Broken leg...options?

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Phoenixfyre

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I so hope not to have to Critical Care her ever again! She has started eating on her own again since the flop, I don't know how much but it's an improvement over the amount earlier. I'm leaving her alone though, since I just stress her out when I go into her cage (she's actually friendly in her cage, but she thinks I am out to get her today....wonder why? LOL) I'll check the hay situation and poops when I give her the last dose of the Metoclopramide later. But she is really digging into the hay....I am so relieved.
 

Zeroshero

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Will she lap the Critical Care from a bowl? My bun was syringe fed from 7 days old and he protested with the vet showing me how to "force feed" him anitbiotics. Try mixing the Critical Care in a bowl and see how she does.

Holding thoughts for a good outcome for you and your bun.
 

Phoenixfyre

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I am going to ask the vet about ice/heat, but in the event that she stays for surgery it won't matter. I don't want to try it without knowing if it's a good idea, or if she'd tolerate it. The Metacam is really helping her and we have an appointment in 5 hours which will determine what happens for her.

No, she DETESTS the Critical Care. My first thought was to try the bowl routine to see if she'd eat it that way, but she was not impressed at all and turned her back. She is eating on her own though, and will let me hand feed her hay as well so I am not going to try the Critical Care again unless absolutely necessary. I tried wetting & warming some pellets too but that didn't go over with her either.

The thing that makes me cringe the most at the moment is watching her scratch her ear. Just the fact of her USING that leg for that makes me shudder. I tried scratching it for her, but apparently I don't do a good enough job for her preferences!


Thanks all for the good wishes! Keeping my fingers crossed for later!

FYI, I added Cinnabun as my avatar...so you can now see her with fur, not just her bones :)
 
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Sweetie

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She is adorable! Is she a lionhead? Sweetie, black bunny in my avatar, is a lionhead mix and I love her so much. She is my heart bunny.
 

Phoenixfyre

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She is a Lionhead, or maybe a mix...but mostly Lionhead. And she is a love! She's thoroughly exhausted right now, we just returned from the 3rd vet visit in 3 days. The "Miracle Doc" loved her. He quoted me $1200 - $1500 for the pinning surgery, and said he would absolutely NOT recommend amputation (for her...not as an absolute). BUT...he said that honestly, if she were HIS rabbit...he would do nothing and let her heal on her own! I was astonished...but also secretly very relieved as I did not want her to have to undergo surgery if it weren't completely necessary. Basically he said that yes, he can pin the leg but because of how clean & smooth the break is there isn't anything for the bones to "grab" onto so he would need to wrap wire around it as well as pin it. He said that she would be in more pain than she is now for nearly a week or more. Which, could start the GI stasis issue up again. He said that right now, her leg will heal up fairly quickly and every day she should be in less and less pain. Because of how well she is sitting on it and using it, he said he'd just prefer to leave well enough alone. She won't have pretty x-rays (if they are ever needed) but she should be healthy and happy on it. And since she was actually EATING in her carrier while AT the vet's....I really have to agree with him. She was trying to climb out to visit him too.... silly rabbit. I have a butt load of Metacam for her and only have to give her the Metoclopramide once a day now and just stop it as soon as she is pooping normally. I am so happy and relieved, you can't even imagine! If she understood any of this, I bet she would be too.
 

Zeroshero

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Awe bless, I am so happy for you both it brought tears to my eyes. Hoping for a speedy recovery!
 

JBun

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That's so great! I'm so glad she's going to be ok and doesn't have to go through surgery or have an amputation. It already sounds like the injury isn't hurting her as much now.

Your vet sounds really good. If you get a chance, you may want to add a personal recommendation of him to the CA vet listings in the library section.
 

Sweetie

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Not recommending surgery for a rabbit that has broken a bone in two, is not sound advice. Yes the rabbit has to have surgery on the broken leg to put the pin in and wrap wire around the bone so it will heal correctly. But this vet said that he would leave the leg as is and not do anything, that would be a red flag to me. The bone will not heal correctly and the rabbit may re-injure her leg even more. The price is good, cheaper than what I had to pay here in Bremerton, WA for Prince when he broke his right rear leg.

It does upset me that he recommended no surgery for the broken leg. There has to be surgery for putting in the pin and wrapping the wire around the bone so it can heal correctly.

JBun: the injury isn't really hurting her anymore because she is getting metacam to relieve the pain. Once that is gone, then what?

Phoenixfyre: are you going to have the vet put the pin in and wrap the bone so that it can heal correctly?
 

Zeroshero

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I have seen clean breaks on hocks of cattle dogs heal up just fine without surgery or casting. I don't know of any veterinarian good or bad that doesn't have the best interest of the animal at heart when they make a recomendation. I have also learned that until I see DVM next to someone's name to take their opinions with a grain of salt. Hope your bun is doing good!
 

Sweetie

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With a break like that, the bone won't heal correctly, it needs to be pinned and have wire around the break so it will heal correctly. Prince had the same break but it was above the knee. Plus this rabbit could injure its leg even more by hopping around on it. A broken leg, when it is fixed by a rabbit savvy vet, will heal in about 8 to 10 weeks. When left alone, you risk infection and other complications. If this was my bunny, I would have the leg fixed, I wouldn't just leave it be.
 

