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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Old dog but still wants to run and is now limping!

Hello all,

I'm new to the group. My doberman Tyson is super sweet and friendly, he's always had a huge puppy just loves to play and run after a ball.

Recently he was in a lot of pain so I brought him to a Vet. They think it's a torn ligament in his leg but need to sedate him to be sure. He is now 10 years old. I can't get him to be calm and act like an older dog?

A long walk now has him limping. The surgery would be $4000 minimum. I've already had a $5000 surgery when he swallowed a toy a few years ago.

Any recommendations? Bandage or brace options? Any homeopathic options for my guy?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 02:28 PM
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James, if it is a torn cruciate ligament, I only know surgery to help. If it is partially torn, the care is the same basically. You keep him crated unless he goes outside for potty breaks, on leash and then back inside and crated to see if it might heal. You have to be very strict and consistent for nearly 12 weeks.
Otherwise, surgery is/has always been successful in our case. Three of our dogs have had the surgery (not Doberman, but Staffordshire Bull Terriers).
Yes, I could weep with you about cost. We counted $10K in vet bills last year.

"Lots of people talk to animals...Not very many listen, though...That's the problem. " ~ The Tao of Pooh
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 04:47 PM
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Dobebug here on the forum had an older dog (who just recently passed at the age of 14) with a partial cruciate tear--I hope she'll chime in here with her experience. But if not, here is an old post of hers which may give you some info:
Quote:
Originally Posted by dobebug View Post
I absolutely agree with Mary Jo--hind end weakness in aging dogs (particularly bigger, active dogs) is common. I have a dog who is now 13 years 8 months--he ran agility until he was nearly 10 when we retired him. In his 11th year I noticed that he was kicking is left knee out when he sat--checked it out because I suspected it was going to a partial cruciate tear--it was and his vet, his orthopedist and I agreed that at his age and considering the surgery necessary to fix it and the follow up exercise regime that it wasn't in the books.

So he's on pain meds--the cruciate tear was a little worse a year and a half after we first saw and identified it. He doesn't limp--he has learned to climb and descend stairs one at a time (his former method was a huge jump from the top or bottom hitting the stairs about three times to get either up or down)l About the time he turned 12 he stopped being able to jump into the back of my truck--so now he rides in style in a friends van basking on a big padded area behind the driver--sometimes I go with him and sometimes I don't.

We just take this stuff as it comes along. And about the business of tail docking maybe causing hind end problems. I used to hear that from older breeders and occasionally from vets when I was first in Dobe (1959) haven't heard it suggested in a long time.

I don't do massage on this older dog although I have on other dogs--but torn cruciate ligament really only respond (if they respond at all) to rest and reduced exercise and his other leg has a couple of large lipomas (he has many) one in the upper thigh and the other in the lower thigh--and he is not comfortable with even very mild massage--so he gets petted a lot and we go for slow walk and he goes out in the yard with me when I'm doing yard work which he likes to oversee.

But for a dog rapidly approaching 14 he's very mobile and actually looks a good bit younger than his actual age in spite of the lipomas and occasional skin tags.

dobebug--and the very old Toad
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james1castro9 View Post
Hello all,

I'm new to the group. My doberman Tyson is super sweet and friendly, he's always had a huge puppy just loves to play and run after a ball.

Recently he was in a lot of pain so I brought him to a Vet. They think it's a torn ligament in his leg but need to sedate him to be sure. He is now 10 years old. I can't get him to be calm and act like an older dog?

A long walk now has him limping. The surgery would be $4000 minimum. I've already had a $5000 surgery when he swallowed a toy a few years ago.

Any recommendations? Bandage or brace options? Any homeopathic options for my guy?
Hi James,

Melbrod was kind enough to dig up the old post from me about my older dogs partial tear. Personally at 10 I'm not even inclined to do surgery for an ACL or CCL (anterior or cranial cruciate ligament) either a partial or complete tear.
It's a fairly long surgery and definitely a very long slow process of recovery.

I would want a definite diagnosis though--and if they want to sedate him to do (X-rays?) determine for sure whats going on I'd do that. Here's the bottom line--ligaments do not heal particularly well--Cressrb is right the process of trying to get a partial tear to heal is pretty much identical to the process of dealing with surgery for a full tear--long process--with the dog on leash or crated and then slowly introducing walking (slowly and short distances and increasing the distance and then the speed.) is what it takes and with surgery you can usually get close to full recovery.

Friends of mine had a very promising agility prospect--a young bitch who jumped for and came down funny and that resulted in a full cruciate tear--she had TPLO surgery with a very good surgeon with lots of experience and followed recovery procedures to the t and it was nearly 18 month before she could run agility. But she went back and got her MACH and even in her very old age never limped and was never in pain.

But she was young when the injury happened and the surgery and recovery went on.

It sound like whatever is going on with your dog is worse that what was going on with my 11 year old dog. If he goes lame with just a long walk (and how long is a long walk for you and Tyson?)

I could have gotten my dog excited enough to be an idiot and run, jump and turn and end up lame but I didn't let him get that wound up. And if he loves chasing a ball I know a man who's older dog who was having a problem with over exercise making him lame who taught him some in house games with a ball (rolling it on the floor and letting the dog get it and bring it back--but it slowed the dog down enough doing it inside that he didn't get so rowdy that he ended up sore every time.

You're the one in charge and it's you who needs to teach the dog to be more calm and play quieter games.

As far as other suggestions--I know of no way to bandage or any brace that is capable of keeping a hind leg in a position to allow a partial of complete rupture of a cruciate to heal--ligaments just plain don't heal easily.

And as far as homeopathic remedies--I know of none.

I think you should discuss the problem--let the vet sedate him and get a definite diagnosis. There are NSAID's which will keep the pain at bay--my dog was on the generic for Rimadyl and like many of the old Labs that I've met over the years--it worked well--he was on a minimal dose but it kept him pain free.

I don't know how your boy's cardiac function is but older Dobes are often poor surgery risks because a good many of them are already in occult DCM and not good candidates for long surgeries--and long recoveries.

I wish you the best of luck and suggest you limit his walks to slower and shorter so he doesn't end up in pain.

dobebug

PS Dogs live very much in the present and he has no idea he's an "older dog" you'll have to modify his exercise to accommodate the fact that he just plain doesn't have a clue about "older"./
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