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Has anyone experienced these results from conservative treatment before?

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Tilly smith, Dec 9, 2018.


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Are you for conservative treatment?

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Sometimes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Tilly smith

    Tilly smith PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there, my 7 y/o 34kg mastifxstaffy and I have been through an interesting time recently. He was hit by a car about 8 weeks ago at 60km or above, at least 10km above speed limit. He managed to escape with only damage to his back legs.



    At first the vets weren't too worried about breaks as he was still walking, however after closer examination it was found that he had an open fracture of his hock joint, damage to the ligaments, extreme joint instability and his joint pocket was open. Our options were either to amputate or have a joint fusion, however after much discussion and vets seeking second opinions due his ability to weight bare without a limp with the use of a splint they gave us a third option; to treat his injuries conservatively.



    He came home with us after 2 nights at the vet (having been the star of the surgery and a gentleman his whole stay) walking and sitting and trotting along like he hadn't been hit head on by a car 2 days prior, happy as Larry. 2 weeks later his joint had closed and was no longer oozing fluid, and his wounds had started to granulate. 2 weeks after that his wounds had almost closed over completely and his left leg bandages came off.



    It's been 8 weeks now and he is no longer on pain meds (aside from tumeric and joint suppliments) he has had his splint removed, there is no longer clunking in the sideways movement of the joint and he has almost perfect flexibility in the hock joint. He is still the sweetest happiest boy in the world and he loves his weekly vet visit.



    He feels it more than with the splint but as long as he only does light activity, he is able to sit, turn around, stretch, walk without a limp with his natural gait and weight baring on his damaged leg to pee. The vets have said that if he continues to improve how he has been he may come home with no bandages in a month!



    I am wondering if anyone has had experience with this type of injury and whether anyone has had a similar experience? All of the vets and specialists in my area are dumbfounded, as none of them have seen anything like it before; they have just had to go with what my dog is able to do comfortably and help us let him do that in a safe and monitored environment.



    I would really like to hear your stories and know if anyone has experienced conservative treatment like this with similar results as I have tried to research it to no avail.



    Thank you for reading, I hope it was

    Interesting sorry its a long one!
     

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  2. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    The body's ability to heal is phenomenal for sure. But so is modern medicine. I'm very glad your boy seems to be healing well. Deciding how to treat such destructive injuries is always a bit of a gamble. Amputation in a large dog is a big risk, and hind legs seem to be harder on them than front legs. So I get why the vets wanted to try to save the leg if they could. I'm glad it seems to be working out.
    If you have one available to you, a specialist vet in orthopedic issues would be good to visit also, here in the US we have rehab and conditioning vets, and they have all sorts of tricks and techniques to help strengthen the muscles supporting that joint to keep him as sound and comfortable as possible.

    Not a hock injury, but we took on a great dane who had been running feral. One of his front legs was deformed, and upon x-ray, it was revealed to be an old break - caused by a gunshot wound. He was snacking on the local livestock and someone shot him, hit his leg, and it must have healed on it's own. Looking at the x-ray you would think there is no way this dog should be able to walk, let alone bear weight on that leg. His metatarsals were a mess of bone fragments and shrapnel that had healed haphazardly in to a big bulge and a mostly inmoble wrist joint. But he walked on it just fine, with a funny gait because his wrist didn't really bend, but it didn't seem to bother him. Crazy how it healed!
     
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  3. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I think vets are far too quick to jump in with invasive and expensive treatments just because they can and because most people have good insurance. It sounds like you made the right choice. I have more experience with horse injuries and have seen dreadful injuries recover with minimal treatment.
     
  4. Tilly smith

    Tilly smith PetForums Newbie

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    It certainly is miraculous the way animals are able to overcome injuries so server without surgery, I think that many people go to the quick fix rather than the alternative which requires constant supervision and weekly visits to the vet.

    Modern medicine definitely has it's benefits however I am so glad our clinic (we are in Australia) decided to seek the advice of orthopedic veterinarians rather than go by their initial diagnosis and remove his leg.

    There is still a possibility that he won't recover how they want him to, but that chance gets slimmer and slimmer every week. From day 1 it was like he had never had the accident, it was as if his bandages were for show haha! He has acted as though he has 4 perfectly functional legs since the day it happened, sprinting to my mothers driveway after being hit head on.

    We have been giving him omega 3, joint suppliments, turmeric and bone broth as well as continuing with his holistic grain free food since the accident and I think that all of the above as well as being a pawfect patient the entire time has definitely helped his recovery.

    I hope that your doggy is alright now, another special pup!
     
  5. Tilly smith

    Tilly smith PetForums Newbie

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    Ye
    It was an easy decision for me, he was like his normal self 2 days after the accident and has only limped twice since and only after being a silly bugger and over exerting himself. With the splint he was allowed and able to walk up and down stairs and do most of what he has always been able to do. Eventually the hope is that he makes a close to full recovery and only has to use a hock brace if that.

    He is an odd case though, and all animals are different. I do believe that most vets have their best interests at heart and would hope that other surgeries were willing to admit that they are out of their depth and that they seek specialist opinions on tricky cases.
     
  6. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Not the same scenario as your dog but I was advised by the senior neurologist at one of the leading veterinary hospitals to conservatively manage my 12 yr old collie rather than put her through surgery and months of cage rest. In his opinion it wasn't fair on an old dog. Wonderful man and really honest.
     
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