Satchmo's broken leg

Windpixie47

Post   » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:37 am


Satchmo is a 10-week old Aby male. I fumbled him from about 24 inches while setting him down for floor time. He began limping immediately, but the emergency vet clinic said they didn't know how to treat him. I restricted his movements and got him to the vet the next morning. She did x-rays to identify a simple tib-fib fracture. They taped his leg in a kind of cast, no splints, just taped straight. He had pain killer yesterday for the x-rays and had a shot of Metacam before he was discharged. The vet admitted she has never treated a cavy's broken leg, so she referred me to another vet 80 miles away. It will be 48 hours before I can get in to this exotics vet.

In the meantime, I am giving Metacam 1x a day (.1ml), restricting his movement, feeding him Vit C rich veg. He's eating, but mostly veg and a little hay. He is not drinking much, so I keep dipping his treats in water. His poops are normal so far. He is really subdued, not talking much (he normally talks constantly). Earlier today he seemed upset and stressed, but he seems more relaxed tonight. Is there anything else I can do to make him more comfortable before getting better vet care? Does he actually need the "cast," or is restricted movement adequate? Is he getting enough pain med? All advice welcome. I am so upset about this!!

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gvstate01

Post   » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:56 am


Oh no! We all have our accidents though. Glad to see he's eating ok :) I don't think restricting movements would be a problem at all for a couple days and the cast couldn't hurt. Does it bother him? I've never heard of a broken bone in a gp and haven't experienced it. But I do have a couple older pigs on medacam for arthritis and they take .1 twice a day. Since it's very well handled in guinea pigs (I've been advised for up to 1.0 twice a day in severe cases) and they have a fast metabolism I don't see why .1 twice a day would be a bad idea :) But I'm not a vet and don't know his pain level. *disclaimer* :)

My vet said her 4 year old daughter drank an entire 4 oz. bottle (omg expensive! lol) but didn't have to take her to the er since it's not toxic or harmful. I hope he recovers ok; well wishes for Satchmo!

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:01 am


Ditto. What is the concentration of your Metacam, and how much does Satchmo weigh?

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Catie Cavy
Supporter 2011-2017

Post   » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:26 am


I’m sorry about your accident. I’m not one of the experts and have no direct experience with broken bones, but from years of reading these forums I know that broken legs and guinea pigs can have a very good outcome. It looks like you’re doing everything that’s usually recommended: x-rays, Metacam, restricting movement, making sure he’s eating and drinking, and extra vitamin C. Here’s the link to the section on broken bones, which may be helpful:

http://www.guinealynx.info/records/viewtopic.php?t=121

Windpixie47

Post   » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:31 am


Satchmo weighs about 560 grams. The metacam label says .4 metacam solution-1.5 mgs/ml.

He seems a bit perkier this morning. He's trying to move more. I still wonder if he's getting enough pain relief though.

Thanks for links!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:32 am


Do weigh daily to ensure your pig is getting enough food. The meloxicam and restricted movement should definitely help.

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gvstate01

Post   » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:11 pm


He's a little guy! I don't think more pain meds would be a bad thing until he can see a vet. Every pig is different. I have 2 with elongated roots and have just been upping the doses until they eat more and stop drooling. The doses turned out to be different for both of them. If he seems to be doing better on what you have him on, that should be fine :) And ditto with Lynx, weight is a really good indicator of how they're doing.

Just incase you think he needs more meds, it should be fine to give up to .4 twice a day for his size (but wouldn't imagine he'd ever need that much). Glad he's doing better ^_^

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:37 pm


I'm sorry to hear about poor Satchmo's injury. Please remember in people, Meloxicam is a "gastric irritant". I see no reason why it should be any different in cavies. For this reason, could I suggest trying to give it with or after food.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:33 am


I'd start with 0.1 mL of the 1.5 mg/mL suspension *twice* a day and see how he does. If your vet has only given you 0.4 mLs of it to start, though, don't hesitate to ask for more of it if he needs it.

Any NSAID is a gastric irritant (to just about any animal, as far as I know, human included). Giving with a little food may help and can't hurt.

Glad to hear he's doing better.

Windpixie47

Post   » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:52 pm


Six day post-accident update:

After a miserable first 48 hours, Satchmo is definitely perking up. His most endearing quality may be the fact that he talks constantly. He was morose for two days, quiet for two more--and now he's talking again. His main challenge now seems to be the itching caused by the cast. After a consult with the exotics vet, my vet will change his cast on Friday. The challenge is now to keep him from running around too much and to keep him from chewing off the soft cast material. When he gets the twidgets from the itching, laying him on a warm rice bag helps a bunch. He has even managed to gain a few grams, now up to a whopping 590. I may even try him without Metacam pretty soon as his pain levels seem very improved.

