Scapula fracture in a working dog

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Cygnet, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Anybody else ever see this?

    My nine month (+/-) cattle dog/aussie cross puppy managed to break her scapula (shoulderblade) a couple of days ago. Next time, maybe she'll grant the goats a bit more respect ... *shudder* I had my back turned, and all I heard was a, "POP!" and she started screaming. My best guess is one of the goats nailed her -- there was a fence between them, but it's got some play in it, and if she was standing right next to it, the goat could have hit the fence and got her hard on the other side.

    Vet said the break isn't surgically repairable, and that crate rest should resolve the problem and she should be sound. However ... This is a puppy I'd hoped to do agility and herding with, though, and she's an incredibly high-energy high-drive dog who doesn't know the meaning of the word "quiet" ... she's going to put a LOT of stress on that shoulder regardless of if I put her to work or make a housepet (heh) out of her. I'm wondering if I'm likely to see problems down the road with arthritis or tendon injuries.

    Oh, anyone have any tips for keeping a hyperactive (even for the breed type) cattle dog/aussie quiet for at least six weeks? Right now, I'm resorting to acepromazine and a herbal supplement the vet reccomended, but I hate to ace her for weeks ... and she was so frantic to get out of the crate that she was scratching with BOTH feet at the door (and yelping every few seconds in pain) ... this is not a dog who needs to be confined. Sigh. I suspect the pain is just making her that much more frantic/on edge.

    Leva
     
  2. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    What kind of a doggy doc did you take her too??? Not all vets are the same.

    My dog got hit by a car when she was about 4 years old. Dislocated the back hip and messed up the socket. The normal doggy doc's said they couldn't fix it. Had to take her to Angel Memorial which is like the creme de-creme of doggy World. They did fix it, not cheap but it got done, without it she would have been crippled and probably had a shorter lifespan. Now pushing 15.

    They got it all back in place and then sort of soft glued her entire mid body and hips in this sort of flexible cast made from bandages and some sort of glue or something. Was like a cast but soft and she could move. Was in the cast for like a number of weeks, had pain and was on pills.

    Worked out ok and they cut off the cast. Funny part the fur was all covered with this glue stuff and they gave her back, could not believe this thing that the medic came walking out with on a leash at the end. Said they didn't know how to clean it and I would have to go to a dog groomer or cut off the fur myself. Real mess, all stuck and matted. I soaked her in a fluid used to clean cars before painting and then washed the fur. Came out perfect. Should have gone into business cleaning pups that they glued up. :rolleyes:

    You might want to ask around. The big city dog doc's are going to be better, even a lot of difference among those what can be done. The real big ones can fix just about anything including cancer and the things that normally mean the end.

    Maybe something like a compressive body sleeve can help??? Wonder why your doggy doc didn't do something along that line??? I would think about like a human with many things like sprains, certain types of hair line fractures etc. Something like those elastic wraps that can be fashioned into a supporting vest.

    But maybe that is why I am not a doggy doc. :D
     

  3. MARYDVM

    MARYDVM Well-Known Member

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    Fractures in the body of the scapula are usually very well stabilized by the surrounding tissues - rib cage below, thick muscles above.

    When my 8 mo. old high energy Rottie had to be crated to heal a broken toe, I stocked up on large raw beef bones which she chewed daily in her crate. Ace is not the best drug if anxiety is part of the problem with crating - the disorientation it produces can increase anxiety. Might want to try valium.
     
  4. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Hi Leva, sorry to hear about your dog. My Aussie likes to work the goats too and we have been very lucky she has not been hurt. Try to keep your dog away from the goats until she is about a year (advice from someone I respect). It is easier said than done for our high energy Aussies. Don't know about Valium for dogs but in humans it is very ify. It was a bad drug for my dad to take and had we known its damaging effects for him, he would have been off of it sooner. Good luck with your dog. The dog bone idea sounds great; our dogs love their bones.
     
