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Recovery after anterior cruciate (stifle) repair.

(16 Posts)

DDog2 had the first of her ACL repairs on Thursday, and came home on Friday. The advice we've been given is to keep her on cage rest, as she is a very active dog - but this is causing us huge problems at night - basically she whines if she's left alone for more than a few minutes (day or night) and at night time this escalates to whining and whiny barking - last night this went on from before midnight until gone 2am, and started up again at about 5am - dh had to go downstairs and sit with her until she went back to sleep.

She has got an anti-inflammatory and tramadol for pain relief, and the vet said that the tramadol might make her sleepy too, so we gave that at bedtime, in the hopes it would help her relax and go to sleep - but that didn't work.

We have a few options for tonight - one is that we put her in the second cage, in the office/library, and put ddog1's bed in there, so she has company, to see if that helps. The slight problem with this is that the second cage is smaller - she does fit in it, but with the Cone of Shame on, it is not easy for her to move round in it - but maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing?

The second is to put two beds in the office - it would have less than 6'x10' floor space for her to wander round in - and I have seen in blogs online about dogs who have had this surgery, that they were advised to keep them in a small room, like a bathroom - so would this be safe for her? We could ensure that she wouldn't be able to open either door out of the room, so she would definitely be confined.

The third option is to get everything in the house ready for the night, give her her tablet, and stay up with her until she falls asleep, then creep out, and hope she stays asleep in the bigger cage in the front room - that's where she is spending most of the time.

Another question I have is about supporting her back end - we were advised to use a sling under her tummy when she is being walked out to the garden to do her business, especially as she has to go up and down a couple of steps to get to the grass. Does anyone know how long we have to keep on doing this - the first few days/'til her stitches are out/the full 6 weeks?

And we have made her a tiny pen on the lawn, so she can go in there and do her business off the lead - she refused point-blank to do it on the lead, and didn't pee for 26 hours after we got her home, and has only just pooed, so this seemed like the best option - do you think it is safe enough?

Many thanks in advance!

muttynutty Sun 25-Jan-15 17:07:31

Hi SDT I was thinking about you the other day and wondering how things were.

I think she will need to be able to move about so the second crate may not be a good idea - but the company of the other dog may help.

I expect in option 3 she will wake up just as you are leaving.

I guess it is not possible for her to sleep in you room? ( also I guess stairs are a problem).

I would try her back on the lead to wee etc as this is going to be a long haul and she will need to eventually.

None of that was much help - sorry I hope she settles down soon. Does she like bones, chewing them can tire dogs out and maybe help her feel less stressed and able to sleep. (But if not used to them be careful if does not upset her tum)

There are crate activities also but I guess so soon after the op she will nto be up to these yet

You can get sedatives if she does find crate rest stressful but I would only use this as a last resort.

Thank you for that, mutty - we have thought of another option - there is a room downstairs that is currently the boys' den - it has sky tv and the xbox in there - but there's only ds3 at home, and he has an xbox and netflix in his room, so we could take that room over, put a bed and her cage in there, and one of us could sleep in there with her. Understandably, we'd like to avoid that, if we can - but it would work, and it would only be for 3 months or so (she needs the second knee done too).

I have got chewy things for her to have in the cage, but the Cone of Shame would get in the way of her doing much with these at the moment - and she's in that for another 10 days minimum. After that, I will be giving her a Kong, and I have a rawhide chew and a bone she could have (not both at once).

Oh - and re. the weeing - I can stand outside the little enclosure and hold a lead whilst she wees, so I will give that a go and see if I can get her used to going on the lead.

Unfortunately she almost never wees on the lead - where we live, she and ddog1 are walked off-lead almost all the time, just going back on for roads etc, and she does her business whilst she is off the lead, or just outside in the back garden.

She must have weed on the lead whilst at the vet hospital, but she was refusing point-blank to do it for us, so the little wee-cage in the garden seemed like the best alternative.

muttynutty Sun 25-Jan-15 17:20:43

Thats sounds a good idea SDT - you may find as she gets used to it you can go back to your own room. - I hope so for your sake.

One of our dogs was ok with the cone removed as long as we were in the the room or if he was out on the lead but he did have to have it one when left alone obviously. I still have the bruises on the back on my legs to prove it smile

tabulahrasa Sun 25-Jan-15 17:58:46

It's not the crate part of crate rest that's important, it's the rest, so keeping her anywhere where she will not move about too much is fine.

Can I ask - does anyone know how long I need to keep on using the sling underneath her tummy when she is going up or down the steps to the lawn?

I knew about using the sling beforehand, but was a little shock when the vet nurse showed us the one they had been using, and told us it cost £60, if we wanted to take it home with us! Not that she was encouraging us to buy it - she was clear that a towel would work just fine! I have actually wound a towel around a spare lead and sewn it together - and that is working fine, and cost us nothing - and when all this is over, I will be able to undo the stitching, and we will have the towel and lead back.

She howled for another 2+ hours last night - even though we put her in the cage in the office, with ddog1, and waited until they had both settled and gone to sleep.

I have rung the vet to ask for sedatives - this is utterly shredding my nerves, and making dh and I so narky with eachother. And he is off, for work, this morning and won't be back until Wednesday night, so I have got to be able to manage this on my own.

VeryStressedMum Mon 26-Jan-15 10:28:34

My dog had an operation on her leg and had to rest it for 6 weeks or so. She also can't be left on her own if we're at home or she goes mental. The crate was in the kitchen during the day where I spend my day anyway and in the evening she had to come out of the crate and sit in the living room with us. She didn't move but if she did I would have put her on a lead.
She normally sleeps upstairs but we put her bed in the hall downstairs and she stayed there but for the first week or so dh and I took turns to sleep on the sofa to make sure she stayed downstairs. It's definitely not easy but she couldn't have been crated or she would have gone nuts. Hope your ddog is okay x

She's fine at the moment - snoring in her cage, not a bother on her!

I, on the other hand, am a stressed-out, tearful mess. The thought of 3 months of this (because she needs the other knee doing too) is pushing me over the edge.

Sorry.

tabulahrasa Mon 26-Jan-15 12:13:09

When my dog's been on crate rest, his time in the crate is only the same as it is normally, the rest of the time I rearrange the furniture to pen him in but still leaves him out beside us.

I also make sure to give him enough to do that he's tired when I want him to be. I don't leave the cone on when I'm there to supervise so he can chew on things then, which if they're big enough tires him out, lol...and lots of clicker training and games or puzzles that mean he's having to scent things out. (From under cups or out of a puzzle rather than round the room as I'd usually do obviously)

I can't help with the sling thing as it's his front legs that are dodgy.

She's fine during the day - it's night times that have been a nightmare so far.

I have diazepam for her, from the vet - just a low dose to start with, but she is on tramadol for analgesia too, and so together, these should be enough to sedate her.

I've also been in touch with the surgeon who did the operation, and he would be OK with her being confined in a small room overnight - we have to stop her running or jumping, and there's no space or temptation for either in the room I'd use. And I can make it secure (she can open doors, but I have a method of strapping up the door handles with a strap over the door, so she can't open it - I will do that on one door, and block up the other.

I am hoping and praying that a few nights of sedated sleep will get her used to sleeping in the cage - we have got so many weeks to go, with the recovery from this op, and then the second knee op - we cannot manage 12+ weeks of disturbed nights and/or one of us having to sleep downstairs with her.

tabulahrasa Mon 26-Jan-15 13:22:58

Mine has always been crated at night - he was only 16 weeks when his leg went the first time, so night was easy. It was daytime for us that was harder as he just wanted to be with us.

It's hard going either way though, you have my sympathy.

Ours is a rescue dog - she had a couple of litters of puppies, was then reformed to a somewhat unsuitable home, and ended up in the Dogs' Trust, which is where we got her. I expect being crated reminds her if being in the rescue - she is pretty neurotic anyway, and this is probably exacerbating it.

Apparently ACL rupture is something Labradors are prone to, so I am hoping ddog1 doesn't blow hers too. Though she was crated as a puppy, and is a far more laid back dog than ddog2, so I suspect she'd cope better.

I am so glad we have pet insurance - each knee is costing at least £2,500, and that's not taking rehab into account.

tabulahrasa Mon 26-Jan-15 16:31:15

Rotties are prone to cruciate rupture as well...it's about the only thing mine hasn't done yet, so I'm expecting it any day now, lol.

maya10delmar Fri 13-May-16 13:35:00

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