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Discussion Starter #21
a groin muscle tear has the same symptoms of an acl. if she's on metacam it's probably reducing her pain.
So it could have been something else? Because I am looking at her options, right now an ACL does not qualify as an emergency since it can be managed. All our vet clinics are restricted to emergency only. No surgeries unless it's life saving. Labs and diagnostics the same.
Even if I could get her the surgery it is expensive and the prognosis is impacted by her age. I need to look at less invasive.
Something else would be a much happier me.
 

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You do 6 weeks of restriction with metacam and then you would slowly introduce exercise for conservative management of an ACL and hopes that it will scar over. if it's a groin pull, it is exactly the same.

So either way. continue what you are doing regardless of whether she seems to be acting better right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
You do 6 weeks of restriction with metacam and then you would slowly introduce exercise for conservative management of an ACL and hopes that it will scar over. if it's a groin pull, it is exactly the same.

So either way. continue what you are doing regardless of whether she seems to be acting better right now.
She is staying on lock down, whether she likes it or not. And she is not liking it. Any thoughts on how far I can walk her? The vet just keeps saying not far. That isn't helpful.
 

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If it were me, I'd wait a few more days, then start leash-only exercise. This is good news! My GSD had a thorn embedded in her lower back leg and the vet diagnosed ACL tear before I pointed out the entry wound. It was not her knee at all! It's a common misdiagnosis. Could have merely strained something. But take it easy for a while longer, and reduce the anti-inflammatories and re-assess.
 

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She is staying on lock down, whether she likes it or not. And she is not liking it. Any thoughts on how far I can walk her? The vet just keeps saying not far. That isn't helpful.
just enough to let her go to the bathroom. It sucks. Been there, done this. how did they diagnose the ACL? Did they check for a groin injury?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
just enough to let her go to the bathroom. It sucks. Been there, done this. how did they diagnose the ACL? Did they check for a groin injury?
I don't know. I had to wait outside. It's a bit terrifying to hand over the leash in a parking lot so I was not quite in my right mind. I should have asked.
 

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I don't know. I had to wait outside. It's a bit terrifying to hand over the leash in a parking lot so I was not quite in my right mind. I should have asked.
they didn't tell you? i would call them and ask. did they knock her out for a drawer test? You would know that. xrays?
 

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Discussion Starter #28
they didn't tell you? i would call them and ask. did they knock her out for a drawer test? You would know that. xrays?
No xrays, she was inside for a few minutes. It just seemed forever. My guess is gait assessment and manipulation? Definitely not knocked out.
I have a dog that I have been continuously told is on borrowed time. When she collapsed and started screaming I tried to stay calm and assess. Five hours later she was still in pain and vets were refusing to see her. By the time I got there I was half panicked and terrified I was about to lose my dog. They were talking to me in a parking lot from six feet away. It was all brief. Partial cruciate tear, but we can't do surgery right now. Metacam but we can't do bloodwork. Poor chance of healing without surgery and the other leg is going to go to at some point.
None of it was cool. I was just happy it was not spinal or a dislocated hip and she didn't bite anyone. I'm pretty upset with myself right now. I have been unable to get through to the clinic but have left a message.
 

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I'm not a vet and no way an expert but in my experience with by and acl tear and groin injury....

there is no way you have any where close to an accurate diagnosis. acl tear symptoms include them pulling that leg up very tight to their body. Did she do that? You can't do a good drawer test with the dog awake. They resist.

Typically an acl tear is caused by an injury, they don't just collapse and start screaming.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
I'm not a vet and no way an expert but in my experience with by and acl tear and groin injury....

there is no way you have any where close to an accurate diagnosis. acl tear symptoms include them pulling that leg up very tight to their body. Did she do that? You can't do a good drawer test with the dog awake. They resist.

Typically an acl tear is caused by an injury, they don't just collapse and start screaming.
She didn't move the leg at all. She just refused to bear weight on it, and when she tried she would just fall down. I ran my hands over hip, leg and foot. I squeezed, and gently moved. Separated all her toes and pressed on her spine. There was no heat, no swelling and no pain on movement. It was just sort of hanging there.
She was bouncing in circles when it happened, does it every day when I put her collar on, spin but with leaping involved.
I appreciate the info, and I guess for now I will just keep up the crate rest and finish the 10 days of Metacam. Once things get a bit more normal again I will get her back in to the vet and we will resolve this.
 

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I need to hear from others who have dealt with this. Right now Shadow is on six weeks of crate rest, I'm hoping to avoid surgery. She seems fine walking on level surfaces but cannot put weight on it. No one seems able to define "short walk", I have settled on once around the block morning and night with a mid day walk just far enough to pee. This is not even close to the distance we normally cover, and two days in she is vibrating. This leaves me faced with can I walk her a bit further or do I stay firm and risk her getting crazy on me?
I am alternating between crating and just leaving her loose with the bedroom door closed to prevent getting on and off the bed. The apartment is tiny so she hasn't much room to move anyway.
I need to know what I am doing wrong! I need to know if avoiding surgery is possible. Cannot be done right now anyway, but I could really use some experience here. I have never had a dog do this.
Our Abby tore both her ACLs on separate occasions. The first was when she was perhaps three or four. It was difficult to keep her from overdoing things, mainly because she was high energy and used to plenty of walks and tennis ball games; also, she was never a crate dog. Over a period of months, she built up scar tissue and could walk and even run with no pain, but we had to be very careful when the ground was wet and also to keep her on a straight line. Likely due to the stress placed on her other leg (although there was no limp), she blew that one out a couple of years later. We went through basically the same process the second time around, taking a little longer before allowing running (although she got out a couple of times and chased a rabbit.

