What are limb fractures?
These are breaks of any bones of the front or back legs or feet of animals. These can be a simple break to the middle of a long bone or more complicated multiple breaks of a long bone or breaks near the end of a bone, also involving the joint as well.
Palpation at the time of presentation is often suspicious of the presence of a fracture where there is movement of a bone at a place that should not occur, often accompanied by signs of marked pain. X-rays are taken to confirm that this is the case and to allow us to determine what we need to do to stabilise the fracture. We perform the vast majority of our x-rays awake. Many hospitals anaesthetise the dog or cat to perform the x-ray, but we feel this is an unnecessary added cost for the owner.
Where possible, we will apply a stainless-steel bone plate and screws, as this is the most secure method of fixation possible. It is often the most technically challenging of the methods of stabilising a broken bone but allows rapid return to full function with little follow up/further procedures in the vast majority of cases. Sometimes the position of the break (fracture) does not allow room for a bone plate to be applied and then we need to use other methods of stabilisation such as screws or pins or wires or a combination.
Cost of the procedure
Most fractures cost $1,000 - $2,000 to treat at SEAH. Very complicated cases or multiple fractures may cost up to $3,000. This is a fraction of the cost compared to many estimates and quotes we have heard of at the referral level. Costs of $5,000 - $10,000 are common as are quotes of up to $15,000.
After surgery, the majority of cases go home on the same day they are admitted. Our nurses will go through care and all the medications they need to take after the procedure. Many hospitals keep them in overnight after surgery, again an added cost to owners and a very significant added cost if the pet is at a referral centre. Most owners prefer to have their pet at home with them and most are well enough to go home with the owners the same day.
The pet is allowed to walk on lead from day one, but no free activity of jumping, running or using stairs is allowed for the first four to six weeks after procedures. Recovery is generally uneventful and the more lead walking after surgery, normally the better and shorter the recovery. Suture removal usually happens two to four weeks after surgery. Repeat x-rays are usually not performed as this is again an added cost to the owner and if the dog is walking normally then the fracture will have healed or be healing correctly.
Meet Dr. Scot Plummer
Dr. Plummer has been passionate about caring for animals since his childhood, and graduated with Honours in a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from the University of Queensland. South Eastern Animal Hospital allows him to provide your pets with the care they deserve - at a price point that is more affordable.
About Scot Pricing Philosophy
Monash, Domestic Shorthair cat, 5 Year old
Edward, Tenterfield Terrier, 8 Year old