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DJ's Dad's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-04

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Just found out that my DJ has a ruptured ACL on her left rear knee. For over a month she has been slightly favoring that leg and I assumed it was arthritis starting to set in.  She's 6 1/2 years old and very active.  She LOVES to run after squirrels! I took her to the vet last month and they didn't find anything obviously wrong, so they gave me pain meds for her.  That helped a little, but within the past week, she started limping more and laying down a lot.  Took her back to the vet for a good leg exam and he told me that she has a moderate rupture of her ACL and it wont get any better without surgery.  So she is on the schedule for TTA surgery for June 14th.  It's a bone-cutting surgery where they saw off a slight area of the bottom knee joint. The lower bone is then repositioned to make a flat surface for the upper knee joint to sit on. Involves a metal plate and screws, also, and this stabilizes the knee without having to use the injured ligaments. Lots of recovery and rehabilitation time.  Usually 3 months or more before she will be able to get back to normal activities.  During the first 6 weeks, she wont be allowed to run, jump, or play with other dogs.  Totally 100% on leash to keep activities slow and as non-weight bearing as possible. I have been researching this surgical procedure and the recovery as much as I can before I have to deal with it in real life.  I am freaking out.  Has anyone else had this done with their doberman?  She's 88 pounds and very active. I could use any tips or advice.

CRDobe's picture
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Joined: 2014-11-06

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I've never dealt with this but do know that keeping her "quiet" post-op can be a challenge with an active dog, esp as she starts to feel better. There is info online about crate games and once she is moving around Nosework games will help. Both of these things provide mental stimulation which will also ride tire her her out.

I'm sure others will chime in.

good luck and keep us posted.

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Hi DJ from PB' an me

So Sorry to hear about this. Wish I had some advice for you. My friends goldie acl tear healed ( against her vets opinion) >on its own and her limp is indiscernible after one year. Would you consider a 2nd Vets opinion? Very hard for you and DJ. I cannot imagine trying to contain Bella for that length of time. Maybe between now and the scheduled surgery see how she does( mental and healing wise) with all rest.

 

Woof, 

 Julia

DJ's Dad's picture
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Hey, Julia.  :)  I've been giving DJ pain meds and cosequin joint supplement for a week now, and keeping her indoors except when I go out with her to slow down her running, and her limp is still pretty bad.  Some days she cant jump on the couch because it hurts too much to balance on both hind legs long enough to get the front feet up for the jump.  In fact, this WAS the 2nd opinion.  Looks like surgery is the only thing that's going to give her better quality of life and take away the pain.  You should see the difference in her facial expressions.  She was always so happy and looked like she was laughing all the time....now she seems so sad.  It's just killing me.  Good to hear from you and Miss Bella.

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Yes, they are so expressive!!

We missed you and always wondered how things have been with you and DJ. It's just hearbreaking she has injured herself. I am sure you both will get through this and she will have lots of running and fun in her future. I think Andrew that had the wobblers female ( Abby) down in Australia had some good ideas for very gentle play and diversions for his less than fully-mobile furbaby. 

Sending kind wishes, 

 Julia

Kim
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Joined: 2012-02-05

Aww....poor DJ!  And it's hard on you, too!

Have you thought about laser therapy?  It reduces pain, and promotes healing. I'm not saying it would heal up the ACL, but after reading about Bella's friend healing up without surgery, who knows?

At the very least, if DJ has the surgery, it would certainly help her heal up a whole lot faster, reducing recovery time by a lot.

I have friends who have used laser therapy on their pets (cats and dogs), and the results are really quite amazing. Compared to surgery, a treatment is cheaper - a session goes for around $40. There is also a very good laser on the market you can buy for $675. It's a true cold laser - DJ would need the 808nm for tendons, etc. Here's the link, so you can read about them.....

http://www.vetrolaser.com/?gclid=CJfp_J7t7pgCFSXaDAodKjI92A

All my best for you and DJ.....

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Yes! Bella had laser therapy on her deep bite wound and it really did appear to help a lot. Our vet swears by it and each treatment was about $35.00. I think they did four in abvout 2 weeks time. Hopefully DJ dad you have a policy to cover her treatment. We just changed from Trupanion to "Healthy Paws" due to Trupanion having a per condition annual deductible. We hope that its a good choice....

DJ's Dad's picture
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We are just beginning our 2nd week of post-op.  The surgery went very well, and this ortho vet does do cold laser treatments.  She had one about an our after her surgery, and again the next day before I brought her home.  Took her back yesterday for the 3rd treatment and she has a 4th one next week when her stitches come out.  We haven't been using a cone.  I made a 'sleeve' that fits over her back leg to keep her from licking. She came home actually using her leg somewhat for balance and semi-weight bearing for 4 days, but she is so excitable when someone drives into the driveway or when she sees a squirrel out the window, she hopped around and got all wound up and we had a little bit of a setback.  She held her foot up off the floor and hopped on 3 legs to get around for 3 days.  Laser treatment yesterday seems to have helped a lot PLUS I have confined her to doggie jail this week.  I also have sedatives from the vet to use if she cant seem to calm down.  It's a real job trying to keep her from overdoing it.  Her whole world of rules have changed and she is very frustrated.  We'll get through this, but it's going to be rough going for a little while.

