Broken leg...options?

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Phoenixfyre, May 20, 2013.

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  1. May 20, 2013 #1

    Phoenixfyre

    Phoenixfyre

    Phoenixfyre

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    Hi all,
    I have a 6 month bunny with a broken right hind leg. We had xrays done this morning. I thought she had a sprain up until last night! She was hopping around, playing, eating, pooping...just favoring the leg somewhat. Yesterday afternoon she was only nibbling at hay and refused her favorite banana treat. So off to the emergency vet. The doctor said the leg was most likely broken but that they are not able to do rabbit surgery and she'd need a rabbit doctor to see her. She treated her for the possible start of GI stasis and gave her pain meds and we came home.

    This morning we went in to a rabbit doctor and they told me that they could only amputate. More pain meds and we went home. So, I've now called the rabbit specialist that is 40 miles away and have an appointment tomorrow evening after work. There is a possibility that he can pin her leg.

    My question for anyone is...how good or badly do rabbits heal up with broken legs? And if I end up having to do the amputation..how well do they do? I know she is in pain now, even with the Metacam...and I am very worried about her gut shutting down since she isn't eating all that much. We went a round of syringe feeding Critical Care but that isn't going to work. She and I wore more of it than she ate. And she struggled so much! If she just keeps re-hurting the leg..and getting more and more pain..it isn't worth it to syringe feed.

    Any ideas on what I can do to make her more comfortable? And reduce the risk of GI stasis? I do have Metoclopramide to give her as well. But she isn't producing much poop, and since she isn't really eating much today...I'm not sure how much good the meds will do her unless they give her back an appetite.

    I'm so scared of what is going to happen with her. The break is clean, but really badly separated so there is no chance of it healing naturally either. And it's up high on her hip, so no cast/bandage can be put on it. The only options are surgery or euthanasia...
     
  2. May 20, 2013 #2

    charade

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    Sorry to hear. My rabbit just broke his leg last Tuesday and it's been really stressful. It's a new experience for me too so I don't have much insight to give. I hope it works out for her.
     
  3. May 20, 2013 #3

    missyscove

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    Christina - Moderator

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    Amputation is probably the easier and cheaper option. Rabbits can definitely get around well with just 3 legs. Definitely keep giving her the metacloprimide as that should help keep her gut moving. I'm sure she's in a lot of pain so that metacam is going to be essential.

    Is it the apple banana critical care? Some bunnies will eat that wilingly but most all won't go near the anise flavored critical care. Does she have any favorite veggies? Sometimes I've had luck with poking a bunny in the face with some parsley until they grab it out of annoyance and realize that they could eat it instead.
     
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  4. May 20, 2013 #4

    Phoenixfyre

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    I had no idea Critical Care came in flavors! I will have to check and see....nope, it is the Apple/Banana one. I've had her eating veggies up until yesterday, now she won't touch them (even Kale or Cilantro which are her favorites). The only thing she seems to WANT to eat is her sisal toy ball! And hay, if hand fed and continuously poked with it. Otherwise she just freezes in place staring into space and forgets that she was eating. I'm just worried that any good the Metacam is doing, is negated by trying to syringe feed her. But I can't sit with her all night and day hand feeding one strand of hay at a time...
    I told her we'd figure something out, and thankfully we have Care Credit for the vet bill...but I am worried that the surgery (either one) will eclipse what the card limit is.
     
  5. May 20, 2013 #5

    Sweetie

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    I had a bunny that broke his leg jumping from the top of the cage. He broke his right rear leg, but the break was right above his knee. The vet put a pin in the bone so that it would heal correctly. I had to keep him confined for the duration of healing. Keep feeding your bunny critcal care and water. You can give her some alfalfa hay for the calcium, but don't give too much. The vet and you should discuss the best option for this bunny. I have went through this, and the same two options were thought of. Oh also, make sure to keep up the metacam, that will help with the pain. If you can and it doesn't bother her too much, you can massage the leg very carefully to relieve the pain.

    So here is what you can do:
    1) keep her fed and hydrated
    2) keep her confined to a very small space, so that she doesn't use that leg and injure it further
    3) keep giving metacam, for as long as the vet said, for pain control
    4) massage the injured leg very carefully to relieve the pain
    5) feed small amount of alfalfa hay for calcium so that the bone can heal


    Have any questions you can message me and we can talk.
     
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  6. May 20, 2013 #6

    Sweetie

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    When my bunny broke his leg, it cost me about $3,000. I would get her to the emergency vet if you can. I will pray that she feels better soon.
     
  7. May 20, 2013 #7

    Phoenixfyre

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    Here is her x-ray showing the really badly placed break. It can't be taped, splinted, bandaged or casted...

