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Deccydiva
09-01-2008, 02:15 PM
I have run this by my local vet but would like a second opinion.
A dog is hit by a vehicle and he is left unconscious. When he is examined he is found to have a cracked shoulder, various cuts - needing stitches - scrapes and a bruised pelvis as well as concussion which he wakes up from gradually after a few days. The vehicle is travelling fast enough to knock the dog into the ditch at the roadside.
My questions are - do these injuries seem feasible for this kind of accident? What are the expected recovery times? Could the shoulder be stiff for ever causing a permament limp or unsoundness? What aftercare would be given and for how long?

bonobo_jones
09-01-2008, 02:52 PM
*Not a vet.* But I've had dogs who broke bones, and a foster dog who had been hit by a car. (Mega road rash, concussion, and a punctured lung.)
Re the broken bone - high possibility that it would be a bit stiff forever, also arthritis could set in early.
Earlier this year one of my Rottweilers suffered an avulsion fracture of her right rear knee. Three weeks in a cast, 8 weeks restricted exercise, then complicated by the bone knitting together with some extra calcium deposit on a tendon, causing extra stiffness. All in all it took her six months of healing before she could go for walks and running again - we've just started back.
Aftercare would be rest & minimal exercise for weeks, pain meds/anti inflammatories.
I'm not sure how feasible deep cuts would be if a dog was hit by a car, though. From what? Bruising, bones broken, road rash, possible internal injuries, I can see.

Deccydiva
09-01-2008, 04:41 PM
Thanks - regarding cuts, I didn't know whether catching the corner of a bumper (old style, metal) might do it, or a thump so hard it broke the skin. The dog goes into brambles but I would guess that would not cause injuries serious enough to stitch. I wonder if a cracked shoulder or suspected broken one might involve some surgery which needed stitching afterwards? Just thinking aloud.
All comments welcome. :)

veinglory
09-01-2008, 08:46 PM
If the dog is unconsious for more than a few moments to a few minutes then the most serious injury is to the brain. I think that in fiction concussion is general not taken as seriously as it should be.

Fenika
09-01-2008, 09:02 PM
A dog is hit by a vehicle and he is left unconscious. When he is examined he is found to have a cracked shoulder, various cuts - needing stitches - scrapes and a bruised pelvis as well as concussion which he wakes up from gradually after a few days. By this description I assume that the dog was hit on the front end and the pelvis is secondary (as he rolled across the shoulder of the road). I say this also b/c any impact that would crack a shoulder would likely crack a hip, which is basically a rigid square not prone to bending. Bruising, sure. But bends typically become breaks in miliseconds.) The vehicle is travelling fast enough to knock the dog into the ditch at the roadside. Through random logic I figure this to be around 30mph. Mostly based on a ad I saw that said (in relation to hitting peds) At 25 he's injured, at 35 he's dead. Anyways....
My questions are - do these injuries seem feasible for this kind of accident? Sure What are the expected recovery times? The concussion is the killer, see above. Other than that, it depends on how nasty the broken bones and cut skin are, along with the health of the dog before the incident (well fed pet or starved stray?) Could the shoulder be stiff for ever causing a permament limp or unsoundness? Sure, by lots of ways. Torn muscles that heal wrong. Bone that heals wrong causing either arthritis in the boney joint or the non-boney joint (the shoulder blade attaches to the trunk via a non boney joint. That's not osteoarthritis, but I'm getting more technical than my unsugared brain is ready to handle.) See also this thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=112283) and know that a good twist to the foreleg (and resulting nerve damage) is very common in dogs that are rolled under a vehicle. What aftercare would be given and for how long? Gonna skip this question as I've partially answered it and your scenario may possibly change...

Cheers,
Christina

Fenika
09-01-2008, 09:04 PM
PS- I'm not a vet but I've been to vet school...

veinglory
09-01-2008, 09:14 PM
I work in a veterinary area but am not a DVM. If you are looking for injuries often seen and dramatic, but that could be recovered from: dogs often have serious injuries to their paws being scraped over the black top. These can be very bloody and dramatic and prevent walking for some time, but heal fully with time.

Fenika
09-02-2008, 02:51 AM
I wonder if a cracked shoulder or suspected broken one might involve some surgery which needed stitching afterwards?

Tell us again what is the end result(s) you wish for this dog?

