Broken Leg/Hip Joint - Updated

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Epona142, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    If it's not one thing, it's another... :sigh:

    Bunny, the Mini-Snubian with two kids, came into feeding time limping, bearing no weight on one hind leg.

    I let her eat and then checked her out. The leg is most certain broken at the hip.

    I called and talked to the vet who gave me two options, surgery or euthanasia. The costs for the surgery are out of my reach right now I am very sad to say. It would decimate my vet fund and with Apple's foal on the way...

    Is euthanasia the only option? I have no idea how this happened, could have been Hope smashing her, a kick from the pony, but she doesn't seem in the least concerned. She walks around, albeit slower and limping, is feeding her kids, can lay down and get up. The leg must be nerve dead right now because I can manipulate it without her crying. It doesn't feel "cold" dead though, just limp.

    If I let her be and keep an eye on her, could it heal enough for her to be okay? I've seen some impressive healing in animals before with little intervention. It's not in a place I can wrap with vet wrap. Should I kennel her in the barn with her kids? One kid is going to a new home very shortly as a bottle baby.

    Not really sure what I should do at this point...
     
  2. naturalgoats

    naturalgoats New Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    I don't have any experience with this but good luck... I'll be thinking of both of you.
     

  3. Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    I don't have any experience with this but have seen many deer that had broken legs from car accidents heal and get along just fine. We have one girl I call her Hobble because she only has 3 good legs. Her R front was at some point broken and she just drags it along. We just came thru a bad Winter for our area and she made it thru fine. She has had the broken leg over a year now and is making it in the wild. Good luck with your girl!
     
  4. kitten6500

    kitten6500 New Member

    69
    Dec 31, 2010
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    Ok, my experience comes from working at a small animal vet (cats + dogs) clinic, so I don't know if it completely relates...

    Depending on the break/how the leg would heal, AND how easy the patient is to work with, you have you may be able to splint/cast it until it sets. I'd guess the vet doesn't want to give you this option because it is WAY more work for them, with the potential for not being too successful if it creates a permanently gimpy goat. We've had clients come in with dogs (usually hit-by-cars) that had broken legs (front or rear) who couldn't afford surgery, but loved their pet and still wanted to help them. We would have them come in weekly (twice weekly for dirty dogs) for splint and bandage changes. This costs the owner roughly $40-60 a week in bandage materials, plus the patient (dog, or in your case goat) needs to behave enough to let us restrain him/her and change the bandage every week. The other component of splinting/casting is that there would probably be some exercise restrictions (for dogs it's leash walk only to go outside), and the goat may have to be confined to a stall for weeks.

    Did they take x-rays? Would you be able to confine her for at least a couple months while the bone heals? Also, will you be able to keep the bandage as clean as possible, while still knowing it will still probably need to be changed weekly (meaning a drive into the vet's office and spending $...)? And the big one- will she be still every week while the vets + techs change her bandage and check on her progress?

    If you think you can keep up with her after care, and you think she's a good enough patient to put up with the pain/discomfort of the splint, then I wouldn't give up on her yet! Call other vets, explain the situation (show the radiographs, if you can) and hopefully one of them has a heart and takes a chance on a dedicated owner...

    Good luck!
     
  5. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    I don't have any experience either, but I wouldn't put her down unless she gets to be clearly in permanent pain or can't function. I had one last week holding up one leg and walking on three and by the next day she was fine, it wasn't broken. It wasn't even hurt badly, but it sure looked bad at first. I was pretty worried about her because she is sold.

    So I think waiting is a good idea.

    Jan
     
  6. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    Thanks for all the advice so far.

    kitten - the vet didn't even give me that option, but I can call back and discuss it. Will she be still? Probably not. She's a sweet and tame goat, but the least tame of my crew, prefers attention on her own time.

    I haven't taken her INTO the vet, can't today, hubby is at work and I do not drive. I'm fairly certain it's broken, the leg is clearly just dangling and I can sort of "feel" the break inside. If that makes any sense.

    I disbudded her kids today and she cried for them and let them nurse and licked their little bottoms. If she keeps eating, drinking, pooping (she passed normal pellets) and keeps a good color and no temp, I want to give her a chance, even if she might end up a bit gimpy.
     
  7. Bellafire Farm

    Bellafire Farm New Member

    810
    Jan 5, 2010
    NW Oregon
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    I'd agree w/atleast taking her into the vet to get x-rays... atleast at that point you can truly have all the correct information & make an educated decision. It could be possible that she completely dislocated the hip joint... as it seems odd to me that she would have such a serious break and not be in somekind of pain??? Haven't personally experienced a goat with a break but I would think she'd be in pain???
    Very sorry you are going thru this. :hug:
     
  8. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    I don't doubt she's in some pain at least, its evident. She just didn't seem OVERLY concerned when I handled the leg. My first thought was that it was out of the socket as well, but not sure.

    Trying to get an appointment with a different vet for Friday..sigh.
     
