Main > Anterior cruciate injuries (20 replies)
Anterior cruciate injuries
by Get A Real Dog on 17 November 2007 - 02:47
I would really like to hear from anyone (esp working dog people) who has any experience with this type of injury.
My little dog has been injured. I took her to my vet last week who told me it was all in my head. I have used this vet for almost 20 years. They have performed some extrodinary procedures on several of my dogs and have saved them more than once.
I think they really blew it on this one. I know something is severly wrong. I let some people (and now my vet) sway my better judgment. Last night removed all doubt. I have not done anything physically with my dog for almost 6 weeks. Last night she flushed a rabbit and she looked like a 10 year old dog. My dog is very fast and very agile. She could not plant or cut on the leg. The rabbit cut left and she had to make a big half circle to continue.
I got on the internet and it seems as though she has all the symptoms of a torn anterior cruciate. I have an appointment with a different vet tomarrow. This one has orthopedic training.
I believe she either blew out her hip or tore the ACL. In a way I almost hope she blew the hip cuz it will make my decision easier.
So my question is, has anyone had their dog tear their ACL? If so, and you did surgery, what surgical procedure was performed? How much did it cost and how successful was the surgery? Could the dog still do the work?
This is the big question, will the dog still be able to do the work?
by VonIsengard on 17 November 2007 - 03:18
I would highly recommend you contact a rehabilitative veterinarian, it's so important post-op. Where are you from GARD? In my experience this injury is quite plaguey, flaring back up and eventually causing problems in the other leg from compensating. I am no vet, but I have seen a good half dozen dogs with this injury, and that's what I've seen. They were all pets. Thats all the info I can give, sorry I can't be more helpful.
by animules on 17 November 2007 - 03:38
All I can do is send good thoughts your way.
by CaptMike on 17 November 2007 - 03:42
Aye! lad thar be no pleasant answer here. Me seen a bunch o' good dog's careers ended by t' injury. When your dealin' with ligaments t' Vets be few and far between who have knowledge. There be a college in t' Rockies who be experts in t' field, but may be too far for ye t' travel Aye! With this injury, speed be o' t' essence regardin' surgery. AYE!
by Rezkat5 on 17 November 2007 - 04:11
It is a very common injury unfortunately. More so in the Labs/Goldens, where I think there's gotta be some genetic component, because I do not think these dogs are doing anything different than my dogs and my guys probably even more so. Although it is always in the back of my mind! I think to a degree too, that a dog that is in good condition might be less prone to the injury as well. But look at all those football/baseball players that end up with the injury just for doing something seemingly silly. A good vet should be able to feel for a "drawer" sign in the ligament very easily. Sometimes sedation is needed especially if the dog is very tense and very large.
Is the dog three legged lame? It's sad but I've gotten to the point where I can tell almost as soon as they walk through the door if they've torn their ligament.
by workingdawg on 17 November 2007 - 04:56
I have seen four dogs with these type injuries. three of the dogs I know never worked again due to the fact they could not do the jumps. all three of the dogs that never worked again had very bad tears in the ligimets. the fourth dog only had a very minor partial tear and after six months of no activity and alot of crate time the dog finaly returned to training and is looking good. the vets that worked with the three that never worked again did not recommend surgery unless it was absoultly needed. the vets also mentioned that with the surgery there was almost no shot at working again.
sorry about your luck, hope its nothing to bad.
by AKVeronica60 on 17 November 2007 - 05:13
Get A REAL Dog:
I've had a dog with this injury. I had the operation done. A ligament on the side of the knee can be used to rotate around to replace the Anterior Cruciate, IF you have the operation done SOON. If you wait too long, the joint begains to have arthritis and then the boney surfaces resemble coral, jagged, rough, and the operation cannot be performed. There is also another option on how to replace the ligament...I can't remember how it was performed, but a knowledgable veterinarian surgeon should be up on all of the latest techniques. The cost of the ACL repair operation in Alaska, which is often more expensive than elsewhere, was about $1600, which included the cost of 2 sets of xrays needed to see the extent of the damage and the improvement afterwards. The operation was well worth the cost. The dog can continue a useful active life and live quite long. Even without the operation, arthritis will set into the joint and steady it. The dog may not be lame from the arthritis for several years, after which, doggy pain meds might work pretty well. The dog appears to be in the most discomfort directly after the injury.
Your vet can diagnose the injury 100% by manipulating the joint, carefully, and see if he can get it to bend backwards, which would not be possible if the ACL was intact. It's a sickening sight, but buck up, the dog may be well worth saving with an operation.
