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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2007
    Location
    lexington KY
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    1,288

    Default cruciate ligament tear??

    Any experience with these?

    After 2 hours in the vet yesterday with my 4yro corgi, it looks like this is what we are dealing with. Hes completely lame on his right hind, non weight-bearing but will sit on that side of his hip when sitting and laying down.

    He is normally VERY active (runs around 3-4miles a day with me as well as plays on the farm at work and the dog park), and has no problems jumping on/off the bed and couch despite my best effort to keep him from doing it. He does have steps to everything that is high up and he uses them, but only sometimes.

    However, since this all started on the Jan 1st, hes been looking at me crying to pick him up/put him down off things. He HATES to be picked up, so this is a huge sign to me of his pain.

    He is terrible about his legs being handled, so the vet could only do so much yesterday as long as tests. And he is so incredibly muscular in his hind end that she was not even sure shed be able to do the manipulation test with light sedation as he is VERY determined to not have his legs handled and fights back even with sedation.

    So he is prescribed 2 weeks rest with tranqs and NSAIDs. But its going to get hard to explain that to my 4yro fireball.

    Any advice about how to go about this? He has never been crated before and I would prefer to avoid it if possible. He is completely content laying in bed with me as long as I am there with him. He is VERY attached when I am home with him and does not leave my side. Thankfully my house is very tiny and he only has 3 small rooms to occupy. His "spots" are on my bed, under it, and on his dog bed by the front window. So even when I leave he doesnt run around or anything. However, this is only day 1 of rest, so who knows what the coming days will be like with no exercise for him.

    I guess Im just looking for some advice... both on the treatment and if anyone has experience with this??? Ive been reading up online and have come across quite a bit of misdiagnosed cases, and different treatment options. I have never dealt with anything like this and although I am reading up on it, I figured COTH might be able to help shed some light from personal experience.

    And Im sure my little boosh would not mind some jingles
    True love is taking their pain away and making it yours
    ~rest in peace momma (7/5/08)~
    ~rest in peace thomas (6/2/11)~



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,763

    Default

    This is the best argument for crate training your dog, even if you do not normally crate!

    Did the vet discuss surgery with you? I've never heard of this being fixed without surgery. There are 3l types of surgery so you should read up on them. Vets tend to learn and use a method so you will have to determine which one suits you and then choose a vet accordingly.

    If your dog only has a partial tear then I think you can try rest - the only problem with that is I 'think' is is an extensive rest time - like 2 or three months.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
    Location
    Center of the Universe
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    6,901

    Default

    that's a weird diagnosis- so the vet wasn't sure and is just giving you two weeks of rest "to see what happens"? if it's really torn you need to do surgery ASAP- the longer a torn CCL joint goes without stabilization the more it moves around and your chances of a full recovery start to go down.
    That said, I did have a dog bounce off a tree and come up three-legged lame, and he was moving just the way you'd expect with a CCL tear, but the vet decided he'd just banged his knee (the joint was stable) and he was sound after a few days of rest.

    -the dog needs to be crated during rest. You can't leave him out even if he "normally" is quiet because one unscheduled leap onto the bed or standing up to look out the window or a quick gallop up and down the stairs and you're back to square one. Plus you don't want him walking around at all even when you're home, so no letting him follow you around the house. Rest means in crate except when being taken out for potty on a short leash. I've heard of people with clingy dogs on rest putting the crate on a crate dolly and moving the dog, crate and all, around the house so the dog could be with the owner during the rest period.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2007
    Location
    lexington KY
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    1,288

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    that's a weird diagnosis- so the vet wasn't sure and is just giving you two weeks of rest "to see what happens"? if it's really torn you need to do surgery ASAP- the longer a torn CCL joint goes without stabilization the more it moves around and your chances of a full recovery start to go down.
    That said, I did have a dog bounce off a tree and come up three-legged lame, and he was moving just the way you'd expect with a CCL tear, but the vet decided he'd just banged his knee (the joint was stable) and he was sound after a few days of rest.

