Keith proceeded to examine his legs and was ignoring my pleas to check his pads (I assumed he had a thorn in his foot). He informed me "something is really wrong"! After my panicked response, we sent Keith and Jasper for the car and left me sitting in the shade with Renegade trying to keep him quiet. He really wanted to follow dad, but was also clearly in pain. Jasper clearly did not want to "run" with dad back to the house to get the car... He wanted to sniff the roses.
After what seemed an eternity, Keith returned with the car. He then had me feel where he had felt "something wrong". I freaked! You could feel what sure felt like a bone poking out the side of Ren's left front leg. We got him loaded in the back of the minivan with Keith keeping him company. Luckily, my vet actually was open on Monday (July 5th). I got them on the phone and told them we were on the way.
We arrived at the vet and the vet agreed it felt like his arm bone had totally fractured. We gave him morphine to get x-rays to determine the extent of the damage. Much to everyone's surprise, the x-rays came back with no fractures! Further examination revealed an "entry wound". Turns out he had a 3 inch stick embedded in his leg. It had gone through the muscle and passed between the ulna and radius. Picture below of the stick - the key is for scale.
Seemed like good news to just have to remove a foreign object instead of having surgery to repair the break and 8-12 weeks of rest (with Ren that would have been torture for all of us). The vet did surgery and removed the stick. Report was that it came out cleanly, the muscle was going to need time to repair and the nerves were likely irritated but not permanently damaged. We brought the patient home for some R&R.
Later that night I had another scare as he recovered enough to get up and start walking around. He had no motor function below his elbow. He wasn't able to bend his wrist at all. He was dragging the foot around like a dead fish. After a conversation with the vet she convinced me that it was likely just irritated and that we wouldn't worry for a few more days. However, the "worst case scenario" although she only gave it a 1% chance was amputation so of course I worried! Luckily we woke up the next morning to find him using the foot.
Now 4 days later he's back to 90% and wanting to be more active than he should be. He's trying to rip the bandage off so he's wearing the cone which slows him down a little bit at least. Looks like he'll be back to full speed by next week!
On a side note, I'm really glad we practiced "handling" and restraining Ren so much when he was younger and smaller. He was a perfect angel about being lifted and carried into the car and the vet clinic while he was clearly in a lot of pain.