Dr. Phil Zeltzman’s Blog
Nellie is a two-year-old Russian toy dog. She jumped from her owner’s arms and broke both bones in her forearm, the radius and ulna.
Surgery was scheduled at Blairstown Animal Hospital. The main bone, the radius, was repaired with stainless steel and 6 screws. In addition, a bone graft was placed around the fracture site to speed up healing.
In my practice, this is a common fracture and a common surgery, but Nellie’s bone was about the size of a match! The repair was reinforced with a splint. Because there is no splint small enough for her size, we had to make one with a wooden tongue depressor.
Nellie recovered well. She was strictly confined for 8 weeks and needed weekly splint changes. Follow up X-rays were taken after 8 weeks to make sure the bone was healing.
Happily, the bone healed nicely. Her activity was slowly increased over 4 more weeks.
Small and toy breed dogs can break a bone after what seems to be minimal trauma, such as jumping or falling. It is important not to rely on a splint only, as this will often not allow the bone to heal. These dogs truly need surgery to ensure a happy ending.
And please be careful when holding these tiny dogs! Don’t give them a chance to jump from your arms or tall places.