CRDobe's picture
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Thanks for the update, and glad the surgery went well. Good thoughts for a speedy recovery!

Joined: 2012-10-28

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We are sending loads of love and patience your way<><> Thanks for the update! We hope time passes quickly and DJ feels beeter very soon xxxxx 

Kim
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Glad to hear the surgery went well! Cool that the vet has a laser, too. I'm sure as active as DJ has been, she's a handful. Hopefully she'll heal up quickly, and be able to be more rambunctious soon.

Joined: 2012-10-28

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We have just had an acl injury scare and are kind of wait and seeing with good results.

On a tuesday, almost 2 weeks ago, Bella was pointing her toe down at the first step after rising, and then using her weight on her right hind leg by the fifth step with a fairly visible sign of weakness. We were very concerned to say the least. On that Thursday we went to the vet and got anti inflammatory Rimadal chewable and opted to not get the "drawer pull" test and exrays.

Now, 10 days later after severely limiting her exercise she is much better. It has been very hot here in so-Cal so her energy level is low already, luckily. We will be taking her on a car trip next week and have opted for the sedan instead of the truck based on not wanting her to have to jump. She will be on leash exclusively for at a least month.

When we get back if there are signs of lingering weakness, we will have her sedated and get tests done. For now we are breathing a sigh of relief that the summer might be able to go on as planned.

We would live to hear how DJ, Bellas idol, is doing! We hope that it's going well and DJ is getting much better!

DJ&#039;s Dad's picture
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Oh, Bella!  hope things are ok by now with her.

DJ is about 5.5 weeks post op right now.  We are lengthening our walking, but she is still on leash every time she isnt in the house.  And still no running, no jumping, no getting up on furniture or on the bed....she is SO frustrated by all the new rules.  We have a doggie door that she USED to be able to just come and go whenever she needed to go out...but that's locked shut now, and I have to leash her up and take her outside everytime she has to potty.  We have bells hanging on the door, so she rings them and lets me know when she has to go out.  She still walks a little off-gait right now.  Left knee angles outward slightly and she only puts about 75% of her weight on that foot when she walks.  When she stops walking, she still holds her foot up.  It's amazing how much muscle tone she has lost in that leg and hip since she's not been as active.  Another 2.5 weeks and the bone should be healed and the gap that was cut out of her tibia bone should be filled in.  We will have xrays done at that point to check on progress.  If all looks good at the end of 8 weeks, we begin our 3 months of rehab and muscle toning to get back to where she should be.  It's a long drawn-out process.  I sure hope Bella got better without having to have surgery.

 

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Dear DJ's Dad and DJ,

 Sounds frustrating but over all very good progress. Thanks very much for the update. We are hoping that DJ and you can have lots of fun come the autumn.

 to all,

Bella went on our car trip to my Moms house in a beach town near San Francisco. Even before we left her symptoms were non existent to invisible to all except me who knows her the best.

On our trip she got to enjoy the beach, run there and swim, with no signs of setbacks or injury. We taught her to sit stay on the beach ( she got it 1st try) and she met some horses... Her maturity showed off at most turns and she was admired by all. Except the night she unzipped both zippers of the tent to get out and rampage the yard and wake all the folks within 200 yards<><>

Needless to say we are extremely relieved and happy that she is strong and seemingly whole. I will keep her under exercised for the hot weeks that are coming.

 

Best, 

 PB an' Me

sanselmo's picture
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Joined: 2019-11-28

I am new to this site and this is an older post, but I thought people might like to hear about my ACL (CCL in dog) problem with my dobie, Affy, when she was 4.  Affy was diagnosed with a CCL tear and the doctor said she would soon be lame without the surgery.  After research on the awful procedure and how difficult recovery would be, I decided to develop my own rehab.  I put her on a 100% raw diet (meat, veggie blend, vitamin/mineral blend, supplements for joints/ligaments/tendons), so she lost 10 pounds very fast.  I kept her on leash at all times outdoors to prevent sprinting. I reduced her walks to 1/2 hour, every other day; slow and on leash. The interior of the knee swelled to the size of a golf ball, but after 1 month the swelling went down and she had full mobility.  Then we did the same thing on the other leg two months later. That second leg took 2 months for the swelling to go down, but it did.  Affy is 8.5 now and has had some problems which required an MRI and X-ray.  The doctor told me she had signs of a past CCL injury on both legs that is showing scar tissue from healing some time ago.  I already knew my methods had healed her, but this was confirmation.  If you have a dog with a CCL injury, might be worth it to try a holistic approach first.  I'm happy to provide more detail about what I did to help my girl.