torn acl - what to do??

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#1
My Boxer Tyson has a torn ACL. I took him to the vet and he gave us 10 days of meds and 30 days of rest. Said to try that and if it didn't work we'll try 30 days of meds & 30 more days of rest. If that didn't work we'll try surgery. I've been reading a post on a torn acl and seems like there's a lot of possible problems with the surgery. Our vet said he'd GUARNTEE 100% that he'd be back perfect no problems but he said nothing of the other leg possibly going from the pressure of only having one good leg for a while. Can those of you out there who've already went through this tell me ya'lls experience before we make the decision to do it or not? Our vet said that if we didn't it that he'd probably have a limp but other than that no other problems but that if we couldn't live with the limp and the meds & rest don't work then surgery WOULD work. I hate to do surgery if there's so many risks but I hate to not do it if it will make him better and make him not hurt and limp anymore...any advice??
 

milo

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#2
No sorry i havent been through it but i thought i better say that im sorry about that and i hope you will get a good response soon!!
Hope it all goes well for ya!!
 
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#4
The guy I work with had to have his yorkies acl fixed. I'll ask him about it and let you know what he says.
 

Barb04

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CJ had ACL surgery 2 1/2 years ago and runs around with Max like nothing every happened. When she first hurt herself, the vet told us to have her rest and not climb any stairs for at least a week. One day she went up one step and let out a yell. She had her ACL surgery 1 day later. The recovery is about 9 weeks. You have to put a towel under their rear to help lift them up so they don't apply too much pressure to the back legs as if they favor the good leg, that one may also get a tear and have to have surgery. They also shouldn't jump up during the recovery so no pressure is applied to the leg. I bought the biggest cage 4' x 2 1/2' x 3' so CJ couldn't lay down, get up, and walk only a little. They can't walk off leash during recovery. I had to apply warm compresses to the stapled area to keep skin a bit moist for removal in a week which CJ didn't mind. I also had to exercise the leg by doing circular motions which the vet will explain. Week 1-2 was only to got out to pee or poop. Week 3 was 10 minute leaseh walks 2 times a day. Week 4 was 15-20 minute leash walks. Week 5 was 20 minute leash walks and starting SMALL inclines. Week 6 was 30 minute leash walks and starting to walk in circles in both directions. Walk 7-8 was 30-40 minute leash walks and start on SHORT jogs (nothing stenuous). I acutally never jogged in my life and wound up huring my knee jogging & had to go to physical therapy.

CJ has taken a glucosamine/chondroitin tablet since the surgery which I believe has helped tremendously.

Besides the ACL, I found out that her hip joints have almost worn down to nothing and the vet said most dogs would have had hip replacement years ago. Because she has always been so muscular, she shows no signs of this problem.

If anyone asked me about ACL surgery, I would say go for it. It has to be repaired. It takes awhile for the healing process, but you and your dog will bond even more during this experience.

Sorry if this was too long, but I wanted to say everything that I could think you'd want to know. If you need more info, please ask.
 
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Barb04 said:
CJ had ACL surgery 2 1/2 years ago and runs around with Max like nothing every happened. When she first hurt herself, the vet told us to have her rest and not climb any stairs for at least a week. One day she went up one step and let out a yell. She had her ACL surgery 1 day later. The recovery is about 9 weeks. You have to put a towel under their rear to help lift them up so they don't apply too much pressure to the back legs as if they favor the good leg, that one may also get a tear and have to have surgery. They also shouldn't jump up during the recovery so no pressure is applied to the leg. I bought the biggest cage 4' x 2 1/2' x 3' so CJ couldn't lay down, get up, and walk only a little. They can't walk off leash during recovery. I had to apply warm compresses to the stapled area to keep skin a bit moist for removal in a week which CJ didn't mind. I also had to exercise the leg by doing circular motions which the vet will explain. Week 1-2 was only to got out to pee or poop. Week 3 was 10 minute leaseh walks 2 times a day. Week 4 was 15-20 minute leash walks. Week 5 was 20 minute leash walks and starting SMALL inclines. Week 6 was 30 minute leash walks and starting to walk in circles in both directions. Walk 7-8 was 30-40 minute leash walks and start on SHORT jogs (nothing stenuous). I acutally never jogged in my life and wound up huring my knee jogging & had to go to physical therapy.

CJ has taken a glucosamine/chondroitin tablet since the surgery which I believe has helped tremendously.

Besides the ACL, I found out that her hip joints have almost worn down to nothing and the vet said most dogs would have had hip replacement years ago. Because she has always been so muscular, she shows no signs of this problem.

If anyone asked me about ACL surgery, I would say go for it. It has to be repaired. It takes awhile for the healing process, but you and your dog will bond even more during this experience.

Sorry if this was too long, but I wanted to say everything that I could think you'd want to know. If you need more info, please ask.
I did have one more question - did you have a hard time keeping CJ from playing with your other dog?? I think that's part of our problem now...we try to keep him pretty much still but every time we have our backs turned he and Princess start playing. They stop when we tell them too but then he hobbles around the rest of the night---I can only imagine what it would be like after surgery.
 

Barb04

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#8
I'm sorry to say that when CJ had the surgery, I didn't have my other dog or cats. The other thing I can think of is to keep them separated using baby gates. Maybe someone else might have a better idea for you.

I just found a site that someone wrote about the surgery:

www.lauriebryce.com/tplo/index.html
 
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#9
Barb04 said:
I'm sorry to say that when CJ had the surgery, I didn't have my other dog or cats. The other thing I can think of is to keep them separated using baby gates. Maybe someone else might have a better idea for you.

I just found a site that someone wrote about the surgery:

www.lauriebryce.com/tplo/index.html
Thanks so much for the link - ya'll have been really helpful. I was thinking baby gates too (although we go through a lot of them - they chew them up pretty regularly). I've got a vet appt for our foster pup Bentley the 1st week of march. I think I'll bring Tyson along for the ride and get a bit more info from him on it. Somthing's got to be done because it's breaking my heart to see him eating and holding his leg up or just standing there holding it up. I know it hurts him. He still plays so well but when he's still he's always favoring it. When he's just walking around he's limping so bad...really breaks my heart!!
 
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#11
Poor Tyson! And poor you. I know you're worried half to death. If you were having to make a decision about surgery for yourself or a family member, you'd want a second opinion to help settle your mind or give you alternatives. Why not do the same thing with your dog?

The reason the dog in the other post had so much trouble with injuring the other leg was because she's gotten very overweight. Her owner talked about that and you can see by her photo that she's carrying a good bit of extra weight on her frame, although she's a very beautiful dog. Your Boxers don't look like they're carrying any extra weight to speak of, and have more muscular development as well. The biggest problem will be keeping him still. The vet may have to prescribe some mild tranquilizers for him during his early convalescence to keep him calm enough to heal. It's very trying when you have a dog that has to be kept quiet. They just want to get up and play, and they're so happy to be home that it's very difficult to contain their enthusiams, lol. I've had to do it once with each of the girls and it's not an experience I'd ever care to repeat! :eek:
 

Kilo

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#12
Pit ACL Surgery 8-2008

My 2 year old 86lb blue nose pit just had ACL surgery on his left hind leg 8-6-08. It was a very difficult financial decision to make, but in the end we decided we can't live without him. He is a part of our family.

He has always been active; long walks, running beside me on my bike, etc. We take him with us everywhere, meaning he has jumped in and out of the jeep & car for the last 2 years, which I believe caused this problem. I noticed he would not put his left rear leg down, he had difficultly getting up and down. He would get adreniline rushes when he would see another dog & run and play but as soon as he would come inside, he would not use his left rear leg. After a week of it not getting better we took him to the vet.

