Last night our 7 year old male chocolate lab was hit by a car. Somehow, the fence was open, and he helped himself to a run in the corn fields, and across the road. We took him to the vet immediately who took Xrays and discovered his back left leg is broken in about 5 pieces. The vet referred us to a local university teaching veterinarian hospital where they shared with us his leg could be fixed for about $4000...being that $4000 isn't something I'm able to accomidate, especially during the holidays, we were forced to bring him home. I am crushed. Putting him down is really not even an option for me. Besides, I'm pretty sure I'd have to put my husband down too. Does anyone know of any labs with a hind leg amputated? I'm wanting to find out if it would be a healthy alternative and what his quality of life would be. As much as I want him here, I don't want him to be miserable for the rest of his time with us. Any input would be appreciated.
Can't you enter some sort of payment or finance plan with them? The thought of having a leg amputated makes me feel ill. Surely that would cause more long term suffering than if it was just in plaster for 3-4 months?
Please tell me you've got some pain relief for him. I cant even begin to imagine how much pain he's in.
We tried to enter a payment plan with them, but they wouldn't accept anything besides $2000 down, and $2000 at discharge. I certainly don't want it to be amputated either. We are taking him in the morning for a second opinion. He is certainly on pain meds! He was given a steroid shot for stress/shock, an antibiotic, and the oral pain meds. He is staying comfortable. He's actually such a sweet happy boy, everytime I talk he wags his tail. Believe me, losing his leg is the absolute last thing I'd like to see happen. I'm hoping that the alternative vet on Monday will be a little more willing. I'd even be willing to let them automatically withdraw the payment!
i just adopted a black lab mix that had been hit by a car. He also had his back left leg broken in several areas; he needed a plate and screws for surgery. It cost me around $1200. He was seen by a regular vet. I would call around; get copies of the x-rays and see if there isn't someone that could help you at a better rate. Call some of the rescues in your area and ask who they use.
There is also a program called CareCredit; several vets take this program and you pay no interest if you pay it off in 12 months.
And yes; dogs can do VERY well only 3 legs.
Thanks so much for the inspiration! That's exactly what he needs. I have an appt for him Monday morning and I'm hoping they'll be a little more flexible with the payment. I'd really like to not have to take out a line of credit to do it, but I may have to. How is your dog doing after the surgery? Active? Playful?
Cinder broke her leg as a puppy. She needed multiple surgeries to put screws in and a bar on the outside of her leg (I know it's not called that but I can't for the life of me think of the right word right now) then they removed the screws in stages. We made an initial payment, then made monthly payments.
Is this your regular vet? I would find a new vet if they are so unwilling to be flexable for a regular patient. I do think shopping around is a good idea.
ETA: We have a tripod dog in our neighborhood that goes hopping by two times a day on his walk. So three legs is doable, but unless you were going to chop it off yourself that's going to be a surgery cost as well.
He isn't our regular vet. Our regular vet doesn't have the required equipment to do the bone plating with all the screws etc. I have absolutely no intent of chopping it off myself. LOL. I realize it would also be a surgerical charge, but substansially less than the $4000. I'm praying the doctor tomorrow will be able to fix it and much more flexible with the payments. I'd be happy to put some of it down, and make monthly payments. He finally stood up this morning, and we took him outside, and he pottied for the first time since Friday night. I have no clue how he managed not to pee yesterday, but we took him out several times, and he just wouldn't. I plan on hunting down the perfect vet for our/his needs. I'd be willing to drive a long way to get what we need. I certainly wish our regular vet had the capabilities, but i do know if I ever win the lottery, I'll be making a large donation to him to get the equipment he'd need to do the job. Thanks so much for everyone's input.
Please keep us updated on your Chocolate boy! I hope you are able to find the right vet and get him on the healing side of all of this real soon. This has to be so hard on all of you!
I have a GSD that had a shattered femur, owners could not afford treatment and signed her over to the Vet. Vet called me, I do GSD rescue and as soon as DH and I saw her, we knew we had to give her a chance.
Very long story short, 2 surgical repairs failed and we had to amputate her leg. Between the first and second repairs she developed a horrible GI infection, couldn't eat, had liquid diarrhea and at times we truly thought we would lose her. But thank god for great Vets and a puppy with a tremendous will to live, Ali is doing great. The finanical aspect for the 3 surgeries and hospitalizations for the GI illness would have been slightly more than $10,000.00. However, I work at a Vet Speciality Center and recieved a very nice discount. So realistically speaking, the financial can be staggering.
I would not hesitate to attempt repairs but tripods can and do live long, happy lives. Ali took a while to learn to ambulate but we all feel that this was mostly due to her severely compromised physical condition due to the GI illness, not the amputation itself. She runs with my boys, canine boys , swims great and other than not being able to jump up on things or into the vehicle, Ali is not handicapped.
If your only alternative is amputation, please don't feel your boy will be less of a dog, have less quality of life or that you have failed him in any way. Dogs are amazingly adaptable and he and you will do just fine. Good luck with it all and hopefully, you will find a solution that will be right for all involved.