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Old 12-25-2012, 12:26 PM
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desperate for any suggestions...

I have a female golden who will be 4 in January.

About 8 weeks ago, she came back from the park after playing with other dogs and she was limping on her rear leg. I restricted her activity for a few days and she seemed to clear up. Over the next few weeks, the limp returned several times, each time with less and less activity.

After a light hike about 2 weeks ago, she was totally lame and was 3 legged walking. I took her to the vet, and after x-rays and blood work, it was determined that she had torn her ACL (was thought to be approx 80% torn, based on exam). The vet and I agreed to try conservative non-surgical treatment to see if she could heal on her own.

Over the last 2 weeks, she had improved quite a bit, until yesterday when she slipped. Now she is back to 3 legged walking and seems to be in quite a bit of pain. She is now restricted to only carpeted areas of the house, and I take her outside to pee/poop using a sling to support her hind end.

I called the vet, but being Christmas day, they are closed until the 27th.

Has anyone ever gone through this? Did you opt for surgery? Please, any help or input would be gratefully received. It breaks my heart to see her in pain.....
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:50 PM
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Hi! Yes, my last dog had 2 torn ACL's. I probably would have opted for surgery if he was a generally healthy dog other than the ACL's, but unfortunately, he was not and was not healthy enough to withstand surgery.

With that said though, we were able to manage it quite well actually, so surgery isn't always a necessity. We gave Dasuquin, which is a glucosamine supplement, along with tramadol as a pain medication (please be careful with other drugs such as an NSAID- an NSAID is the reason my dog was in poor health and tramadol is NOT an NSAID), and we also restricted his activity after each one first tore, then slowly increased his activity after a couple of weeks. We also took him to physical therapy which consisted of underwater treadmill walking. I will say that the physical therapy was the most helpful and it was really fun for him, and if you have it in your area, I would HIGHLY suggest it and I think really contributed to his great improvement!

When we did all of this together, you wouldn't have been able to tell my dog had 2 torn ACL's...his mobility was really great and he was generally pain free! My dog ended up passing away from liver failure though (due to the NSAID), and our vet said we were able to manage his ACL's so well that his hip and knee issues wouldn't ever be a problem in his lifetime.

Oh and since the vet is closed right now, my suggestion would be to ice for a couple days to reduce swelling, then you can do heat.

Let me know if you have any other questions..and I am also sorry your doggy is going through this. I will always remember how much pain it caused me to see him in so much pain, and so I can really relate to what you are going through. Hang in there and know that she will get better!

Happy holidays!
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:12 PM
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I would def get her checked again, she now may have torn it completely. Surgery, their are few different techniques, is really your best bet IMO. Shes still young and recovery will be hard but easier than say she was 8. Also keep in mind that usually when 1 ACL goes..the other will too. You never know if that will be in a few months or years. Make sure you see an orthopedic and get their opinion. You want the best care! Good luck, let us know how it turns out!
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:26 PM
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What you have to do, since she didn't have time to recover the first time from the tear (6-8 weeks of no activity and towels under the belly for support to walk) is get her surgery. An 80% tear is practically a fully blown ACL rupture.

Bite the bullet. You need to spend the money for surgery. If you don't chances are the other knee will go eventually. She won't feel good the rest of her life with arthritis and possible re-injuries. Surgery is your only option with an 80% tear. Don't wait.
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:41 PM
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My Golden had TPLO on his right knee last year, he was 8 and he fully recovered and doing great.
Please, get the surgery and if you can as soon as possible to keep more damage from happening and getting your furbaby pain free and an the road to recovery.
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:41 PM
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Surgery is your only choice really. Trying to let it heal very rarely works. Robbie had TPLO when he was just over 2 years old. It is critical to follow after care and recovery restrictions, but once recovery was done Robbie has been solid on that leg, active, and leads a totally normal life. I would encourage you not to wait, there is no reason to leave her in pain.
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:17 PM
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thanks for the input...I really appreciate it. I am using the sling to help her outside, and other than that, I'm just keeping her resting in the carpeted area of our house. I will definitely call the doctor on the 27th as soon as the clinic opens. I wish I had a way of contacting her now, but she is not on call and the emergency clinic cannot contact doctors from the clinics...I guess I will just do every thing I can for the next 48 hours and get her seen ASAP..

thanks

Lori
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chloe920 View Post
thanks for the input...I really appreciate it. I am using the sling to help her outside, and other than that, I'm just keeping her resting in the carpeted area of our house. I will definitely call the doctor on the 27th as soon as the clinic opens. I wish I had a way of contacting her now, but she is not on call and the emergency clinic cannot contact doctors from the clinics...I guess I will just do every thing I can for the next 48 hours and get her seen ASAP..

thanks

Lori
You're welcome, Lori It's vitally important you don't let her use that leg just now. If the sling bunches up as many do, try a beach towel. Works like a charm An ice pack on her knee will help with pain and inflammation. It'll be alright. We've been through 3 ACL injuries around here. Katie had the surgery and is doing fantastically. We followed the post-op rehab instructions to the T. Andy tore his ACL, but because he was doing chemo he couldn't have surgery. It was about a 30% tear and took 12 weeks to heal because he was on chemo. We hated it, he hated it, but in the end it all worked out.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:51 AM
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I would definitely recommend surgery. It helps to reduce the chance of major arthritis later on...
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