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Thread: Limping dog went to the vet

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Limping dog went to the vet

    Just got home from the vet. They said that my dog has torn a ligament in his knee.
    They are talking about surgery. Has anyone ever had this happen to their dogs

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Awww, we figured it might be, but were hoping for a torn muscle that might repair itself easier! Poor pooch - I know others here have dealt with this, was it his ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) or other ones?
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Back in 2011 my Zoee was diagnosed with a "possible" torn ACL. I did not want to do surgery, so I found a website that told how to heal it without surgery. It took over a year and my moms help but she is all better. She'll occasionally limp or her leg will shake but she is 9 years old now.
    I actually left her with my mom for the entire year of 2012. For the first few months she was on strict limited activity. Only went outside to potty. Then she would go for short walks and also swam to help strengthen the muscle.

    Let me see if I can find the thread where I posted the link and if I can post it here......tricky with my tablet.

    Oh, I think I did it!!!

    ETA: I thought I'd clarify she spent the year at my moms because mom is retired and home all the time to give Zoee the attention she needed.
    Last edited by Taz_Zoee; 06-07-2014 at 02:11 PM.
    Our goal in life should be - to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are.

    Thank you for the siggy, Michelle!

    Cindy (Human) - Taz (RB Tabby) - Zoee (RB Australian Shepherd) - Paizly (Dilute Tortie) - Taggart (Aussie Mix) - Jax (Brown & White Tabby), - Zeplyn (Cattle Dog Mix)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Methuen, MA; USA
    As Karen asked, it is important to know if this is the ACL or CCL -- anterior cruciate ligament, or cranial cruciate ligament. You also want to know if it is a tear, or a complete rupture.

    A complete rupture is not going to heal without surgery. A tear may heal without surgery, depending on the degree.

    You will find articles online for alternative care, often referred to as conservative treatment, such as this one:

    There is a yahoo group online for folks who are using the conservative management.

    Here is a good explanation: (taken from this page: )

    Diagnosis: The diagnosis is made by your veterinarian and usually includes gait/lameness evaluation and manual palpation of the joint to assess instability and
    severity of the injury. Your veterinarian may alsorecommend x-rays and possibly joint fluid analysis to further stage the injury. Radiographs are used to gauge the overall joint structure and secondary problems such as osteoarthritis rather than on the ligament or soft tissue injury itself.
    Joint fluid analysis is used to identify inflammation and if present, whether it is high grade (acute), low grade (chronic) or infectious. For those who prefer a
    definitive diagnosis of the severity of the injury diagnostic arthroscopy can be performed.
    Diagnostics are almost always followed by surgical treatment of the injury if enough evidence of ACL injury is identified.

    Treatments: Although the treatment of choice for an ACL Injury is usually surgery, treatment can range from conservative treatment to surgery depending on the cause, severity, size, age and lifestyle of the dog. Your veterinarian will help you decide the best approach for your dog. Initially, mild sprains can often
    be managed conservatively.

    Treatments may include rest, ice, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS), glucosamine/chondroitin supplements or injections, stem cell injections, physical rehabilitation and lifestyle change recommendations. Moderate to severe injuries generally require surgical intervention in order to stabilize the joint and minimize the progression and severity of secondary osteoarthritis. In addition to surgery non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, glucosamine/chondroitin supplements or injections, stem cell injections, physical rehabilitation and lifestyle change recommendations may be recommended.

    Bichons are prone to ACL tears. I've not dealt with this myself, but know of many who have. Keep in mind that the above is an overall summary. I have never heard of a bichon having: analysis of joint fluid, arthroscopy; stem cell injections, or injections into the joint. Those are extreme treatments IMO.

    So, you first need to phone the vet office and get more clarification as to which ligament is involved (anterior or cruciate), and find out the grade the vet suspects. You may need to have xrays done to determine this. Keep in mind anesthesia is usually required for xrays (dogs rarely want to be still!) and usually you want to have everything necessary done while the dog is 'under,' including surgery if needed, and even a dental! You don't want to have the dog under anesthesia once for xrays and then again the following week for the surgery.

    Once you have all the information available at this time, then do some online research and make some decisions about how to proceed. You also want to read up on post surgery recovery; the dog needs to be crated for about 6 weeks as I recall, with limited activity during this time. You want to prep for that in advance.

    Let us know what you learn, and feel free to post and ask more questions as they develop!

    Other web sites:

  5. #5

    Limping dog

    Thank you for the replies. Petey goes back to the vet on Wednesday to be sedated and x-rayed. I am having a hard time convincing my husband that surgery is a good possibility when Petey is still running around like he always has only three legged most of the time. He is convinced time will heal him. I just worry that because he is so young, ( 2yrs. Next month.) if it's not fixed now, it will cause more problems down the road.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    St. Louis, Missouri
    We see this in the clinic *a lot*. We do the knee surgery repair at every clinic I've worked at. There are several methods... ranging from a TPLO to a tie-back. TPLOs should only be done by a board certified surgeon... but an experienced non-certified vet can perform the tie-back.

    In all my years of being a tech, I've yet to see one "fail" due to the procedure itself... I have seen some fail due to owner non-compliance regarding post-op exercise restrictions (they were not restricting the dog's activity) so it is VERY, VERY important that you absolutely follow the restrictions... even if you think your dog is feeling better!!!!!!!

    If you have the money and can afford it, absolutely do the surgery. If not, there are several therapeutic things you can do to keep the dog comfortable... but there is NO cure for a complete tear except for surgery. You may manage the symptoms and make the dog comfortable, but it will not heal. Partial tears have the potential to heal, but there is always a risk of it tearing again.

    Another sad fact is that TYPICALLY if a dog blows one knee, they will blow their other knee eventually as well.



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