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Old 11-27-2015, 06:11 AM   #15
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Ray, sorry to hear of Dingo's incident. If one owns dogs one knows. When training dogs for hunting or security work I always have the owners sign a wavier as it's not rare to have an incident during hard training. So, we have run into this a number of times. Dingo is in pain, so DOG pain medication will help, but only dog pain killers as human pain killers can really hurt their stomachs. It's the rear leg, 70% of their weight is carried on the front two legs so he will adapt, but you will want to limit his pain as much as possible.

If surgery is not on the table for whatever reason I would suggest some natural oils, some natural additives to his food and swimming as often as possible to build up the old muscles around the injury. It will help him in not only building muscle but also give him a nice form of exercise and diversion.

I would opt for surgery at a high quality surgery center. Age would not deter us, heck my 93 year old father is going to have one hip replaced in January, talk about optimistic.


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Old 11-27-2015, 11:48 AM   #16
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We had a Weimaraner with a rear leg injury ...a main vein was severed.The vet removed the leg so that the remaining hip stump looked rather like a canteen. Dog was back to normal within a week. Is this an option that vets don't consider anymore due to cost, aesthetics, etc? As Ann Arbor Bob noted, there are lots of 3 legged dogs functioning well (especially if the limb lost is a rear one) and ours needed no further special care or medication... he even could still jump the fence! I would think a hop along leg would just be in the way and be subject to further problems😁.

give your pup( s) a big squeeze!

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Old 11-27-2015, 12:00 PM   #17
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Cruciate ligament tear

As a physician, this same condition in humans can be managed with a knee brace quite nicely if the individual isn't too physically active. I would imagine the same could be done for a dog, although the custom design might be pricey. Your vet should be on top of the treatment options.
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:10 PM   #18
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My father had German Shepard hurt and they amputated the leg, he got along very well.
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Our older Blue Heeler, Dingo, tore one of the Cruciate ligaments between his left rear leg femur and fibula. He is eleven years old and an active dog for our kind of camping. He and his younger sister, Blue, took off while hiking over a ridge. Dingo came back limping... thinking it was his foot or a sprain. Hopping was more the term.

After ten days of Dingo adjusting to using three legs and the left rear to stabilize himself from time to time as his fourth, it was time to research the internet. Sounded like a torn Cruciate Ligament. A visit to the vet confirmed that this was not temporary, but a permanent disability. Torn cruciate ligament.

Three Options for us to consider:

1- Put Dingo down
2- Pay $2000 to $3000 for an operation with 85% success
3- Work with Dingo to test his three legs and his "hop a long" fourth

My wife and I both realize that Dingo would be permanently impaired on our Off the Grid camping and hiking. My wife thinking about the "good ole days" wept and now realized that Dingo would have to be held back from too much activity while hiking. This is a big change in how we plan any activities Off the Grid.

The medical operation is not simple and not 100% guaranteed. The operation does not mean the other leg could not be injured being favored during healing, or the repaired knee... tear again and gain nothing.

Putting Dingo down was not even a consideration.

Working with Dingo to make use of his damaged knee was our best option. We speak of him as "Hop Along Dingo", as the rhythm of his pace will need to be relearned. Our afternoon walks are intended for him to find more function for his injured leg and not depend on his good right knee to take all of the stress. He shows no pain from us feeling the joint or his walking along on short hikes.

So far. So good. I expect scar tissue to secure this joint over time. We will see. Although we expect that the ligament was totally torn... unless it is opened up to see for sure... we expect the worse and hope for the best. He will never be 100%... but neither am I.

Has anyone else following this Thread had a dog with one or both Cruciate Ligaments torn? How did you handle this. Was there a recovery period where the injured leg provided more balance over time? How long did it take?

Anyone who has a dog understands how we feel. Dingo will put on a restricted exercise outdoor hiking for the time being. As his confidence improves... so will ours. He is part of our permanent family. We will miss his company, when he can not keep up on long hikes and need to stay with the trailer during those times. His time is not used up. We all can adapt and Hop Along Dingo will have to figure it out in the process.
My Smokey Joe is recovering from that very surgery, He had it done this spring. We have to go in for a recheck in 2 weeks. After a dynamic recovery he has started to limp. The limp is way less painful for him than the before surgery since his was severed.(Over achiever) His knee is larger than the other, the limp could be the arthritis we knew was coming, he is on Adequan injections, he takes the Glucosamine . His salvation is our swimming pool, he can exercise to exhaustion, the only way a Cattle Dog knows to go he just turned 2. Our Red one has never skipped a beat she is 9.His surgery has made a positive difference. We were also told when one goes, usually the other follow suit. If it goes surgery for it too.
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:00 PM   #20
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Our first Westie, Georgi, damaged a ligament when she was 8 years old while playing chase with a much younger dog on a slippery hardwood floor. After careful thought and conferring with our vet we opted for a recovery period of reduced lateral movement exercise, avoidance of play on smooth surfaces, and close observation. She did well for 7 more years and regularly hiked with me for 4 miles to the 2,000 foot summit of Tiger Mt. Now her ashes await me every time I hike up to her final resting place at the summit.
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:35 PM   #21
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Hi Ray,

Looks like I might be the first veterinarian responding to your post, but the advice you've gotten from other dog lovers has been terrific. I agree with the advice to use a glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM product formulated for use in dogs -- available at your vet's or over the counter; also Adequan, as mentioned; and, if you can find it locally, a Chinese herbal formula called The Great Mender, made by Mayway for use in humans but very safe at 1/2 dose in a dog Dingo's size. Also, veterinary (not human!) pain meds are valuable, as dogs don't always admit how much discomfort they're in.