A cracked shoulder, aka, a fracture of the scapula, is very rarely operated on when it occurs on the body of the scapula (the broad flat part). This is b/c there is not much to be done and the parts just have to come together as they will (or won't). There are exceptions, but I don't know them. Scapula body fractures were not something we talked about b/c it wasn't likely to be something we got too involved with (either we left it generally alone or we referred to an expensive clinic.. or we amputated- but the later definitely causes a limp). If the neck is injured, that's another story however.

ex: http://cal.vet.upenn.edu/projects/saortho/chapter_20/20F7.jpg

The humerous can also sustain a fracture that requires surgery. Internal fixators, external fixators, a complex fracture. All stuff you can google to have a better idea of what's what.

Btw, 'stiff' is possible when there is joint or tendon damage. 'Limp' is common with muscle or nerve damage.

/ramble

Cheers,
Christina

Deccydiva
09-02-2008, 12:19 PM
Thanks again. The end result I want for the dog is that he is left unsound - he can walk and run but not perfectly. In the story, he is a show dog so this ends his career but he is fine as a pet. Otherwise everything else recovers. It's crucial to three plot elements so (a) I need to keep it in and (b) I need to get it right.
I asked my own vet what sort of injury would result in permanent unsoundness of movement, also what were the likely outcomes of being knocked unconscious which is where I started from.
The vehicle would be braking hard from around 25mph (it's a narrow country lane) so by the time the dog was hit it would have come down a bit - I'll need to work out what the likely speed was when it hit the dog. The dog was running across the front of the van.

Fenika
09-02-2008, 06:07 PM
Thanks again. The end result I want for the dog is that he is left unsound - he can walk and run but not perfectly.

Any tiny limp would end a show dog's career, so you have a million options to work with. Do you want the lameness to be subtle, thus infuriating his owner who tries tries tries to magically cure him and make him sound for the ring again? Thousands in vet fees later a vet points out that the owner has spent more than the dog will ever be worth as a stud (assuming this dog is a male??? w/e)
So, minor limps can be caused by arthritis caused by an articular fracture (the dog might start to do better as the fracture healed, and then do worst as the arthritis went to town (after the dog was allowed more exercise)
Minor nerve damage could give him a funny flick of his paw (untechnically totally sound but unable to extend his paw thus he has to flick it out in order to get it in position for landing. Looks really weird but totally harmless overall)
Or do you want the sympathy angle? Little Rover shatters his leg so bad (usually the far leg that took the weight while the car hit and thus couldn't 'give' and just shatters) that they had to amputate. Oh noes, my beautiful show dog is now without a leg.
Me, I've always been a fan of nerve damage and there are millions of options there (major loss of sensation can also require limb removal b/c a dog won't know not to drag the leg through the vines and stop the mass bleeding that is causing him no pain...)


In the story, he is a show dog so this ends his career but he is fine as a pet.

To avoid incontinence issues I would do as you are doing and avoid major back end injuries...


(b) I need to get it right.

I see much research in your future ;) But I'm happy to get you started and give you some ideas of what to go with. Feel free to ask any questions that might help you pick a path.


I asked my own vet what sort of injury would result in permanent unsoundness of movement

As I kinda covered:
Neurologic
Muscular, including cut/damaged tendons (to some degree tendons can be repaired, but not always to total soundness)
Osteopathic, including arthritis
etc

Also, as if you don't have enough mixed up in these posts by me, there's this (specifically for a horse)

Most causes of lameness fall into the following categories:


Degenerative e.g. degenerative joint disease (DJD, or osteoarthritis)
developmental e.g. osteochondrosis (OCD), physitis (epiphysitis)
metabolic e.g. laminitis (founder), exertional rhabdomyolysis (tying up) (For a dog this might be obesity or rabid growth causing pelvic issues)
mechanical i.e. overload of a structure - either sudden, massive overload or repeated, marginal overload (wear & tear)
infectious e.g. foot abscess, infected wound, cellulitis, joint infection
inflammatory - most of the specific causes of lameness have an inflammatory component
traumatic i.e. injury (external trauma) (which is the approach you're taking ofc)You could always complicate things. A simple fracture that should heal 100% but infection sets in and isn't caught in time (due to bad owner or bad vet or bad luck. Also, joint infections are hard to treat and have full recovery). They go in to fix the fracture, which is surprisingly bad considering the car's speed, and find cancer which has weakened the bone. Off with the leg.

I think I've developed a strange obsession with amputating your imaginary dogs leg. I really should go write something....


, also what were the likely outcomes of being knocked unconscious which is where I started from.

Brain damage. Dog would be on massive antiinflamatories, which have their own side effects. This is one for google as it's a straight forward question and a long complicated answer. You might have trouble with the terminology, but if you poke around you'll get tons of info.
(Plus I'm better on other aspects of neural damage.)


