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Cruciate support thread

(56 Posts)
FiveHoursSleep Mon 28-Nov-16 22:24:06

I know there are a few of us with dogs at various stages of recovery, so I thought I might start a specific thread to help the days go faster.
Our boy is day 5 post op. He is a 3 (?) yo rescue ( lab/ husky X) from Ireland and started going lame after lying down about 8 weeks ago. He had a TPLO on both hind legs last Wednesday and is in a crate/ on a lead for the next 6 weeks when we have an appointment for Xrays on the 4th January.
Right now he's having 5 minute walks a few times a day ( sheet said up to 4 walks but surgeon said as many as we want as long as they are slow and quiet and on lead). He's not eating much but he has pooed twice.
He has no sutures to come out so we've managed to avoid the collar of shame so far.
He can home with a pain patch which came off today, he finishes his antibiotics tomorrow but he's got at least another week of pain killers to go.
He seems very comfortable walking although he's obviously sore when he gets up and sits down.The big difficulty is keeping him quiet even in the crate.
What stage are your cruciate dogs at?

Bubble2bubble Tue 29-Nov-16 17:12:33

Ddog was four weeks post op on Friday. He had a TTA, and an incredibly clean cosmetic wound with no stitches and that part doesn't seem to have bothered him at all. He only had a week of painkillers and 10 days antibiotics.

He thinks he is absolutely fine and ready to go running again...The vet has said no further than the grass for a wee and then into the house again.

Realistically I am probably taking him out about 5-6 times a day and now at the point that I let him have a bit of an (onlead) wander and sniff in the garden which makes him a happier. Yesterday he managed to slip his collar when someone walked past and ran off to jump up at the wall....aaagh! He seems to have survived though..... I may have screamed

Keeping him in an indoor pen failed miserably by day 5 when I caught him trying to climb out. He now has free run of the house as long as it's quiet and the other dogs are messing about trying to play with him.

He looks incredibly good though and to the untrained eye looks completely normal. I am doing physio with him - bending and straightening his knee and he was still walking slightly stiffly to 'save ' it.

Vet appointment tomorrow for another check and a Calcium (?) injection.

FiveHoursSleep Tue 29-Nov-16 18:30:46

How old is your dog? Did he do something specific to injure his leg.
Our boy is really bouncy but didn't do anything in particular. Our surgeon said that some dogs ( esp Labs, LabXs) just have cruciates that 'go'.
When they looked at his when he was asleep, one was 80% gone but the other was only 10% damaged. It was cheaper to get both done at the same time.

Bubble2bubble Tue 29-Nov-16 19:02:30

He is nearly four, retriever collie cross x. He came to me at about 10 months in quite poor condition, so no idea if he had done anything in particular to damage his knees in that time, but suspect poor diet and generally being allowed to run free on the roads didn't exactly help sad

I went to the vet because he was limping on is left leg, but while we were resting him and thinking about surgery he ruptured his right cruciate. The vet had said both were likely to rupture, though on xray the left looked worse. Presume he will need the other one done as well but we might get a few months respite before that happens. I can see the advantage of doing both at once.

FiveHoursSleep Tue 29-Nov-16 23:19:40

We ummed and ahhed about whether it was fair to do both at once, but F seems quite comfortable.
Also only one recovery period is appealing.
The surgeon who did our dog diagnosed the ruptures by arthroscopy but could tell that the L one was mostly gone before he took a look.
He diagnosed the problem by xray to begin with as we'd all thought he had hip pain!
The first dog we got as a family was a retriever collie X. He was a fantastic dog.

Bubble2bubble Wed 30-Nov-16 09:45:00

I think you've done the right thing. From what I've read it is more likely than not that both will go if the weakness is there.
I also presumed hip pain with our boy as it's unusual to see a retriever around here who does have sound hips...but the vet said straightaway just by examination that ddog's knees were not good. When I googled he had all the classic symptoms - couldn't sit, ( had to throw himself into a lying position ) couldn't get up from lying down etc
On the plus side the xrays showed his hips are surprisingly good!

Groovester Wed 30-Nov-16 09:55:17

Our 1yr old Fox Terrier is also 5 days post op. He's still hopping but is a lot stronger and faster getting up out of his cage already. He's on a chewable antibiotic and tramadol for pain relief. Follow up vet appointment is tomorrow. Incision looks clean but he is itching at the shaved area. Issues with lack of poop although on my daily trawl of the back garden I did find a couple so he's been stealth pooping again grin

FiveHoursSleep Wed 30-Nov-16 10:31:38

Our Ddog's hips are okay on Xray too. The first other vet I saw agreed it was probably hips and neither of us noticed the very subtle signs on the knees.
The specialist picked these up and by the time we got to see him 10 days later it was obvious.
I was just relieved it wasnt his spine as he had an episode on being so sore on both his hind legs that he was walking on his front only, like a handstand!
What sort of physiotherapy are you doing?