  9. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    Went out to feed the dogs and she's out on the pasture eating with the rest. They saw me and of course ran over to see if I just might be convinced to feed THEM again..she followed and even "ran" a bit three-legged.

    Poor Bunny...
     
  10. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator

    Jul 20, 2008
    corning california
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    I agree... get an xray to see what is going on ...or if the vet is real good ..he /she can feel ...if and where it is broken or see.. if it is just dislocated....and may be able to pop it back in....then wrap it..... she may not have feeling in it because it may be pinching off the nerve.... :hug:
     
  11. kitten6500

    kitten6500 New Member

    69
    Dec 31, 2010
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    Yes, they usually don't offer this option right up front. If you say you can't afford surgery, but are willing to do anything to help her (including stall rest, weekly bandage changes, etc) they might be willing to try it. They don't want her to suffer any more than you do, and they *should* be willing to work with a client to come up with an affordable solution to let the patient still live a long, happy life- just not as a perfectly gaited goat anymore.

    Again, my experience is in small animals, but since I got my goats they are as special to me as my dogs and cats, so I think of them the same. I would expect the same level of "dog + cat quality" care from my vet for my goats, and would be VERY upset if they weren't willing to entertain other options other than surgery before euthanasia. I'm lucky enough to know vets that will take a chance and try something, if the owner is on board and the animal is worth fighting for. I even own several cats and a Doberman that came in to be euthanized, were given the "surgery or euthanasia" speech, and the owners said "euthanize" without hesitation. So we say, "Sign over the animal to us, we will save him/her on our dime, but we now own him/her and get to find them a new home" because the pet was just so wonderful! There was no way we were going to euthanize them, even if their own owners were willing to... So I'm hoping when they see you willing to fight for her, they'll be willing to fight for her too!!

    Just be flexible and open to other options, and hopefully your vet has a heart and is willing to help. Restraint might be your biggest obstacle, but if they can get the bandaging on and then the future bandage changes done that's all that matters. Step 1- x-ray to know exactly how bad it is and when sort of bandaging/splinting is necessary. If she can make it through an x-ray not sedated, she can definitely handle the bandage changes!
     
  12. fiberfinns

    fiberfinns New Member

    8
    Sep 5, 2010
    Canada
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    OUr Angora had what we thought was a broken, or dislocated front shoulder. The vet gave us the same options as you. We opted to go for an x-ray to get a better idea, and while we were moving her, the shoulder sort of seated itself back a bit, but was still loose. She appeared to be pain free, so we kept her in isolation (while still being able to see the others) for 3 months. Today she is fine, runs, jumps on the rocks, and just gave birth.
     
  13. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    If she isn't in severe pain I would think it's dislocated. Dislocations can look a lot like a break. If it was really broken their would be pieces of bone trying to break the skin, cutting through muscles and what not so it would be extremely painful, but a dislocation could pop out just right so it hits a nerve and everything goes numb. Course a break could cut the nerve and makes things go numb.

    I would be leaning towards a dislocation, or even a subluxation of the patella, or knee cap. I had that happen in a miniature horse and I thought the leg was broken! She came running at me with her leg looking all weird. I freaked out and then it popped back into place!

    So really, a x-ray would help. If it's a dislocation it's easy to pop it back into place and put her on stall rest. If it's a clean break it can also probably be set at the vet and put in a splint you yourself could change. If it's a compound fracture the best thing to do for her would be surgery or euthanasia. It sucks, but it would be in the best interest of the goat. :(
     
  14. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    Thanks RunAround...hopefully I can get in tomorrow afternoon and find out.
     
  15. 20kidsonhill

    20kidsonhill Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    Virginia
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    We had a yearling doe last summer,have swelling in her back hip, and would put no weight on it. since there was nothing that could be taped our splinted, which we would do ourselves, we gave her, time, she limped around for 2 or 3 months, always ate and kept up with the herd. I am happy to say, she is now perfectly normal, and is bred to kid the beginning of June. So I do think there is lots of hope for your goat..

    Hope everything works out.
     
  16. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    I'm sorry I didn't get back to this.

    The bone isn't broken, but SOMETHING is wrong. Nerve damage? It certainly LOOKS broken, swings a little when the kid nurses, kind of gross.. She still refuses to put weight on it and absolutely REFUSES to be kenneled, she thrashed around and screams. She's turned into a little demon...

    We're monitoring her, temps, color, habits. If she goes downhill, I will euthanize. If she continues to act "normal" then I'll give her a shot. So far so good. She will probably always be gimpy but right now we're taking it one day at a time.

    Some might not agree with this course of action but I hate to put her down when she is telling me she's wanting to keep going, busted hind leg or not.
     
  17. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    I so understand and don't blame you at all.....you will know when and if she has no quality of life.
     
  18. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Re: Broken Leg/Hip Joint

    I was surprised to see Bunny starting to USE that hind leg today. Moving it a little and putting some weight on it.

    GO BUNNY!!!!

    I'm so glad.
     
  19. Thats great news. Hope it keeps getting better and better!
     
  20. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator

    Jul 20, 2008
    corning california
    :leap: