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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Our 4.5-year old (Dylan) tore his ACL. He underwent the traditional (non-TPLO) surgery today. We'll pick him up at the vet tomorrow. He's a big guy (85 pounds when lean), and we live in a second-floor walk-up. So we're nervous both about the recovery in general and those complicating factors in particular.

Our vet is a friend and the entire office has been great. Still, it's nerve-racking. My wife and I lead busy job-related lives, and we're concerned about being there for him as much as we need to be.

Any advice or recommendations from folks who have faced this before? What should we expect during the first few days?
 

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Really what Dylan is going to need is crate rest. He will need potty walks but rest is the key. My dog had a TPLO so I don't fully know what the post op differences will be. Maxine had some passive range of motion exercises to do, ice, heat, etc but she was to remain quiet for 8 weeks. Potty walks (leashed) only.

So being busy with your work is not the worst thing in the world. You may want to see if there is someone you trust the first couple days to help potty during the day. Sometimes anesthesia can throw off their timing, so he may need to go out when you are not at home.

Some dogs get casted from the traditional surgery. I don't know if your vet does that. Do allow your dog the rest he needs, follow the vets post op instructions to the letter, and your dog should make a great recovery. The knee surgeries do wonders for them. Maxine had both her knees done she led an active life after wards. Lots of walks and romps in the park. She LOVED swimming too.
 

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Hope that Dylan is ok after his surgery. Holly, one of my previous goldens, tore both her cruciates within weeks of each other and she was under one year old.

Initially, it is important for rest, and it does depend on the dog. We didn't crate her as there was always one of us with her. Within 2 days of the op Holly was putting her leg down and within about a week was trying to weight bear - to our vets surprise. Having said that it is very important that when they are taken out to the toilet they are on a lead and I always used a towel under Hol's tummy so it was there as a support, just as important is no jumping - either jumping up people or trying to get on furniture. If you have floors that are tiled then again you will have to be careful that Dylan doesn't slip, again a towel for support will help. Because you live 2 floors up you are going to have to be very careful - haven't got any advice for that as not sure if it would be physically possible for you to carry your boy - which is initially what we did as we had steps to negotiate in the garden.

As Holly progressed we took her to hydrotherapy - which helped her a lot, and as the weeks went on she wanted to do more and it was hard to keep her quiet. (can't be more specific timewise as it was so long ago) - we found the hardest part was when we got the "all clear" from the vet that she could be free run again.

Holly was 14 when we sent her to the bridge, she did have arthritis in both her knee joints, and she could never do a perfect straight sit, but other than that you would never have known that she had gone through 2 repairs.

Hugs coming for Dylan
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all of your helpful and encouraging words. Dylan is now home. Last night was his first night back with us. Frankly, he seems miserable. It's difficult not to feel completely helpless. Despite my sleeping (well, laying) on the floor with him, he whimpered all night. The only thing that seemed to pacify him a bit was when I petted him; otherwise, he just whimpered. He couldn't have gotten much sleep at all, despite being still doped up on whatever medications the vet gave him AND the benydryl I gave him to try to help him sleep. I don't know what the need to sleep hasn't taken over yet.

Most frustrating is just that I seem unable to read him, as I used to be able to do. I can't tell what he's trying to tell me he wants, or even whether there's anything he wants (or whether he's simply uncomfortable). In his entire life, he's never whimpered or whined (from pain).

I worry that the bandage (which comes off tomorrow) may be too tight. And I worry about the fact that I do have to go to work. Will he just whimper all day without me here to comfort him or will he actually do better sleeping? :(
 
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