The Goat Spot Forum banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
My goat caleb had a dislocated ankle. It was repaired with surgery (he has a plate in the ankle plus a wire that serves as a collateral ligament) and he had on the cast for 6 weeks. Xrays and palpitation show that the fetlock joint has fused, as we hoped for.

The cast came off yesterday (after 6 weeks). He is still not bearing any weight on the leg, though he did so when the cast was on. How long until he starts testing it and walking on it? He has CAE, so I worry that hobbling on three legs will make the arthritis worse. Btw, he's being treated for the arthritis with stem cell transplants, which has been very effective!

Thanks for any help you can provide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,128 Posts
I had a goat who broke her leg and and took her long time after cast came off the start putting weight on it then even longer to start walking on it right with out limping so I wouldn't rush him I would give him plenty of time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks very much. the surgery was a big ordeal and he doesn't seem to be in pain since the cast came off (not grinding his teeth, eating well, etc). i'm just anxious to see if he'll use it again. the cast was really heavy so i think the difference in weight probably feels weird to him.

appreciate it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,555 Posts
I agree...he just needs time to adjust...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,944 Posts
The cast came off yesterday (after 6 weeks). He is still not bearing any weight on the leg, though he did so when the cast was on.
His muscles atrophied while he was in a cast, and it will take time - probably a week or 2 - for him to get them built back up to the point they can support his weight. It's a side effect of being in a cast. While the leg was casted, the cast was rigid enough to support his weight so he could walk on it. Now the support is gone, and he has to rebuild the muscles. Make sure he doesn't have to travel a long distance for food or water for a while until he gets the muscles built up. Once he starts bearing weight on that leg, then move the food and water further away to encourage him to keep building them, but not so far that he becomes tired or discouraged to go to them. He will be fine with some time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
well, 2 weeks since he had the cast off and is eating, drinking, and not acting as if in pain--but still will only barely touch his hoof. going to try pain meds for a couple days and see if it improves. worried about now that if he doesn't use it, muscle atrophy will get more severe. the site of his surgery has no infection, skin is healed just fine, no heat or swelling (and not cold either, so circulation fine). xrays show it's healing perfectly where plate went in to fuse the bone.

any ideas??
 

·
I'm watching you
Joined
·
22,261 Posts
You might try a soft cast or wrap. It would make him feel that the leg was protected and maybe give him courage to try putting the foot down. I know after my husband had his ankle fused it took him a while to deal with the inflexibility and not trip all the time.
 

·
I'm watching you
Joined
·
22,261 Posts
Any chance of doing some swimming therapy with him? That would really help his muscles and his arthritis as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was actually thinking of putting Ace splints back on the leg to give him some added support and security. The swimming idea is brilliant. Now if I can convince the neighbors :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
83,058 Posts
Manual therapy, gently working the leg. Move it just a little to start, if he resists don't push to hard, but enough to help him. Do it for a few minutes at a time throughout the day.
Only move it, in natural positions, such as leg movemnets of walking and bending his leg.
Helping him work it and getting it loosened up may help.

Splinting, will not make him want to bend it and work it defeating the purpose. :(
 

·
I'm watching you
Joined
·
22,261 Posts
The ankle is plated and fused Pam. It will never bend again. He has to learn to use it stiff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
yes, the entire fetlock joint is fused. see pic for some lovely hardware! he has a plate and a wire that serves as a collateral ligament.

the muscle atrophy I worry about is in his thighs and hips. if i could get him to a place to swim i'd do it in a minute--that would be great for his arthritis and hips. incidentally (and yes, I'm crazy about my goats) he's getting sheep stem cells for his arthritis and it has made a HUGE difference. My vet was one of the first to use this therapy.

When he had his VERY heavy cast he walked very well. There were pins through the bone to give him added stability. those are out now, and as i said, no infection.

have given 1/2 gram of bute morning and night and will do that for just 2 days (don't want a gastric ulcer) and hope to rule out pain.

the splint might make him feel more secure. at this point, i'm willing to try anything. it was a complicated surgery and I'd like him to have a good life!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
also, picture of how he's been standing lately--he actually rests the leg on the back of his hock. he does touch his toe down while eating but doesn't put weight on it.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
83,058 Posts
His muscles may be weak in his whole leg, I say to do therapy on the rest of the leg. He has lost muscle in the leg,from not using it, therefore it needs to be reworked. It isn't just the braced part, it it the rest of the leg, to help get the goat going on that leg. The ligaments may of shrank as well and it is uncomfortable for the goat to use it. Does that make sense? ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
His muscles may be weak in his whole leg, I say to do therapy on the rest of the leg. He has lost muscle in the leg,from not using it, therefore it needs to be reworked. It isn't just the braced part, it it the rest of the leg, to help get the goat going on that leg. The ligaments may of shrank as well and it is uncomfortable for the goat to use it. Does that make sense? ;)
Makes perfect sense. Here is a crazy idea: what about a 2 pound ankle weight, like the kind used for people for exercise? If he is packing it, at least he would be working the thigh muscle when he lifts it.

You all are awesome for taking the time to help with this!
 

·
I'm watching you
Joined
·
22,261 Posts
Okay, I showed DH the x-rays and asked his opinion. Since he's been through much the same thing and can tell us what hurt. First he says that the goat is still in pain, he will always have some.
The area where the plate was attached will ache until the holes in the bone are filled in and bumping it will cause shooting pains up the whole thing. The goat isn't going to healed for quite a while longer.
The other thing he said is that the joints of the foot now have to take the place of the ankle. All the flex must come from there and it causes those joints to ache because of the extra work load. He said putting his foot flat was agony. Your goat doesn't have awesome painkillers like a human would have.
Therapy for him was treadmill, swimming, electro-therapy, and hot tub.

I can tell you that it took about 2 years for DH to walk effectively again after his accident. He couldn't return to work for about 3 years and he still is in some pain every day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Okay, I showed DH the x-rays and asked his opinion. Since he's been through much the same thing and can tell us what hurt. First he says that the goat is still in pain, he will always have some.
The area where the plate was attached will ache until the holes in the bone are filled in and bumping it will cause shooting pains up the whole thing. The goat isn't going to healed for quite a while longer.
The other thing he said is that the joints of the foot now have to take the place of the ankle. All the flex must come from there and it causes those joints to ache because of the extra work load. He said putting his foot flat was agony. Your goat doesn't have awesome painkillers like a human would have.
Therapy for him was treadmill, swimming, electro-therapy, and hot tub.

I can tell you that it took about 2 years for DH to walk effectively again after his accident. He couldn't return to work for about 3 years and he still is in some pain every day.
Thanks for the insights and for sharing. I am going to work on massaging the leg muscles and will see if that helps. When he has previously been in pain, he really shuts down. No eating, stands in corner, etc. at least his pain is less than previously. I need to convert barn to a goat spa! Clearly, I am crazy about my pets.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top