So we decided to take him to our local vet, who we haven’t visited before. And we have previously chosen not to take him to the vet for various reasons, namely: Loki’s an asshole with strangers, and we like to practice holistic healing with both ourselves and our animals. But, he did have a busted leg, so we thought it best to take him in. We muzzled him before bringing him in the office (for everyone’s safety, really), and the vet wanted him straight back to the x-ray table.
R and the vet put Loki on the x-ray table, and they took the first picture of his leg. From my standpoint, just outside the door, I watched both the vet and the tech cock their heads simultaneously as the image came up on the screen. Then the tech asked, “what’s that?” Followed by the vet asking R, several times, “how long have you had him?” Then we got to see what they were seeing. Loki has a huge metal plate and pins in his leg. One long pin that runs the length of his leg. We had no idea he had metal in his leg!
All we know about Loki’s past is that he was in a “house that was raided,” and showed up at the sanctuary with multiple gunshot wounds. He’s missing two front toes, and has scars all over his legs and one on his nose. His really-scarred leg is the one that’s broken. So apparently when he had surgery after being shot, he was made part-bionic too!
The vet took another x-ray from a different angle, and you can clearly see both of his leg bones snapped, just below his knee, that metal pin is BENT, and the plate has slid out of place. Whatever happened to him (I’m really thinking hit by a car now), really busted up his leg! Our options were: knock Loki out, vet tries to bend that pin back straight, crank his leg back together, and cast it. Or: drop $2000 in surgery to open up that leg and fix everything. Even the vet was all, “I’d just cast it.” That sounded good to us. So he knocked Loki out with a quick shot, tweaked his leg into place, and casted it. While he was out, I asked the vet to go ahead and give him his rabies vaccination (which has been expired, and we haven’t taken him to get it renewed because – see first reason above), and he got his nails clipped. Then a shot of morphine for good measure.
Loki was STONED for the remainder of the evening! Happy boy. Lucky for us, this vet practices Chinese herbal medicine, and prescribed a strong bone-regeneration herb for Loki, as opposed to antibiotics or pain meds (which we really didn’t want to give him). So, a cast for 6 weeks, 4 herbal pills a day for 6 weeks, and he gets to come to work with us everyday. He’s been sleeping a lot, chewing on his cast a bit, and has even seemed a bit depressed at times, but he has a little more pep now and has started eating more regularly. He didn’t eat breakfast for over a week, until a few days ago. R and I realized that he’s probably had this EXACT cast before, and that’s gotta bring a pup down…
So now we’re a week and a half into this cast business, 4.5 more weeks to go. It’s actually been kind of nice bringing him with us during the day; it’s a good excuse to to take a walk to check on him, and when it’s cold and blowing snow, or raining, it’s comforting to know he’s not locked up in his run outside by himself. He’s warm and cozy in the truck.
The vet told us that Loki is one tough dog. Not only snapping two bones, but doing that much damage to his leg, metal plate and pins and all, had to hurt. And he hardly whined or cried at all after it happened. Now let’s just hope the cast holds up for 4.5 more weeks… it already has duct tape around it!