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Cruciate damage - any experience?

(12 Posts)
honeyroar Sun 18-Oct-15 22:24:46

Just wondering if anyone had any experiences, particularly in older dogs.

My lab has been quite lame suddenly, and the vet saw her today. He says he think she's snapped her cruciate ligament. She is 9 1/2. He says he can feel a lot of arthiritic changes in her knees and hips, so he doesn't think it's worth putting her through an operation as she would likely be lame again in the near future anyway. He's going to X-Ray her tomorrow to check for sure. He says she will go onto Metacam (?) and another drug to hopefully stop the pain and that if we cut all exercise out and slow her life down she could live quite happily and cope.

I'm just a bit gutted for her (and us). She's been such a happy, outdoorsy family pet and still loves walks and swimming. She hasn't a grey hair on her, I'd thought she was ageing well!

Also how do I cope taking the other two younger dogs out when she has to stay behind looking so sad? My MIL's care home have said I can take her to visit their old folk, which doggy will adore.

Bit shocked and fed up tonight...

Toomuch2young Mon 19-Oct-15 13:25:56

See if you can find a veterinary Physio that offers laser therapy, underwater treadmill, and other things. These will help relive pain, build muscle and generally help her out. 9 year old is also definately not too old for a cruciate repair of conservative management isn't helping.
Is also loads you can do for arthritis,managing weight, gentle exercises, epa fatty acids (oily fish three times a week). Don't let that vet say that's it for her! So much can be done now.

honeyroar Mon 19-Oct-15 14:19:16

Hi thanks, we've xrayed today and had a chat. The vet thinks her hips are not as bad as he thought they would be, so that's positive. She's going onto Metacam from tomorrow and we're going to get another 4 kilos off her and see how we go on with light exercise. When she comes to the end of this bottle we will either carry on if it's working or operate. She's got about 12 weeks of Metacam in the bottle. I'm searching for hydrotherapy (which she will love as she's a proper water loving lab) too. I'm feeling a bit more positive than I did yesterday..

SparklyTinselTits Mon 19-Oct-15 14:22:40

Aww your poor pup sad
My mums Jack Russell had this problem a few years ago (he was 11 at the time). He took a tumble and ruptured his cruciate ligament. Ended up costing £4000 in surgeries!
Hope your fur baby can be helped with pysio and hydrotherapy! Much nicer for her smile

Cheerfulmarybrown Mon 19-Oct-15 15:56:41

I am not a vet so not talking from any scientific background BUT I have had dogs and worked with dogs that have had damages cruciate ligament - all where operated on and all made a good recovery.

I would not be happy with your vets opinion. I would want to have a second opinion from a specialist vet. Cruciate will not get better with rest and you can waste weeks on rest and then still have to have the surgery and again have weeks of crate rest.

At 9 your lab has a lot more running swimming to do - i guess she is overweight if the vet is recommending losing weight and that of course will help joints etc. DO get a second opinion my experience have been very different to what your vet is suggesting.

Physio and Hydro will not heal cruciate ligament tears

Wolfiefan Mon 19-Oct-15 16:00:09

I walk a small terrier that's older than your dog. He had a cruciate repair. Amazing. He went from refusing to put weight on the leg to running! He will never be able to walk for miles and miles but his quality of life is so much better.
Whereabouts are you? Maybe someone knows a hydrotherapy centre.

honeyroar Mon 19-Oct-15 16:05:34

No, you're right, nothing will heal a cruciate ligament other than surgery. It may build up the area around it and help the stability of the leg..

She's not hugely overweight, this is her, but he just wants her as skinny as we can get her to avoid excess stress on the joint.

I really appreciate your opinion, and am taking it onboard, that's why I posted. But I do like this vet, he's treated and operated on our pets for years, and does seem to know when to and when not to, so I do value his opinion too. Were your animals big and heavy types too? I think the vet's opinion really stems from the fact that there's a lot of arthritic changes in the stifle area, so there could be more lameness to come if we keep her charging around... I don't know.

honeyroar Mon 19-Oct-15 16:08:32

This is her today..

Greyhorses Mon 19-Oct-15 18:58:18

I have seen hundreds and hundreds of dogs having cruciates and the majority of dogs do very well with surgery, even older dogs depending on which surgery is done. Cage rested ones often struggle especially large breeds, the only ones I have seen that have coped have been small breeds and my friend who is an ortho specialist nearly always operates on anything heavier than about 10-15kg unless there's a major reason not too.

That being said, if she has arthritis she may struggle with recovery and being on 3 legs. I would be tempted to wait a few weeks and see how she goes...but I personally think 12 weeks is too long to leave a dog lame before considering surgery.

honeyroar Mon 19-Oct-15 19:37:50

Thanks, Greyhorses, will bear that in mind.

Cheerfulmarybrown Mon 19-Oct-15 20:05:29

Oh a lovely chocolate!

I used to work with training dogs for the disabled (don't want to be too specific as it will out me!) so a lot of labs and goldies. They were the ones I was referring to that had the surgery.

I didn't mean to sound I was running down your vet - we were lucky to be nearish to Fitzpatricks so he did all the surgeries - the dogs would recover well and for the long term. Many back to their working jobs as assistance dogs some elderly ones enjoyed their active retirement. We found the specialist vets were able to help diagnose why the cruciate had ruptured, sometimes due to hip issues, sometimes spinal and this all help to prevent injury to the other leg. Our general vet was not able to do this but that is no reason to believe yours can't.

Many came out of surgery and would stand on the operated leg to pee - scared the hell out of mesmile

Good luck and I hope you dog feels better soon.

Re managing with a dog on restricted exercise we used a doggy hut trailer and took our injured dog along with us. We allowed them to walk the allowed amount then pushed them the rest.

honeyroar Mon 19-Oct-15 20:28:50

Thanks Cheerful, I'm probably a bit prickly as my head's all over the place and I don't know what to think really. Hearing other people's experiences helps.

That sounds interesting, training aid dogs. This one would have been fantastic for something like that, she adores people (much more than other dogs) and learns tricks/shortcuts very easily. One of my plans for her while she's not allowed on exercise with the other dogs is to take her to my MIL's carehome and let meet the residents. She will sit with her head on laps and give paws all day, which should be nice for them too.

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