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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 3 year old female (Cira) who is from what the vet tells me very large for a female.... I have always walked her for at least an hour to 2 hours a day & on days I could brought her to the park...she just loves to run and run and run! So a year ago in the dog park she kind of fell into a hole and hurt her leg. She would limp but they said its just sore and it will get better. Two months ago she did it again and I brought her to a different vet because we had moved and they suggested an xray but she needs to put under to have it. I live in NY and they said it would be about $800 for just the xray. I was floored...I called around because I thought that was insane but I guess I was very naive. They all seem to charge in that area. Long story short she has a ruptured cruciate ligament. They said the surgery must be done by a specialist/ortho surgeon because she is so large and said to expect it to cost about $5,000.00. Since she has been hurt I obviously never run her and she has started gaining weight. They said her normal weight for her size should be about 95 pounds...she is now 115! I cut her food down considerably but my main question is during her recovery I am wondering how I will be able to pick her up to help her use the bathroom outside. We also have stairs as well. I can barely pick her up because i myself had spinal surgery so the last thing I want is for both of us to be in such terrible positions. Sorry for my insane babbling...I am just SOOO very worried. I want to be prepared in every way before her surgery (in 2 weeks). When I asked the surgery center they said they will tell me everything when I get there but I would like to know if anyone else had a similar problem and what helped them with these issues. I dont have anyone that is close by that I can call all day for help so I really want to take care of her so she heals correctly. The surgery center (Cornell in Ithaca NY) said it will take a good 6 months for her to be back to normal. Thank you as always for all your amazing information. I dont come on here very often but you are all very welcoming and helpful.
 

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Broadway Dobermans
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When Lily....my almost 12 year old female was 6 she tore her acl. She had a full TPLO done...which is prob. what you are getting done seeing that your female is large. Lily is tall and a tad big for a female too. She's always been aroudn 76 lbs. I carried her up and down stairs. It was hard. I had her confined on the couch. I gated her on....and then didn't even try to move her up and down stairs until much later.
They have to be imobile for a while. I had her surgery done at a teaching university. Guelph. And it was $4000 for the tplo.
Good luck with it. Post some pics of your girl!
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply.....how long was Lily's recovery time? I live on the second floor..that is my problem. I will have to figure something out. I had also mentioned to this vet that all of a sudden while cira is sleeping I noticed a few drops of pee coming out...at times a little larger then once it was like a river. This is after I walk her usually for the last time around 12:00am and I get up with her at 6:00am. When I asked the vet they said I had her fixed too soon. I have to look for the paperwork but I am 100% sure I did it when the vet and breeder both recommended. Have you heard of this as a common problem? The vet was like oh dont worry she will just have to take a prescription the rest of her life. I was really surprised at how he made it seem like no big deal....maybe I over reacted but I thought it was a big deal esp when I had her fixed when they told me too! :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That was actually my next question dapple....how long and often did your dog need to go to therapy?
 

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My GSD had TPLO surgery in Sept 2010. It is a very slow recovery, and you have to be very careful. Can you put in a ramp of some kind?

Make sure you have a board certified surgeon do the procedure, and that he has lots of experience with this operation.

Carson's surgery was amazing, and we took things very slow. So far, the second knee is okay, but quite often it will go once the first one does.

There is some downloadable information here:

TopDogHealth.com ? Animal Health and Rehabilitation
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thank you all for your help....I have been completely sick over this. I lost my first dog when she was only a year and a half so when this happened severe panic set in! :(
 

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I just wanted to add, you probably won't need to pick her up. After the anaesthetic wore off, we didn't even need a sling. He was putting weight on his leg immediately after surgery. We just had to keep him on leash to potty.

eta: join the yahoo group orthodogs and you will have lots to read !
 

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Do not think you would have to pick her up and carry her at all the other three legs will work just fine just keep her leashed so she will not take off after something. As far as her being over weight might check and see if Wellness has a food for weight loss for the bigger dogs. I feed Wellness weight control for small dogs to my Dachshund works great also you can always add green beans to her diet, that will help with weight loss Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you again to everyone... what people I spoke too told me was for 2-3 weeks she has to be immobile...i have to take her out and bring her in. Then they said recovery time for this injury is usually about 6 months so I was very worried. I just want her to be able to be comfortable running and playing again. I do worry about what I have heard about the other leg usually going....I cant imagine going through this again! :cry:
 

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She has to be crated/ex-penned/confined to a small space for the most part for 3-4 months actually. If memory serves me correctly, x-rays are done after six weeks, and then you get some idea of what therapy can be started.

One of my worst moments was taking him in to have his staples removed after two weeks, and trying to get him loaded and into the vet calmly. :eek:

I found it much easier to rotate between crate/x-pen/confined area so as to alleviate boredom as much as I could (after the initial six weeks)

Good luck.
 

