Setting: Present day (2006, if it matters), American small town animal hospital
In searching "veterinary care for dog with fractured leg" "procedure for leg fracture in dog" "veterinary anesthesia procedure" "veterinary x-ray practices" and a thousand variations and related topics, I've collected every possible bit of information I'd ever need regarding what first aid to perform on the dog before taking it to the vet, how to take care of it once the cast is on and you take it home, and how much it would all cost.
What I need to know is what exactly happens at the veterinary hospital itself while a dog with a broken leg is receiving care.
The details of my scenario: Main Character's four month old Australian Shepherd mix puppy (probably weighs about 25 lbs.) is hit by a car (the car isn't going fast, sees the dog and tries to swerve, but clips it anyway). MC rushes Dog to nearby animal hospital.
The lower part of the dog's left hind leg is broken. It's a simple fracture that won't require surgery. No other injuries beyond a few scrapes and bruises.
This is a pretty small town so the vet, though it's a modern practice and the vet is good at his job, probably wouldn't have the latest, fanciest equipment.
(I personally haven't had a dog since I was a kid, and my cat has never had a veterinary procedure more serious than a check up and shots with me present.)
Specific questions I'd like answered:
1) If the dog becomes agitated when separated from its owner, will they let the owner stay in the room for the whole procedure?
2) As the leg is obviously broken and they will want to make sure the dog doesn't have internal injuries, the first thing they'll do is X-ray, right?
a)What does this involve? Do they put the dog on the exam table and move the machine over it? Or is the machine in separate room by itself?
b)How big is the machine? Does it make noise?
c)How long does it take?
d)How do they keep the dog still during the X-ray?
e)How long does it take for the X-ray(s) to come back?
3) If his master's present he's relatively calm, if in a lot of pain, so how likely is it that they would put the dog under?
a)If they don't put him under would they give him drugs?
-How are they administered? A shot? If so, where?
-How long until they take effect, and what will the dog be like afterwards?
b)Is there any possibility they *wouldn't* give him drugs at all?
-Why or why not?
4)How many people will be in the room? Just the vet? The vet and his assistant?
a)If the owner is present and the dog is calm, does he need an assistant?
b)Who performs each step of the procedure if there is an assistant?
-Would the assistant be the one to administer the X-ray? The anesthesia? Who puts the cast on?
5) What actual steps are involved in casting the leg? (the biggest thing I've broken is a finger, but that only involved a splint, so telling me how it does or doesn't relate to human cast procedures tells me very little.)
a)How do they make sure the bone is properly aligned?
b)Do they shave the fur off before they put the cast on?
c)It's the white plaster part first, followed by the colored wrap, right?
-How long does it take for the white plaster to set up? The wrap?
-As a small animal hospital are they likely to have different colors? If only one or a few, what is/are the most likely color/s? (As the dog is going to be wearing the cast for several weeks/a few chapters in the story, I sort of need to know what he'd have on. ;D)
d)When they've finished, to make sure it's not too tight, they'll test his circulation based on the color and capillary refill in the pads on his paw, right?
6) Once the cast is on, how long until they can go home?
a)This would obviously change based on the drugs given, right?
7) I've seen the plastic cone collar referred to as a "space collar" and an "Elizabethan collar". What is the vet likely to call it?
a)Besides the collar, would the vet send anything else (besides maybe "Taking Care of Your Injured Dog" literature and paperwork) home with them?
b)As there was no surgery or other injuries, the dog wouldn't need antibiotics, right?
c)Would he get a prescription for any kind of painkillers, especially considering how it's a minor fracture?
8) How long, in total, would the whole thing - from the time they walk in the door of the clinic to the time they walk out of it - take?
I know that's a lot of questions. Thanks for any help you can give!
- Veterinary care for dog with fractured leg