35 pounds. ...

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Old 07-22-2018, 06:57 PM
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URGENT- Anyone have a dog with untreated pelvic fractures?

We have a 4/5 year old dog we adopted about 6 months ago from a shelter. Archie is a beagle/GS/retriever/hound mix and about 35 pounds. He was a neglect case and part of a situation in which many animals were seized from a household. He walked with a limp/had some muscle wasting in his back leg and was set to be put down because he was not considered adoptable due to this. We were told he had a broken leg that healed poorly without treatment. We adopted him and took him to our vet and asked for xrays to better understand what we were dealing with. Turns out, he had suffered multiple pelvic fractures that never got any medical attention. Both hips are dislocated and the limp and muscle wasting was a result of that.

Out vet started him on gabapentin and rimadyl and referred us to a surgeon. The surgeon did not recommend surgery as the injury was too severe but did try some therapy with acupuncture. He improved and all was well. We made sure his walks were short and not too strenuous and kept up with his meds religiously. We have stairs in our house and would occasionally need to carry him but he generally did really well. He has a tremendous amount of heart and really wants to please.

Last week he woke us up whimpering and showing signs of lameness in his right back leg. We took him to the emergency vet. New x rays were taken. There have been negative changes since the last set. We were given codeine as an additional temporary pain management assist and sent home. I brought out a heating pad for his back legs and hips. Things got worse with his pain and he could not get comfortable, was crying terribly and obviously in distress. He was hospitalized for 24 hours with a morphine drip. The surgeon said he needed to see a neurologic surgeon as he has advanced degenerative joint issues and possible nerve entrapment. We asked about quality of life and got kind of a snippy answer.

We have been at home all weekend, sleeping downstairs with the dog and it just doesn't seem like he is doing any better. He can go on short walks-- a block at most- and loves it, but every evening he seems to have real trouble getting comfortable. Though its not as bad as it had been, he still pants and will whimper now and then/shift a lot. He hates his codeine as the pills seem bitter. We have tried putting it in no less than 10 different kinds of food- he will eat it once and then not again and we have to start over. We are taking him to a neurologist but not hopeful based on everything I have been reading. I don't know that we would put him through the trauma of surgery for very little possibility of improving his pain. I have been working from home for a week just to monitor him. I can't do it forever and I am very worried about him.

Has anyone had a dog with these sorts of issues? He is young and healthy and just as sweet as can be. Was there anything that helped? Products you can recommend? Ideas to try? I have been researching carts but the surgeon thought getting him in and out would be painful for him. Mobility harnesses are out for the same reason. Is this hopeless?

Thank you!

Last edited by Archiesfriend; 07-22-2018 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:14 PM
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Have not been though all that, but certainly can sympathize with you. If the surgeons feel there is no hope that they can improve his life and his pain with surgery, then you are locked into more conservative treatments, if you feel they might help. In your situation, I would explore laser treatments. Have a friend, whose 11 year old Lab/Golden mix had a really bad case of hip dysplasia, and was not a good surgical candidate. Laser treatments really seemed to help her a great deal, and kept her going until finally her heart gave out. Don't know where you are located, but those laser treatments require some specialized equipment. Friends dog seemed to look forward to the treatments, so I know they, in themselves were not painful.
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Old 07-22-2018, 11:32 PM
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I'd be asking if they could do surgery to stabilize the broken bones. I was also thinking a cart would help, but you say the surgeon says no to that.

If you keep him in the harness and just use it to assist in getting up and walking, I'm not sure why that'd be more painful for him since he's already doing those things on his own. I'd keep him in the harness during the day and simply use it to steady and stabilize him. If nothing else it might be something to ask the vet about and get a reason as to why it would make things worse or cause him more pain. I'm wondering because they use those types of harnesses and slings to help dogs walk after they get surgeries like the one for hip displasia.

You might consider taking him to a vet school for treatment, they tend to be up to date on all the latest treatments and therapies. They are also more willing to take on hard to treat cases. Here in Tx I'd take him here Home - Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in College Station, Texas to Texas A&M
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:08 AM
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Those medical harnesses have the back handles right around the hip areas. You also can't leave them on constantly or the dog will get pressure sores. They have to be off sometimes and they need to be cleaned.
You can use any strip of material or towel as a sling and put it under his shoulder/stomach area and another under his belly area away from his painful areas to help him walk and balance.
I've not dealt with this, only my last dog who had degenerative myelopathy the last five months of his years. He couldn't walk at some points at the end. At 75 pounds and living on the third floor with very narrow curving spiraling carpeted stairs, trying to carry him was a nightmare. He supposedly wasn't in any pain but was on steroids, painkillers and antibiotics to be safe.
The medical harnesses are detachable so you can remove the front and back ends separately.
It sounds like a devastating situation to be in, and you sound like an angel for taking in this dog and caring for him so well. Whoever did this to him is awful beyond words.
I've heard acupuncture can help with all kinds of medical problems. At least it couldn't hurt.
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:59 AM
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

We thought about a teaching hospital and our regular vet actually suggested that. In 6 months we have spent almost 10K on this dog and we haven't even had surgery. We have been to a few specialists in the area, had imaging, blood work, hospitalization, meds, about a half dozen different very well regarded dog beds,etc. This last surgeon we saw was highly recommended but to be honest, I wasn't impressed that all she wanted to do was refer us to someone else. We had him do some accupuncture and laser therapy but is not considered a good candidate for this anymore as he needs to be sedated to be examined.

This last episode had my husband saying "the buck stops here" as the surgeon said that we would probably end up doubling our investment if we could find someone who was willing to do surgery and thought they could help him. The harness has to go on and off and the poor guy is so sensitive about his back legs we are not sure we would be able to make it happen.

He is on some really high does Omega 3s. I have heard that CBD oil might help. Any other pain remedies? Therapies?
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:40 AM
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Ok, I'm not a Vet, so I'm just brainstorming ideas, and this one could be really off base, but here goes. Perhaps a really sharp neurosurgeon, could provide pain relief by disabling the nerves that are firing and causing the pain for him. It seems that a possible side effect could be paralysis of his rear legs, but with no pain he would now be a candidate for using a cart to get around. Though this seems and is drastic, it might really improve his quality of life, by eliminating the pain. Lots of dogs live long and happy lives using a cart to get around.
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