After reading about fractures on this and other sites and discussing the situation with other cavy fans, I do wonder whether the cast is essential for healing. I think he could immobilize it pretty well himself if left to his own devices. I think doctors are using fewer casts on human fractures as well. But this is the conservative line, so I'm pretty sure the only harm will be the itching.

In case this helps inform others treating simple fractures, I will update occasionally. Thanks for the great support!

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gvstate01

Post   » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:57 pm


SOOO happy he's doing better! That really put a big smile on my face. I've been thinkin about him :) It'd be great to hear updates on Satchmo! What a wonderful story <3

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Catie Cavy
Supporter 2011-2017

Post   » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:06 am


Thanks so much for the update. Glad to hear he is getting better. Can you put him in a small pet store cage for now to restrict him from running around? Put his food and water close by so he doesn't have to move to get them.

Hilary Holmes

Post   » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:39 am


I'm so pleased to hear he's improving. It's great to hear a good news story. I hope he continues to improve.

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swirlysf
Supporting my GP Habit

Post   » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:53 am


I'm happy to hear that he's improving. Hoping for a speedy recovery.

Windpixie47

Post   » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:13 pm


After last night's dose of Metacam, Satchmo escaped his smaller cage (set inside his C&C cage). What a wonderful thing to see him popcorn repeatedly before I had to put him in the smaller enclosure. He was hollering "hooray for freedom" the whole time!

Today he got his cast changed. It's purple and larger than the last one so I was able to sign it. The extra padding is because he's trying to be more active and to keep him from chewing thru it. The swelling has gone down a lot, but the vet said no more popcorning allowed for the next 2-3 weeks. Metacam for the next five days, after which he probably won't need it. He's been sleeping a lot since the cast change, but then, he always naps most of the afternoon. The vet assistants said he blabbed the whole time they were working on him. I do believe he has added a few new groupies!

Windpixie47

Post   » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:17 pm


Two weeks post injury:

Satchmo had his third splint changed today. He has been doing pretty well, tapering off metacam. He hasn't chewed off any of his splints (although he picks at them). Today the assistant was worried his leg was at a funny angle, so the vet on duty did another X-ray to see if the fracture was healing properly. She showed me where he is laying down new bone, and she said he's about half way there. This confirms the exotic vet who consulted them to expect 3-4 weeks. He is on track!

The funny angle of his leg is the temporary result of splinting and disuse. Family members who have had broken bones warned me that he will probably need some kind of therapy because his knee has been splinted straight for so long. I'm a little freaked out about this, so if anyone has any therapy hints, I'd love to hear them.

Meanwhile, he gets tired of laying on the unaffected side, so I hold him in ways that take the weight off that hip/foot. He hasn't gained any weight (still 590 grams), but he hasn't lost any either. He is bearing up pretty well, all things considered.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:33 am


Overall this sounds positive. Three to four weeks sounds awfully long though. Looking forward to his complete recovery!

Windpixie47

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:24 pm


Bump in the road: chewing.

Satchmo has chewed himself at the top of the splint so that he has a bald spot and small scab which he has picked off. I am swabbing with colloidal silver, and I have secured a gauze strip to cover the wound. It does not appear infected--not inflamed at all. However, he has also developed a little crust around the eyes. These also do not appear infected, so my thought is that he is producing extra milky fluid in response the the itching (??) He is eating quite well, and while I hold him, he doesn't chew/scratch.

I was wondering about topical creams/ointments. I saw Sulfadene marketed for dogs/cats. It has benzocaine and aspirin in it along with a bunch of essential oils. I also have coconut oil, zinc oxide ointment, and hydrocortisone cream. What do you all recommend?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:56 pm


Is there any chance your vet would think it okay to air it out or remove the wrap early? It's tough to have things wrapped and not exposed to air.

Josephine
Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:01 pm


One of the scariest/most serious risks of splints and bandages is that they can be too tight at times (for many reasons including improper application or shifting of bandage/splint), causing loss of sensation and/or tissue/limb death and necrosis. I would seriously consider having the vet recheck it early if there is self-mutilation.

Also, if the pet is able to lick the bandage/ointment, you have to be EXTREMELY careful as to what kind of ointment you are using. Silver sulfadiazine cream is usually the safest for exotics as it is very safe to injest and won't cause GI upset/imbalance.

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