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BPO Medical Forum => Medical Conditions & Diseases => : macnmsc February 19, 2009, 07:10:38 PM

: UPDATE!! NO fractured growth plate!! see last post
: macnmsc February 19, 2009, 07:10:38 PM
Im new here.. and hoped someone could reasure me. I have a 11mth old 145Lb Saint puppy who developed a limp a few weeks ago.. he has a 3 mth old sister saint bernard that he actively plays with, so we hoped he maybe "pulled" something while playing.
   We took him to the vet and she believe via xray he has a fracture in his upper rt front arm growth plate. They say best option is sugery. This will be very expensive and will have a long recouperating period, in which we will have to provide him with a lot of actual physical support to go outside, and keep him kennelled 95% of the time. We are up to the challenge and are very nervous. How did other puppy mommies help their "Giant" babies get around etc.
Thanks for any insite.. i plan to spend alot of time here!
: Re: fractured growth plate in St Bernard puppy
: DAMAGE February 20, 2009, 03:57:43 AM
Please do see an orthopaedic specialist for confirmation of diagnosis before doing surgery. Then, if the need for surgery is confirmed..... Is he crate trained? A crate will be very helpful for post surgery  enforced rest. Little sister can't bother/bug him and you wont have to be watching him every second. A stuffed kong or great big marrow bone will help him pass the time. A sling, made or purchased, can be used to support some of his weight when you take him outside. He will most likely do fine on three legs but the sling will help steady him and you can use it to slow him down when he tries to go too fast. He will try to push the boundaries. :) All you have to do is lift up on the sling when he starts picking up too much speed, just enough to take some weight off his front end. Say "slow" or "easy" and gently ease the weight back. You use the sling for assistance it's not really meant to 'carry' him, only keep him from losing his balance, control momentum or help him get to his feet. A ramp is also crucial if you have any steps. Make sure it is covered with a non slip material. I used a mat from my horse trailer. Hmmmm...This is starting to get rather long-winded. If you have any questions or need other tips, PM me and I will try to help. My Raemi had her first TPLO at age 3 and the second one a year later. Pretty much been there done that on most "what ifs".  So sorry for the misery your young man is going through. Healing vibes coming his way.
: Re: fractured growth plate in St Bernard puppy
: jesday February 20, 2009, 04:45:11 AM
Welcome to BPO.

I'm going through TPLO surgery right now for my 1 1/2year old Newfie. We are into week 7 of 8 week confinement. Probably within 2 weeks we start all over again for her second knee so she will be out of commission for a total of 4+ months. She has a brother of the same age.

We converted our garage into her hospital long-stay unit. That way we didn't have any stairs to take her out for potty breaks. We also put up a barricade to keep brother from bothering her, but they could still be around each other. After a few weeks I would let him sleep with her at night.

The sling works well and as Damage mentioned, you don't need to hold the entire weight of the dog, you are just adding support and taking some of the weight off. As he starts using it more, the sling helps in case he slips and to keep him from going too fast. I quit using the sling on Sophie after about 3 weeks and probably could have stopped earlier. Then I used her leash to keep her from running.

It is a long process and sometimes you think it will never end. I was seriously thinking of waiting to do her other leg to give us and her a break. Let her be a dog again for awhile. But she has recovered so well the fixed leg is functioning better than the other. Now when she struggles to get up it's because of the remaining ruptured ACL. We decided not to delay. Get them done and out of the way so by late spring and the rest of her young life she can function properly and pain free.

Good luck with your big guy. You'll not find a better support place as you go through this step by step.  :) 
: Re: fractured growth plate in St Bernard puppy
: macnmsc February 20, 2009, 11:25:04 AM
 :) Im so glad we have a great forum such as this.
Suprisingly, my pup is still able to bear weight and barely has a limp which is why we all were so surprised it was a fracture.
   The plan is wednesday Cujo will be sedated and their orthopedic surgeon is going to take more extensive xrays and manipulate the joint and decide what he thinks. If surgery is the best option he will take hime from there. At this point I feel confident in what the vet team decides. Our vet is also discussing his case with the head orthpedic vet at the university of Missouri, so i know he is in good hands and their are several vets deciding his best course.
     Or vet calls daily to check on him and the whole office seems to truely care. They don't care for many st bernards (if any) in our rural area so he gets ALOT of attention(which he loves).
     We have 4 dogs Cujo (11mths old Saint) Daisy (3 1/2mths Saint) Ace and Jack (both are sweet Cocker spaniels). Family and friends all seem to think we are crazy with all our dogs and the fact that they are all indoors. My husband and I consider them all our babies, right along with our human babies(we have 3 of those too)
Thanks for your support and will keep you updated!!

: Re: fractured growth plate in St Bernard puppy
: jesday February 20, 2009, 01:21:37 PM
Sounds like Cujo is in good hands - Both with vet care and at home. Hope the big boy can grow out of his injury without surgery.

Indoors? Of course. What do people think they are, dogs?? ;)
: Re: UPDATE!! NO fractured growth plate!! see last post
: macnmsc February 26, 2009, 01:19:21 PM
SO great news from the vet!! The orthopedic surgeon sedated my baby and took multiple xrays and decided that he just has large growth plates all over (NOT surprising he is a SAINT BERNARD).
  His limp was from a large seroma that formed probably from one of his clumsy falls. It was a fluid build up around his right shoulder that they drained Almost 400cc of fluid from it. We are keeping him kenneled and quiet and applying a heating pad 3-4 times a day. He is doing great so far and seems to be feeling better. We are giving him 2 different meds for inflamation and pain to keep him comfy.
   We are just thrilled he didnt need surgery. They are hopping the fluid doesnt accumulate again but worst case the will put a drain in.
Thanks for being supportive! keep thinking positive thoughts.
: Re: UPDATE!! NO fractured growth plate!! see last post
: DAMAGE February 27, 2009, 03:42:06 AM
Yayyyy, so very relieved to hear he didn't need surgery. Hugs and pawsitive healing energy coming his way.
: Re: UPDATE!! NO fractured growth plate!! see last post
: Lyn February 27, 2009, 07:11:47 AM
Great news!

I'd love to see pics though!  ;)