    Cinnabun xray_small.jpg
     
  8. May 20, 2013 #8

    Phoenixfyre

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    She was at the emergency vet, they can't do anything except give her meds. The other "rabbit vet" that I saw can only amputate but was too busy to give me a quote. The "good" rabbit vet is being seen tomorrow....but...$3,000? Really? I cannot afford it. I just can't. Maybe half of that, but not $3,000. I was out of work for months and basically used up my savings. I just got another job about 3 weeks ago and am trying to get back on my feet for bills, rent, and eventually savings. I have the Care Credit card but it only has a $1,000 limit I think. Oh god, I am going to cry. I feel so bad for her...I cringe every time I see her using that leg, and I know she is in a lot of pain. I may have to have her euthanized and that just sucks because she is so young and full of life...

     
  9. May 20, 2013 #9

    Sweetie

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    It may cost less where you are. I sure hope it costs less. They can fix that break. Talk with the vet and see what would be the best option. Amputation might be cheaper, and bunnies can get around on three legs. DO NOT LET HER HOP AROUND, she will only injure the leg more. You want to keep her confined to a small space where she cannot move around very much if at all.

    Where are you located? I am in Bremerton, WA and we have an emergency vet here called All Creatures, which is where I had to take Prince when he broke his leg and they are expensive, that is why it cost about $3,000.
     
  10. May 20, 2013 #10

    Phoenixfyre

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    I'm in southern CA. She is confined to her cage but she has to move a bit to eat/pee/poop/drink...but I am trying to surround her with everything she needs so she doesn't need to move more than a couple inches. But this is why I don't want to syringe feed her anymore...she struggled SO hard. And I have nobody to help me with restraining her. I am trying to do things that won't repeatedly injure her and cause more pain but at the same time...she has to eat or she'll die from going into stasis.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  11. May 20, 2013 #11

    Sweetie

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    Ok that is good. Hopefully she will feel better soon.

    If you go with the surgery, they will put a pin through the bone and put something around the break so that it will heal correctly. If you go for amputation, which I think would be cheaper, she probably will have a faster recovery.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  12. May 20, 2013 #12

    Phoenixfyre

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    I'll go for whichever one the vet recommends tomorrow, providing I can afford either. He isn't an emergency vet thankfully, so *maybe* he won't be as expensive as your clinic was. It'll be the VCA hospital in Santa Monica though, and that city isn't exactly known for being inexpensive. So I'm apprehensive. However on the bright side, Cinnabun has started eating on her own a bit more!
     
  13. May 20, 2013 #13

    missyscove

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    That is a rough break! Amputation will likely be the cheaper option and she should still have a good quality of life with an amputation so if it were my rabbit, that's probably the option I would take. I'm glad to hear she's eating!
     
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  14. May 20, 2013 #14

    Sweetie

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    I am glad to hear that she is eating. If you have to force her, try not holding her in your lap, but put her on the couch next to you and just open her mouth to put the syringe in her mouth to feed her. I did that with Prince when he wouldn't eat and I had to force him to eat. I do that with Sweetie when I have to give her gas meds, pineapple juice, etc. Of course Sweetie takes things willingly.
     
  15. May 20, 2013 #15

    Phoenixfyre

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    As an aside...I seriously (not really!) want to know what is IN that Metacam! I might want to take some myself! She just FLOPPED!! And ON that leg too. My brother might be able to lend me some money in addition to the Care Credit, especially if they will take payments (doubt that but it's always possible). So, fingers are crossed! And work gave me the day off (can't afford that, but I do have some priorities!) so I can get her into the vet earlier than expected tomorrow.
     
  16. May 20, 2013 #16

    Phoenixfyre

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    I actually had her on the floor between my legs as I was kneeling. So she couldn't back up, which she was trying to do when just left alone and using the syringe. But, she still wriggled, and jumped. I just can't subject her to that when not much gets into her anyway from it. Like I said, we both wore more of it than she ate. She will sit still for the meds though thankfully.
     
  17. May 20, 2013 #17

    Sweetie

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    Do you talk to her while you are feeding her with the syringe?
     
  18. May 20, 2013 #18

    missyscove

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    I can actually answer that question and call it studying for my test tomorrow. Metacam (meloxicam) is an NSAID (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) analgesic and antipyretic that works by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX) and preferentially COX-2 over COX-1 (which is good because COX-1 is somewhat protective of the GI). COX converts arachidonic acid into prostaglandin H2 which is the first step in synthesizing prostaglandins which are an inflammatory mediators of sorts.
    It's similar to aspirin and ibuprofen, although neither of those are COX-2 selective.
     
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  19. May 20, 2013 #19

    Phoenixfyre

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    Thank you :biggrin2: I was being facetious really though, just because I was happy that bunny is flopping.

    And as for talking to her...yes, I do...but she really has no interest in anything I have to say. Especially now. Much as I TRY to explain that I am doing this for her own good, and it will help and make her feel better...she isn't buying it.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  20. May 20, 2013 #20

    JBun

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    That's really good that the metacam is starting to help. It might also be a good time to encourage her to eat, since she isn't in as much pain. Feeding the critcal care is a bit tricky. She needs food, but you don't want to aggravate the injury. It might be best to hold off on the critical care unless absolutely necessary, as trying to feed it to her is going to make her struggle and make the injury hurt even worse, and make her less inclined to eat on her own. Hopefully now that the metacam seems to be helping, you won't have to try and feed the critical care again.
     

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