My dog had her ACL replaced!

Michael*K

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Man I still can't believe they do surgery this advanced for animals. I know some places even have MRI and CT machines for pets. Wonder what's next?
Anyhow, I had to bring my 4 year-old female lab in because her ACL was ruptured. The vet operated yesterday and replaced the torn ACL with a synthetic one. I picked her up today and she has her leg taped up from hip to toe. She's pretty exhausted tonight...probably from the stress of 1.5 days at the doctor's office and having to hobble around on three legs. One of the things that sucks is that she cries occasionally and I can't tell if she's in pain or maybe just itches somewhere she can't scratch. She was given a painkiller that also works as an anti-inflammatory, but I don't know if it's enough. I know a few others here have had this surgery for their dogs. What kind of painkillers did they give you? The vet has offered to write me a prescription for her if I think she needs it. They gave her morphine yesterday at the office and that's pretty powerful. I don't want her knocked out, but I don't want her in pain either. I just wonder what is "too much."
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SteveGon

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Hope she gets well soon!
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Ari

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If it's uncomfortable for her now, just wait till they get her on the rehab trail...that's when the fun really starts!! The surgery really didn't hurt at all compared to rehab.....hope I never have to go through that again!!
I feel for your dog though....must have no idea what's going on......
 

KeithH

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Michael, I hope you dog heals quickly and without any difficulty.
This reminds of a comedian I caught on TV years ago who was talking about his cat twisting his knee. He said, "I didn't even know cats had knees!"
Anyone know who this comedian is? He has blonde hair and is pretty good, with a dry sense of humor. I haven't seen him on TV in years.
Michael, I wasn't trying to belittle your situation with the humor.
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MikeM

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So after 6-8 weeks of rehab, do you think she'll be able to rush for over 100 yards per game again?

Just kididng, I wish her the best. I just never knew they even did that type of surgery on animals.
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KeithH

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MikeM said:
quote: So after 6-8 weeks of rehab, do you think she'll be able to rush for over 100 yards per game again?[/quote]
It depends. I'm sure she will be focused on her rehab and will work very hard to get the knee back to 100%. However, the big question with these injuries is always the mental state of the running back when he or she gets that first hand-off. The question is whether or not Mike's dog will feel comfortable planting on that knee and will be able to change directions on a dime like before. It can be as much mental as physical.

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[Edited last by KeithH on October 13, 2001 at 08:33 AM]
 

Michael*K

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The question is whether or not Mike's cat will feel comfortable planting on that knee and will be able to change directions on a dime like before. It can be as much mental as physical.
Ick...I'm not a cat person.
Actually it's my four-year old black lab that had the knee surgery. And I'm not sure she wants to take 6-8 weeks for rehab either. I took her off the leash in the backyard this morning and she spotted a rabbit and ran as fast as she could on three legs to catch it. That's all I need is for the other knee to get blown out.
All in all, I think she is handling it well. She isn't using the repaired leg yet...it's taped from hip to toe. I haven't heard her crying out in pain, but I think her skin itches from where they shaved her. I've only caught her one time trying to chew the bandage and once I sprayed it with bitter apple, she left it alone. Thankfully the bandage comes off Monday.
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MichaelPe

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Poor thing... Will your dog be needing a knee-brace?
I'm really impressed that animal medicine has evolved to this point. MRI machines in some cities have waiting lists where people have to wait several months before they can get an appointment - usually for serious reasons such as brain tumors. I find it almost shocking that animals can be given equal or higher priority than humans in these cases.
 

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My cat had this happen to her six months ago. She wasn't happy, but she didn't really seem affected as to her energy level, etc. She HATED being locked in a small room with no surfaces she could jump on, though.
One thing I noticed is that she does tend to favor that leg just a little; but only when she thinks nobody's watching her.

[Edited last by Sarah S on October 12, 2001 at 08:08 PM]
 

Michael*K

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MRI machines in some cities have waiting lists where people have to wait several months before they can get an appointment - usually for serious reasons such as brain tumors. I find it almost shocking that animals can be given equal or higher priority than humans in these cases.
Though I'm not a verterinarian, I really don't think this technology is commonly found in offices because the machines are so expensive. I do know that they have one at the University of Illinois' well-known veterinary school. I don't doubt that there is a large waiting list for the human populace, but the U of I hospitals aren't shorthchanging them. They also have the most up-to-date technologies available at their disposal for men and women.
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KeithH

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Mike, oops. I just caught my error, referring to your dog as a cat. I'm not a cat person either. Dogs rule. Anyway, I was thinking about that comedian with the cat/knee joke I referred to as I wrote the second message here.
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Stacy Huff

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My dog, a 130-pound male, Newfoundland-Lab mix, had this same surgery in March. We kept him penned up for about 4 weeks, and then let him gradually start walking around again. It is hard, because dogs don't understand that they need to take it easy. The good news--within 2 months of the surgery he was running like never before. I think he is actually faster now. One thing I did was let him swim in the pool. If you have access, it is a good, low-impact way to let your dog strengthen the leg.
Good luck, to you and your dog.
 
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Joseph, I had the same reaction! In my programming job, I spend way too much time doing W2K server maintenance/changes.
I still don't know what an ACL is in an animal.
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Julian Reville

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The ACL that this post referred to is the Anterior Cruxciate Ligament, in the knee (stifle in the quadruped). This is the correct human terminology. In doggie (veterinary) medicine, the terms anterior & posterior (front & back) are generally replaced with cranial and caudal (head & tail) for obvious anatomical reasons.
Therefore the patient could be said to have had her CCL (cranial cruxciate ligament) replaced (or augmented, probably), which is the terms most US veterinarians use.
Anyway you look at it, it's a major surgery. Rest and rehab, as mentioned, is very important.
 

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Very few animal clinics have the facilities or the trained doctors to perform this kind of surgery. When my cat was severely injured my local vet couldn't handle it and referred me to a specialist Veterinary Clinic.
This particular clinic (in Orlando) routinely does hip replacement surgery on dogs as well as other highly skilled surgery. They have at least 5 veterinarians who are Board Certified and Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Only about 50 Veterinarians earn this credential per year.
Basically, I wouldn't mind being treated there (but I don't think I would fit in the cages).

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Marianne
 

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