Bubble2bubble Wed 30-Nov-16 10:39:57

Just a very gentle fully bending and stretching the leg, 10-12 times a time when he is lying down relaxed. I think the idea is to keep as much movement in the joint as possible - fully stretching out is not something he would naturally do during normal wandering about. Would love to get hime to hydrotherapy but it's 1.5 hrs drive away ( in fact now with Christmas traffic across city more like over 2 hours+ ) so not sure yet if that's going to happen.

FiveHoursSleep Wed 30-Nov-16 13:31:46

There are some physiotherapists around here but none do direct claims and we are pretty skint at this time of year ( Xmas plus 3 birthdays = bad family planning!)
Surgeon said no swimming until 6-8 weeks so I will have another think about that in the new year.
I was told to ice the wounds but I can't get near him with an icecube without him leaping all over the place, which can't be good for his legs.

Bubble2bubble Wed 30-Nov-16 18:10:30

Ice the wounds?? Goodness I can't imagine that ending well?! Maybe one of those cool packs you put in the fridge could be soothing though.

Ddog had his checkup this evening and they are really pleased with him. He is cleared to start on short lead walks and if that goes well may be off lead in another two weeks smile

FiveHoursSleep Wed 30-Nov-16 19:30:11

What kind of surgery did he have?
We are up to 10 minute walks from tomorrow- but only on the lead. It'll be nice to be able to go further than the corner of the road.
Re the ice cubes, the physio said not to use cold packs as they are too cold but ice melts at a temperature that doesn't call problems.

Bubble2bubble Thu 01-Dec-16 17:31:25

He had a TTA. I had read that the recovery is good, but still think it was kind of amazing to be weightbearing by the next day.
I just know the first time I let him off the lead he will leg it into the woods, which will be so nerve-wracking...

Groovester Thu 01-Dec-16 18:50:34

Dog got post op check today and vet seemed very pleased with him. The ligament/joint is back to bring solid - no movement and he was pleased to see that dog is putting some weight on bad leg at this early stage. All good thus far!

Bubble2bubble Thu 01-Dec-16 20:37:18

Well done groovsterdog! Good to get the first checkup over smile

Groovester Thu 01-Dec-16 21:12:17


FiveHoursSleep Fri 02-Dec-16 19:21:33

Well done Grooverster dog.
Our dog fell over on the kitchen floor yesterday sad and is a bit limpy. Still weight bearing though.
I do wonder when he'll be able to sit more comfortably though.

Bubble2bubble Fri 02-Dec-16 21:26:29

Ah no! Poor fivehoursdog. If he's still weight bearing hopefully there's no damage done.
ddog started sitting after about a week or so, Quite strange as I hadn't seen him in a 'sit' position for months.I still have loads of non slip vet bed and rugs everywhere ( doggie doss house look ) as he can't get up from a slippery floor easily, but is fine from a rug.

FiveHoursSleep Sat 03-Dec-16 08:52:07

He seems much better today thank goodness. I know that it would be difficult to damage the plate as it's stronger than the bone it's attached to, but we lost a dog after a couple of orthopedic surgeries last year, so I'm a bit paranoid.
I don't want him having more procedures than he needs to.

KinkyAfro Sat 03-Dec-16 22:02:52

Good to hear all your stories. My dog had TTA this time last year, she recovered really well and is doing great on that leg. Sadly she's started holding her other leg the same way prior to the OP so she's booked in tomorrow so hopefully will be referred back to specialist soon

FiveHoursSleep Sun 04-Dec-16 00:41:46

Oh no Kinky. That's a bummer but sadly very common as far as I can tell.
My recommendation is don't let your normal vet do Xrays if you can swing it, go straight to the specialist as they will just repeat them ( at your expense)!

Bubble2bubble Sun 04-Dec-16 08:49:19

Poor kinky dog sad Great that she's done so well though.
I am fairly sure ddog will have the same thing next year, but I guess second time round you can be more confident about the procedure.

KinkyAfro Sun 04-Dec-16 20:49:29

Thanks both, our vet will refer straight to specialist when the time comes so should do it again. Poor girl has elbow dysplasia in both front legs too so hoping she's strong enough for recovery. Her weight went up to 42 kg pre- surgery last time and we've now got her back to 30 kg so that should help

FiveHoursSleep Sun 04-Dec-16 22:25:06

That is a good weight loss. What breed is she?
Ddog hoovers around 28kg, so I need to keep an eye on his weight while he's confined.

KinkyAfro Mon 05-Dec-16 08:24:17

She's a chocolate lab Five, big chunky one

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