ACL tear - very weak back legs - HELP!! - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 06-29-2014, 11:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ACL tear - very weak back legs - HELP!!

Hi everyone -

Back in Dec of 2013 my 8 year old German Shepherd possibly tore his ACL in his right hind leg. I say possibly because he was limping after jumping out of the car after we got back from the vet for his yearlies. It would come and go - limping off and on for months. But it was always after he would over extend himself - ie act like a crazy man and chase kitties in the backyard. Recently - about 2 weeks ago - he started limping again and it hasn't gone away. We took him to the vet yesterday and because he jumped out of the car, what happens?? He seemed to hurt his other leg. Ugh!!!

So the vet felt his knees, checked his hips, etc....believes very strong that he tore his ACL if not in one knee then in both. So we got Rimadyl, which I've read bad things about and do not plan to keep him on long term at all, and another pain killer. All day yesterday, he was completely lame in both hind legs....very, very weak. It was a struggle to get him outside. But we did it...... The vet said he's completely healthy otherwise - everything else looks great. And his hips have a great range of motion. Which really makes me feel good.

This morning we got up and went to take him out and he actually got up on his own twice. I'm pretty excited about that since yesterday, we had to completely help him up. His legs seem much steadier today.

So - I already have him on Glyco-Flex III, three tabs a day...I'm looking into other supplements tho. I've heard great things about Joint Rescue. And we give him 4 squirts of Salmon oil in each meal (twice a day).

I know we have a long road - he needs to drop 20 pounds. He's lost 17 since December and needs to lose more. I give him a 1/2 cup of Zignature dry mixed with a 1/2 cup Zignature wet twice a day. Since he's unable to really exercise right now, should I give him less?

I just need some help with all of this. Maybe from some of you, whom I'm sure have gone through all of this already? There's just so much info out there, my head is swimming!

Thank you all in advance!
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Did your vet mention surgery or at least speaking to an orthopedic specialist? An ACL tear isn't going to ever heal itself. Scar tissue may build up in there, but the ACL doesn't repair. Once it's torn, it's torn.

If this were my dog, I'd stop throwing supplements at him and go talk to a specialist to get a real game plan. Living with one torn acl has to be painful and hard, I couldn't imagine having to go through the rest of my life with both of them torn.
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i would get the dog in and test for tick borne diseases
what you describe could easily be caused by a tick bite

other things to consider and rule out would be a back injury of some sort
and also the onset of dm
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucy Dog View Post
Did your vet mention surgery or at least speaking to an orthopedic specialist? An ACL tear isn't going to ever heal itself. Scar tissue may build up in there, but the ACL doesn't repair. Once it's torn, it's torn.

If this were my dog, I'd stop throwing supplements at him and go talk to a specialist to get a real game plan. Living with one torn acl has to be painful and hard, I couldn't imagine having to go through the rest of my life with both of them torn.
Agreed! It can't be treated with supplements, once the ACL is torn, it will require surgery, TPLO or tight rope. Think of the ACL as a rubber band, once it has even a small tear it will continue to tear due to its elastic nature.

Last edited by Nigel; 06-29-2014 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Does anyone have a dog that had 2 TPLO surgeries?


PM me if you have questions! Def get him in for his first surgery ASAP. Start PT right away, lots of swimming. Also he'll need to be restricted, leash walks only to go outside. It'll be no fun for 6 mos or so but I promise it'll be worth it.
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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He gave me the number for a surgeon but honestly, I don't have the $3000 a knee it will take....Now I don't know what to do. What about conservative management? I've been reading about this as an alternative to surgery.

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Old 06-29-2014, 01:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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you consult with the surgeon is what you do
sitting around wondering what to do is getting you know where
we cannot answer your questions because we have not been to vet school to know
what is wrong or how to manage it or even if surgery is necessary

even if you dont have 3k to do the surgery letting the dog suffer is not an option
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow, thanks for being incredibly rude and insensitive. I know I have to contact a surgeon - but I'm trying to make him comfortable in the process.
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Old 06-29-2014, 02:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i am sorry if my post seemed rude
but you have everyone on this thread telling you to take the dog to the vet
i do not know what more we can tell you
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Old 06-29-2014, 02:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There isn't much you can do to make them comfortable other than the pain meds.

My oldest dog blew out his right ACL. It was surgically repaired, but he also has a torn left ACL. The specialist advised to have it repaired also, but the surgery is $3k at a minimum. I think we paid more for laser therapy and platelet injections. Anyway, most days he walks fine on his left leg. After he does a lot of physical things, even swimming, he won't walk on the left leg. He holds it up, but after a nights rest he walks on it again with no issues. We try to keep his activity very mild.

The first surgery took a lot out of him. It was a long recovery period and he had to be crated and leash walked. He got very depressed. We were concerned about him. He was also getting a bit aggressive. Once he was healed, out of the crate and not being leashed walked every where he eventually went back to his normal self. I don't want to put him through that again unless the left ACL blows out. He's also 8 years old.

It is a personal choice. If my dog could not use his leg I would look into getting it fixed. One vet did give us a Chinese herb to try. I didn't notice it helping any. I'm not sure what it's called. The bottle says tendon/ligament formula. The brand/maker is Jing Tang.
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Last edited by trcy; 06-29-2014 at 02:07 PM.
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