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Old 04-14-2012, 05:24 AM   #1
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Default Need advice on choosing surgeon

Sugar was diagnosed with grade 3 LP several years ago. He's never had any signs of discomfort and I decided to hold off on surgery which might have been a huge mistake. Thursday he started yelping loudly- I've never heard him cry like this over anything. It was pretty terrifying. It was obvious that it was his hind right leg that was hurting. I took him to the vet but due to it being an emergency visit, didn't see my normal vet but another younger vet in his practice. The vet put him on metacam and said to give it a week and then I'd have to consider surgery. He also told me how difficult the surgery would be and how easily Sugar's little bone could shatter and generally scared me to death. He's still crying several times throughout the day and night and obviously at this point, I'm not going to wait a week.

So, my dilemma- finding a good surgeon. My regular vet is a good vet but has become a bit arrogant over the years. He performs the surgery though he is not a board certified surgeon. Obviously I would not have him perform the surgery but I'm not sure I trust him to refer me to a surgeon. I have a feeling he will keep insisting he can do it. I also really want to just get on with this since Sugar is in obvious pain.

Does anyone have any advice on finding a great surgeon on my own? Sugar is only 3 lbs and is 7 yrs old so this is really worrying me. I have several board certified surgeons nearby but am having trouble finding reviews. I also live about two hours from University of Florida so perhaps I should be looking into that?

The office I am considering making an appointment with that is nearby is; Animal Specialty Hospital, Rockledge Florida

Any thoughts or advice? I really need to make an appointment on Monday and get this show on the road.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:39 AM   #2
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I am so sorry. I wish I had advice for you but I am not sure about a surgeon. However, I know that others on here will be able to help you out. I did want to add that I think it is sad that you can't trust your vet for a referral. After this surgery is complete, you might want to think about finding someone who you can trust. Just a thought. Good luck to you on finding a surgeon. Keeping your sweet furbaby in my thoughts and prayers for a successful surgery and fast recover.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:50 AM   #3
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I am so sorry. I wish I had advice for you but I am not sure about a surgeon. However, I know that others on here will be able to help you out. I did want to add that I think it is sad that you can't trust your vet for a referral. After this surgery is complete, you might want to think about finding someone who you can trust. Just a thought. Good luck to you on finding a surgeon. Keeping your sweet furbaby in my thoughts and prayers for a successful surgery and fast recover.
You are so right about my vet. He was known as the best in my area when I started seeing him 8 years ago with my girl, Gracie. Since then over the years he seems to have developed a bit of a God complex and thinks he's an expert in everything. I did find another vet a few years ago who I loved but she ended up closing her practice and moving due to a family health emergency. I know my vet is very good in general medicine and still has a reputation as one of the best so I've stuck with him but he can be a bit trying at times.

I might be underestimating him and I guess if I pushed he'd have to give me a referral. It would take a bit of time to get an appointment with him though as he stays booked. Fine for well visits but in this case I don't have the time to play with.

Maybe I should make an appointment with another vet in the practice and try to get a referral? I'm so worried I'm all over the place.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:55 AM   #4
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Don't beat yourself up about waiting we waited as well and when Georgie started to yelp I knew we had to get it done. For years he put weight on it and there appeared to be no discomfort. Georgie was around 3lbs when he had his LP surgery and everything went well. I would recommend you take him to a board certified surgeon (I know you are looking into that). For both of Georgie's surgeries we took to him to a place near us called VOSM and they are so knowledgeable. It costs more but it's so worth it. Sugar will be good as new in no time. Please keep us posted.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:58 AM   #5
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To make the situation even more fun and exciting, Sugar was also diagnosed with a double ear infection while we were there about his leg. This was a huge surprise because his ears look perfectly healthy to the naked eye and have no smell and hadn't seem to be bothering him at all. I only mentioned his ears to the vet because a few times when he was yelping he would act like he was going to scratch at his right ear. I assumed he was trying to figure out what to do with his painful leg. So he's also being treated for that. He whimpers when I put the drops in so a part of me wonders if some of his crying isn't due to his ear which I have to treat for two weeks. Before Thursday he had not shown ANY signs of ear problems and his ears look perfectly healthy.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:59 AM   #6
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Don't beat yourself up about waiting we waited as well and when Georgie started to yelp I knew we had to get it done. For years he put weight on it and there appeared to be no discomfort. Georgie was around 3lbs when he had his LP surgery and everything went well. I would recommend you take him to a board certified surgeon (I know you are looking into that). For both of Georgie's surgeries we took to him to a place near us called VOSM and they are so knowledgeable. It costs more but it's so worth it. Sugar will be good as new in no time. Please keep us posted.
Oh thank you so much! It's such a comfort to hear a success story on a small one.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:02 AM   #7
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To make the situation even more fun and exciting, Sugar was also diagnosed with a double ear infection while we were there about his leg. This was a huge surprise because his ears look perfectly healthy to the naked eye and have no smell and hadn't seem to be bothering him at all. I only mentioned his ears to the vet because a few times when he was yelping he would act like he was going to scratch at his right ear. I assumed he was trying to figure out what to do with his painful leg. So he's also being treated for that. He whimpers when I put the drops in so a part of me wonders if some of his crying isn't due to his ear which I have to treat for two weeks. Before Thursday he had not shown ANY signs of ear problems and his ears look perfectly healthy.
Awe poor Sugar I think you might be right the yelping might be from the ear infection. Our Boxer has constant ear issues (and she yelps when she scratches too) and I have found a simple remedy probiotic plain yogurt in her food twice a day. She gets 2 tsp because she is 75 lbs but Georgie gets it too and we give him just a little. Since we have been giving her the yogurt her ears are so much better. Hope Sugar feels better soon.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:02 AM   #8
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You are wise to be so careful and I totally agree with you ... I would never use any surgeon who was not board certified.
Whenever I need to find a specialty vet, I usually do a lot of talking to people in the field. Vet techs often are a great resource. Do you have any that you like in your vet's office? That might be a place to start.
Posting here is also a good idea as you might find a good surgeon that way.
I have sent you a PM....I might be able to get a couple of suggestions for you.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:04 AM   #9
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You are wise to be so careful and I totally agree with you ... I would never use any surgeon who was not board certified.
Whenever I need to find a specialty vet, I usually do a lot of talking to people in the field. Vet techs often are a great resource. Do you have any that you like in your vet's office? That might be a place to start.
Posting here is also a good idea as you might find a good surgeon that way.
I have sent you a PM....I might be able to get a couple of suggestions for you.
Thank you so much and I would appreciate any suggestions from you!<3

