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Old 06-14-2012, 03:04 PM   #1
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Default Surgery or no surgery???? Please help!!!!

My Rylee Belle has a possible ACL injury. It happened last Saturday night.......not sure how. I was tidying up around the house and I heard what sounded like something hitting the glass coffee table. I turned around to see Rylee sitting there and looking kind of scared. When she got up to walk, she kind of stumbled. Then I noticed that she was limping. She never cried out and didn't seem to be in any pain at all. She ate and was perfectly happy besides the limping and of course she wasn't jumping up on the furniture which I try to limit anyway because what happened is exactly what I have feared would happen!!!! I took her to the vet on Monday. He of course gave her the typical examination and determined there were no broken bones or dislocations. He feels it is either a bad sprain or and ACL injury which would not show on an xray. He prescribed Metacam once a day for her for the next 7 to 10 days and if there is no improvement, wants to do surgery. Here is my question..................I have read several articles on this possible injury (cranial cruciate ligament (CCL)) that have VERY different opinions on treatment. Some say definite surgery and others say..............DON'T decide on surgery it could be the WORST thing you can do!!!! One article said to keep the dog as inactive as possible for 8 weeks and it will likely heal itself as well as if they had surgery. I'm so confused!!!! One article even went as far as saying that this particular surgery had become a sort of "cash cow" for vets. I'm open to stories and suggestions or opinions. Just PLEASE........let me hear from you. I don't know what to do!!!! As I mentioned before.............she is in NO pain. She even still runs, although I try to stop that as much as possible.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:10 PM   #2
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Why don't you consider getting an orthopedic specialist 2nd opinion? Can't they do an MRI to be sure if it is torn or not. I mean I know MRI's don't always show tears that really are there but have you read if those are done for dog's when ACL/CCL suspected?
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:24 PM   #3
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You say she is running....on that leg?? If so, she does not have a CCL. If she is not weight bearing she definitely needs to be seen by a board certified surgeon for an evaluation.
Yorkie Haven Rescue - Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tear Info

To find a board certified surgeon in your area:
American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Good luck.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by yorkietalkjilly View Post
Why don't you consider getting an orthopedic specialist 2nd opinion? Can't they do an MRI to be sure if it is torn or not. I mean I know MRI's don't always show tears that really are there but have you read if those are done for dog's when ACL/CCL suspected?
I didn't ask about an MRI. My vet made it sound like he would have to put her "under" and do a type of "exploratory" surgery to see if it is torn. I really don't like the thought of unnecessary surgery so if I have to, I will go to a specialist to have the test done. Thank you for the suggestion.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:54 PM   #5
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I didn't ask about an MRI. My vet made it sound like he would have to put her "under" and do a type of "exploratory" surgery to see if it is torn. I really don't like the thought of unnecessary surgery so if I have to, I will go to a specialist to have the test done. Thank you for the suggestion.
An MRI is very expensive and is not the way a torn CCL is diagnosed. Sometimes a surgeon can tell by a physical exam if the ligament is torn; but sometimes not. They look for what is called a drawer sign. Sometimes the dog is very painful and it is hard to move the knee to look for that sign. What your vet most likely suggested is a light whiff of gas to put her under long enough to manipulate the knee to see if there is a positive drawer sign. It is done in a matter of minutes and is not an exploratory surgery. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:56 PM   #6
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You say she is running....on that leg?? If so, she does not have a CCL. If she is not weight bearing she definitely needs to be seen by a board certified surgeon for an evaluation.
Yorkie Haven Rescue - Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tear Info

To find a board certified surgeon in your area:
American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Good luck.
She does put weight on it but not all the time. It seems like she will be almost fine for a little while and then start to limp again. Considering everything I have read, including the link you sent me.............that is common. I was hoping that since she was showing some improvement, that meant it was a sprain but it sounds like the symptoms can come and go. I just wondered if surgery is always the best way to go. Our lab had this same injury several years ago and even after surgery has never been the same. Of course he is 100 pounds to Rylee's 6 pounds which I'm sure can make a difference. My sister's dog has this injury also and they op
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:57 PM   #7
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Xrays could still be helpful. So the vet could not say for sure that is was a tear on physical exam? It could be a partial tear with what you're describing..or something else entirely. If you are concerned about waiting, then I'd take her to an ortho.

