Before & after amputation: week 1

Before amputation, we considered many things to try help Toller, from a wheelchair to the vets’ suggestions.

The vets refused to consider amputation for Tolly’s injury (every connective bone in her paw broken), as they wanted to keep her “whole”.

We were given two options, pushed by two different vets.

  1. Re-wiring surgery

This is an invasive surgery where wires are used to attach her bones back together.

This was pushed by the head vet at the surgery when we went to collect Tolly after her first x-ray. The head vet brought Tolly in, passed her over saying “So you know what she’s done, yes? Broken every bone connecting her toes, silly little girl!” (uhuh, because being run into by a much larger dog running full speed makes HER silly?!?!), “You really must do the rewiring surgery, you’ll need to sort that out as soon as possible.”

That was all the advice given to us when we collected Tolly after her x-ray. We were with this awful for woman for less than two minutes, and later found out they’d charged us a consultation fee (£38 I think) for that!!

I spent quite some time researching this surgery, and everything I read was extremely negative. There was no way of knowing how effective it would be, recovery was a long arduous process, and there was a high chance of complications and further surgeries needed.

Just no.

2. Splints and crate rest

Toller has 6-8 weeks strict crate rest, and her paw is splinted to allow it to heal in the correct position.

This was pushed by the second vet we saw, who told us not to opt for the surgery because she thought Tolly would make a full recovery with crate rest, to the point where she could go on walks, be active, and you ‘wouldn’t even be able to tell’ that paw had ever been injured.

With both vets refusing to even consider amputation, we went with the second vets’ opinion. Unfortunately none of the vets could put a splint on properly; the first fell off in less than 4 hours, the second after a few days, and so the vet said to leave her bare and she would heal just as well.

Fast forward 11 weeks and Toller was absolutely miserable; she’d missed out on almost three months socialisation, training and exercise (5 months – 8 months old), she had been on very strict crate rest (the only time she walked was to go to the toilet), and she was so broken that we honestly wondered whether we should have her put to sleep.

When our vet declared Toller ‘fully recovered’, and where she basically still had to live a life of crate rest AND we could see the foot visibly getting worse, we started looking into other options.

Toller’s leg 5 weeks ago

sofriggingcute

Toller’s leg 1.5 weeks ago

When we finally found a vet that would agree to amputate, Toller had the surgery in less than a week, and 24 hours after surgery she was walking. She is far more mobile now than she has been for the last 11 weeks 🙂

And, pictures speak a 1000 words, so here are some before photos.

When you look at her eyes and you see the misery, THAT is why we were considering having her PTS. That is no life for a 5-8 month old puppy to live, and it was *breaking* her.

And the difference. Look at her eyes, look at her smile!

beforeandafter3

beforeandafter2

To anybody who is in a similar situation, here is my advice to you – DON’T GIVE UP.

You may need to see several different vets before you find one that listens. You will find vets that tell you to listen to the first vet, that say they need to ask “permission”…keep trucking, you will find your vet.

Make sure you do your research, so you can spot when a vet is lying or doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Research your pup’s injury, the treatment the vet is recommending, and know your shit when it comes to amputation. The tripawds forum is amazing.

The more you push, the sooner your pup can be on the road to recovery!

Recovery from amputation is insanely speedy (Tolly is off pain meds, her amputation was 8 days ago) and your pup will be so much happier for it 🙂

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