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Old 07-22-2010, 12:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy HELP! Possible ACL tear

So i have a VERY large GSD, and it seems he might of torn his ACL. The vet said that is could be a full or partial tear. I am loath to get the xrays done because the tear might not show and thats $500 I really dont have.

He stands on three legs, walks on three and a half, and plays and runs on all four. I am in the process of getting a large crate and putting him on complete rest with only minimal walking and of course potty breaks in the hopes that is is just a partial tear and will heal with time.

Has this happened to anyone else? was the tear partial or full? can it heal with time, or will i have to opt for the xrays and an up tp $3500 surgery?
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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yes, you should take him to an ortho specialist. there are several different operations that repair acl tears but, because you describe your boy as "very large", the best and most long lasting one for him would be a TPLO, which is typically only done by a specialist. i recently learned this first hand when my boy tore his playing ball. depending on his age (as in how many more years will he live with this condition), you should definitely have the injury evaluated because, as i understand it, this type of injury predisposes them to early onset of osteoarthritis at the location of the injury and then you have a double whammy. where are you located (in general), is there a veterinary teaching hospital near you?

the TPLO is not inexpensive, tho might be a bit less expensive at a vet college, but it is the most effective and most long lasting treatment for this injury.

good luck, welcome to the board. there is a huge amount of knowledge here, and others may have more or differing input, this is just what my personal experience has been recently. if you have any more questions that this response doesn't answer ask away!

let us know how things turn out...
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Our last shepherd was thought to have the same tear when she was 9, however, once the orthopedic surgeon got into her knee it turned out it wasn't a tear at all. He removed some bone spurs and "tightened" her knee by pulling everything together. She did very very well and had another 3 years of a happy active life. We didn't opt for x-rays ahead of time, just went straight to surgery- it cost $600. This was about 4 yrs ago.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks.

He's 2, turning 3 in Oct.

I have no idea how it happened. I went to work last monday morning and he was fine, and i got a txt just after lunch telling me he was limping. This was nothing as a shock, as i live with my parents and they have a mutt and both like to play ruff. So ruckus is occasionally turning up lame. ususally a couples weeks up to a month of rest and hes back to normal.

He started to get better, and was a lot more active, playing with his kong and horsing around with the other dog, but monday this week, we got a really bad storm. He got his nickers in a twist and jumped on my bed, unfortunetly jumping on me. I in turn, having been woken from a sleep by an enormous dog and an even bigger thunderclapp, threw him off the bed, and now he is limping again.

If i get the xrays and it shows a partial tear, can we fix it with just rest? or is surgery the ONLY way to fix a partial to full tear? thanks again for the help.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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OH-- and would anyone know of any good ortho specialist in the barrie/Toronto area?
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome!

I am sorry to read about your dog's injury. I understand all your feelings as Penny has partially torn both stifle ligaments, about 1 yr apart from each other.

Most will say surgery is the only way to heal the dog and that your dog will continue to worsen with bad arthritis if you don't do the surgery right away. This simply isn't true. Conservative management of the injury is another approach that has worked very well for some, including Penny- twice now.

Yes there will be dogs that do need the surgery, but my position is to try healing with CM first and if it doesn't work then go to surgery. If you properly restrict during CM the arthritis risk won't be increased.

There is a wonderful yahoo group for those choosing CM and I highly suggest you join and read the intro primer they email you. It details the injury and what is involved with proper CM.

ConservativeManagement : Canine Conservative Management

Dog Ligament Injury-- Is Surgery Really Needed?

Another good yahoo group that is more surgically orientated if you chose that path,

orthodogs : Discussion of canine orthopedic issues

And some recent threads here on the issue,

CCL Injury

torn cruciate (non-GSD)

Surgery for torn ligament or not???
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Our dog played really rough with her best friend next door- a basset mix who was pretty low to the ground. When they were running around, the basset would throw her weight against Omy's back legs and cut them out from under her. You know, the move called clipping in football? Beulah was a master at it. Apparently, years of those clips ruined Omy's knee. We skipped the x-rays because surgery was really the only option so we saved some money there.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eirelav_mcgoo@hotmail.com View Post
If i get the xrays and it shows a partial tear
Xrays wont show ligaments. You need an mri for that which is highly expensive and not usually done for dogs due to the costs involved. An xray would help to rule out other issues though that could cause the same symptoms.
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Old 07-22-2010, 03:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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what natalie said ^^^,,xrays will NOT show a partial or full ligament tear..

I say take that 500$ and go to an ortho surgeon who is much better qualified than a vet to determine what's going on.
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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thanks for all your input, its helped get my head around this.
i called my vet today to find out about the ortho specialist, and they are insisting they do x-rays first to be sure it is the cruciate ligament, before they recommend me.

i am definetly going to try conservative management, and then go from there. I will possible go to another vet for a second opinon as well, as my current vet seems to push xrays and the likes on me almost everytime I go in.

Ill update everyone on his progress with CM.
thanks again.
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