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Torn ACL in rear leg

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Sara

414296
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 17, '11 6:09pm PST 
Sara (a 6yr old lab mix) just got back from the vet with a diagnoses of a torn ACL and meniscus. Currently she can not use the leg that is affected much because it keeps giving out on her.

The vet says that surgery is a must and gave us two options. One (called a suture procedure) can be done by the local vet in town. The other procedure requires a visit to a specialist who will use bolts and plates.

We've been told that this is a common problem with labs and we want the procedure that will give us the best chance of recovery. Has anybody dealt with these before? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
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Duchess- 7/21/03-1/14- /12 Love U

Sleeping Beauty- needs her beauty- sleep!
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 17, '11 6:48pm PST 
Sara, so sorry to hear about your leg. Duchess was actually just diagnosed with the same thing tonight. Torn ACL in her rear right leg. The vet did say it was probably the most common orthopedic injury they can get. The vet prescribed Rimadyl 100mg 1 tablet twice a day and Tramadol 50mg 1 tablet 1 - 2 times a day. He wants to see that if this helps over the next two weeks. If so, we may not need to do the surgery. If not, we will have to do the surgery too. The two types of surgery he told us about was they could either put some sort of wires on both sides of the leg or put some sort of prosthetic in the knee. He personally likes the prosthetic method as he said the recovery period is a little quicker but both methods produce the same results. However, the prosthetic method is more expensive. I am so worried about this. Duchess will be 8 in July and worry about putting her through a surgery. I am looking into getting those pet ramps to use for the car, my bed and the few steps that I have by my front door. I just hope I can get her to use it. We will be keeping you in our thoughts. hug
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Pippin

Grrrrrrr
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 17, '11 9:34pm PST 
Our vet offered us the same options. After doing a lot of research it seemed that the suture procedure is not as successful in bigger dogs. (Our vet agreed that it is a lot better for large dogs to get the plate and screws.) We decided that if I had to go through 2 knee surgeries (I had torn my acl in both knees and I had bone spurs in my left) I wanted the one with the most chance of success.

We went out of state to a board certified surgeon. (This is a really serious surgery and can be very bad if it goes wrong or the owner doesn't provide correct after care) My right knee is as good as new and my left one is well on the way.

We feel it was well worth the cost and trouble.
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Sam

I can get out of- anything...
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 18, '11 6:32am PST 
If you go though my posts you will see some things I posted about Sam's tear. We are currently healing for 3 months, one week completely naturally. By limiting activity, changing diet, and using supplements, I have taken Sam up to 65-70% normal as of now. When we started, he couldn't put more than 5% of his weight on his foot and steppen on his toes. Now he distributes the weight almost evently among the two feet and steps completely on all pads of the food.


I am not saying that all tears can heal naturally. But if you have a partial tear, you can do it without surgery. the suture surgery us not a very good option for a very big dog. You vet might offer TPLO. this surgery laces metal plated in the bones and reconfigures the bones' position, and removes the plateau between the bones, reducing friction. However, there are a lot of bad things about it. A lot of times dogs will crack the tips of the bones because of the surgery, and arthritis is most likely going to happen with surgery or without. I can suggest waiting 2-3 weeks to see if there is any improvement. 8 weeks is recommended if it is. If in 8 weeks it improves a lot, you can go natural by limiting the activity to almost 0. Right now, make sure there is no acess to stairs, no jumping, and walks must be very very brief, possibly with the use of a sling.

Just know that you have other options. We are living proof. Sam had an almost complete tear and now people on the outside can't even see anything wrong with him. Pawmail me if you want to know anything more! I'd be glad to help! Good luck! Don't be too down...this is NOT the end and you and you pup can be 100% normal again with time.
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Joey Diego - CGC, Therapy- Dog

Where did mom- go?
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 18, '11 6:38am PST 
My good friend just went through this with her dog in January. He had the suture surgery and he is putting full weight on the leg now but is not up to his full activity level yet. She can't let him run off leash yet and he can't go for really long walks or else he will start to limp a bit.

He is a bigger dog (boxer/pit mix) and it seems to have done the trick for him, though I am not sure how bad his tear was. He is also not on an pain meds and has been off of them since early February.

I hope you feel better soon hug
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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 18, '11 8:19am PST 
Besides the suturing procedure, which is not recommended for dogs 50 lbs and over, there are 2 procedures: the TPLO (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy) and the TTA (tibial tuberosity advancement). Here is some Info on TPLO and some info on TTA. One of my dogs had a torn cranial cruciate ligament (the canine term for the ACL) and had a TTA done. We were very happy with it and plan to have another done in her contralateral leg. We also had to go out of state to find a surgeon doing the TTA.
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Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 19, '11 12:25am PST 
If you are or are NOT ready to do surgery go see a orthopedic specialty vet. They are the best at explaining all options, showing you why they are different and why they work differently and also often will help medically manage you if surgery turns out to NOT be the best choice.

Find a local BOARD CERTIFIED ORTHOPEDIST HERE-->American College of Veterinary Surgeons Locate a Vet Page
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Sara

414296
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 19, '11 6:04am PST 
Thanks for the responses. I think at this point we are going for the bolt and plate option. Sara is a very active dog and we want the best chance for her. Of the two options for the surgery one can't get her in for a month and we are waiting for information from the other. Hopefully this will go great because the vet says there is a 50% chance of her other leg going.

Duchess, we got a ramp a while ago for the vehicle after both dogs were older and they took right to it. Now they get excited when ever they see it because they know it means going for a ride.
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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 19, '11 7:55am PST 
Sara, there are 2 options for the "bolt and plate" surgery, the TPLO and the TTA. smile The TTA is newer, but has a shorter recovery time.
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Pippin

Grrrrrrr
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 19, '11 12:36pm PST 
I had the TPLO?, the bone in my leg/knee was cut, my leg was reangled to be stable, and the entire thing was bolted back together.

I did not have a lot of pain, but I did have to have bed rest (in a crate, minimal steps,only out 3Xs a day to potty) for a month and then only walks on the leash for another 2 weeks.

It was hard, but I feel so good now. I do have some arthritis, but it is controllable and won't get any worse.

Do find a board certified surgeon who does a lot of these surgeries and follow the aftercare instructions to the letter.hug
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