Reading all the stories of members who's pup had ACL injuries has me wondering - is there ANYTHING one can do to (fingers crossed) avoid them? Is this something you can discuss with possible breeders? Is it about type of physical activity? Type of behavior in a dog? Does balanced (daily VS weekend warrior) exercise help? Muscle building? Type of terrain?
Or is this just an injury and something that can happen at any time.
it is something that can happen at any time. some think it is the angle of the knee that causes some to tear more than others.
there was a cattle dog in the ortho doc when i took jax in to have a recheck. the dog was there to get his staples out from one knee. the guy put him in the truck to come to the vets; walked around to get something from the back of his truck and forgot to shut the truck door; dog jumps out and runs after a squirrel; comes back lame in the OTHER knee. the day he got staples out of one; he went under the knife again for the other.
and it's not a cheap surgery, either.
Yes, buy from lines that are as clean as possible of the issue. It has a large genetic component.
As for prevention, good luck. I've heard of folks whose dogs jumped up on the couch or bed and blew one.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
I often wondered about that too. The only thing one can do is keep the excess weight off. (What the ortho vet told my friend when her overweight Golden had it.)
It always scares me when I see them run and play so rough.
My ortho vet believes we're seeing more due to some bowleggedness in Labs. The more bowlegged the dog is, the greater chance of blowing a knee.
♣ Laura ♣
thanks guys. I realize there is nothing failsafe in life. But the cost of the surgery and long recovery time scares the crap out of me! There just seems to be so many dogs going thru surgeries on the boards these days.
How clean a line is reasonable to expect? Seems with all the testing you have to find a compromise somewhere, or are there lines that are clean of all of these issues?
There is no genetic test for ACL's, just as there are no genetic tests for CHD or ED. You can certainly ask a breeder if they've had these issues, but some will be honest and some will not.
The only genetic tests that we have for Labs is PRA, EIC and CNM. Everything else is phenotype testing, not genotype. Two OFA Excellent dogs can (and have) produce a severe case of CHD. Two color dopplar echo cardiogramed Labs can still produce TVD. These are still phenotype tests and cannot tell us whether or not the animal carries the gene.
We expect our dogs to be perfect and not have any issues. Lovely thought, but it's not gonna happen. Just like humans, sometimes problems just happen. You can test until the cows come home, but sometimes it doesn't stop the majority of issues from happening.
♣ Laura ♣
I realize it is impossible to be 100% clean (heck, we humans are riddled with issues!), I just did not word my post properly. I ment to say: knowing that no line is perfect, what can one accept? if both parents are clear with the known test (Hips, eblows, eyes, maybe EIC and CNM even) but say one grandparend had a weak elbow score/has HD. (the other clear). Where does one draw the line of "that's ok" vs "that's not ok". Or should you look more at what is produced (the whole "produces better than themselves" dogs). As a buyer, how do we decide what we are comfortable with.
And heck, I'd probably be more comfortable with a breeder that was honest about that grand parent having a ED cuz I would feel they are honest rather than the "oh no, never had an issue" one I would have doubts in the back of my mind on)
Last edited by Tanya; 12-04-2010 at 04:15 PM.
I heard so many stories about dogs tearing their cruciates, and I thought how lucky we didn't have to go through that. And then Hudler tore his...one first, then the next a few months later. He has large, but lean for his size. Well exercised, but not a retrieving demon. Just your average dog. Not that I 100% believe his breeder, but no issues reported from his lines. I heard the possibility of some genetics playing into it, I think it's just something that happens. Like if you have a large human athlete, body parts just give out.
I think as a buyer, the best you can do is make sure you are buying a dog that comes from 2 parents with passing clearances. Take the time to read OFA and check to see if the grandparents passed etc. or ask the breeder. Make sure you are buying from someone honest and then roll the dice and take your chances.