I would caution against the use of a brace. In principle, it's a great idea, but fitting it to a dog's leg in such a way as to avoid pressure sores is very challenging. I've seen even a custom-fitted brace cause considerable skin damage.

The affected knee will become arthritic over time, but Dingo can still have a terrific quality of life. He won't be as active, but I can see that he will be well loved! Wishing you and Dingo many good times ahead.
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Old 11-27-2015, 02:59 PM   #22
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Torn ACL

Get the surgery . The extra capsular method works well in my experience,. @ 800 to 900$ in our area . I have done many of these. The longer the delay , the more arthritic changes develop .
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:43 PM   #23
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What makes me happy about this thread? There are a boat-load of dog lovers among Streamers.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:00 PM   #24
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Dogs just think of an AS as a big silver doghouse they travel with their pack least that's how ours act.

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Old 11-27-2015, 05:07 PM   #25
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We went through this last year with our 60 LB mixed breed. While he was only 5 YO we felt like we had to get him well. It was a long 4-6 weeks for all of us. He had to be kenneled all day except for going out for potty breaks. We used a sling to keep him from putting any pressure on the leg when going up or down steps to get outside. Then back in the kennel. He hated that, as he had never been restricted before. But I can tell you to see him tear around the yard now, with our other dog, playing and rough housing was worth the down time. The Surgery cost was just over 2K. Good luck with your decision, it is not an easy one.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:36 PM   #26
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pm me! we've been there with a beloved Ridgeback, Belphoebe. Same initial diagnosis ... second opinion from more reliable vet (who treats Seattle police dogs). Outcome: surgery not needed, cruciate not torn, Belphoebe lived for years with full recovery from what I believe was bad manipulation and mishandling by initial vet looking for work. That surgery is extremely invasive and we were CRUSHED by the initial diagnosis. My undying respect for the second vet!

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Old 11-27-2015, 08:07 PM   #27
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Kellycanoe... glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM we have been giving to Dingo for two years and quit maybe a year ago. I will have my wife read your post and visit the idea continuing his daily pill.

Guilaume... Dingo shows no pain. At first we thought a bruised foot, then sprain, maybe a hip... and then the knee. By working his leg we could not find any broken bone(s). Then kept coming back to the ACL/CCL. No swelling, no licking the general area.

The Vet worked Dingo's leg and with the assistant holding his front body, the Vet tested the knee. By pushing with some effort, Dingo did react. This was his diagnosis and what we had suspected. The Vet wrote a prescription for Carprofen (Rimadyl) 1/2 tablet every 12 hours.

Comments on a well documented website on this pain killer was that without pain the dog could injure the leg even further... was one point. Since Dingo shows no pain, I am under the uneducated impression that it could be a situation where scar tissue might improve the knee function, with a partial or complete separation of one ACL/CCL. He can support himself when "marking a tree or bush" on this leg, but still prefers his right leg for such activities... That is the part that encourages me it could be injured, but not 100% permanent disability.

Reading "Dog ACL / CCL Ligament- Recovery Without Surgery" from a Google Search.

Dingo has some existing arthritis just from his active lifestyle, long hikes and rabbit chases of the last eleven years. Not as active as our 5 year old female Heeler, as he takes more breaks in his activities now. Currently we limit his outside activities to look for improvement in function, if any is to be expected.

Since Dingo is likely to injure himself in the future with any surgery or not... he has had a very lucky life as an active working dog in our large number of camping trips. As long as he can adapt, and possibly a recovery as guillaume experienced, we hope he will make the best of the years left to him.

Had Dingo been five years old, we would further explore the need for surgery. Sometimes tough decisions must be made, so surgery was not our best option. Since he is neither overweight nor under exercised... we will watch his progress over the next several months.

Life has no guarantees and we accept that for ourselves and our Blue Heelers. As painful to us, putting our best friend down is part of our responsibility as a working dog owner, if it comes to that. We have had to put two Blue Heelers down over our lifetimes, buried them in our yard and grieved over their passing.

Our feelings are if we live a good life and die... we will be given a second chance as a Blue Heeler and find a home like ours... or one posting on this thread.

Thank you for everyone's personal stories. It helps us and others to understand that we are not alone. As this story develops and we carefully watch Dingo's progress, I will give everyone an update if you needed one, or not.
Human Bean
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Old 11-27-2015, 11:39 PM   #28
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My shepard/chow mix severed her cruciate ligament and had surgery - the vet said if she was "susceptible", she could injure her other rear leg within a year. I cheered when the year was up, then 2 weeks later she tore the other one. We had the surgery on the other one as well, she was only 1.5 yrs old with the first. The surgery was horrible and she'd lay in the living room all day long in pain and not wanting to go out to potty, I'd have to force her and she'd wimper and cry. The recovery is difficult due to the dog wanting to run and play and us having to resist the urge to allow it. Poor Brandi recovered, but always had sore arthritic stiff rear legs and she was never the same, she lived to 13. My other dog, Baxter tore his cruciate, but it wasn't severed. He was young and we did the surgery. He was never the same and limped on and off on that leg the rest of his life. He would still run, but would be in pain and hold that leg up afterwards. Both dogs have been on deramaxx and rimadyl - my vet said that you have a choice with pain medication, either wreck the kidneys or liver. You can have the dog on a daily dose of one med, and test for kidney/liver damage, then when there's a problem switch to the other med. I'm glad we did the surgery with the first dog, but wish we never did with the other one. It is a sad and difficult injury. I have 2 healthy happy 2 yr old dogs now and hope I never have to deal with that type of injury ever again. My advice with an 11 yr old dog, let it heal on it's own as best as it can and live life to the fullest possible. Personally my opinion is that surgery is too rough and costly for a dog of that age. I'm sorry.

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