If this is a partial ccl tear, some orthos would go to surgery and others would not. Partial tears in small breeds sometimes do have a good chance at healing. It sounds like the vet wants her rested for best chances at healing. So she should be in a crate or xpen unless being held. Leash for potty. No running/jumping/climbing if the vet thinks it is a tear. That will only make it worse.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ladyjane View Post
You say she is running....on that leg?? If so, she does not have a CCL. If she is not weight bearing she definitely needs to be seen by a board certified surgeon for an evaluation.
Yorkie Haven Rescue - Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tear Info

To find a board certified surgeon in your area:
American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Good luck.
She does put weight on it but not all the time. It seems like she will be almost fine for a little while and then start to limp again. Considering everything I have read, including the link you sent me.............that is common. I was hoping that since she was showing some improvement, that meant it was a sprain but it sounds like the symptoms can come and go. I just wondered if surgery is always the best way to go. Our lab had this same injury several years ago and even after surgery has never been the same. Of course he is 100 pounds to Rylee's 6 pounds which I'm sure can make a difference. My sister's dog has this injury also and they couldn't afford the surgery. Ironically............their dog is doing fine 2 years later. I will do whatever it takes for Rylee..............she means the world to me..............I just really don't like the idea of surgery. It scares me!!!! Thank you so much for the links!
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:21 PM   #9
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My dog tore his ACL - regular vet diagnosed by physical exam. BC surgeon confirmed with exam. Fixed it and Barney busted the repair. Recovering from second surgery and doing well, we are doing rehab to make up for muscle loss as we've been at this since mid January. Would do surgery again in a heartbeat for him. He's 12 years old.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:27 PM   #10
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My dog tore his ACL - regular vet diagnosed by physical exam. BC surgeon confirmed with exam. Fixed it and Barney busted the repair. Recovering from second surgery and doing well, we are doing rehab to make up for muscle loss as we've been at this since mid January. Would do surgery again in a heartbeat for him. He's 12 years old.
Did he ever put weight on it at all? My lab held his leg up when it happened to him. Rylee still puts her leg down and even puts weight on it. For the most part she has a little "hitch" in her step right now. I think that is why my vet is not completely sure.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:31 PM   #11
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I think you really need to get a definitive diagnosis. It really is not a big thing to diagnosis it. At least then you would not be guessing. If it is just LP, she might improve on anti inflammatories.

There is no way for anyone to diagnose it by symptoms....in my experience they do not weight bear at all with a CCL but anything is possible. Best to know imo.

Last edited by ladyjane; 06-14-2012 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnsdrexler02 View Post
Did he ever put weight on it at all? My lab held his leg up when it happened to him. Rylee still puts her leg down and even puts weight on it. For the most part she has a little "hitch" in her step right now. I think that is why my vet is not completely sure.
After he was on metacam he did put weight on it and limped. He held it up mostly.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:45 PM   #13
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I want to add - it was very little weight - nothing that could give him any quality of life.
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:58 AM   #14
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I have no advice, just wanted to send good thoughts your way for your little one. From the sound you described, sounds like she was trying to jump up on the coffee table and slipped, or perhaps was jumping on the sofa and slipped off, banging into the coffee table. Poor kiddo!!!

Good luck, I hope it's not serious!!!
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:41 PM   #15
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Default Update on Rylee..........still confused!!!!

So today she has not held her leg up at all. She is putting weight on it but still has that little "hitch" in her step. It almost seems like her leg is stiff and weak but she IS still using it. I'm thinking at this point that it is more likely LP and not a CCL injury. I have been carrying her all over the house........not allowing her to jump or use the stairs. I'm not letting her outside at all so she is having to only use her pee pee pads which she is very unhappy about. She doesn't understand why I won't let her jump up on the furniture.............I think she thinks she is in trouble. I guess I will just keep continuing to "baby" her until the 10 days passes as the vet suggested. I'm also looking into getting a stroller so I can take her on walks. This next week is going to be long.............
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