Poodle Mix with Irreversible Quadriceps Contracture
In June we had a Poodle Mix in our care at the San Jose Animal Care Center that had a peg leg. Essentially the dog’s right hind leg was not able to bend in a normal way so it just stuck out and got in the way and impeded her mobility.
Although there is no way to know this dog’s history, we believed that this dog had fractured the femur on the right hind leg and it was not given swift and proper care, resulting in what is known as quadriceps contracture.
The following is what the Merck Veterinary Manual has to say about the condition:
“Quadriceps Contracture (Quadriceps Tie-Down, Stiff Stifle Disease)
This serious fibrosis and contracture of the quadriceps muscles develops secondary to distal femoral fractures, inadequate surgical repair, and excessive dissection in young dogs. Adhesions develop between the bone, periosteal tissue, and quadriceps muscles, which lead to limb extension, disuse, osteoporosis, degenerative joint disease, and bone and joint deformations. Clinical signs include hyperextension and cranial displacement of the affected limb. Surgery is usually required to resect fibrous tissues and increase motion of the stifle joint. Bone and soft-tissue reconstructions along with postoperative flexion bandages and physical therapy are required to recover limb function. Prognosis is guarded. Prevention of the condition by accurate, biologic stable repairs of bone fractures is preferred.
While there are options available to treat animals with femur fractures so as to minimize or eliminate the risk of quadriceps contracture, it can happen fast (within a day) and be permanent! Fast surgical correction of the fracture paired with rehabilitation is often the key to preventing it from happening. If you are looking for a rehabilitation facility in your area, please visit the Canine Rehab Institute’s page and select Find a Therapist.
Unfortunately, this dog was not so lucky and had been living with this leg for who knows how long.
The only option for this dog was surgery to amputate the burdensome leg.
In the following two photos you can see abnormal positioning of the dog’s right hind leg. This is particularly evident when the leg is manipulated in the second photo but does not bend in a normal way, but rather remains locked.
After the surgery the dog was freed from the burden of a leg that kept her from running around. She was walking and running around gleefully within hours of her surgery, spent a night on IV pain meds at one of the vet’s homes and made a marvelous recovery!
In the photos below you can see the dog immediately after surgery, still under anesthesia with a soaker catheter coming out of the surgery site. This is used to deliver medication that will relieve pain directly to the surgery site and is used in addition to other pain medications because research has shown an association with soaker catheters and more positive post-operative outcomes.
Not long after surgery, she was taken out of the shelter by a rescue organization and placed into a foster home.
As if we weren’t happy enough that this girl received the surgery she needed and was bouncing around happy as can be, about one month later the San Jose Animal Care Center received a comment on Facebook from her foster parent that just made our day!
We’re so glad that she is doing so well and appreciate the kind words relayed by her foster mom. We truly appreciate what the rescues and their network of foster homes do for the animals!
She is now named Polly and she was rescued by Southern California Dachshund Relief and is currently available for adoption from her Northern California foster home! Please check her out HERE.
Posted on August 3, 2014, in Before & After, Shelter Vet Tails and tagged Amputate, Amputation, Analgesia, Animal Shelter, Animal Shelter Veterinarian, Before & After, Before and After, Dachschund, Dachshund, Doctor, Dog, Doxie, DVM, Foster, Foster Mom, Foster Parent, Fracture, Fractured Leg, General Anesthesia, Happy, Happy Ending, Hind Limb, Hind Limb Amputation, Limb, Merck, Merck Veterinary Manuals, Mix, Mutt, Pain Medication, Pain Relief, Pelvic Limb, Pelvic Limb Amputation, Physical Therapy, Poodle, PT, Quadriceps Contracture, Quadriceps Tie-Down, Rehab, Rehab Therapy, Rehabilitation, Rescue, San Jose, San Jose Animal Care & Services, San Jose Animal Care Center, SCDR, Shelter, Shelter Medicine, Shelter Vet Tails, Shelter Veterinarian, Soaker Catheter, Southern California Dachshund Relief, Stiff Stifle Disease, Surgeon, Surgery, Tails of a Shelter Vet, Therapy, Trauma, Tri-Pawd, Tri-Pod, Tripawd, Tripod, Update, Vet, Veterinarian. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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