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Old 04-10-2016, 10:12 AM   #43
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It is so wonderful that Dingo is doing much better. I've appreciated reading all our your posts.

Our Shih tzu, Daisy, turned 13 in March, and right around her birthday, she went lame. It is all very strange. She had been doing very well. She looks like a puppy still, and she's always ready for a walk (but shih-tzus are naturally lazy dogs, and after a while she insists on being carried -- she's been like this since she was a puppy). Since she's always had a "let's keep going" retriever as a companion, our walks are long, and she has to be carried.

Anyway, after a particularly long walk for her, the next day she went lame. She couldn't hold her body up at all. We thought she had overdone it. However, after a few days, she wasn't improving. In fact, she seemed to be getting worse. Right away, I thought of Dingo. Did Daisy have ACL too?

Her vet checked over her spine and all her joints and ran the senior blood panel and other tests. Her joints and spine are fine, and she's overall very healthy and the proper weight, but her blood panel indicated that there was an infection somewhere. The blood panel also showed that her thyroid is on the borderline of low/normal. She just finished a course of 10 days of antibiotics to kill the infection, wherever it might be. However, the vet said we should consider putting her on thyroid meds if things don't improve. He said that hypothyroidism can cause joint pain. Who knew??

Tomorrow, we go for a follow up and start thyroid meds. After reading the symptoms, she does tick many boxes. Over the last 10 days, she's had some good days, where she is stable and wants to walk a bit, but other days, she has to be propped up with a sling just do answer the call of nature.

Lameness in dogs is a tricky business.


[FONT=Century Gothic]Lisa and Paul

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Old 04-16-2016, 11:26 AM   #44
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Dingo still is improving...

We have kept Dingo on the same pain medication plan as discussed earlier. He walks with the same foot pattern as our younger Blue Heeler, Blue. Before it was the 'hop a long' with the hind legs. Now it is as normal a walk as can be expected.

We have been doing 3/4 mile hikes. The first pain medication is given earlier when we are up and about, taking both Heelers outside to sniff around the scrub oak where deer tend to bed down overnight. His hind legs do not have the muscle mass as he had before the ligament issues, and when he fatigues some on the walk, we turn around and he follows.

His hind leg(s) may quiver when standing still from the walk, but from all appearances the exercise is building strength a little at a time. His gait is a bit of a normal walk but his posterior moves more back and forth as he moves along. He can walk up and down stairs when he wants to.

We have heard the $1200 to $3000 operations, braces for $1000, physical therapy and other medical options for a no guarantee improvement.

The pain medication had an immediate effect. Gentle exercise has improved his stamina. He even will want to play tug of war with a rubber ring and plants his hind toes, spread out and pulls. These are all current improvements without any operation, braces or physical therapy. Just routine exercise.

You must remember. We started out just getting him to go out and do his duty. Then pain medication. Then a remarkable improvement with the use of reducing pain in his activity. The costs for the pain medication is not much and the improvement was great. Costco and WalMart are our providers when needed.

We met an individual who had spent $4000 on his small dog. Maybe the pain pills would have done more good, only time will tell.

In our case. Dingo is getting around very well and the camping season has not begun. We may have to cable him to the trailer on our long hikes. With both hind legs getting back to a normal walking pattern, the posterior waddles from left to right in the process... this may be 'as good as it gets'. Build some muscle back into his upper thighs and he just may be around for a long, long time.

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Old 04-20-2016, 08:30 PM   #45
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Down and Up twenty steps each way on back deck

Again, Dingo amazes us in his recovery.

He walked down twenty steps off the deck to patrol our backyard for deer in the brush with Blue... in the snow. Then walked back UP afterwards. This is a first. We were pleased with two steps to the front entrance of the house.

His hind legs still are possibly 50% strength, but apparently improving. I think this old guy is going to get more mobility back after some of these Boodocking Adventures. He may need to stick close to camp... but we are encouraged at this point. It gives all of you hope that if Dingo can pull this one off... yours may also be on the same track. One leg about five months ago and the other two months ago... from what is left of my memory.

I can also dry his paws without difficulty, as well. Before he resisted any excess weight on the hind legs. Now, not so much. We hope this just continues and no set back of his own doing.
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:18 AM   #46
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Good to hear Dingo is getting along so well.

