Bailey the GSD torn ACL

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by JacksonsMom, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Anyone have experience with this?

    My uncle's girl GSD Bailey tore her ACL and is having surgery next week (a nice $2500!!!) He's pretty sure she did it the other day when she took a big spill in the kitchen when she got excited greeting him coming in the door.

    She's turned into such a good girl. She's a bit over a year old. My uncle is so in love with this dog. He knows the recovery is going to suck - vet already said leashed walks to pee only, and no stairs, etc, so he's going to get a gate and keep her in the basement (where he lives). Even though she's really good at chilling and has an amazing off switch, she's also very active and enjoys playing fetch (a lot!!) and going for walks and to the dog park. So I know it's going to suck. :(

    Anyone have experience with this?

    Here she is, with Jackson in the background too haha.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    Yeah, Luce has done both. It sucks. It's expensive, and the recovery is lengthy. That she has an off-switch will help, but food-dispensing toys are pretty much what saved Luce's sanity during her confinement.

    If there is rehab available in his area and he can afford it, I do think it is money very well spent. I didn't have it available for Luce, and I think I would have had significantly better results with her first surgery if we had.
     
  3. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Thanks! I did suggest some interactive toys, I don't believe she has any.

    We do actually have a nice canine fitness center near us, which I recommended to him too! They do water therapy, underwater treadmill, etc, etc, so I really hope he takes her.

    Is it true that when it happens to one leg, it usually happens to the other? That's what he text me that the vet said.
     
  4. BeachBum

    BeachBum aka PretzelDog

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    Not long after I joined this forum in 2009, Leo had to have ACL surgery and someone here (I think it was Zoom) told me about the Orthodogs yahoo forum. It was an excellent source of info and support.

    The recovery sucks but Leo, who was only 1 1/2 years old at the time, was much better than I thought he would be. I took him to rehab as well and used massage therapy which had a very calming/soothing affect on him.
     
  5. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    One of my dogs had a suspected one, the only way for them to know for sure is to cut them open for surgery and that was my last option. I was suggested surgery and opted for crate confinement for about 2 months. Carried her up and down stairs, no running, nothing off leash, everything very low key, leashed walks. A giant PITA. But we got thru it.

    Then we progressed to exercises, and walks while riding slowly on a bike then more and then back to full use. She's as normal as can be now.

    Was it torn? The 2 vets seemed to think so, but maybe not.

    A friend of mine had a dog with one too, or at least suspected. SHe did 9 months of rehab and was almost a year till she started working him again and he's stronger than ever.

    Those are the only 2 I know of that didn't have surgery on a suspected tear. I know of 2 others that did, and yes, they both had the other CCl done about a year later.
     
  6. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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  7. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    My 14 year old dog had a confirmed partial tear this spring. We worked with our rehab vet extensively and it healed wonderfully!
     
  8. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    A good friend's pit bull had a torn ACL years ago. She was a really high energy dog and it wasn't a very fun recovery, she wore a cone for FOREVER and was allowed out with people but once she got too excited needed to be crated, which she HATED when she knew the house was full of people (which it always was).

    I think it took probably about 6 months before a full recovery...maybe 2 months on leashed walks and crate rest, and then more where she was a little sore and they had to watch she didn't get too wild. But she's fully recovered, now, and still as energetic at 9 or 10 years old.

    Lots of kongs, interactive toys, and maybe training some less-strenuous tricks (dropping a ball in a basket, speak, cover her eyes, wave) should keep her sanity.

    EDIT: as far as I know, Ruby only had the problem with her one leg. Unless she had the other one done much younger, but I have a feeling someone would have mentioned that. She also has a scar on one knee, but not on the other.
     
  9. Sparrow

    Sparrow New Member

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    My dog had a TPLO five years ago. I wish someone had told me how horrible the first two weeks would be. Zoe was miserable. She had to be helped everywhere to makes sure the screws didn't strip, she had irritation around the staples, she hated the exercises I had to perform on her leg. She didn't poop for the first several days and then pooped FIVE times and all I smelled were her anal glands!

