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External Fixator?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
Samuel Jacob- (4/1/97-4/4/- 08)

We had seasons- in the sun......

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Barked: Thu May 10, '07 1:35pm PST 
Has any other pup had an external fixator for a broken bone?

We know of humans that have had it, but no pups. We just wanted to ask some questions about it.

THANKS!
Telly Lam

Never met a- lampost I- couldn't pee on
 
 
Barked: Thu May 10, '07 2:02pm PST 
External fixation is not used very often in dogs for a variety of reasons, including the type of fracture (i.e. if they are amenable to this form of repair) and lower tolerance of such devices compared to humans (think of how long you have to have a case when you're leg is broken! now think of your pup having to wear a stupid cast for that long!). It tends to also be harder to monitor such things in dogs as complications, and return to function with internal fixation (surgery) is much faster as a general rule. Having said that, I have seen people manage fracture cases using external fixators, for example, I've seen transverse radius/ulna fractures in toy breed dogs be managed with external splinting and do fine.
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Riley

Too smart for my- own good!

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Barked: Thu May 10, '07 2:06pm PST 
No idea but wanted to say that we love you Sammy! wave

Duchess

Save a- Life:- Adopt!

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Barked: Thu May 10, '07 2:28pm PST 
We don't have experience with dogs having external fixators, but our cat Sir Thomas had to wear one for about 8 weeks when his femur was shattered. It worked marvelously; only now he has arthritis and has developed some sort of bony growth where the breaks were. But that's not because of the fixator. It saved his leg; if he hadn't had the fixator, he would've had to have his leg amputated.
Poquito- ♥

Die- Cancer,- Die!
 
 
Barked: Thu May 10, '07 2:39pm PST 
No doggie orthopedic experience, but worked for human orthopedic surgeons for years. The science behind external fixation is exactly what your vet told you. It allows the bones to heal without the plates and screws and stuff that weakens the bone as it heals. It's your best bet. If it's between that and amputation, I'd sure try it. I think healing would be somewhat closer to 60-70% in your favor. Healing prayers to you, and good luck.

Pokie's old momhug
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Ziero - CGC, Rest in- peace 11/

I'm smarter than- your Honor- Student!
 
 
Barked: Thu May 10, '07 2:45pm PST 
I'm gunna agree with the PoquiMon on this one.

They are kinda gross looking and need to be cleaned often, but.. heck, if I had the choice between that and loosing my leg, I'd do the fixator in a heartbeat!!

Good luck, Sammy! We are thinking of you!

The Brew City Pitties and their humble typist
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Samuel Jacob- (4/1/97-4/4/- 08)

We had seasons- in the sun......

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Barked: Thu May 10, '07 3:26pm PST 
Thanks so much, guys for the information.

We were told there was a 100% chance of an infection externally (at the site if the screws going in), but the doc didn't seem too worried about that, compaired to the bone infection I already have.

We aren't sure yet, but we are leaning towards this surgery. If they go in and find it won't work for whatever reason (bone like swiss cheese or something), they will decide to amputate at that time.

I just have never known a pup with one of these. I know it is extreme, but so is my problem now.

I really appreciate the love and advise! THANKS!