    -the dog needs to be crated during rest. You can't leave him out even if he "normally" is quiet because one unscheduled leap onto the bed or standing up to look out the window or a quick gallop up and down the stairs and you're back to square one. Plus you don't want him walking around at all even when you're home, so no letting him follow you around the house. Rest means in crate except when being taken out for potty on a short leash. I've heard of people with clingy dogs on rest putting the crate on a crate dolly and moving the dog, crate and all, around the house so the dog could be with the owner during the rest period.

    This is my concern. He has a similar lameness about 2 weeks ago that went away after 5 days of pain meds and rest. But this time is much worse. In my mind, 2 weeks is a long time to wait on something like this, but she recommended it. Mind you this is not my normal vet. We are 10hrs away from her so we are trying to find a vet i like here in KY.

    Although through reading online it doesnt seem like some rest time is too out of the ordinary for one thats just torn. And I keep seeing threads on dog forums with people saying depending on the tear, sometimes they are better off without surgery due to the arthritis risk?? And of course we dont know for sure if that is what it is. But I cant imagine leaving him like he is now.

    She did mention xrays but said it rarely shows if there is a problem. So if the flex tests the major way to diagnose it? Im trying to learn as much as I can right now.

    Surgery was only brought up by me, and she seemed to treat it as a last resort in hopes hes better after the 2 weeks. Maybe that is because he was lame before, but then was ok for 2 weeks until now?? To me that would be a reason to be more cautious but then again im not a vet...

    If he continues to be as lame as he is today there is no way Im waiitng 2 weeks to do anything. He is basically comatose right now with the meds. He lays on my bed with me, and if i go to move i carry him with me and he falls right back to sleep whereever i put him. But Ill start looking for crates through my friends for him.
    True love is taking their pain away and making it yours
    ~rest in peace momma (7/5/08)~
    ~rest in peace thomas (6/2/11)~



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2008
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    1,372

    Default

    If there is a partial tear or complete tear of an ACL, especially if it is related to an ongoing issue (as you mentioned this has happened before), then you should see evidence on a radiograph of the knee. So yes, it's worth doing, absolutely. He will need to be sedated for the x-rays though, to get proper positioning.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2000
    Location
    CT
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    2,383

    Default

    I would treat it like a lame horse. Find a "lameness specialist". There are referral hospitals that have orthopedic specialists. You need a diagnosis!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
    Location
    NY
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    4,414

    Default

    I agree that I would want a more definitive diagnosis....if you have a specialist in your area I would just go right there. My dog had two different surgeries (5 years apart) on the same knee, so we were very glad to have a specialty veterinary clinic that "does over 300 knees a year" rather than my regular vet (who actually refers all knee surgeries to the specialist).

    Maybe because your dog is smaller you might have a better chance of healing w/o surgery. In our case we were told not doing the surgery would result in atrophy and arthritis, so we had it done and were thrilled with the results -- first was a medial lateral tear from a trauma/accident, the second was a CCL tear in the same knee but because of the first surgery we had to do the TTA v. TPLO...but the results were amazing. That dog put many hard miles on his rebuilt knee for years until he died at 13.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2010
    Posts
    62

    Default

    I did the surgery on my dog almost 2 yrs ago with great results. that said, it's costly and the recovery requires rest...which was very hard for my rescued, slightly neurotic, anti-rules 95 lb dog But, we did it and he's 100% sound now...like, you can't tell which leg it was.
    I don't know where you are in Ky, but I do know of an excellent small animal vet that deals with these alot...feel free to e-mail me if you're anywhere near Lexington and I'll get you her info.
    emgjoker@aol.com
    Stacy



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2009
    Posts
    233

    Default

    Be aware, that while recovering form ACL surgery, it's not uncommon for the other ACL to tear. I had a Bull Masitff that had ACL repair, and just about when she started walking again, the other one blew. Fortunately, it was a partial tear, which doesn't "heal" but it will scar up and it doesn't usually cause pain. SHe was fine after about 6 months ugh.
    What I lack in preparedness I make up for in enthusiasm



