Possible broken leg -- splint/immoblize it?

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jersey_emt

Post   » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:32 pm


Woodstock is limping badly from his rear left leg and he is greatly favoring the right leg. He will walk around -- actually pretty fast -- but he will not put any weight on it at all, and he keeps it 'folded up' while he is walking.

I examined it and he did not squeal or show any signs of real pain while I was looking but it is clear he is injured. I don't know how it happened. Last night he was running around and popcorning as usual during floor time, and I put him back in his cage with his roommate Jesse. This morning when I refilled their food dish I did not see him walking as they both were hiding under their cardboard 'house'. So, sometime between last night and tonight Woodstock injured his leg.

Woodstock and Jesse have been asserting their dominance lately (fairly frequent rumblestrutting and mounting) and occasionally 'go at it' a bit, but they have never drawn blood. And the fighting was never bad.

I am taking Woodstock to the vet tomorrow for an x-ray. In the meantime, I put him in the small box I brought the two pigs home in (about 16" x 16") to keep him from moving around too much, and also to separate him from Jesse in case this was caused by fighting. I of course put some bedding down in the box, put out a small dish of pellets and a small dish of water, and put a bit of timothy hay down. The box has an open top but is about 12" high -- and almost double that with the flaps 'up' -- so there is no worry about him trying to climb out (and making his injury worse in the process).

My question is this: should I splint / immobilize the leg in the 'folded' position until I take him to the vet tomorrow? Or should I leave it as-is?

I'll post updates when I get back from the vet. Thanks in advance for your advice.

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rshevin

Post   » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:48 pm


No, keep him in a small space with food, water, and hay easily accessible. It may help not to have a hide out so he doesn't have to maneuver in and out. I don't know how you're housing them, but a typical pet store cage is usually small enough for injury confinement. Be sure to ask the vet for pain medications.

http://www.guinealynx.info/pain.html

Do you have a vet knowledgeable in guinea pigs? This is very critical as they are quite different, biologically, than dogs and cats.

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jersey_emt

Post   » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:11 pm


No, keep him in a small space with food, water, and hay easily accessible. It may help not to have a hide out so he doesn't have to maneuver in and out. I don't know how you're housing them, but a typical pet store cage is usually small enough for injury confinement. Be sure to ask the vet for pain medications.

http://www.guinealynx.info/pain.html

Do you have a vet knowledgeable in guinea pigs? This is very critical as they are quite different, biologically, than dogs and cats.
So I should NOT immobilize the limb? He's already holding it up in the 'folded' position, so I thought it would be a good idea to take that one step further and splint it in that position.

I'm currently keeping the two pigs in a cage that is too small. It is the largest one from the pet store, but is only about 5 square feet. I bought my guinea pigs before I came across this site and the recommendations to both avoid pet stores and to give pigs plenty of room. I will be making a much larger 2x4 C&C cage soon. I had been unfortunately putting this off but this incident has me convinced it needs to be done ASAP as there is a chance Woodstock's injury came from fighting -- something exacerbated from their current, too small, cage.[/list][/quote]

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:22 pm


"So I should NOT immobilize the limb?"

If it were me I wouldn't try it. I'd keep him as is until tomorrow. Try to rig up a water bottle rather than the dish, though. A Sterilite bin might do you better than the box if you have one. Otherwise what you've done sounds good to me.

This is a long shot, but if you are an EMT can you get hold of a human drug called Mobic? This is meloxicam, or veterinary Metacam. It's an NSAID that will make him more comfortable if it's causing him any pain. They should give it to you tomorrow, however.

If you don't already have a cavy-knowledgeable vet, where in Jersey are you? (Nearest major city.)

http://www.guinealynx.info/cabinet/index.php/Veterinarians_New_Jersey

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jersey_emt

Post   » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:36 pm


I am in Woodbridge (Middlesex county). Between New Brunswick and Newark.

I can probably get meloxicam, but as I am going to the vet tomorrow I'll just ask for it there (if they don't automatically prescribe it). And anyways, it would be dangerous to attempt to split a human dose of meloxicam to the proper dosage for Woodstock based on his weight.

As per the water dish, I set that water dish out on the floor when they are out of the cage, and they regularly drink out of that, so I don't think I would need to rig up a water bottle.

Thanks!

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:55 pm


Keep us posted, and best to him and to you. Hopefully it won't be a break, but a sprain or similar.

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Amy0204
We miss our sweet Oreo

Post   » Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:11 am


You probably don't want to splint it...it may be easier on the pig if you don't. Let the vet make that call, but I've never yet heard of a splint. You're better off confining him, make sure he's painfree, and has easy access to food/water, then just sit back and wait for several weeks. He may not be quite as agile as he was before this, but he should be able to manage just fine.

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rshevin

Post   » Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:49 am


I agree with you Jersey, not to try and split the human Mobic. It's not available in suspension for humans, as far as I know. Dissolving and splitting tablets is generally not something I recommend. If he were in severe pain, we'd be talking about ibuprofen, but that has very high GI risk for cavies. At that point, you'd be looking for an emergency vet instead.

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jersey_emt

Post   » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:15 am


Thanks everyone for the quick and informative replies. I'm taking Woodstock to the vet this afternoon and will report back with the results.

In the meantime, he is doing well in his small space. The good news is that he is eating, drinking, and pooping normally. He is not showing any of the signs of severe pain listed on the pain page of this site like grinding teeth, quivering, hunched over with hair spiky, etc. He also looks to be putting a tiny bit of weight on the leg today as well. Of course, I'm still going to get him checked out by the vet.

Rosiesgrandpa

Post   » Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:10 am


Sorry to hear about your pigs sore leg.

My daughter's pig, Rosie, tried to jump to her cage and missed resulting in a broken rear leg. After much debate we had her leg fixed with surgery. The bone was completely broken into two pieces so she needed a rod inserted to hold the bone together.
The operation was 18 months ago and she is doing great! Very mobile - jumps, hops- no indication of any pain.

We waited almost a week until deciding to operate. Had her on pain meds until then. We have a great vet (we have several other pets) so he gave us a good deal on the operation - otherwise would have been too expensive... Looking back, definitely the right decision.

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jersey_emt

Post   » Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:31 pm


I got back from the vet a little while ago. They didn't take x-rays because at this point there was really no need....the vet examined Woodstock's leg thoroughly and did not find any deformities and there is only minor swelling. I was told to confine him as I had been doing for 4-6 weeks, and to come back in 2 weeks for a checkup, but if it seems to be getting worse to come back immediately. I was given meloxicam to give to Woodstock for pain.

He seems to be doing well. He drank about 4oz of water so far today and is eating his pellets and hay like normal.

Thanks again everyone. I'll post updates as Woodstock's leg heals.

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salana
GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:49 pm


Where did you take him? Dr. Stuart in Bound Brook?

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rshevin

Post   » Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:30 pm


Sounds perfect. Have you worked up some place better to keep him, with more ventilation than the cardboard box? I'm glad he's acting normal. I'd also recommend a digital kitchen scale to keep an eye on his weight. Handle him VERY carefully doing this (see if he'll scoot into a box and then subtract the weight of the box after). This will assure he's not loosing weight and in need of more pain control.

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