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DDog torn cruciate ligament :-(

(10 Posts)
DontBuyANewMumCashmere Wed 23-Mar-16 12:04:33

My lovely boy tore it somehow yesterday. Probably rough housing with other DDog although I suspect it's been getting worse over time.
He can't put any weight on it and is really not himself. We have xray tomorrow just to rule anything else out, then will need surgery to fit a metal plate in his leg, after Easter now.
My poorly boy!
Does anyone have any experience with this?

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Wed 23-Mar-16 12:14:45

He's the black one.

puffylovett Wed 23-Mar-16 12:26:20

I've torn my own, but not the dog. She did however tear her meniscus when she was about 7, the vet did something amazing (operated) and she had a long and happy life with no problems at all.
I don't think that's much help, other than to say that whatever they did was marvellous and thank god for insurance grin

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Wed 23-Mar-16 15:04:05

Not personally but a friend's 7 year old Goldie is now recovering well from his cruciate surgery, he is back to off lead walks and you would never know he'd had surgery.

Ddog2 (a rescue pointer-labrador cross) ruptured both cruciates towards the end of 2014. She is back to full fitness now, but it has been a long road - I am going to tell you the full story, but it is very unlikely that your dog's surgery and recovery will be anywhere near as long and protracted as ddog2's. And whilst she has had a long and problematic 14+ months, she is now fully recovered.

The first knee was operated on in January 2015, at the Vet Hospital in Glasgow - it was a fairly new surgery, called a tightrope procedure, where a braided cord was threaded through holes in the bottom of the tibia and the top of the femur - this stabilises the joint, allowing scar tissue to form that will support the knee long term.

Following this she had 6 weeks of cage rest, with gradually increasing exercise, and 9 weeks post-op, she had the second knee done - this time it was a different surgeon, and his choice of surgery was a TPLO - tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (where a wedge of bone is taken out to change the geometry of the joint) - and then went back on cage rest for 10 weeks - it should have been only 6, but where the bony wedge had been taken out, the bone did not heal as fast as they would have liked, so she was kept on restricted exercise and cage rest for longer..

By the middle of summer she was finally able to start exercising normally, and had a couple of months of gradually increasing exercise, but in October last year, she dislocated a kneecap - this is a very, very rare problem after the knee surgeries - but it could just be that she has always had dodgy knees - we don't know. Anyhow, she had a third operation, to resite the kneecap and make sure it wouldn't come out again - and went back into the cage for another period of cage rest.

This was complicated when she developed an ulcer, as a result of the painkillers she was put on, when the knee dislocated - and her knee took longer to heal than the surgeons expected. However, she came out of the cage at Christmas, and has been building up her fitness and stamina, and her level of exercise ever since.

I won't lie, it was a pretty dreadful year - for her and for us - but I can tell you it was ALL worth it. She is running so well - no pain, no problems with her gait, back to full stamina, and completely happy.

It is my understanding that the three operations that are routinely used are all pretty similar, when it comes to outcome - we had two of the three, and both knees are fully functional and pain-free again.

The immediate post-op period is not easy - 6 weeks of cage rest, first two weeks in a cone of shame, and you need to use a sling under the dog's tummy to support them when they go out to do their business for at least the first two weeks - especially if you have hard floors that they might slip on, or if they have to go up or down steps to get to the garden.

Ddog2 hated doing her business on the lead in the garden, so we made a little temporary toilet enclosure for her, and I had to walk her out (with the sling and on a short lead), help her up the steps to the lawn, and then let her into the enclosure - then reverse the process to take her back to her cage.

I was worried that she would fret and be bored in the cage - she is a highly strung, energetic (somewhat neurotic) dog, but after the first three nights, she was fine (though we did have to resort to Valium to get through those first three nights). It is worth getting as big a cage as you can manage - when the dog has the cone on, it makes getting them in and out easier, plus as they recover, they can move a little bit in the cage, which is better for them.

We put the cage in the front room, so ddog2 could see me if I was in the office or dining room, during the morning, and then I spent the afternoons in there, keeping her company.

You end up having to do lots of little walks too - 2 weeks after each op ddog2 started having two 10 minute walks a day - going up to 2x15 minutes the next week, 2x20 the week after, etc etc.

MyBreadIsEggy Wed 23-Mar-16 15:39:50

My mums dog was running down the stairs once with a toy in his mouth, tripped head over-heels and smashed into the wall at the bottom sad ruptured his cruciate ligament. To make it even worse, our local pet insurance company had just gone bust and we hadn't got round to changing it to another provider yet. So £6000 and an operation later, he was right as rain! He had some kind of artificial ligament put into his leg. Took a few weeks for him to be able to walk properly on it (a back leg), and he had a few doggy hydro-therapy sessions, but within 6 months you would never had known he had had an accident!
Hope your pupstar gets better soon!!

cheerfulmary Wed 23-Mar-16 16:22:41

My own dog damaged his cruciate. He had surgery by Noel Fitzpatricks team. He had the TTA procedure. Was standing on the leg to pee 24 hours later!. He did need crate rest and then restricted exercise but is now fully recovered. He was unhappy on his first night home and was subdued for a while which made crate rest easier but soon was back to himself.

We did loads of crate games, lots of bones to chew and filled kongs to amuse him. We also bought a dog buggy so he could come out with us but still be resting his leg. He is a big lab so no way we could carry him smile

It did seem like a big thing at the time but looking back it was manageable and I would not hesitate to have surgery if needed to again - the outcome for us has been fantastic

Cheerfulmary - after each of her operations, ddog2 was partially weight bearing within 24 hours of the operation - that stunned me!

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Fri 25-Mar-16 19:11:16

Thanks all, lots of useful stuff here

honeyroar Mon 28-Mar-16 19:42:57

Just to add a different angle, my lab bitch damaged her cruciate at the end of September. We didn't have insurance. We xrayed her and the vet noticed a fair bit of arthritis in her stifle on both legs. He advised not to operate, especially as she was 9, but to put her on metacam, rest, get as much weight off as possible and see how she goes. I posted a thread on here and most people thought we should operate, it was a bit of a guilt trip. However, six months on and she is doing superbly. She went from 35 to 30 kilos, looks sleek and well. She's walking, trotting and cantering around sound. We have semi retired her, so we don't do walks over half a mile with her now, (she was slowing down a lot on longer walks anyway, and stiff the next day) but she hurtles round with our other dogs on those walks. She's still on metacam but very low amounts now. I'm really pleased with how she's doing.

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