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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been seeing the same doctor for Tala's broken fibula (and fractured tibia) since it happened. He said that she'll have to wear a cast for 8 weeks. He also said that it's good if she holds the leg up and never uses it. He said it will heal faster this way.

When I went last week, I saw a different doctor that time. He said that since she was only 6 months old when it happened, she'll probably only have to wear the cast for 5 weeks. He said that if she were older, say 2 years old, she would probably have to have it on for 8 weeks. He also said that it's good if she walks on it a bit. He said a little use stimulates the healing process, and prevents severe atrophy.

I think the second doctor is being honest with me, while the other is nickel and diming me to death by dragging out the whole process. It makes more sense that a young dog with growing bones would heal faster. It seems that a little use would also be a good thing to prevent atrophy and promote blood flow.

Does anyone have experience with broken limbs in young dogs? Does 8 weeks sound right?
 

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Not in dogs

But the second Doctor sound right to me. I know in humans or any living thing that hurt limbs of any kind need to move for the blood to flow and help healing process I was a CNA for many years If you restrict the blood flow it can cause blood clots which is NOT good. They always tell you to move you may need to keep wieght of the limb but I thing in my opinion there should be some movement of some kind I would stick with doctor # 2 if it were me.
 

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Hoenstly, the length of time spent in the case should be dependent upon the dog herself. X-rays should be done every 2 wks or so to check healing progress (God only knows the mess that becomes if no x-rays are done & the bone was healing wrong all along) & if after 5 wks the bone is healed enough & the dog healthy enough to move around w/out the support of the cast, then so be it. I can guarantee that exercise & even basic movements will still be restricted for a few weeks after that.

As far as using the leg, the second vet is right. New studies in human medicine have shown that the "wait & let it heal first" approach is not only outdated, but can be harmful (muscle atrophy escpecially). For the past 6-7 yrs or so, methods of rehabbing have changed & now even people who've had total hip replacements are being "forced" to stand on the new hip the very next day. numerous studies & evidence shows that injuries heal faster if the person/animal is up & moving as soon as possible (of course, the cast shoudl be checked ever day for slippage & such as it provides necessary support to keep the bones aligned in your dog's case).

So, while keeping the dog on the lash to potty & what not, let him/her use the leg that the cast is on. Another bad outcome of not allowing the dog to use that leg, is that holding it up will become a habit & the dog will continue to do so even years after the leg has healed. This again will result in long term muscle atrophy (breakdown--you don't use it, you lose it) & will cause further problems in the long run.

Good luck!
 

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Miakoda is correct, years ago it was no weight bearing at all during the healing period! But things have since changed. The length of time will depend on how severe the fracture was and how well she is healing. It could be 6,8 even as long as 10 weeks. You may want to add to her diet additional calcium, this will help with her healing and also HD. It would be go for both of your dogs. Once the cast is remove for good, if she likes bathes you might want to have her sit in a nice warm bath, while you massage her leg. This will help with blood circulation and range of motion. Tell Tala hello from Josie!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone, you all confirmed my thoughts about using the leg a bit. It only makes sense that you'd want blood flow, and a little use would prevent atrophy. I think the first doctor is just charging me for all sorts of things she doesn't need, and trying to drag out her healing process to get as much money as he can out of me. I've made an appointment with the second doctor for next Tuesday, when she'll be getting xrays. Hopefully everything is good and she'll be able to get the cast off that day. I know she'll have to take it easy for several weeks after the cast is off, but at least she won't have to wear the e-collar, and I won't have to wrap her leg in a plastic bag everytime she needs to tinkle, and she won't be going crazy with the itchies under her cast.....It will be soooooo great to get this darn cast off.

I'm also giving her extra calcium supplements, in addition to her daily vits, but they're turning her poo pure white. I think she's getting a little too much.
 

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Maybe but double check with your vet. She should be ok as long as she doesn't get to where she can't pooo. Don't forget when she get her cast off to use the warm soaks that will help her alot. It helped with my cat that had a broken leg and nerve damage.
 
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