Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

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tabby
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Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

Post by tabby »

Until 6 years ago, I had never heard of this condition and now I'm dealing with it for the 2nd time with the same dog. My little rat terrier is an inveterate squirrel chaser and springs after them with a startling suddenness which according to the veterinarian is partially to blame for her having this problem. In theory, what she needs to do is some sort of canine equivalent of warm up exercises before charging off but clearly another contributing factor is simply a predisposition to it.

It's a slow recovery from the surgery and she'll need to be kept in a controlled environment for 8 weeks. She was 6 years old when she had the 1st knee worked on and now she's 12 years old so I have some concerns about that. She's quite spry and generally nimble and certainly in good health but I'm afraid it will be harder on her nonetheless. The vet gave me some pain medicine for her and I've been giving her that for the last 4 days and now she's putting her foot on the floor and walking on it. I would love to think it was healing itself but I realize it's probably just the medication. Sometimes this injury can heal without surgical intervention and I'm curious if anyone has any experience with that?

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Oscar Namechange
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Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

Post by Oscar Namechange »

Oh Tabby... where do I start LOL

The Terrier we lost to old age some months ago Under went 3 bouts of surgery due to Cruciate Ligament which led to Acute Crepitus. she would have cost us a small fortune had we thankfully not Insured her as a pup.

It started when she was about 7 years old.... a very active little dog all of her life and one day out on a yomp, started limping. It was the Cruciate Ligament and she had surgery as your little dog has.

Everything was fine for a few years until about 2 years later when he knee literally popped out on another walk. Another round of major surgery. The Vet told us that once the ligament goes, a repeat Is often the case.

It went again approx 2 years after that. The vet advised us he could not continue putting her under given her age and this would be the last time he'd risk It... He asked our permission to try something he'd never done before, If he couldn't do It, he'd remove the leg entirely. So, what he did as a last resort and as far as I am aware, had never been tried before, he opened up the leg, Inserted a gel cushion, drilled through the bones and tied the lot together with 25 lb breaking strain fishing wire. It's fair to say that after she recovered her leg looked like a bag of walnuts but finally, It seemed to hold and she could walk without pain although we restricted her from running again.

I wish you the very best of luck.

I will try to find the pics of my dog's surgery later tonight.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. R.L. Binyon
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valerie
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Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

Post by valerie »

Well Tabby I can't add much to Oscar's very informative post, but I have a

couple of caveats: One problem with giving pain meds is the dog feels too

good and does too much too soon. I know, it's a bit of a balancing act

because nobody wants to see their animal in pain, but do consider that

and maybe ask your vet about tapering meds, etc. when you can.

The other thing is, some dogs do better if they can get swim therapy.

I don't know if that would even be an option but thought I'd throw it

out there.

I do know of some dogs that made it fine w/o surgery, but I can't really

give you a percentage or anything.
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Oscar Namechange
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Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

Post by Oscar Namechange »

Can I just add to Valerie's advice that It's crucial as she said, that you don't let your dog do too much.

Usually I am averse to crates but I would strongly advise crating her while she recovers. You need to stop her jumping up for one.

Something else I feel that Is Important Is switch her food to Puppy food. While she's recovering, the last thing she needs Is a high protien diet that Is giving her energy. Switch to either puppy or senior food to cut down protien levels and slowly reIntroduce It as she recovers.

I also switched my dog from leash to harness when I first began walking her after each operation to give me more control of her movements.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. R.L. Binyon
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tabby
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Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

Post by tabby »

Thank you both for your input, I knew I could count on your having experience and/or insight on the subject and I was right!

Oscar, it sounds like your veterinarian had a touch of Rube Goldberg in his soul and your dog was a recipient of his skills. I'm so glad that she was able to walk again and lived to a good age! Did you notice any difference in her recovery time as she got older?

Val, you're so right about it being a fine line with the pain medicine. The problem is that pre-surgery it's bothering her to the point now where she doesn't want to get up. So she's on a medication that eases it somewhat, not enough to have her dancing a jig but enough that she can get up and walk about some. After the first surgery, she was in considerable pain and it almost seemed as though the medicine wasn't strong enough. Ugh ... I'm just going to play it by ear. Her surgery is scheduled for Friday.
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Oscar Namechange
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Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

Post by Oscar Namechange »

Yes... as she got older, the recovery time go slower.

Our Vet was wonderful with her, a Hungarian chap. Couldn't fault his bedside manner and when her time came at 15 years old, It was him who came out to her.

I remember him telling me that Staffordshire Bull terriers are very prone to this condition but my neighbours Rottweiller has just also had surgery for the condition.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. R.L. Binyon
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Oscar Namechange
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Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

Post by Oscar Namechange »

Ah here we go. Knew I had a pic somewhere. I think this was her first round of surgery.

Attached files
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Oscar Namechange
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Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

Post by Oscar Namechange »

How's Your little dog doing Tabby?
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. R.L. Binyon
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tabby
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Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

Post by tabby »

She's doing very well, thank you for asking! :-4 She had her surgery on Friday and stayed at the vet's overnight and we brought her home on Saturday morning. The incision is like the one in your photo and her whole leg & hip are shaved clean. The vet said that her knee was completely blown and her body had started to dispose of the ligament remnants. She now has a little bionic knee!

She'll be spending the next 2 months on the screened-in porch. I put a dog crate out there with her bed in it and she's very comfortable. She gets up and mills around two or three times a day and isn't putting the foot down. She moves gingerly to say the least. She's eating & drinking well so far. I have two medications for her. One is an antibiotic (Cephalexin) and the other is a pain medication (Tramadol). She wags her tail a lot but that may be the medication talking!

She goes back to the vet in 2 weeks to have the stitches taken out.
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Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

Post by Oscar Namechange »

tabby;1425102 wrote: She's doing very well, thank you for asking! :-4 She had her surgery on Friday and stayed at the vet's overnight and we brought her home on Saturday morning. The incision is like the one in your photo and her whole leg & hip are shaved clean. The vet said that her knee was completely blown and her body had started to dispose of the ligament remnants. She now has a little bionic knee!

She'll be spending the next 2 months on the screened-in porch. I put a dog crate out there with her bed in it and she's very comfortable. She gets up and mills around two or three times a day and isn't putting the foot down. She moves gingerly to say the least. She's eating & drinking well so far. I have two medications for her. One is an antibiotic (Cephalexin) and the other is a pain medication (Tramadol). She wags her tail a lot but that may be the medication talking!

She goes back to the vet in 2 weeks to have the stitches taken out.


That's really good news. Jack Russells or Rat Terriers luckily as they are low to the ground can get around of 3 legs quite adeptly until they are ready to put their weight on the leg again.

The good sign Is that she's eating well.

I am so pleased It went well for you. Keep us updated.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. R.L. Binyon
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tabby
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Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

Post by tabby »

Lily had her stitches taken out this afternoon and received an excellent report from the vet! Yay! The wound healed beautifully and she's doing very well. She still isn't trying to put her foot on the ground but she's not supposed to so that's good. Still at least 6 more weeks of confinement on the screened-in porch but hopefully that'll be a cakewalk at this point!
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valerie
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Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

Post by valerie »

Good news, glad to hear it!! Hang in there, mom!

;)
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Oscar Namechange
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Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

Post by Oscar Namechange »

Good news Tabby.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. R.L. Binyon

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