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Author Topic: Acl surgery  (Read 2990 times)
Butts Mom
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« on: January 05, 2009, 07:07:57 AM »

This is for my friend who can't register right now, I thought if I posted this for her at least she could read the responses.

My dog Rizzo just had surgery on Friday. She had a torn acl. The ligament was 75% torn. My husband and I did all the research before she went in for surgery. We wound up going with the mono filament route. That is actually fishing line to fix the ligament. Just a stronger grade of it. I was wondering if any one had this type of surgery on any of there dogs. I know the healing time is 8-12 weeks. Very little activity. I was wondering if any one else that has had this done with your dog, if you can give me any other tips for the healing process. It's going to be a pretty long recovery for her and me  So if anyone can throw any extra info on this, it would be very much appreciated.
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Michelle, Butt, Tub and Everybirdie
lins_saving_grace
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2009, 10:53:22 AM »

Does 4 ACL replacement surgeries count for being able to help.  This is my LAST one EVER!!!   Let's see what I can do to help.
8 to 12 weeks is right.  the first 2 weeks, the dog will have to wear a hood when unsupervised to keep him/her from licking the insision and busting the stitches and or staples.  Some vets use under the skin staples that disolve, others use the metal outer staples that need to be removed within 14 days.  Hopefully, you'll get the inside staples.  Outer staples are also a pain because during the no jumpping first 30 days, you have to haul the dog to the vet, which means jumpping into and out of the car twice in a day to go to the vet's office.  Also, some vets will wrap up the leg in that ace bandage stuff that makes it hard for the dog to move and get up to go out.  To fix this on her first operation, Grace just peed on the floor.  Put an old shower curtain under the blankies on the floor so you don't have to clean carpet too. This second time, she didn't have the wrap and was able to move around much better and was more willing to try to go out.  Her attitude was a lot better with this second operation. 
Any bleeding and or oozing during the first 2 weeks should warrant a call to the vet.
the first 2 weeks is also a time during which you have to hope his/her appetite doesn't go away to where you need to dress up the kibble to get him/her to eat.  (that's one reason Grace hates dry kibble now.)  Pills are always fun too since they are HUGE.  The pain meds may make the dog groggy.  the dog will come home all kinds of out of it since the night they stay at the vet they are given introvenious morphine.   
the first 30 days is no jumpping, no playing, no walking except to go potty and go to the food bowl. And no stairs.  It's easier for some of us to avoid stairs than other people.  No getting into bed or on the couch.  Nothing.  It's horrible.  Me and Lady and me and Grace always "campped out" on the living room floor with pillows and blankies so she could have company and security (ok for both of us).
the next 30 days is limited activity...no excessive walking or playing and no "rip roaring" around the yard as my vet says. 
After the 1st 2 months, you walk 5 minutes a week to get the leg back in shape since she will loose a lot of muscle mass during the first 60 days.  You gradually walk more each week by about 5 minutes more than the week before until you are back to normal.  That technically takes about 2 more months. 
Because of the lack of activity, the dog will probably gain weight, which hurts recovery some, so cut back on food (especially treats) to keep the weight off. 
your vet should have a printed sheet of instructions to follow, but it's hard to predict what wrenches the dog will throw into that schedule.  Follow those instructions to a tee while scar tissue forms around the replacement or it can tear again, leading to a restitch.  No one wants that.
There will be set backs, good days and bad days.  Don't freek out since it may be nothing.  Grace is back to putting a good bit of weight on her leg, but some days she holds it up since she may be sore from getting used to using it more.  She lost her footing on the ice yesterday and played some over the weekend and may just need to go easy.  when she gets out of bed when I come home from work, she limps since I'm assuming it's stiff from sleeping on it (just like people when they sleep on their arm at night and it falls asleep.)  Part of recovery is waiting to see improvement after 30 and 60 days.  If it tears during recovery, you won't know about it until the dog misses a milestone in recovery...say after 3 months, he is still not using the leg.
this will be hard not only on the dog, but you.  My advise about taking care of you too is to try to be patient and take a deep breath.  It's tough having it done in the winter since it takes so long to get out and back in and the snow and ice is so scarey to walk on.  Once the 1st 30 days is over, sit back and think to yourself "Boy that went fast" even though it didn't seem like it then. 
Then wait for the other leg to blow within 6 - 24 months (probably sooner than later), but don't baby the "good leg" to avoid it happening.  Once one goes, the other is sure to follow since it beared all the weight during the first recovery.  Opions on that vary, and maybe you'll get lucky and not have to go through it again.
I'm really surprised the vet is going to do the replacement surgery with only a partial tear. 
I hope that helped a little.  let me know if you have any other questions. 
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 11:07:03 AM by Lin » Logged
Butts Mom
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 12:13:59 PM »

I was really hoping you were going to see this. When she first posted this on the bird board you are the one I thought of instantly to offer her advice. I told her to PM me on the bird board with any responses or questions she wanted me to post.
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Michelle, Butt, Tub and Everybirdie
lins_saving_grace
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2009, 12:47:21 PM »

i hope i jumpped in on time.  Smiley  It's not something I wanted a lot of experience with really. But if I can help someone else because of it, I'm more than happy to do it.  One day I want to block out the last 2 years of my life.  I told the vet i've been doing ACL recovery for way so long I don't remember a day without a gimp or a bandage or a lampshade. 
God it's good to be done with it.
you let me know if she has any more questions.  it's really not as bad as it sounds.  It becomes more of a habit than a recovery after one or 2 legs.
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Butts Mom
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2009, 01:07:56 PM »

Here's the PM she just sent me on the bird board:

Hi Michelle,. Wow I can't believe she went through all those surgeries with her dogs. I am freaking out with just this one. Please tell her thank you very much. She explained everything great. I will have to go back to re read her posting as time goes on to make sure I am doing everything correctly. I am so glad that I posted this on the forum as to I have alot of information on this from her. Can't thank you enough.
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Michelle, Butt, Tub and Everybirdie
lins_saving_grace
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2009, 02:57:03 PM »

no problem.  the first time is pretty weird.  if she needs anything else, let me know.
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