The vet said his acl was torn by doing the "shelf/drawer test" but could not be 100% positive until the dog was put under. He quoted a price of $1,200 - WOW! It took us 3 months to get the $$ together & we finally got to make the apointment. During surgery the vet noticed some minor arthritic changes due to the fact that we had to let it go for 3 months to get our finances in order. The vet put extra stem cells in the knee & hopefully that would help the problem. We just picked him up yesterday & I had no idea originally of what we were getting into. Beware, this is a major surgery, when you pick your pet up there is a major scar, and lots of pain to deal with. It is almost more than I could bare, it is a really sad sight.

His recovery depends on directly following the orders of the vet. Kilo's orders are: He is to be kenel confined for 2 weeks, only to get out to poo or pee & right back in. He sleeps in our room at night with the door shut, guilty pleasure =) We do not have a kennel, we use our small laundry room, which will work fine. He is on pain pills and inflanitory pills for 2 weeks. After the two weeks he is to go for short, slow three minuite walks for 2 weeks twice a day, then back to rest. The vet said he will start to put his leg down when he is ready & not to push him. After that 2 weeks the walks get gradually longer & may involve going up & down small inclines. At anytime no stairs what-so-ever! We put a towel under his belly while I lift his hind end up, my man lifts the front & we carry him down the 3 steps we have. Poo & pee & right back in, he has no endurance & just wants to sit down during the process so we are patient. He is in lots of pain.

Total cost $1,100, I live in Montana. The recovery process, if feel, will be the hardest part. I will post again on his progress & hope this information is useful.
 

Jynx

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#13
I've had two dogs have this surgery, and my suggestion is,,GO FOR IT..

With one, they had me do the rest/med thing,,and I should have done the surgery as soon as it happened vs waiting...The longer you wait, the harder it is on the dog and owner I believe.

Torn ACL's do not repair themselves,,(if it is in fact torn),,as one poster said,,they really can't determine the extent of damage until they open them up.

Recovery isn't the easiest in the world, but it goes by quicker than you think and if you follow all instructions it should go smoothly...

I have multiple CRAZY dogs by the way,,and it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, keeping one of them toned down to recuperate.

As for "blowing" the other leg, because they compensate weight,,again, if you follow instructions, it shouldn't be a problem (providing your dog is lean as well)..

I highly recommend going for the surgery , it's worth it in the long run
diane
 

bubbatd

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#14
I pain for you !!! I've ( thankfully ! ) have never been through this . I did post a while ago about a promising procedure that didn't involve surgery ......now I can't find it !!!
 

Bodi's Mom

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I'm in my 9th week of recovery with Bodi. After doing extensive research on the web, I opted for a newer surgery called Tibial Tubular Advancement or TTA. This is done by an Orthopoedic Surgeon. The age-old typical "Suture Type" surgery would not have been good for my large breed dog, even though it was the least expensive at $1,200. The TPLO is similar to the TTA and just as expensive at $3,700 but puts a lot less strain on the uninjured knee and recovery time is very fast. The TTA surgery places the Tibia forward eliminating future tears and then builds a metal bridge around the entire knee. Bodi now has a bionic leg!

Bodi was up and walking the next day. He was walking without a limp by the second week. Listening to the vet's aftercare insutructions is KEY - if you don't the other leg will probably go and complications with the torn one will be likely. Bodi has been severely limited in his daily activities. He has not been off-leash for the entire 9 weeks and has 6 more to go! He has not walked for more than ten minutes 4 times a day. He is gated in 2 rooms of our house, which is tough for him being that he had the run of the entire house prior to his injury. We have 2 acres of yard in which Bodi has not been able to run - no playing with other dogs, no going to the Nursing Home to do therapy work. It's been a LONG HAUL - but he appears to be doing very well. Also no stairs - we built ramps going out all exits of our house and I have been sleeping on the floor downstairs with him the whole time.

If you are committed and vigilant - TTA or TPLO surgery is great. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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