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Hi all,

So yesterday, when my wife woke up, Veda wouldn't come out of her crate. She wouldn't even stand up. My wife picked her up and found she wouldn't put any pressure on her back left leg. It didn't get better as the day went by so I brought her to the vet.

The vet did x-rays, thinking she might have dislocated her hip. The x-ray showed she fractured the ball of her femur, where it connects to her hip. I was utterly shocked. How could this have happened?

She was fine when we went to bed on Tuesday night and when we woke up, she had fractured her femur?

The only logical conclusion I can draw is that she got her foot caught in the crate (a new wire crate that she has only been in for 5 days as she has grown out of her plastic crate; she is 5.5 months old) and wrestled it free and in the process, did the damage. That is the only scenario I can see happening.

Has this happened to anyone else? I put her back in the plastic crate last night so it couldn't happen again.

She was moving around quite well this morning on three legs but after 10am this morning, she won't move or try to get up. When I pick her up and bring her outside, she does her business, which is complicated since she can't squat, and then looks at me like 'hey, a little help!'. The doc gave her an injection for inflammation yesterday afternoon and gave me some pain reliever/anti-inflammatory meds and just told me to let her do what she wants to do. If she doesn't want to walk, pick her up. If she does start to put pressure on it, don't let her run, etc.

Has anyone else dealt with a fracture in the ball of the femur before? If so, how did it end up? How long was the healing process? I feel so terrible for her. Luckily, the doc said, she is a puppy and will have no lasting affects from it. I am not so confident about that but have no other opinion to go by.

Thoughts would be appreciated. My heart hurts for her :(

David
 

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Wow, I'm sorry to hear this.

I guess I don't quite understand how this type of fracture can heal without intervention? It sounds like surgery would be necessary, but without more details, I couldn't really hazard a guess.

Did an ortho specialist look at her?
 

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Wow, I'm sorry to hear this.

I guess I don't quite understand how this type of fracture can heal without intervention? It sounds like surgery would be necessary, but without more details, I couldn't really hazard a guess.

Did an ortho specialist look at her?
An ortho specialist did not look at the film. I have the film at home. The vet said the fracture is small enough that there is nothing to do surgery on, that it would heal by itself. It protrudes into the ball of her femur ~1/8 of the diameter of the ball. It is just a faint dark line. He said usually, with a fracture, surgery is required but in this case, since the hairline fracture is so small, that surgery would not be beneficial.

I am wondering if I should bring her, or at least the films, to the small animal hospital here in Gainesville at the University of Florida Vet School. I'm sure they have an ortho specialist that can give me a second opinion.

I'll try to post a picture of the film tonight when I get home. She is resting at my feet at work right now :( So sad.
 

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i would definately go to the ortho. when kane broke his leg our vet sent us straight to a very good one. i think the thing that worries me is the fracture interfering with the growth plate.... good luck! kane recovered very fast from his but it is a heartbreaking process.
 

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I would definitely get a second opinion on the course of treatment from a specialist. At the very least, it seems some kind of crate rest/restricted activity would be in order.
 

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I agree with 2nd opinion! Not to scare you, but I had a GSD that had a fracture as a pup before I got him and it never healed right (due to no vet care) so that turned into a slight deformation and horrible arthritis. Sending healing your sweet puppy!
 

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Awww poor puppy, wishing you all the best for a speedy recovery!

I have heard of puppies getting their legs stuck in the bars before, very rarley compared to how many crates are used I would say, but I have still heard of cases. I would say the plastic crate would probably be a safer option, or you could use blankets around the bottom/bottom sides of the cage to minimise the risks.
 

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poor little girl.

do you have any bedding in her crate? SOme of these dogs really drop down hard when they go to lay down.

I had a 10 week old pup who ran into the corner of a folded up X pen and the Xray showed a hairline fracture of his fibula, with care and rest it healed up just fine on its own.

hope all will be well with your girl.

Hugz to Veda!
 

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UPDATE: So I went against my wife's opinion and followed my intuition (and your all's advice) and brought her to the small animal hospital at the University of Florida (go gators!). I wanted a second opinion by an ortho and I got it.

The ortho and a few other trained eyes there saw no sign of a fracture! This after looking at the films from the other day and taking many more to be sure. This is good right? Turns out her knee joint/thigh area has an infection. They drained some fluid from it to determine this. They are going to culture it over the weekend to make sure its nothing immune related. They are currently flushing the joint and giving her IV antibiotics and then sending her home with some oral antibiotics and some pain medicine. Glad I got that second opinion!

Now my question to you is what to do about my primary vet telling me she has a fractured femur? Why did I pay him $200 for some xrays and a terrible diagnosis? He has been a vet for over 30 yrs. I would hope if he was unsure at all about something like a fracture he would refer me to a specialist.

Thanks for all the good thoughts and I will keep you all posted on how she is doing.
 

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UPDATE: So I went against my wife's opinion and followed my intuition (and your all's advice) and brought her to the small animal hospital at the University of Florida (go gators!). I wanted a second opinion by an ortho and I got it.

The ortho and a few other trained eyes there saw no sign of a fracture! This after looking at the films from the other day and taking many more to be sure. This is good right? Turns out her knee joint/thigh area has an infection. They drained some fluid from it to determine this. They are going to culture it over the weekend to make sure its nothing immune related. They are currently flushing the joint and giving her IV antibiotics and then sending her home with some oral antibiotics and some pain medicine. Glad I got that second opinion!

Now my question to you is what to do about my primary vet telling me she has a fractured femur? Why did I pay him $200 for some xrays and a terrible diagnosis? He has been a vet for over 30 yrs. I would hope if he was unsure at all about something like a fracture he would refer me to a specialist.