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2007
    Location
    Minnesota
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    2,845

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anteup View Post
    Be aware, that while recovering form ACL surgery, it's not uncommon for the other ACL to tear. I had a Bull Masitff that had ACL repair, and just about when she started walking again, the other one blew. Fortunately, it was a partial tear, which doesn't "heal" but it will scar up and it doesn't usually cause pain. SHe was fine after about 6 months ugh.
    Ditto. Our old Cocker, Java (RIP JB), torn her cruciate. She healed up just fine with "stall rest" and some good pain meds. A year later, she totally blew out the other knee. Needed surgery on that one and, after recovery, healed up beautifully. Never had another issue with her knees.

    I wouldn't hesitate to do the whole cage rest thing for two weeks and then go from there. But, I'd make sure to get a more definitive diagnosis first. Some dogs need the surgery, while others can heal on their own, if given the time.

    Jingles for a speedy recovery.
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
    See G2's blog
    Photos



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2000
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    2,383

    Default

    Any update?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2007
    Location
    lexington KY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MsM View Post
    Any update?

    Yup! hell be going to the knee specialist. Although I must admit that he has been a champ with the rest portion of this. I was pretty unhappy with the original vet after his second apt, so I have gotten him an apt with a knee doc that has been recommended by a few different people.

    Hes happily sleeping next to me at the moment. Thanks for all the advice though guys! Ive never dealt with a doggie lameness before so I was definitely unprepared for this
    True love is taking their pain away and making it yours
    ~rest in peace momma (7/5/08)~
    ~rest in peace thomas (6/2/11)~



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2010
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    867

    Default

    Good to hear! A good orthopedic surgeon is worth his/her weight in gold...even at a referral clinic NOT all surgeons are the same so recommendations can be key.

    At work here tonight at a referral clinic with two TPLO dogs who were here roughly 3 months ago having their opposite legs done; the comment about blowing one then the other is common but we rarely see it in small breed dogs. (Dogs aforementioned are lab and shepherd). But the big ones...yeeep all the time.

    Jingles for a speedy recovery for your kiddo.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    500

    Default TTA

    My dog just had his second TTA (this is the newest of the 3 procedures). I think he partially tore the second ACL about a week after being released to full activity after the first surgery. I was trying to put off the second surgery a little bit (I think I was in denial), and then he must have completely torn it while I was gone one day. So now we're into the second bout of cage rest. He actually just got his staples out today, and I picked up some Ace while I was at the vet because he has not been very patient with this round of cage rest. He had complications after the first surgery, but no complications this time, so I think he's feeling better and wants to play!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002
    Posts
    2,011

    Default

    Here's my experience, fwiw. My 14-y-o lab mix wiped out almost 3 weeks ago and had to walk almost a half mile home, 3-legged. She went to the vet that day and we assumed a full tear and decided to do a tightrope surgery when it could be scheduled. Went home with lots of pain meds and a very unhappy doggy. But -- after the pain meds kicked in, she started to take some weight on it, and could get down the step to the back yard, and rested herself (remember, she's 14). We were amazed at how well she did with the pain meds and NSAIDS. I asked a bunch of people for advice about the surgery and got a lot of really thoughtful perspectives. Our acupuncture vet came to the house last week, about ten days after the injury, and said based on what she saw that day, we could continue to rest her for a couple more weeks and reevaluate before making a final decision about surgery. She's going for mini walks (like, sniffing two mailboxes on each side of the street) and in some ways is brighter than she was before the injury - which tells me we weren't doing enough for pain management before.

    Sorry for the long story. My point was, I was ready to do surgery when it first happened and she was really miserable, but I'm very glad I waited because once the inflammation was down, the tear doesn't seem as bad. We can do a lot of acupuncture for the cost of surgery. And at 14, I was really reluctant to do any surgery at all.

    Good luck with your young, active guy, whatever you decide.



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