LolaPi

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I had a rabbit who shattered his femur a few years ago. Amputation was the best option, and he was quite happy on 3 legs. It cost me about $1800, and the vet was able to put me on a payment plan, so I paid it off over a few months. Ask if that would be an option. Hope it works out.
 

substars

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Just wanted to second that I think a wait-and-see approach is fine advice, since bunny is eating and drinking and you are managing pain. Waiting sucks but it's not like you can't amputate later if it comes to that.

My rabbit Ivan broke his leg pretty badly in 2007. Our vet tried splinting it, but after a month it hadn't healed at all. That vet told me amputation was the only option, as did a second vet. I finally talked to a third vet who offered to send x-rays to a local orthopedic surgeon, saying, "the worst he can say is that you'll have to amputate the leg". He ended up pinning the leg, it cost almost $500 less than then the first two vets quoted me for the amputation, and Ivan healed up pretty well and has gotten another six years and counting out of the leg in question.

In short, I'm glad you sought out a knowledgeable source, and I hope everything works out well for the two of you!
 

Phoenixfyre

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No Sweetie, I am not. Since you are not a vet I understand your concern. However, you also do not know this particular situation or why the vet recommended this. He is a very good vet and knows what he is doing actually. I spent nearly an hour with him going over what would happen in each scenario, and as my initial thought had been a sprain and to just leave it...the fact that he would also choose that option just reinforced it. Yes, she will not have pretty x-rays but so what? She isn't a show rabbit. And no, there does not have to be surgery...she would be in more danger from that than from letting it heal. If she were not using it, if she were not sitting on it in a natural position, if she were not happy and bright...he said he would pin it. But she is, and balancing the risks vs rewards she is better off as is. Have you had a rabbit go into GI stasis? She was starting to, and most likely after surgery would have again. The vet said that of course she is in pain, it is a broken leg afterall BUT she would be in a lot more pain after surgery and it would probably last at least a week or more. The pain she had after the break is lessening daily though. Do you know how likely it is that she would stop eating again after surgery though? Very. Right now she is playing, eating, flopping, and you would never know anything was wrong. Sure, yeah she is on pain meds...but, she is doing those things 24 hours after her last dose yesterday morning. I will continue to give her the medication of course, but she is doing very well even without it in her system. She is STANDING upright on her hind legs, she is scratching her right ear again, she is grooming with both front feet...all things that theoretically she should not be able to do if that leg weren't healing. I respect that you are thinking of her and her pain, but I doubt you would feel the same if you could see her daily. About the only thing she is upset about is the fact that she is not allowed out of her cage...

Also, it is mainly due to where the break is that he doesn't want to do surgery on her. If she had the same break that your Prince had, then he said he would definitely do the pinning.

And the amputation was not an option for her. She was doing just TOO well on the leg for that in his opinion. She kept trying to climb out the top of the carrier to go visit him! She would only sit still if he kept his hand in the cage petting her. And she was eating in the office on her own and by hand. Had I wanted to do surgery I would have elected to do the pinning, it turned out to be more reasonably priced than I thought and I could have put it on the Care card.
 
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tmaddox9

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Just a quick hint about syringe feeding critical care. Go to the store and buy a can of 100% canned pumpkin...not the pie filling with sugar and eggs but the 100% pumpkin. Mix that with critical care and water. I work with rescue and I have never seen a bunny that doesn't love the pumpkin plus it is very high in fiber and helps the rabbits digestive system move things through. I am never without a can on hand. Make sure to offer plenty of wet greens and make certain your bunny stays well hydrated. Bunnies seem to do quite well with amputations even managing to continue their binky ballets! There is some thought that it may increase the risk for spinal arthritis down the road in their elder years but that too can be dealt with. Good luck!
 

ZoeStevens

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Also, if I'm not mistaken, she has had this break for at least 11 days now. The bone is presumably partially knit back together and surgery to set it properly would require breaking it again, no?

I too have seen broken bones heal relatively well without being set. It may be that you need to monitor her for pain forever in case she gets an ache from bad weather or over exertion.
 

Ebunn

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Hi there,
I just saw this msg thread for the first time and I'm really curious to know how you bunn is doing with that bad leg. How bout an update?

Thanks ~E
 

squeeki

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Hi! Do you have an update on how your bunny is doing? My bunny broke her leg yesterday morning and the vet said the only 2 options are surgery and euthanasia. I cant afford the surgery so I'm hoping it can just heal naturally with pain meds and that critical care stuff.
 

katlupe

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My bunny broke his leg back in 2015. He had just appeared in my barn one day a few months before that. He had been picked up by an owl, I think. He had a wound on his side but would not let me get near him to doctor him. It healed on its own and he was in the barn with my horses. One day I went out there looking for him because I had not seen him all day. I found that he had been stepped on a horse. His leg was just hanging there. I was able to get him now. I took him in the house but my husband would not consider taking him to a vet because we could not afford it. So I researched online and discovered the world of house rabbits. I also found a post a woman wrote about her bunny's broken leg and keeping him confined for 6 weeks in a cat carrier and his leg healed. I put Rabbit in a box with hay near my bed. Well in a matter of days, he was hopping around and his leg was not hanging anymore. It had reconnected on its own. I made him into a house rabbit that was free roaming but had to get him neutered so I told the vet about his leg and he looked at it and said it was fine. Now it is 4 years later and him and I moved from my house and my marriage and live in a studio apartment and he is doing just fine. A very active free roaming bunny! You would never believe me if you saw his leg that it had ever been broken. He jumps, hops and stands on his back legs just fine.
 
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