I took Bruce to Affiliated Veterinary Services this morning for his hip exam. As soon as we walked in everyone started gushing over him. He’s pretty much a rockstar.
The vet told me that Bruce had 2 fractures instead of the just the one we were initially told about. Break 1 was more severe and this was where his body bears more weight. Break 2 looks worse, but may not be actually hurting him or causing him discomfort. She said we had 3 options to pick from. I am clearly not a vet, but I will explain the options the way I understood them.
Option 1: Cage rest for 6 weeks. Let the bones heal on their own in their semi crooked state. She said that there shouldn’t be any major complications from the bones healing this way. He may have arthritis later in life, but could end up with it either way if we chose to do surgery. After six weeks they would reexamine him and see if break 2 was causing him any problems with mobility or pain. If they did determine that it was then an issue we would do FHO surgery. This is where the cut off the ball/head of the hip and let the muscles and nerves stay intact. After physical therapy he would then be able to use his leg like normal. His hip would remain slightly unaligned, but the vet said that it should not have any long term negative affects other than arthritis.
Option 2: Surgery for both break 1 and break 2. This would be fairly intensive and would realign the hip completely as well as inserting plates and screws. This was estimated at $3400. He would be on cage rest for 6 weeks then slowly reintroducing regular walks and exercise. Estimated 10 weeks total. He would also need physical therapy and 2 more rounds of X-Rays at $280 each. This would fix him completely and should take away all possible pain once healed.
Option 3: Repair only break 2 which would be the FHO surgery described in Option 1. He would need 2 weeks of recovery time for this.
We chose option 1 because Bruce has not been showing many signs of pain. We know dogs can be stoic, but he is very active and mobile for his condition. The vet said that the alignment of his hip will most likely not get worse and it’s in the very beginning stages of healing. That with the possibility that he may not need surgery at all was very appealing for his comfort and our finances. If he were in more pain and not very mobile we would definitely do option 2. However, right now it doesn’t seem like the best option. I hope you all agree.
Bruce is still at the vet because he is getting chest X-Rays. Since we think he may have been hit by a car the vet wanted to make sure there wasn’t any further internal trauma. She said sometimes with the force of a car hitting the body it can make the organs move around inside or rupture the diaphragm. She kept him so they could sedate him and get clear images.