broken toe -- worth surgery?

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.


Foxy girl!
Barked: Wed Mar 7, '12 9:54pm PST 
Kelpie broke one of the middle toes on her right front paw last week chasing a stupid possum over a rock pile. I saw the x-ray: it's completely broken and displaced. The vet recommended that because Kelpie is an athletic dog who does recreational agility she should have surgery to fix the fracture with a plate. I'm thinking "$2,000 for a broken toe?" I'm not sure I'd spend $2,000 on a broken toe if it was mine!

Meanwhile, she's running around on her splinted foot like it's nothing, making me wonder if it's really necessary. $2,000 buys a lot of dog food!

Anyone have any experience with a broken toe, whether you had surgery or not?
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Thu Mar 8, '12 3:03pm PST 
Kelpie, that happened to me, the person, although mine was broken when a dog sprung it. The ER people put a cast on my foot and scheduled me for surgery the next morning.
The ortho surgeon was really nice and he said it was wire it back together, plate it back together or leave it alone. I kind of laughed and said it will heal no matter what, right??? He said it would so I chose to just wear a sturdy shoe until it was healed.
It has been about 15 years and, while it isn't the straightest toe in the world I have had no problems with it at all!
BTW... the surgeon told me if it was HIS toe he wouldn't have done any surgery on it, either.
Talah CGC

Suska's- Sanderling- Tailwind
Barked: Thu Mar 8, '12 4:54pm PST 
Yeah...that's a bit of a toughie. The price though, that's insane. Talah broke her entire front leg and we took her to an orthopedic specialist who is on the NC board and all kinds of craziness and it wasn't even that much.


Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Thu Mar 8, '12 8:06pm PST 
Maybe get a second opinion?
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Thu Mar 8, '12 10:30pm PST 
If it were my dog I would probably just splint it, that price is crazy - definitely seek out a second opinion. My mum broke her toe a couple of times and never did anything about it and it healed fine, but for a dog it might be different not sure. Sorry to hear about Kelpie's (great name) mishap!
◊- Grizzly Bear- 1987-2003

Beeber Bear

Barked: Fri Mar 9, '12 11:44am PST 
Grizzly had a badly broken toe when he was about 6 years old. We didn't know it at the time, we just thought it was the nail. In his old age, it caused him a lot of pain.

When I was a child, we had a dog that broke her toe and the vet amputated it, saying there wasn't anything else you can do.

I was told that it could have been an option for Grizzly had I known at the time, but by the time it caused him problems, he had far worse issues, and going under was not an option.

Ask about if amputation of the toe would be required. I've been the $2000 route for other things and if they fail, you end up with an amputation anyway.

Just my point of view. Hope Kelpie feels better soon!

"Small fish with- tons of fight"
Barked: Sun Mar 11, '12 1:57pm PST 
I would definitely ask for the radiographs and take it for a second opinion. It would be hard for anyone to say for sure without knowing exactly what is going on, but my dog Tuna just had a broken leg and external fixtures placed to fix it, and afterwards we saw her toe was also broken. She is a Jack Russell Terrier and a baby, and the doctors told me not to worry about it. They didn't want to do anything, even after i persisted and was willing to spend whatever it took.

Get a second opinion, can't hurt, right?
best of luck and hope your puppy feels better soon

Foxy girl!
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 10:02pm PST 
Hi, guys! Thanks for all the advice! Sorry I didn't get back to this thread sooner. I went ahead and had the surgery. By the time we did all the follow-up care it cost a lot more than $2,000!

I did get a second opinion, and the consensus was that because the break was fully displaced it would not set well on its own and would take months to heal, with the chance of it rebreaking in the meantime.

I'm not sure it was worth it, but Kelpie's as good as new!