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Thread: Preventing ACL Injuries?

  1. #11
    GulfCoast's Avatar
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    I know that there is a higher occurance of torn ACL's in certain field trial lines than in others. And there is a big controvery over whether TLPO is the way to fix a tear or not. I think some of it is a genetic component, and some of why it is so visible in FT lines is that it may be caused by the exertion that a typical AA field trial dog puts out every day. I have seen it in HT and hunting dogs, too, but not as much as in FT dogs. My friend's "pet lab" tore her ACL climbing the steps out of the swimming pool. Go figure?
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  3. #12
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    I think Laura says you can't know. Erns came from very good lines, with all the clearances and had it. His previous owners didn't watch is weight and he did things I wouldn't ket Kassy do, but then it could be bad luck. When I adopted Erns 5 years ago the vet said they would both blow any day soon.One was fixed 2 years ago, the other a few months ago and we managed it with crate rest so even vets don't know if or when they will go.
    We just have to love them, not take any unnecessary risks, and not worry about what might happen.

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    There is a study being conducted at the U of MN on cruciates from the hereditary standpoint, if I remember right. I think Katie Minor posted it for a colleague ~ 1yr ago. They were looking for participants in the study. It seems fairly common to some field lines especially but also some show lines. I remember a discussion on an old lab chat years ago.

    About the only thing a person can do currently is to keep your ear to the ground, and avoid buying from litters w/ a parent or grandparent that has had the problem. I cringe all the time since mine seem to like to dance/bounce on their rear legs at the front gate if a visitor pulls up or at the kennel gate.

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  6. #14
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    thanks everyone
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  7. #15
    javasmom is offline Senior Member
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    If someone figures out how to prevent ACL injuries...please let me know!!
    After just going through back to back TPLOs, I'm not really interested in doing it again. Ever.

    Java tore BOTH her ACLs at the SAME TIME playing in the snow in February. The surgeon said her angles were steep and her ligaments did not seem to harden up as they should have as she grew. He said she was never going to get through her whole life without tearing both knees, no matter what we did. It was going to happen, based on what he saw when he opened her up.
    I'm crossing my fingers that Moka never has to go through it. She is built differently than Java, so I'm hoping her knees stay strong.

    As far as clean lines....Java and Moka's parents, grandparents, etc are all OFA cleared for hips and elbows and I have not been able to find any evidence of ACL injuries in their lines. Neither parent has had an ACL injury (I believe me breeder). None of the other pups in Java's litter of 11 have had an ACL injury, just her. None of the pups in Moka's litter have had an ACL injury either. So far, Java is the only one. Bad luck for her? Probably.
    Yet, Java tore both ACLs and has ED. Go figure.
    OFA states that 12.2% of pups born to parents that are OFA clear on elbows will still have ED. So, there are never any guarantees.

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    The Texas Tank is offline Senior Member
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    Tank blew both of his a year apart. I attribute his to being overweight and no regular exercise. His first one flew on a walk where he did a fast short charge with a quick stop toward an off leash Weimeriner. I think he actually did them both at the same time it was just one was worse than the other at the time.
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  9. #17
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    I really found this thread interesting - thanks guys!

    Kona blew her ACL back in August, she was running after a group of quail and changed direction really quickly - snap! She's 5. Complete tear, and vet says with her activity level and the angle in the other leg she could blow the other ACL at any time.

    We've been lucky with Sammy. He'll be 9 in January and is still fine. They both come from similar field lines (same mother, different sire), but Kona has had more energy and sharper movements from day one. We'll be at the 3 month post-TPLO mark on Wednesday with her, and so far so good in the healing. Wouldn't want to do it again any time soon though! *knock on wood*

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    I'm not sure when koda's second one blew, but I'm sure it was before she came to me despite that I was only told about the first that needed surgery. The vet told me it had everything to do with the way her knees grew..the angle to be more specific which is why so many dogs who tear one, tear the other.

    It's expensive, but luckily she has recovered from back to back sugeries and out running her brother, easily. Though she'd not do that if he were her age


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  11. #19
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    For all of Duke's dock jumping it was Freckles who has suffered a knee injury. In doing my own research I ran across this page that discusses the advantage of the less invasive procedure over TPLO IF surgery is even required.
    Dog Ligament Injury-- Is Surgery Really Needed?
    I have sent this site to my Vet to see if allowing Freckles up to 8 weeks on restriction might allow for self improvement and if not then to consider using one of the newer less invasive techniques such as this TIGHTROPE CCL procedure.
    http://www.arthrexvetsystems.com/int...PAPER-2007.pdf
    Does anyone have any experience with the less invasive conventional procedures as opposed to the TPLO?

    Duke and Freckles at their country home

  12. #20
    javasmom is offline Senior Member
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    From everything I have read, the tightrope procedure is still too new for me to have even considered it and it has too many problems with bone tunnel enlargement and the clips becoming dislodged, requiring additional surgeries. It is not a surgery that I would consider for either of my dogs. Too many failures, usually a year or more out.
    Java had 2 TPLOs-invasive? Yes. But I am very happy with my decision and if I were to have another dog with a knee injury I would opt for TPLO again, unless the dog was older, then I might consider conservative management or a traditional repair. With a big, young and very active labby girl-I wasn't taking any chances.

    I have also seen the link that you posted and read it. It sounds good, but to me it is a load of crap. ACL injuries will not heal on their own-adult dogs have a very limited blood supply to the ligaments in their knees, almost non-existent, so the ligament is not going to heal on it's own. Scar tissue can build up to help stabilize the knee, but the risk for arthritis at a very young age comes with that, along with the chance that as the scar tissue builds up the knee is in the incorrect position and the dog limps for the rest of it's life. In order for the scar tissue to build up enough to stabilize the knee you are looking at 6 months to a year of restriction-the same as with surgery. And the chance of reinjury is higher also with CM.
    If it is a full ACL tear, in my opinion, the best and only option is surgery.
    I have heard that the TTA has been very successful also, but it requires a bone to be cut just like the TPLO-only difference is it is a non-weight bearing bone that is cut whereas in TPLO it is the weight bearing bone that is cut.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dukesdad View Post
    For all of Duke's dock jumping it was Freckles who has suffered a knee injury. In doing my own research I ran across this page that discusses the advantage of the less invasive procedure over TPLO IF surgery is even required.
    Dog Ligament Injury-- Is Surgery Really Needed?
    I have sent this site to my Vet to see if allowing Freckles up to 8 weeks on restriction might allow for self improvement and if not then to consider using one of the newer less invasive techniques such as this TIGHTROPE CCL procedure.
    http://www.arthrexvetsystems.com/int...PAPER-2007.pdf
    Does anyone have any experience with the less invasive conventional procedures as opposed to the TPLO?

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