My vet is a founding partner in his practice so sometimes I'm a little leery that the other vets and techs are kind of 'towing the company line'.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:10 AM   #10
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Thank you so much and I would appreciate any suggestions from you!<3

My vet is a founding partner in his practice so sometimes I'm a little leery that the other vets and techs are kind of 'towing the company line'.
Oh trust me...I totally understand. I totally love my vet...she is awesome...but I don't care for her referrals. The people she refers to are friends of hers and I don't have the faith she does in them. She knows it, too!
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:23 AM   #11
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Oh trust me...I totally understand. I totally love my vet...she is awesome...but I don't care for her referrals. The people she refers to are friends of hers and I don't have the faith she does in them. She knows it, too!
Haha, yeah that's how I feel about my vet except I think he would refer me to him for everything. The other vet I was using a few years ago was a holistic vet and since my regular vet is very traditional, they complemented each other and I felt like I was getting a really well rounded view point between the two of them. Of course this is no time for holistic medicine but I would have trusted her referrals.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:29 AM   #12
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Sorry to keep blowing up my own thread but this is just so awful and strange. Sugar has never learned to jump on or off of furniture so I always thought that was going to help us with his LP. He was perfectly fine and walking around totally happy until 10:45 Thursday morning when he out of the blue, started yelping like he'd been hit by a car. Horrible yelping which he's doing for about a minute at a time several times a day. The Metacab doesn't seem to help at all. I'm feeling so helpless.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:31 AM   #13
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Don't apologize you are worried and stressed totally understandable. I can tell you the same thing happened with Georgie. On a walk oneday he started yelping then he would stop then start again. He was diagnosed with grade 1 LP a couple years before that but I figured that was the problem. It really did come out of the blue though (the yelping and pain)
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:32 AM   #14
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Aw Nikki - so sorry to hear about Sugar - I know he is your baby. I'm always so glad to see you here, but I wish it was under better circumstances. I miss you and your sense of humor. And hearing about your cool daughter.

As for surgeons, we have a place/hosp here in AZ that is a Vet Specialty hospital - no generalists, just all specialists. That's where we've gone for a vet Derm, an Internist, an Ophthalmologist etc -- and they have all kinds of surgeons and imaging equipment. (also an ER, 24hr).

So I wonder if there is something like that near you, or at least not too far?
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:37 AM   #15
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Aw Nikki - so sorry to hear about Sugar - I know he is your baby. I'm always so glad to see you here, but I wish it was under better circumstances. I miss you and your sense of humor. And hearing about your cool daughter.

As for surgeons, we have a place/hosp here in AZ that is a Vet Specialty hospital - no generalists, just all specialists. That's where we've gone for a vet Derm, an Internist, an Ophthalmologist etc -- and they have all kinds of surgeons and imaging equipment. (also an ER, 24hr).

So I wonder if there is something like that near you, or at least not too far?
Thanks Ann! The place I linked that is near me is an emergency/specialist practice with two board certified surgeons on staff and they do list LP as one of the surgeries they perform. I just wish I could find reviews.

Babygirl Rosie, thank you so much for the support!
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