    I was an emotional wreck.

    BUT - we survived, and she is feeling better today than I dared to hope for even then. It was the best money I ever spent. Every day with her since then has been a treasure.

    The passive range of motion exercises are very important, as is getting into PT as soon as the vet says it's okay. We did underwater treadmill, and it was very useful.

    She has not torn the other side, but I am very aware of any lameness in it, and don't let her go as full blast in ways that could tear it. She is still on a reasonably low dose of NSAID to manage arthritis from the injury (as well as arthritis in her elbows,) but overall is doing really well.

    She is Pit Bull and Great Dane (and maybe Lab?) and people that meet her think she is a young adult. She'll be 10 in March, and when I recently told someone at our Nosework class that she is 9 1/2, they asked "months?" :)

    It's a very expensive surgery, but well worth the money to any dog lover.
     
  10. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Thanks for all the tips and advice!

    Fortunately, my uncle dropped her off for surgery on Tuesday, and they shaved her whole leg and I guess took more x-rays before the surgery .....he doesn't really see a tear in the ACL! Apparantly, it's Panosteitis (basically growing pains) so anti-inflammatories it is. Recheck in a month and keep her on the low for the next month.

    Anyone ever heard of a vet mistaking an ACL tear? Is that common?
     
  11. monkeys23

    monkeys23 New Member

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    I've never heard of that! Of course I don't really travel in vet circles either lol. Glad its good news!
     
  12. Sparrow

    Sparrow New Member

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    I've heard of this, but I don't get it! Did they not check for the drawer sign? It's pretty unmistakable. I was there while my sedated dog was in my vets hands, having her knees manipulated, and he showed me. That's what told him what it was - not X-rays (though he did X-ray as well, of course.)

    He is notoriously amazing with his hands, though, and can feel out pups in a dam before anyone, and was able to tell me a YEAR after Zoe's TPLO that her other knee wasn't torn even without sedation just by feeling around and saying "this isn't what the other one felt like when it tore."

    The way they hold the leg is pretty telling, as opposed to lameness from other causes. I thought Zoe's hips were getting bad when she tore hers, until I read that holding the foot up how she was is very specific to a CCL tear, and doesn't typically happen with bad hips. They generally lift it straight up to take the weight off when standing.

    That's good to hear, though. The recovery is a nightmare.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  13. MisssAshby

    MisssAshby Richy Rich HM Twit!

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    It is standard to take films before surgery, but films alone can not be used to diagnose a torn ACL. General protocol is to sedate them, take films and at that time they check for a positive drawer sign. You can check for a positive drawer sign while they are awake, but it's more difficult since they still have control so to speak. Films can show the vet symptoms that are common with a tear (fluid), but if a vet is basing a decision on films alone I personally would be getting a second opinion. Was the vet who was doing her surgery a certified orthopedic surgeon?

    She falls in the age range that Pano can still happen, but I would think if it was Pano she would show on/off signs of getting better. IME, Pano lameness is more of a stiff/sore type of lameness. When a dog has a torn ACL, they are in extreme amounts of pain, and refuse to use that leg, period.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  14. Sparrow

    Sparrow New Member

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    Zoe only had mild ongoing lameness when her tear was partial. More like moderate after exercise (before I knew what was going on and rested her.) She would hold it up slightly while standing at rest, but there didn't seem to be a lot of pain.

    She tore it all the way while we were awaiting her consult, and after that her lameness was very significant, though she still put weight on it while walking. There was a pronounced limp, with her leg held up when not walking.

    So it depends on the degree of the tear, but I agree about getting another opinion either way. I had to drive Zoe three hours to a specialist, but I've heard of "regular" vets doing these as well, which I'd stay away from, personally.
     

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