He needs to have fair access to Lily's dog food in Wyoming, before Lily can chase him which time he must be able to run.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:47 AM   #47
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Happy for Dingo's continued recovery!

Originally Posted by bolerama View Post
. . .
Lameness in dogs is a tricky business.

Any chance Daisy has Lyme Disease from a tick bite, Lisa? As in humans, this disease is hard to diagnose and the blood tests are often inconclusive. Our miniature schnauzer Phoebe suddenly went lame, and seemed to have joint pain all over. Our local vet (an older chap experienced with Lyme) immediately put her on Amoxicillin (a shot first, and pills for 10 days) and she was healed. Great call by the vet!

Have you been traveling in any areas which are known to have ticks which carry Lyme Disease? It is spreading all over North America unfortunately.

This was many years ago, and the choice of available drugs is wider now, although in some hard-to-cure cases in humans, the patient ends up having to wear a personal IV device, which pumps antibiotics into them for months. Yes "months" is not a typo, and the symptoms for some of us can be severe, and can recur years later, as the tick's spirochete can remain dormant in our body, similar to chicken pox/shingles.

Best wishes for your Daisy.


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Old 04-21-2016, 07:50 AM   #48
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Years ago, a blue heeler mix we owned at that time tore an ACL. Our vet, who takes an interest in orthopedics, but does not limit his practice to that, did the surgery. $800 at that time probably translates into the lower end of the costs you're quoting now. Surgery, followed by eight weeks of keeping a very active dog on very limited exercise during the healing process, brought her back to normal. I think we were lucky to have a vet who knew what he was doing.

I'm glad Dingo is doing well, and I'm not trying to question your choice.
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Old 05-02-2016, 07:26 PM   #49
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Dingo and Snow worked out very well!

We love our dogs. They always seem to be ready to play when your are not, and... ready to sleep when you are ready to play. Somehow dogs, no matter the size, do run things on their idea of time.

We have had a very unusual snowy April up to May 1st. The sun is out today, May 2nd and the high elevation sun is making a real big mess of things if you like to hike. So it will be a week or more for this all to dry up.

Dingo surprises us every day. He was getting around through the snow following the deer tracks into our scrub oak where they lay down for the evenings. Not hopping, but a fairly decent coordinated normal gate. Not the full throttle following the scent, but good enough to see the obvious improvements. Mimiandrews' Heeler also appears to be getting along, well.

We have several extended camping trips coming in New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming before the snow flies. We will test Dingo's endurance and muscle tone over this Summer. He is still on the same ratio of medications mentioned earlier. They had an IMMEDIATE improvement and not diminished his good nature or willingness to get out and make the best of a bad situation.

We have lost two Blue Heelers from various ailments. One became diabetic from a tumor, somewhere, which could barely be controlled and broke her back slipping on ice, paralyzing her back legs. She wanted to crawl outside and lay in the snow, which we believed was her way of saying goodbye. We took her to the vet and the only option was to be put down. We took her home and buried her in a special spot with her blanket and favorite bone to gnaw.

The brother of Dingo came up with a neurological problem where he became totally disorientated. He could get lost behind a bush and could not figure out how to get around it. He was seven years old at the time and he was buried next to house we now live with the same attention as our first Blue Heeler.

The grief of losing your dog is difficult to explain to someone who never had a dog as a pal and companion. We still can draw some tears remembering the days when we traveled as a pack on our hiking trips into the mountains. It is just difficult to replace your companion after putting one down... but we find the next Blue Heeler pup as soon as one seems to show up.

Those who have posted on this well meaning Thread, Thank You. We know Dingo is not going to be 100%, but even if he were 60% of his normal self, we would make it work. You would do the same.

When I post on other threads I can be clever and find humor in most topics. But when it comes to my string of dogs from when I was two years old and going strong today... when we loose a Blue Heeler... our home will not be the same until we find another Blue Heeler pup and give this pup the same name as the one we lost. So we have 'ol Blue and 'ol Dingo replaced with Blue the female and Dingo the male as our complete Pack.