Good luck ~ Veronica
by AKVeronica60 on 17 November 2007 - 05:16
I forgot to add...I don't think the dog will continue with Schutzhund work, but the dog can go on walks and even go jogging, and perform in other areas is what I was told. ~ Veronica
by eichenluft on 17 November 2007 - 05:43
save your money and time and take her straight to a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. Emphasis on board-certified. They are trained to know what to look for, make the proper diagnostics, and do the surgery. There are different surgical procedures, get the information and make an educated choice based on what your dog needs. Yes, the knee can be repaired and your dog can recover 100% and be able to work - depending on the surgeon, how careful you are with rehab after the surgery, and luck. Good luck.
by WiscTiger on 17 November 2007 - 14:00
Get a Real Dog, There is a Yahoo group called OrthoDogs that has a wealth of information. There are I believe two or three different procedures with this type of injury.
My 1/2 working line and 1/2 showline male, ruptured his at 1 year of age. First thing my Vet told me is he sees this injury in two different groups of dogs, one if the old small lap dog and the other is the young athletic dog. There is a physical test called the "Drawer test" where the pick up the dogs back leg and move it back and up. If the ACL is damaged this will cause pain or discomfort to the dog and physically the leg can't move that way. My male would run with very little problems (huge ball drive) but when standing or walking he pulled the foot up and wouldn't bear weight on it.
I felt very comfortable with having my vet do the surgery, in my area there are no Ortho's close plus were are loaded with hunting dogs, so he did this procedure about 3 or 4 times a year. I had what is now considered old technology so to speak, they replaced the ACL with a synthetic one, my males recovery time was a bit longer than normal as he tore out 3 of the 4 Miniscus (sp) cartledge type material that acts as shock absorbers and stabilizers for the knee.
Post surgery rehab is important, you don't want to rush the process. My male was limited to on leash potty walks to start and over the length of 8 weeks building up to 2 walks of 2 or 3 miles each on grass or non packed snow. I live in WI and there were no therapy pools around at that time and this was in January. Then off leash excercise easy retrieves, did a lot of gaiting, not full out running. Then in the spring the best thing I did was let him play with his favorite female, she is small and quick, so she helped on getting him moving better.
Also post surgery is the best joint supplement you can find. I was not happy with the results from the Cosiquin that the Vet sold me. First there is a small percentage of dogs that can't handle the Chondroitin, because it causes GI upset. So I found a supplement that worked for him.
Side note I talked with a breeder and trainer for K-9 Units and he said that a few of the K-9 dogs have had ACL injury, no surgery, just rest. They will limp and get arthritis as they age, but the depatments can't afford to wash a yound dog out.
by Get A Real Dog on 17 November 2007 - 17:45
Thanks guys for the info and nice thoughts. I don't know anything for sure yet but I am pretty sure this is the problem. She shows all the symptoms I have found on the net.
I don't know if the vet I am seeing is board certified. All of the "best of the best" around here are referal only. Realistically I cant afford the "best of the best" anyway. What I do know is I had three people I know and two vets tell me they have had success with this clinic on orthopedic cases. The doctor i am seeing is the "knee guy" per the receptionist, he owns GSD's, and they are his breed, so that was the best I could do.
I have made my decision. If I can get the surgery done for $1500 and the doctor says the dog can come back 75% and we can do the work at low levels or for fun, I will do it and keep her as a potential brood bitch.
This is the shitty thing about shooting for top level sport. You go out and try to find the best. Who can handle these dogs? Working dog people or some type of experienced sport dog person. These people don't want an injured dog. So what percentage of the general population can deal with these dogs? 5-10%? It becomes an ethical thing for me, the dog, a potential owner, and the general public. I have put bitework on this dog. I have always said if it is within my power; no dog I have trained will ever hurt someone who didn't deserve it. Most people I know outside those who don't train bitework just don't understand.
I try to be pragmative about these things. She is the third dog I have been through since I have tried to get back in the game. The others I didn't let myself get too attached. I really like this little dog and had big plans for her. My attitude has always been if the dog does not have the temperment or the physical soundness for the work; that is just the way it is. The thing is, I caused this. She came back OFA good on the pre-lims. I started teaching her the technique for the long jump. This one time, I thew the ball up to high instead of out. She jumped straight up and the leg crumpled. If I have to put my dog down becouse of my mistake, I think I will beat myself in the head with a brick.
