- Amputation of the forelimb at the level of the mid-humerus.
Print off the owner factsheet Caring for the amputee dog to give to your client.
- Neoplasia [Osteosarcoma: axial skeleton][Bone: neoplasia].
- Irreparable fractures.
- Incapacitating neurological disease, eg brachial plexus injury .
- Severe osteomyelitis .
- Incapacitating and medically unresponsive degenerative joint disease [Arthritis: osteoarthritis].
- Congenital or acquired deformity.
- Severe soft tissue damage, eg degloving injuries and ischemia.
- The procedure is usually a 'salvage' option when no possibility of retention of a functional limb exists due to failure of other treatments or due to the expected course of a neoplastic condition.
- Appearance and/or the functional locomotion of the amputated patient is usually unacceptable to some owners, even after counseling.
- Certain patients, eg large breed dogs with orthopedic disease in other limb(s), may not be good candidates for amputation.
- Standard surgical pack.
- Oscillating bone saw, hacksaw blade, Gigli wire or osteotome/mallet.
- Bone holding forceps.
- Electrocoagulation apparatus.
- Hemoclips/vascular staples.
- Bone rasp (file).
- Irrigation solution.
- Synthetic absorbable suture material, eg polyglactin (Vicryl); polydioxanone (PDS).
- Bone wax (reduce medullary hemorrhage).
- An assistant can be helpful to hold/manipulate the limb for the surgeon.
- 20 min.
- Distant neoplastic metastases if amputation due to neoplasia.
- Depends on the reasons for amputation.
- If the primary disease is treated successfully, most small and medium-sized dogs cope very well with forelimb amputation.
Reasons for treatment failure
- Usually, due to neoplastic processes which cause secondary effects, eg in the chest, and not directly related to the amputation procedure itself.
- Poor patient selection, ie other orthopedic problems, obese, etc.