Cheers,
Christina

Deccydiva
09-02-2008, 07:08 PM
Wow. What a wealth of information, I'm truly grateful :Hug2:

The dog is a male, a Champion show dog who is knocked down while the owner is deep in thought about her troubles. He is knocked unconscious and she is distraught as it doesn't look good, so it needs to look messy. The local vet comes out to the scene and arranges for the dog to be taken to the specialist animal hospital some distance away. The dog comes round after a few days and the specialist vet says he will never be properly sound again. However, for the purposes of the plot he has to be able to be used at stud in the future so any injury causing unsoundness must be to the front legs/skeleton and be able to withstand the primary stage of mating (which uses front legs, not to be too graphic!) Everything else I have written is around this, like bruising, cuts, I do have reference to stitches but hey, I can always do edit #259! :D
What you have given me is extremely useful. I'm off to Google now ... ;)
I usually write from personal experience but happily, I haven't had this happen to any of my dogs... yet. I had one take a fit and fall down a cliff, but that's another story!

bonobo_jones
09-02-2008, 07:27 PM
Just a quick note re breeding - many dogs are bred using AI (artificial insemination) and this is very, very common in the dog show and breeding world. There are vets who are AI and repro specialists, frozen sperm is stored in cold storage (at great expense, I might add) and the sperm is, ahem, manually collected for later use to be part of a breeding program.
So, your dog doesn't actually need to be able to tie naturally with another dog.

I don't show or breed, but know people who do, very seriously. So I'm a little fuzzy on precise details, the above is just what I've gleaned from friends and might give you another direction to go in your googling.

Leva
09-02-2008, 07:30 PM
I can tell you from personal experience that a broken shoulderblade may well end a show dog's career. I have a heeler/aussie mix who is a ranch dog -- she was butted by a goat as a puppy and broke her shoulderblade. (I heard the crack from several yards away. Turned my stomach.)

Treatment was six weeks of crate rest -- not fun with a high energy puppy. (She basically screamed for the entire six weeks to be let out. She'd whine and howl until she was hoarse. Sedatives just made her drunk, much louder, and made her scream off key.)

Four years later, she's functionally sound. A casual observer who doesn't study her gait can't tell she's at all off. Quite honestly, I'm not even sure if the "off" *I* see is due to bony changes or due to mismatched muscle development caused by her habit. What I notice most is that she's always on her left lead when running and she trots slightly shorter with the right leg. She doesn't seem to be in any pain at all, can run circles around every other dog she knows, doesn't hesitate to run/jump/play hard/etc., never flinches. She's just a hair off.

I've wanted to do agility with her, and still may, and it'll be curious to see if anyone else notices she's off. (I've seen "never injured" dogs with worse gaits, frankly.)

As far as a head injury goes, most dogs I've known that got whacked in the head (generally in a car accident or kicked by a horse) showed dramatic recovery right away, or didn't recover at all. This may be due to the fact that dogs are PTS and most owners are not willing to give them long periods of recovery time.

Head injuries in dogs can cause epilepsy down the road, FYI.

Fenika
09-02-2008, 08:16 PM
First, as other's mentioned: AI is easy, and I'm not aware of any restrictions on it in the dog show world (check with any specific organizations particular to your novel to be sure)
Major head injury is nasty and doesn't seem necessary to your plot. There's plenty of other, less grey, areas to work with. A short unconscious spell might be easier for you to write in. Just to get you thinking: A short unconscious period allows for a peak on the emotional roller coaster, but when the dog awakens it is only a minor relief as things are still wrong with the dog. It also avoids making the situation too complicated and lets us focus on the dog's career issues rather than Hell, he might not even make it! Who cares if he can't show!
Just talking out loud here...
Also, unconscious makes him a bad surgery candidate and don't even get me started on that...
Of course, it is your story, so if you wanna tackle that obstacle, go for it. I'm just trying to warn ya off ;)


Wow. What a wealth of information, I'm truly grateful :Hug2:

No worries. I like to ramble as you've noticed ;) Now, gimme more rep points (lol)


He is knocked unconscious and she is distraught as it doesn't look good, so it needs to look messy.

Messy is easy. A little blood looks dire to casual observers. For example- my uncle's dog cut his paw and got some big drops of blood on the deck. No biggie. Later he bled enough that there was a palm sized clot on the deck. People started getting nervous and I just shrugged. I knew that was nothing (And don't worry, we did get the dog medical attention.) If your dog is hit in the head, a little sinus bleeding can look like WWIII and your vet-character can later assure the MC that it wasn't a lot of lost blood (or, he can also lose a little more than normal blood in surgery as well and they gave him a blood transfusion). Any cuts on the leg might also bleed and when splattered around it always looks worst than it is. (Which isn't to say the dog couldn't bleed out. It's just that people overestimate how bad a 'little' blood is)

Surgery is the same way. A little blood makes the inexperienced panic, but it's not usually significant.


the specialist vet says he will never be properly sound again.