Well enough of my sad story and boo hooing. I shared this for advise from people who may understand. For those who want to judge me, please keep you comments to yourself, I don't need them. Thank you to those who have given me info and kind thoughts.
by kiwigirl on 17 November 2007 - 18:08
I hope your pup gets better, and don't beat yourself up about causing the injury, mistakes happen, if we don't make mistakes then we don't learn, you weren't to know that this would happen. not your fault.
by Abhay on 17 November 2007 - 18:30
You give yourself far too much credit regarding the accident. The fact is, you had nothing to do with it. You could throw the ball higher ten thousand times and it would probably never happen again. It was a freak type accident. She might have sprung or braced from a gap or soft spot in the ground, since you seem to think it happened on her initial take off.
The more we play with our dogs, or work our dogs, the odds are there, that some accident can happen. I saw a top Greyhound win a $10,000, Speciality Race one weekend. Two weeks later the same dog was bumped around the first turn and stepped in a soft spot in the track and blew his ACL on the spot. It wasn't anyones fault. Its just something that happens.
The really sad thing is, that both with humans and dogs, these type of accidents usually occur under simple circumstances, rather than in some type of dramatic competition.
by Kalibeck on 17 November 2007 - 18:34
My son's mixed breed had this injury, had the surgery, wound up having to have the entire joint resurfaced, it was wildly expensive, but the main point I want to make was that their vet stressed that most dogs don't do well after the surgery, injure the compensating leg, if the rehab isn't carefully controlled. Their vet had them sling carry the dog (who was 6 years old) to go out & potty, and absolute crate rest for 6 weeks, & then slowly started rehab, & then reconditioning. Now (almost a year later), she's as good as new. But it was a lot of work, & their dog is just a pet, but they are serious hikers, so the dog was , and is again, very active....for what it's worth! jackie harris ps, the dog was on morphine for pain right after surgery, and on pain meds for a while at home, to make sure she didn't fuss with it, as well as to insure her comfort, just a side note.
by WiscTiger on 17 November 2007 - 21:48
Get A Real Dog. You can't control all things that happen to dogs. I can tell you exactly when my male tore his ACL, it was playing ball. Guess what we still play ball, he lives and dies to play ball.
I can't tell you if you dog will be able to do jumps, I would think lower level jumps would be some thing she could do down the line. My male is HUGE, an honest 110 lbs on the Vet scale and only 1 CM over height and you can feel all of his ribs. So jumping was never anything I really taught him. He will go airborn to get the ball and land on his back legs first, I cringe a little, but he has not reinjured the leg and the other leg and hip are fine.
I can only give you my experience with the type of surgery my male had, but 2 days after surgery he was putting his toe down to see if he could carry weight on that leg. We followed the rehab instructions and almost three years after surgery all is still well.
by Get A Real Dog on 17 November 2007 - 22:01
What procedure was performed?
by WiscTiger on 17 November 2007 - 22:55
GARD, I don't know the medical name, but they replaced the ACL with a synthetic one, not a wire one. We discussed the repair option if it isn't completely ruptured where they over sew the tear. But I told them I wanted to go for the replacement. I was told on another board that this is old type procedure, now they shave the bones and remodel.
Get a good evaluation and did you look for the yahoo group called Ortho dogs. You can do a lot of research beofre your Ortho Eval.
by Get A Real Dog on 18 November 2007 - 20:27
Went to see the vet last night. He did the ACL test, OFA hip view and two views of the leg from top to bottom. He can't find anything wrong. This is a very large clinic and he says he sees 3-4 ACL injuries a month. He is going to show the x-rays at rounds to all th other vets,the radiologist, and the surgeon.
This is good news, but what the hell is wrong with my dog?
I am going to try to post her hips @ 8 months and the ones we took last night so you all can give your opinions.
Thanks for the help and info. Anyone (Rezkat5)? or others in the medical field have any other ideas?
by eichenluft on 18 November 2007 - 21:09
ACL injuries and other ligament injuries often cannot be seen on x-ray. takes specialized equipment and the know-how of vets who know what to look for sometimes to diagnose it. My vet - a board-certified ortho surgeon, could get no drawer on the knee, but suspected the knee anyway even though my dog was 100% sound except when she tried to jump up. Very detailed digital x-rays showed that the "fat pac" was dislodged, indicating a partial tear of the ACL. The x-rays did not show the tear.
by Get A Real Dog on 19 November 2007 - 16:15
The X-rays were from state of the art technology, I was amazed at the clarity and detail. I have talked to K9 officer that told me a doctor (who I have been told by many is the best in the area) he will take me without a referral because I am a cop trying to make K9. I am going to call and see if he will see me. I will bring all my x-rays and see what he says.
How long was your dog down with the injury? What did you have to do?