As for "short walk?" Abby spent weeks just going from the house to the back yard and that was it.

Through all of this we consulted with our vet and, while they recommended surgery in both cases, we did not have the wherewithal to cover that expense. Some might berate us for our decision, but Abby lived a great life, was able to walk and play, and was pain free once she recovered each time. Was ours the optimum decision? Probably not. But it worked for us, with one of us with her all the time during recovery.

If you can navigate Shadow's natural healing process using mild canine-specific pain relievers (if/as needed), the right food along with glucosamine and fish oil can help keep the joints moving freely.

This was the path we walked with Abby; your results may be different and you definitely need to talk it over with Shadow's vet.

All the best for your girl!
 

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Experience with torn ACL -- got talked into less invasive surgery. It was a waste of time and $. Went with the real deal with a specialist and was happy with the result. Recovery = a lot of just to toilet and back, then short walks as in 1/2 a block & back, gradually getting more. Also strengthening exercises. The recovery is long and slow and hard because they don't want to be restricted.

First surgery was a really bad experience in many ways. But that's not going to help you. Short walks are likely shorter than what you are doing for now.

Down here our vets come out to the vehicle, take the dog, bring the dog back, call with the charges. I haven't had occasion to ask about surgery or procedures. That's not going to help you either.
I'd be careful with the exercise, especially with her on pain meds because with the pain masked, she could very very easily overdo ---
 

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I need to hear from others who have dealt with this. Right now Shadow is on six weeks of crate rest, I'm hoping to avoid surgery. She seems fine walking on level surfaces but cannot put weight on it. No one seems able to define "short walk", I have settled on once around the block morning and night with a mid day walk just far enough to pee. This is not even close to the distance we normally cover, and two days in she is vibrating. This leaves me faced with can I walk her a bit further or do I stay firm and risk her getting crazy on me?
I am alternating between crating and just leaving her loose with the bedroom door closed to prevent getting on and off the bed. The apartment is tiny so she hasn't much room to move anyway.
I need to know what I am doing wrong! I need to know if avoiding surgery is possible. Cannot be done right now anyway, but I could really use some experience here. I have never had a dog do this.
Can the vet prescribe some trasidone to keep Shadow chill. that's what we had to do when Auggie (6 month old puppy) who had antibiotic resistant reoccurring pneumonia and was limited to just short walks for 6 weeks. I do have to say, it changed his behavior a bit and he got nippy, so we had to be careful who he was around until the drugs wore off, but it did keep him mellow-ish. the second time the vet suggested limited exercise and because we knew our sweet baby boy was ultimately on the decline, we allowed him to go on the walk and he enjoyed several weeks until the pneumonia came back and we had to make a horrible decision to stop the pain. So, we tried both ways. I hope this helps
 

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I am reluctant to advise so I will tell you what I did with my 14 yr old golden, border collie mix who blew out her acl. I started her walking about ten steps, ever so gradually got her up to 50. Then added a little elevation by finding a slight hill. We started over at 10 steps. I took her in the car to places she liked and walked her 20 feet or so and then we sat. Getting her up to walking 100 feet took six months. We were very careful for another 6 months. After a year we resumed normal activity. She lived 4 more years with no issues. I also fed her bone broth during her confinement and until she died. If I had a place where she could have gotten in a pool I would have let her swim a little everyday. I think it would have shortened her recuperation.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
So two weeks in, gave last dose of Metacam today. She is walking just fine as of now. Bending and moving her leg. Still seems a bit hesitant to put much weight on it some times but she is definitely moving fine. I have continued with two short walks and a pee break, alternate crate and just letting her lay down. I tried total crate and it just makes her crazy when I do let her out so I decided this was a better option.
She really hates me right now, keeps stopping at the corner and staring down the road. I would guess within the next 48 hours I will have a better idea of how bad this is.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
No limping. Fingers crossed. Continuing with short walks, limited exercise and crate rest. I think I see her moving it funny sometimes, but could be just me jumping at shadows, lol. I will see if I can make an appointment next week with the vet and have her rechecked.
Hoping, hoping, hoping that this was just a tweeked muscle or something minor. Maybe she just moved wrong? Does not explain refusal to bear weight on it for two days though. Bloody dog is going to make me crazy.
 

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It's isolation, coupled with an injury that are making you crazy! This **** is hard!

Just watch and be patient, she'll indicate when she's healed enough for more exercise. In the meantime, I don't envy you! It IS hard! But hang in there! :coffee::alien::poop:

The emojis have absolutely nothing to do with your situation, which is what made them funny to me!

I know, I'm odd...
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Broke out the prong collar. She is insane right now, there is not even a nod to obedience. She is yanking on the leash and of course using her back legs for leverage, so she went back on the prong. We still have a couple of weeks or so to go. She wasn't favoring the leg much until this morning when she lost all pretense at behaving, so prong it is. She was on her toes for her pee break and walk tonight, wants to go but knows she has the prong on. I don't use it much anymore but figured it was time for a tune up based on this mornings walk.This dog has no sense of self preservation! But she walked like a sane thing at least.
 
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