Need Advice: Dog Has Torn Ligaments

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Old 06-13-2013, 08:41 AM
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Need advice: dog has torn ligaments

I have a 4 yr old Husky mix (80lbs) who recently started limping on his left hind leg. We saw his vet and he immediately recommended a TTA procedure/surgery. We opted to do conservative management (let it heal by itself with strict well, restriction -- no stairs, etc) as the cost was really prohibitive and we are just not too keen on the complications that could arise from the surgery.

I was just wondering if anyone has had any experience with conservative management (CM)? I was planning on keeping him on CM for 4-6 mos and then get a brace from WoundWear for the next 6 mos to let the tear heal itself naturally.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:58 AM

RE: Need advice: dog has torn ligaments

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torn ligaments are like a stretched rubber band they don't stretch back. you can make them stronger. a chiropractor who knows accu pressure could help greatly.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:15 AM

RE: Need advice: dog has torn ligaments

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Hi My 10+ yr old mini poodles ACL ruptured,its called the cruciate in a dog. It cost me $5000 to fix, 2 or 3 month recovery after surgery. I have health insurance for him so got back about half. I felt bad watching him limp. I was also afraid of the strain it was putting on the other leg. the surgeon told me the other leg, its in the knee, usually goes also so now I am paranoid and wont let him off the leash 2 years after the surgery. He still limps after playing or in bad wet weather. He is lucky mommy has a good job.

I can understand not wanting to spend the money for it. It was a shock. I had to use specialty hospital where the surgeon works (he is excellent), so their prices are outrageous. Also the recovery was tough. Had to bring him for physical therapy which was water tank.
I believe once the ligament is torn, in my dogs case the ACL was gone, nothing really but surgery would help. I hope maybe ;you will have better luck. I would get the dog pain meds and antiinflamatories. Hope he feels better.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:16 AM

RE: Need advice: dog has torn ligaments

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So sorry for your poor dog and you. I know exactly what you are going through. Our 8-year-old Pomeranian ruptured his ACL a couple of years ago and we scraped together the money for his surgery. It cost us about $800 and we have a specialty office in town who just does these types of orthopedic surgeries. It would have been a lot more expensive at the nearby university, so check around on pricing.

I'm not sure if pet insurance would have helped cover any of it, but I will definitely look into that the next time we add a new animal to our family.

Good luck!
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:13 AM

RE: Need advice: dog has torn ligaments

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You could try to get a second opinion or work out a payment plan with your vet if you do decide to go forward with the surgery.

I think the main thing is to make sure no further damage is done and that any pain is minimized. I work with dogs and have seen the sweetest pups have bouts of aggressive due to pain (understandably so!) so just keep an eye out.

I hope everything improves with the CM!
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:21 AM

RE: Need advice: dog has torn ligaments

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Last year my beagle developed a limp on her rear leg. We went in for her yearly checkup/shots and my vet took the same approach as yours, immediately started talking about knee replacement surgery (!) and ACL tears, etc. etc. She was saying it was on both legs even though Penny was only limping on one side.

I wanted to take a bit of a less aggressive approach because what my vet was talking about was $$$$$$$, and also the leg did not seem to be causing her pain.

The vet recommended that she loose a bit of weight, and go on a regimen of fish oil, glucosamine, and aspirin (not ibuprofin or tylenol) daily.

I bought these from Amazon.com: Glyco-Flex III Soft-Chews, you give them for two weeks daily and then every other day, and Penny loves them.

I got some weight off of her, did the daily regimen the vet recommended, and I'd say within two months the limp was gone. Now she has no limp and nothing seems to be bothering her. I do still do the glucosamine chews every other day, but have discontinued the aspirin and fish oil. I have also been trying to retrain her when on a leash, she tries to pull and pull (being a beagle she's determined to follow her nose at all costs) so we are working hard to try to get her out of that habit, and also our habit of pulling her back.

Did your vet recommend anything like the fish oil/aspirin/glucosamine combo?

As an aside, I've since changed vets to someone who is a bit more laid back (but an awesome vet from what I've seen so far)... the fact that my old vet went immediately to surgery and possible knee replacement as the main option didn't sit well with me. Seemed like a huge money grab.

Best wishes for your pup!!
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:36 PM

RE: Need advice: dog has torn ligaments

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Thanks for all the advice!

we are trying to get his weight down and are very strict with him not jumping (he is VERY excitable) and avoiding stairs, etc. He does not seem to be in any pain, he always wants to play - which frustrates me a lot, because I feel like the bad guy. But I gotta do what I gotta do right? He is currently on Dasiquin (glucosamine). I will get a second opinion and ask about fish oil and aspirin.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:57 AM

RE: Need advice: dog has torn ligaments

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Cerveza has had a torn cruciate but it is really an entirely different thing since he is so small, three pounds. The vet recommended against surgery, just rest and pain management. We do have ramps or mini stairs everywhere to keep him from jumping and re injuring. We also keep them all at an appropriate weight which greatly helps reduce the pressure for any sized dog.

Just wanted to wish your guy a speedy recovery!
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