Stay well. Your dog depends on you and we depend on them. I think that is a good deal for all of us!
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:46 PM   #50
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Our Dog Dingo... Cruciate Ligament torn

As a leader of a small pack of rescues, and one who has lost a few to disease along the way, I understand. Sometimes I wonder who rescues who...our mob of goof-offs and crazies is very important to us, and the unconditional love is amazing. They really seem to understand that they have found forever homes with us.

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Old 06-01-2016, 05:42 PM   #51
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One Mile hike... and Dingo cannot wait to go

Dingo now is walking with us to the local Park and back with ease. It is about one mile round trip. He still can be heard dragging his rear toe nails, as there is a slightly different 'gait' in his walk, due to the ACL flexibility missing. This may also prove temporary. Time will tell. The toe dragging may be less than several months ago, but I can only describe the current situation.

I tell Nancy that 'he struts like John Wayne' is how I describe his gait today.

He does not 'hop' but walks as you would expect. When sitting he will tend to take weight off his hind legs and lays down. Getting up is from the front first, back next. He does not groan in the process.

The pain medication is still being given in the morning and in the evening. About a 12 hour routine. With his progress I might suggest that we reduce the pain pills to the morning, only and follow his activity. This would be 50% of his current pain medication described earlier.

He remains active all day. He sleeps better than I do. Maybe he should take care of me.

We will be Boondocking shortly in Colorado and again in Wyoming. This will be a test of endurance and strengthen of his hind quarters.

For those of you who feel guilty for not going through expensive surgery and mixed results. We have our 'Guinea Dog' with us every day. Do not feel guilty. Dingo was one day from being put down, but Nancy and I were willing to help and assist in any way.

It appears to be a success.

The pain medication was the FIRST option that worked, immediately.
From short walks to now one mile round trip in 45 minutes, our younger female Heeler and Dingo cannot wait until we bring out the leashes for the hike into Boulder City.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:34 PM   #52
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Dingo is doing fine and as close to being 100% as I am today.

As of Today... Dingo walks up and down long deck stairs. He manages easily to do our one mile hike every morning. He is regaining the lost weight on his hips, as this seemed to be the first thing we noticed was the muscle loss as quick, when first injured. He still drags his hind toe nails, but not to the point they are worn down, but enough wear that he does not need them trimmed. I can hear him following from behind with the toe nails just clearing the pavement, with a light clicking sound. His pads do not show any raw or worn areas, which is great news.

He always had a boney spine and never was overweight. His ribs never show, and eats 4 cups of Senior Food a day, and whatever he catches in the yard. His weight is well within what would be expected.

Having TWO ACL injuries so close together, we felt being an active breed of dog and their NEED to HERD something to heel, and the predictions of vets and a session with a 'dog' physical therapist... wanting us to be regulars for ever, it seemed this Blue Heeler's days were numbered...

With the 'pain pill therapy' noted on an earlier thread, I cannot believe Dingo is an exception requiring two ACL surgeries to survive even a diminished life style.

Maybe... there is hope for those older dogs that are otherwise healthy to recover and live a happy 'senior dog's' life.

His appetite is normal. His activity level is normal. His rear legs do not shiver when standing still after some exercise, as it was at the beginning. He sleeps no better nor worse than before the ACL injuries.

His gait is not like the six year old Heeler, Blue. I say he struts like John Wayne, but can run with ease.

Yes. Some will say Dingo did not have an injury like the VET and the Physical Therapist said. But... surgery was needed was our professional advice.

When the first ACL was torn and examined, was followed by the other side injured. Maybe to a lesser degree, but Nancy needed to wrap a towel around his waist to do his Pee and Dee outside, as he could not walk. We were even advised to purchase an attachment with wheels for his ACL injuries to get around.

Each dog is special and their injuries may vary, but Dingo was several days from being put down. Not for our pain of losing a friend, but for HIS pain and inability to get up and move.

He proved everyone... WRONG. It does give me reason to be a bit critical of being directed towards expensive surgeries that promise NO positive results, but only hope.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:11 PM   #53
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We have a border collie who tore her ACL. After considering all the options, we elected to get a brace. An active dog is likely to have another torn ACL after surgery. We purchased the A-Trac Dynamic Brace from, 800-443-4055. She wore it for about 6 months. Every once in a while she will do something that made her limp for about a day and then she was OK. It has now been over a year since her tear and she is doing well. The brace is an alternative to surgery and she tolerated it well.
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:57 AM   #54
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Good to hear, Ray.

