The long and winding road and issues of a dog having an ACL injury continue.
For those familiar, or for those who are reading this and have a dog who has been diagnosed with an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear, here’s our story and what we’ve blogged thus far: Really good references here:
March of 2013: ACL partial tear diagnosis from doing a jump for the ball at the park
April of 2013:Cold laser therapy sessions at the local pet rehab center
May of 2013: Custom orthotic ACL stifle brace to wear for 4-6 months with modified activity (read: no jumping)
Early August of 2013: 90 days the brace and all seemed well
August 2, 2013: A 90-day update of the ACL saga
Mid August of 2013: Limp – pop – stagger. My dog injured the same leg but worse. Surgery is required. A partial tear became a full tear.
All has been awesome since surgery took place on August 21, 2013. Recovery was great, as you can read about here, and surgery was curative. He no longer limps! We have our little ball playing ruffian back.
Until Tuesday, My 27th, that is. After a routine ball playing session at the park, we noticed Dexter had a bit of a hobble gait, an almost limp. Hard to describe without seeing it type thing. But it was not normal. It was intermittent and worse at night and especially after rising from a lying down or seated position.
Thoughts that ran through my head: Maybe it’s a muscle pull…or a sprain….or a strain. Please do NOT let it be the ACL in the right rear leg.
Statistically, about 40 percent to 50 percent of dogs with one cranial cruciate ligament rupture will rupture the ligament on the other rear leg within two years of the first rupture. Considering that factor, with our tail between our legs, we visited the board certified veterinarian who performed Dexter’s extracapsular repair today.
Of course, Dexter traipsed in with the happy disposition it always has, and no sign of lameness nor injury was present.
Murphy’s law, right?
After a discussion with the vet (who is a doll by the way and really knows his stuff), the physical exam began.
Manipulations, twisting, turning, and palpating occurred and therein came the diagnosis.
The left leg ACL (operated on leg) is fine, and all is kosher with that. Whew.
The right leg not so much. The vet was unable to reproduce a drawer sign. This is a good thing. For dogs with a torn/ruptured ACL, the drawer sign is tell-tale and present. And yes, I know more about the anatomy of a dog stifle than I ever thought I would, even with my background in medicine.
It could be a partial tear that is very very early on or a muscle pull or sprain. So we might be looking at a full tear coming or not. I did tell the vet about Dexter’s brother experiencing the same thing and needing the exact same surgery. I am told that there is a hereditary component to this, but that the only breed that they are 100 percent certain about it occurring in genetically is Newfoundlands. (you hearing that, Jen Costello of My Brown Newfies?)
Ten days of Metacam – I am not a fan of anti-inflammatories but will do ten days to get through this. Limited walking, no major ball playing sessions and see if he heels. In fact, the major ball playing and jump up for a ball days are over. A jump for a ball is what precipitated the first ACL tear and now “whatever” is happening. Granted, we will play and run, but those high jump “I believe I can fly” days are over.
We get a recheck on the 12th and proceed from there. Oh and losing 2 pounds wouldn’t hurt for both the dog and me (for me, maybe a bit more, like 10). We are also going to start on a different joint supplement than the one we have been using.
So that’s the ACL Days of Our Lives and the latest in our saga.
My heart beats dog, I just wish his knees felt better.