Dog Has Torn ACL, Needs Surgery....... Who's Been Through It?

   / Dog Has Torn ACL, Needs Surgery....... Who's Been Through It? #21  
My labrador tore her ACL 3 years ago at age 9. I elected not to pursue surgery for her because 1) she has medical issues that would have complicated the surgery and recovery, 2) the cost was too high, and 3) she would not have done well with the forced confinement of 6-8 weeks following the surgery. I tried out the brace mentioned in a previous post. My dog shut down whenever I placed it on her. So, I elected to just limit her activities for several months...allowing her to gradually adjust to the torn ACL on her own. At first she was quite gimpy and unsteady. But, after a few weeks she was doing much better. She runs around my property without any problem. She climbs stairs and jumps onto furniture with no problems. I will never take her on very long hikes anymore. But, she still goes for walks in the woods, swims, and plays with younger dogs. The vets seem to feel a need to always treat torn ACL's with surgery. The vets do not offer the alternative I took which is to just let the dog heal up itself as much as possible. If you do an internet search on natural healing for torn ACL, you will find much more information regarding this approach. Good luck.
 
   / Dog Has Torn ACL, Needs Surgery....... Who's Been Through It?
  • Thread Starter
#22  
I want to add a few comments.................

Our Vet is going to do the surgery in-house. He told us operations to repair ACLs is the third most common surgery he sees.....after spaying and neutering. He says he has weeks where he may do four or five in a week. My understanding is, he opens the dog's leg and puts in a 'synthetic' ACL to take the place of the torn original. It sounds as if this is a different repair than some of you have had done? Could someone explain the differences?

Max is seven years old...... and there is no option to NOT have his leg fixed. Up until his injury, he has spent every day with me. If you have met me, you've met Max. I might think twice about it if he were twelve, but we certainly feel he has several good years left in him (hopefully more). Seeing him limp around probably hurts me more than it hurts him !
 
   / Dog Has Torn ACL, Needs Surgery....... Who's Been Through It? #23  
Using a synthetic ACL is definately different than the procedure done to Belle years ago. If there's no other choice then you have to do it. At seven years, he has a long life ahead of him.
 
   / Dog Has Torn ACL, Needs Surgery....... Who's Been Through It? #24  
Our previous Lab ended up having the operation done three times (one leg twice -- I told the vet to use heavier test fishing line the second time:eek:)
Expensive but the things we do for our dogs:eek:
Dog recovered nicely all three times and we controlled his activity carefully afterward
 
   / Dog Has Torn ACL, Needs Surgery....... Who's Been Through It? #25  
I wish you and your dog well, Ductape.

Years ago I heard my Lab yelp like never before and just like that...he was on 3 legs.

Had the surgery done and he recovered very well. It cost $1000 way back then.

When my dog hurts...It Hurts Me Too.

I have a serious mental disfunction...I love dogs waay more than people.:confused2:
 
   / Dog Has Torn ACL, Needs Surgery....... Who's Been Through It? #26  
I have a Blue Picardy Spaniel that had a TPLO on both knees when she was 3. We took her to a vet osteopathic surgeon for the procedure. The first time he said she would probably blow out the other knee, and sure enough, she did. He said the pain was from a tear in the patellar meniscus.

5 years later, I would say she has recovered about 90% function in both legs. She doesn't run quite so hard now, but doesn't show any sign of pain either. We don't restrict her activity in any way. I would say the operation was a 100% success. Expensive, though, about $2000 each.
 
   / Dog Has Torn ACL, Needs Surgery....... Who's Been Through It? #27  
I tried out the brace mentioned in a previous post. My dog shut down whenever I placed it on her.

Thats a shame, all dogs are different. Ours actually likes the brace, he quickly learned with the brace that means "off the leash" time to run and play. Without the brace he is walked on leash to prevent re-injury to what has already healed quite a bit with the brace stabilizing the stifle.
 
   / Dog Has Torn ACL, Needs Surgery....... Who's Been Through It? #28  
Something else to investigate for the repair/rehab of injuries is Stem Cell Replacement Therapy. We have a Chocolate Lab that at 6 months old developed Elbow Displasia on both front legs. As an alternative to surgery we elected the Stem Cell treatment. Now at 2 years old she shows no symptoms of the displasia.

A few months ago she was broadsided by a Rottweiler at the dog park and blew out her MCL in a hind leg. Instead of surgery we got her a brace and after using it for a month or so she does pretty well with out it. We do use it at the dog park though.

We are now scheduling an injection of the stem cells into that leg to help with repairing the damage. We'll wee how that goes.

Dog Stem Cell | Vet-Stem | Arthritis | Tendon Ligament Joint | Horse Cat | San Diego | Equine | Canine | VetCell

Disclaimer - no connection with the company just a happy customer.

Jack
 
   / Dog Has Torn ACL, Needs Surgery....... Who's Been Through It? #29  
We have a cocker spaniel that had a partially torn ACL and opted to go without the surgery. After about 5 months he has finally returned to his active lifestyle. We have a wonderful vet who also provided a consultation with a vet orthopedic surgeon as well. Both felt that in our situation as the Jack did not appear in a great deal of pain to let it be. lots of crate rest and on a leash constantly, also no stairs. We were provided all of our options including doing nothing, TPLO, and the monofilament approach, and given pros and cons of all. In the end I think we made the right decision. It has been a long road back but we fell that putting the little guy under for surgery as little as possible is the best route. Good luck to all of you that are going through this, it can be frustrating to see your active buddies slowed down for a while
 
   / Dog Has Torn ACL, Needs Surgery....... Who's Been Through It?
  • Thread Starter
#30  
Well, today is the big day. Please wish us luck !!

IMG_3551.jpg
 
 
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