Lily will be glad to see Blue and Dingo, and they will once again take turns stealing each other's food.

See you soon!

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
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Old Today, 08:07 PM   #55
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My final post on this Thread. I hope.

Dingo, without expensive surgery, has recovered 90%+ his normal activities. Not being able to compare what he would have been without torn cruciate ligaments.

We hike one mile every day. We hike five miles up Red Mountain at Bootleg Canyon at Boulder City, Nevada once a week with Dingo and Blue, our younger 7 year old Heeler.

We still give him the medication covered earlier on this thread... just in case there is any pain. I think not. Nancy thinks... possibly. I might try a week without any medication and see what happens.

Dingo can sit and lay down. Getting up is not as fast as Blue might get up... but I do not get up from the ground any faster. If your dog has a cruciate ligament torn... go the pain pill route before considering putting your best buddy down. Costco sells what we need very inexpensive for pets. Dingo can run and now has the gait the younger Heeler has when on a mountain trail.

I call it a 100% success. If you have this happen to you... we had it happen to both of Dingo's ligaments. No more weakness where his legs would shake when standing upright. Or groans when he gets up from his pet pillow from a rest.

This pretty much sums up our story. Do not put your dog down until you try what we did. Would we do it again? You bet!
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Old Today, 10:42 PM   #56
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My sweet Roulette, a black shiny Labrador with eyes the color
of sugar turned to caramel, born in our house,
is laying beneath the bluebonnets
in our front yard.

The following originally appeared in The Oregonian in
1926 and later was included in the author's book of
essays and poems.

'Where to Bury A Dog'
By Ben Hur Lampman
A subscriber of the Ontario Argus has written to the
editor of that fine weekly, propounding a certain question,
which, so far as we know, yet remains unanswered. The
question is this -- "Where shall I bury my dog?" It is asked
in advance of death.

The Oregonian trusts the Argus will not be offended if this
newspaper undertakes an answer, for surely such a
question merits a reply, since the man who asked it, on the
evidence of his letter, loves the dog. It distresses him to
think of his favorite as dishonored in death, mere carrion
in the winter rains. Within that sloping, canine skull, he
must reflect when the dog is dead, were thoughts that
dignified the dog and honored the master. The hand of the
master and of the friend stroked often in affection this
rough, pathetic husk that was a dog.

We would say to the Ontario man that there are various
places in which a dog may be buried. We are thinking
now of a setter, whose coat was flame in the sunshine,
and who, so far as we are aware, never entertained a
mean or an unworthy thought. This setter is buried
beneath a cherry tree, under four feet of garden loam, and
at its proper season the cherry strews petals on the green
lawn of his grave. Beneath a cherry tree, or an apple, or
any flowering shrub of the garden, is an excellent place to
bury a good dog.

Beneath such trees, such shrubs, he slept in the drowsy
summer, or gnawed at a flavorous bone, or lifted head to
challenge some strange intruder. These are good places, in
life or in death. Yet it is a small matter, and it touches
sentiment more than anything else. For if the dog be well
remembered, if sometimes he leaps through your dreams
actual as in life, eyes kindling, questing, asking, laughing,
begging, it matters not at all where that dog sleeps at long
and at last.

On a hill where the wind is unrebuked, and the trees are
roaring, or beside a stream he knew in puppyhood, or
somewhere in the flatness of a pasture land, where most
exhilarating cattle graze. It is all one to the dog, and all one
to you, and nothing is gained, and nothing lost -- if
memory lives. But there is one best place to bury a dog.
One place that is best of all.

If you bury him in this spot, the secret of which you must
already have, he will come to you when you call -- come
to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death, and down the
well-remembered path, and to your side again. And
though you call a dozen living dogs to heel they shall not
growl at him, nor resent his coming, for he is yours and he
belongs there. People may scoff at you, who see no
lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall, who hear no
whimper pitched too fine for mere audition, people who
may never really have had a dog. Smile at them then, for
you shall know something that is hidden from them, and
which is well worth the knowing. The one best place to
bury a good dog is in the heart of its master.

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