Easily done with clear cut injuries. With moderate injuries they may give a 5% (or w/e) chance of being mostly sound (but not show ring sound). With severe injuries than they will always X (hold leg stiff, not extend Y, w/e)


I had one take a fit and fall down a cliff, but that's another story!

Hope he was okay!

Will be happy to read the scene(s) later for technicality... mostly b/c I'm enjoying torturing your dog.

Cheers,
Christina

GeorgeK
09-02-2008, 11:38 PM
I asked my own vet what sort of injury would result in permanent unsoundness of movement, .

For a show dog, a broken tail with an odd angle to it would be a sideliner.

veinglory
09-02-2008, 11:40 PM
Likewise, I imagine, a prominant scar or hairless patch, lost toe etc.

bonobo_jones
09-02-2008, 11:55 PM
For a show dog, a broken tail with an odd angle to it would be a sideliner.

Some of the hunting and field hound breeds are allowed to have some scarring and "wear and tear" in the ring, true to their working heritage.

Mind you, you may well be correct that a broken tail would be a DQ since tail carriage is usually part of the standard. But signs of old injuries aren't necessarily going to eliminate a dog from the ring, depending on breed.

veinglory
09-03-2008, 12:02 AM
The line tends to run "Honorable scars and broken teeth incurred in the line of duty are acceptable".

bonobo_jones
09-03-2008, 12:13 AM
The line tends to run "Honorable scars and broken teeth incurred in the line of duty are acceptable".

Aha, right you are - and I stand corrected saying that applied to hunting dogs only (although I believe it does apply to some) because that line is found in the Border Collie (herding group) AKC standard.
http://www.akc.org/breeds/border_collie/index.cfm

Deccydiva, is the canine protag in your book a Dalmation, perchance? :)

Deccydiva
09-03-2008, 12:41 AM
Aha, right you are - and I stand corrected saying that applied to hunting dogs only (although I believe it does apply to some) because that line is found in the Border Collie (herding group) AKC standard.
http://www.akc.org/breeds/border_collie/index.cfm

Deccydiva, is the canine protag in your book a Dalmation, perchance? :)

er... yes. I have bred and shown Dalmatians for 12 years, firstly in the UK under their own Kennel Club rules and more recently in Ireland under FCI rules (that covers most of Europe and some things are different like full dentition). I am a breed judge in the UK and working towards it in Ireland. If you visit my dog website, the dog that went over a cliff was Polo. He was in doggie daycare while I was out at work and their supervision was pretty much non-existent. I have a photo of him when we got back from the vet and he looks horrendous. Luckily, because he was semi-conscious as he hurtled down - bouncing off rocky outcrops and skidding through the odd bramble bush on the way down - he was bruised, lost all his front teeth and had a badly bruised pelvis but nothing long-term or serious. He recovered fairly quickly from that. Sadly, the tumour grew, as predicted, and was joined by a secondary on his liver. I lost him in May 2007.:cry:
Anyway, back to the topic. I think it would be wise to have the dog in the story not be knocked out completely, given the advice on here and some Googling earlier. Regarding his use as a stud dog, AI is still pretty unusual in Ireland apart from Greyhounds (but I'm basing that on third-hand gossip) it's not common in the UK although this is changing gradually. Distances here are relatively short, even going to Britain from Ireland is just a few hours on a ferry. The novel is set in Ireland so AI would not sit easily in the tale, for Irish readers. Ironically I am reasonably knowledgeable about the mechanics, having wondered for years how the -er - male contribution is collected, then found someone who knew. Amidst much laughing and innuendo, she told me. I don't feel able to incorporate it into a novel just yet! :D



mostly b/c I'm enjoying torturing your dog


Aw, poor doggie!

Fenika
09-03-2008, 12:57 AM
Only b/c I'm sure the doggie overcomes all in your loving hands :)

Deccydiva
09-03-2008, 01:23 AM
What's b/c?

Fenika
09-03-2008, 05:53 AM
b/c = because

:)

hammerklavier
09-03-2008, 05:57 AM
For some reason I thought this thread said "Any vegetarians out there?" I read the whole post wondering where the vegetarian part was going to come in. Was the dog a vegetarian? Would he have to switch to meat to recover from his injuries?


Just thought I'd share.

Deccydiva
09-03-2008, 12:33 PM
:roll: I do things like that!

Deccydiva
09-03-2008, 12:34 PM
b/c = because

:)

Thanks! :)