  5. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks Mary. It's nice to hear an independent confirmation!!! The spine of the scapula was what was fractured, apparently. She's doing well -- she's barely limping this evening when I pottied her, though she's on metacam and ace. (And is a tough little doggy to start with -- very high tolerance for pain.)

    The ace seems to be working VERY well w/ a low dose -- I just pottied her with a minimum of kangaroo-like bouncing. Is it *safe* to use for weeks? It seems to be working well for her as far as keeping her quiet and calm. She went right back to sleep when I returned her to her crate, which is what I want ...

    She's not interested in the chewies and bones I put in her crate, not even the pig ears. The bedding, OTOH ... she shredded the blanket I put in there with her.

    Oh, BTW, if you know anyone who wants some extra marans eggs (or a few catalanas or ameracaunas) I'm getting TONS of eggs right now, about three times what I can hatch. The price is right -- I'm giving them away to my neighbors to eat and I'd just as soon give them to someone who will hatch them. :)

    Leva

     
  6. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    I'm with the beef bones... stock up and let her rip. The chewing will help with the anxiety and will give her something else to focus on.

    However... if she can move around "a little" attach a leash to your hip and have her with you as you do small things (clean the bathroom, type on the computer) and if she can do certain things like "sit" or "down," practice with her, praising her lavishly for being such a good puppy. You could even teach her something stupid... like how to put a kleenex out of a box when you sneeze. Anything to keep her intellectually engaged. We've taught dogs to nose doors shut after us, fetch and carry mail, turn off the lights (probably too much)... but you get the idea. Give her a job to do that is "little" and she can handle so she knows how useful she is. If she isn't able, after this, to be your agility dog, she'll need to be useful in another way. And why should you pick things up off the floor? You have a dog!

    We also dispense with "crate" and build a pen right into our most used room. A hair more room for the dog to move around, but more importantly, they're still part of the family. It is the isolation which is so disturbing to the dog.
     
  7. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'll add my "yup" to the tasty beef bones (pick up a couple of those big thigh bones from the butcher, make sure there's a good femoral head or two for your pup to work on -- and if you give them raw, they won't splinter).

    I was also thinking along the same lines as MC: if your pup is on low-dose Ace already, and she is willing to be quiet outside the crate while you're around, let her out. It'll decrease the anxiety and keep her calm.

    If it was me, I would not worry about a low-dose of Ace for 6 weeks or so. If she was so wonked out on the stuff she couldn't walk, that'd be a different story, but if she's capable of making it outside on the leash without stumbling, she'll most likely be fine. The biggest concern I can see with Ace is that it's really veterinary grade thorazine. Whopping doses can cause ataxia, etc., but as a general rule of thumb with these muscular, active breeds, there should not be a problem.
     
  8. MARYDVM

    MARYDVM Well-Known Member

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    Boy, I'd love to take some hatching eggs, but my incubator is in the trash after killing last two batches of eggs (won't maintain the temp). When I had some extra eggs at one time I listed them on Freecycle and had several takers. There's probably a local freecycle in the Phoenix area. Or you could list it on the Barter board here.
     
  9. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mary, I assume you have a tabletop incubator with a useless "digital" thermostat?

    If you save the heating element and the fan if it came with one, you can hook it up to a clamp type thermostat and install it in a wooden box for a passable incubator for fairly cheap.

    I love my GQF though. :):):)

    Leva
     
  10. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can turn her into a house dog for now. my housedog border collie still loves to work the sheep and hunt invisible mice in the snow. As long as she is inside with you, you can take advantage by working on her heeling, as well as sit and down-stays. Agreeing with Morrison Corner on the mental activity. Real bones are more satisfying to chew than other chew toys, but I would rotate bones with rope chew toys. I'd also put her kibble into a Buster Cube.

    I would also find someone who does Reiki or other energy work and have that person work on the dog. I believe Reiki saved my dog when he ran into a moving car.