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20 odd years ago I had a German Shepherd who was a very big girl that ruptured her cruciate ligament. She was using her leg the day after her operation, albeit very gingerly. Can't remember how long it took her to fully recover though, it was a long time ago but I recall she limped for quite a while. When my dobe Amber got old & her hind legs began to weaken I would support her by rolling a towel up to use as a sling & placed it in front of her hind legs under her tummy. She did the work it was just there for support in case it was needed & it is kind to your back :D Hopefully she won't need any support, it's amazing how quick dogs bounce back from major surgery.
 

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Amazing! I just came to here looking for suggestions, and here is a threat already on the ACL. My female Dob, age 22 months, weight 72 lbs, had ACL surgery on June 15th..two weeks ago. We didn't see any particular injury event occur, but one day while out for a run, she didn't want to run anymore, and limped and favored one of her hind legs. We observed her for a week, the limp continued, so we took her to the Vet. He thought ACL, but prescribed meds, for a week, then with no change, he scheduled the X-ray, which confirmed the torn ligament and significant arthritis. The arthritis suggested a prior injury, of which we had no awareness.

As best we can figure, she had apparently had a partial tear some time ago, followed by this current event, which tore the ligament completely.

We live in France, and our Vet does not do the TPLO, and he performed a "over the top" or fascial graft repair, with an additional procedure for reinforcement of the two leg bones. We have confidence in our Vet, and took his advice. My understanding and research tell me that the recovery from this procedure will take a good 6 months, and there remains the possibility of a problem with the other leg due to the additional strain.

Our goal is to get her well, provide physical therapy, including hydrotherapy, and fortunately we have a swimming pool, and she was a good swimmer last summer, so we will have her in the pool 9 months of the year in order to increase the strength of her gluts.

Now, FU to the surgery; we have just endured two weeks of having her confined to a playpen sort of thing. She has been on meds the whole time, so her energy level was low, as she had considerable pain. We had one unfortunate incident after one week, in which she slipped a bit on the tile floor in an interaction with one of our other dogs; as a result of this, she had considerable swelling and a regression, then morphine for 5 days. She also had an infection which was probably related to the "slip incident" in which one or more of the sutures was opened. Unfortunate, but we are now past that, and very, very diligent about keeping her absolutely inactive and away from our other dogs.

Here are some suggestions:
No stairs, limited movement, confinement, support of the hind legs when walking, which is ONLY to go outside nearby for "duties". Ice on the wound for the first 4 days. Rest, rest, rest and more rest. In our case, constant observation, as she is young, feeling better now, and could easily jump out of the playpen, so we must absolutely prevent that. I understand that she should be confined like this for 3 or 4 months; we can alternate her confined area, so as she doesn't get so bored. Also, for our dog, I stuffed some kongs with treats and baby food carrots puried, and kept them in the freezer. They provide about a half hour of entertainment and pleasure. She lost 2 lbs during the first two weeks, so weight is not an issue in our case.

And, once this is past us (hopefully) we will absolutely avoid any jumping, twisting, and running will be toned down a bit. Swimming is going to be a daily routine, weather permitting. Perhaps we'll get a treadmill....and take walks, as was part of our daily routine and will be once again.

I am looking for advice regarding when one can start the PT. We know a place nearby that provides hydrotherapy (treadmill under water), and they do some sort of circulation stimulation also. We're keen on building up her gluts! She's a very young, beautiful girl and she just had an bad luck in getting the ACL. Also, does anyone have awareness of the procedure "over the top" and any comments?

Good luck to Cira! And don't overlook the fact that if the ACL isn't treated, the arthritis will only continue to increase, and this is not good. I'll stay tuned to this tread and be grateful for our suggestions and comments regarding our procedure and how to proceed with the Physical Therapy.

Thanks to all,
Barb





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Thank you again to everyone... what people I spoke too told me was for 2-3 weeks she has to be immobile...i have to take her out and bring her in. Then they said recovery time for this injury is usually about 6 months so I was very worried. I just want her to be able to be comfortable running and playing again. I do worry about what I have heard about the other leg usually going....I cant imagine going through this again! :cry:
If this is the information you are receiving about post-op care, I think you need to find another surgeon.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If this is the information you are receiving about post-op care, I think you need to find another surgeon.
From what I have heard I thought cornell was a good surgical center....I will do more research. THe last thing I want is to hurt her more! :(
 

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From what I have heard I thought cornell was a good surgical center....I will do more research. THe last thing I want is to hurt her more! :(
I would think so too, so maybe make sure you are understanding exactly what they are communicating and that the information is coming directly from the surgeon. The ACVS recommends that PROM (passive range of motion) exercises should be started almost immediately after surgery (no immobility time). Also, 6 months seems like a long recovery time, I think it is typically indicated as being 3-4 months.
 
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