Thanks for all the good thoughts and I will keep you all posted on how she is doing.
Which is why you go to a specialist :) I went to school to become an REMT, and one of the courses was to be able to point out stress fractures, hairline fractures, greenstick fractures, ect ect ect in an xray. It was one of THE most hardest things I have had to study for. Reading xrays is REALLY difficult when it comes to hairline fractures and whatnot. I would not bash your vet, as so many things come into play for the diagnoses. Just be happy you did the right thing and went to someone who dedicated a HUGE amount of hours to have a trained eye for this type pathology.

Im happy the specialist cleared the air for your pups diagnoses, lets hope the antibiotics are enough to clear up the infection.
 

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Which is why you go to a specialist :) I went to school to become an REMT, and one of the courses was to be able to point out stress fractures, hairline fractures, greenstick fractures, ect ect ect in an xray. It was one of THE most hardest things I have had to study for. Reading xrays is REALLY difficult when it comes to hairline fractures and whatnot. I would not bash your vet, as so many things come into play for the diagnoses. Just be happy you did the right thing and went to someone who dedicated a HUGE amount of hours to have a trained eye for this type pathology.

Im happy the specialist cleared the air for your pups diagnoses, lets hope the antibiotics are enough to clear up the infection.
While I wholly agree with the well-wishes and glad-for-the-second-opinion part of your post, I am going to disagree with the most of it.

The initial vet dropped the ball, big time. Not only would I expect someone who is a licensed veterinarian with years of experience to have slightly more expertise than one would get in a course such as you took, missing something and seeing something that isn't there is not the same thing. I would expect that there is some swelling and some heat in the affected knee, and this should have been found on examination. Palpation and manipulation should have been able to determine that the painful area was the knee.

I am curious whether a tick panel was run on this pup. One of the first symptoms my dog experienced when she contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever was swollen, painful, stiff knees and this is typical for some of the tick diseases.
 

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Make sure she does not lay in one place too long she does not need a bed sore which they can get. Long time ago next door neighbor had a very sweet female Doberman she got hit by a car broke her femur took her to the vet. they did surgery but let her lay in one place all the time would not make her walk she got a terrible bed sore. i had a few words with the owner then they got her up and moving they truly did not know they were suppose to have her moving she finely got all healed up. Rays and Hugs to you pup for a speedy recovery.
 

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Thanks for all the good thoughts and I will keep you all posted on how she is doing.[/QUOTE]


After two days of antibiotics, they seem to be doing their job. The swelling has gone down by about 50%. She just started putting a bit of pressure on it this morning as well. Hopefully, it clears up over the course of the antibiotics.

I have a follow-up on Tuesday before we leave town with her for Thanksgiving.

I'll keep you all posted and try to post some pictures of her leg before, during and after so others can see what this thing looks like and have an idea of what can happen from an infection.

Has anybody heard anything about the effects of antibiotics on a puppy/adult dog? Some one in the neighborhood said I should be feeding her yogurt for the pro-biotics in it?
 

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Thanks for all the good thoughts and I will keep you all posted on how she is doing.

After two days of antibiotics, they seem to be doing their job. The swelling has gone down by about 50%. She just started putting a bit of pressure on it this morning as well. Hopefully, it clears up over the course of the antibiotics.

I have a follow-up on Tuesday before we leave town with her for Thanksgiving.

I'll keep you all posted and try to post some pictures of her leg before, during and after so others can see what this thing looks like and have an idea of what can happen from an infection.

Has anybody heard anything about the effects of antibiotics on a puppy/adult dog? Some one in the neighborhood said I should be feeding her yogurt for the pro-biotics in it?
Yes you should use some probiotics - give her a little yogurt every day and I would also get some form of probiotics - usually in a powdered form. Once you complete the ab you should continue with probitoics and a good cultured yogurt for a couple of weeks (if not forever) to reestablish good internal flora.

I have never had any issues from puppies on ab. Maybe a little tummy upset but not bad - that's what the probiotics and yogurt will help with preventing.

You should still use your local vet unless you have lost faith in him. You need to consider 2nd opinions and since you have a University Hospital to use, you should go there whenever you don't feel right about a dx or a course of medication (don't go overboard). Most of us have somewhere else to go for help and a lot of people use this board to run things by other dobe owners.
 
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While I wholly agree with the well-wishes and glad-for-the-second-opinion part of your post, I am going to disagree with the most of it.

The initial vet dropped the ball, big time. Not only would I expect someone who is a licensed veterinarian with years of experience to have slightly more expertise than one would get in a course such as you took, missing something and seeing something that isn't there is not the same thing. I would expect that there is some swelling and some heat in the affected knee, and this should have been found on examination. Palpation and manipulation should have been able to determine that the painful area was the knee.

I am curious whether a tick panel was run on this pup. One of the first symptoms my dog experienced when she contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever was swollen, painful, stiff knees and this is typical for some of the tick diseases.
Yes he did, and so do many others. People worship vets and expect them to be right 100% of the time. Not true. There are vets out there that continue in education, read up on topics that begin to be a little fuzzy, and are not afraid to ask for a second opinion from a specialist. Those are the ones to hang on to. Unfortunately this vet was a little rusty at observing x rays.
 

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Which ab is she on, and at what dose, for how long?


There are some abs which aren't ideal to give to still-growing pups as they can be indicated in arthropathy, but given the severity of the infection it sounds like you're dealing with, the benefits may indeed outweigh the risks, and you can discuss this with your prescribing vet.

Did they run a tick panel? If not, I second that recommendation.

Did they hazard any guesses as to the cause of all this?

In any case, mad props to you for stepping up and getting a second opinion, sounds like your girl woulda been in a world of hurt and trouble, had she not gotten the medications she needed.
 
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