My 9yr old Yorkie was hit by a truck on Sunday and dislocated her hip and broke her leg. The vet said he could do surgery, place a pin and put her hip back in socket but due to her arthritis it would be a long recovery and only 50% chance hip would stay in socket. I work for doctors and they suggested no surgery due to her age and condition. I had the vet put a splint on her broken back leg and brought her home to see how she does.
I do not want to put her down and I don't think she can handle the surgery. Her personality is coming back and she's eating good and drinking some. However, her bowels are not moving and she seems swollen. The vet gave her an enema on Tuesday and she hasn't moved her bowels since. At times she wants to get up but her front legs have arthritis and can't support her body with the splint on her back leg.
I just don't know what to do at this point. If she seemed to be in pain or suffering I would put her down but I want to give her a chance to live. Does any know the recovery process of a dislocated hip and broken leg on a 9 year old? Thanks!
Natalie from Gonzales, LA
Contact another vet for a second opinion. He/she would know a lot more than any of us would. Good luck!
By KJ (Guest Post) 09/15/2008
Poor doggy! Do you have a Teaching Vet School near by? They should be able to help, give you a 2nd opinion. The one near us, let's you arrange to make payments, if you decide to do the surgery.
By Shelter Worker (Guest Post) 09/15/2008
By all means get the dog to another vet. NOW! Your first vet should have given you more info but for them to just do an enema...the dog should be pooping at least once a day if she's eating. That's the immediate problem.
Tell the new vet(s) everything. Make sure they know the splint might need to be adjusted or the dog may need rehab with one of those little doggie walkers they have that help hold up the hind end. Your vet can get you some info on them and who might have one in the area. Your dog can then move along and be partially supported by a wheeled little cart type device.
My 16+ yr old baby girl pitbull has hip problems and to help her "move things along", I increased the fiber in her diet so she doesn't have to strain when she poops. You can simply add a little cooked oat bran and mix with her regular food. For a tiny dog, start by adding a teaspoon at a time to the food and see how she goes. You don't want to cause diarrhea or severe discomfort by a sudden diet change.
Oatmeal doesn't have as much fiber as oat bran but can be used. Wheat bran works also but may produce a little more gas and thus not be as comfortable for the dog. You may also go with a different food altogether that is high fiber and lower protein. You can also add a tiny amount of any fiber powder but I use the oat bran for my dog.
You MUST make sure she gets plenty of water. It's vital to her recovery (if possible) and general well being. She also can not poop without it.
Since she can't move well and it's got to hurt like heck to squat; you may need to help things along internally since you can't really do anything externally. (Her normal walking helps move the food in her intestines.) It might also help to gently rub her belly a little but since she's been constipated for so long; this is an emergency!
You may need one or two second opinions. It's damned hard to find a decent vet but if the concensus is to put your dog down; you have to think of the dog and not let her suffer.
So you don't get ripped off; I'd allow for a new xray or 2 but decline a lot of bloodwork until you get the prognosis from the hip problem. Bloodwork won't affect the hip or leg problems but will cost you a bundle.
Good luck and please repost to let us know what happened.
It's also a sad reminder for all pet owners to keep your pets leashed, under control and out of harm's way.
I don't have your answers but my heart goes out to you. It's so hard to know what to do.
Listen to the vet you trust. Disregard what the doctors say. They are not vets. Yorkies usually live longer than 9 years. If he has a dislocated hip, he very well might need surgery. I suspect it would give him good quality of life for quite a few more years. In the meantime, the dog is suffering, so do something for him.
By Patty (Guest Post) 09/16/2008
First off, you need to follow a Vet's advice. Nine yrs. old is not old for a small dog, I had several who lived to 18 yrs. old. You need to contact your Vet about the bowel problem. Grains are the worse thing you could give to an arthritic dog. Give a small amount (1/4 tespoon) of pumpkin. Real pumpkin, not the kind for pies. Start with a small amount because too much will cause diarrhea. Add to his food each day along with egg, 1/4 teaspoon each plain yogurt and cottage cheese. A dog with arthritis needs more protien, so if you can find a grain-free food or just feed real people food it would be better. If you feed people food, then you need to add calcium in the form of ground egg shell. Just dry out an egg shell and grind as small as you can or pulverize making sure it is fine and smaller then sand and sprinkle a very small amount (less then 1/8th teaspoon) on the people food. You only do this if you use only people food, pet food contains calcium already so if you feed any dog-food don't add egg. If your Vet has not prescribed meds for the arthritis, you may need to make sure the Vet is aware of the problems the dog has in getting up.
By Paul Wapshott 09/18/2008
When I dislocated my hip I was in agony and totally immobilised. I had to have a general anaesthetic to have it put back. If your dog still has a dislocated hip, she will be in great pain.
By Natalie (Guest Post) 09/19/2008
Just want to thank everyone for the feedback. Maggie my yorkie is doing great. She doesn't appear to be in any pain and she is moving around very good on her splint. I will be taking her back to the vet next week to be re-xrayed. She seems to be back to her self again. I am so surprised she is doing as well as she is and I am so greatful I did not put her down. thanks for all the advise.