A Question about ACL Injuries
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  1. #1
    ThatsMyGirl Guest

    DefaultA Question about ACL Injuries

    It seems like every week or two I read about a lab who has a partial or full tear of their ACL and needs surgery. So I'm curious, is there anything that can be done to minimize the risk of ~ or prevent ~ this injury?

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    Trickster's Avatar
    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: A Question about ACL Injuries

    Thankfully I have never had a dog with a torn ACL but really, like most injuries, there is not a lot you can do to prevent them. Sometimes these things just happen. Keeping the dog physically fit and lean helps. As does minimizing high impact activities -- so strictly no frisbee throwing or obsessive ball playing.

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    stlabs is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: A Question about ACL Injuries

    Our surgeon told us that it's a really common injury for big dogs and happens a lot of times because of twisting. We think that our boy tore his because we used to play fetch with him on our hard tile floors. He would run down the hall to get the ball and a few times he slid. I think one of those times he slid and probably partially tore it from the twisting. It's very common for dogs who have torn one to tear the other simply by putting more weight on it. We don't play ball in the house anymore.

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    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
    Canyon Labradors is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: A Question about ACL Injuries

    I have actually talked to some breeders who thought it might run in lines too.

    Large, active dogs run the risk of tearing them. I always thought it wouldn't happen to us, then Hudler blew both of his when he was 5 1/2.

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    sammycolo09 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: A Question about ACL Injuries

    What are the symptoms of a ACL injury?


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    hogansperson is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: A Question about ACL Injuries

    Hi,

    I am an owner of a 1 year old chocolate lab - Hogan. He recently was diagnosed with two blown Cruciate Ligaments. There are a few questions that I would like to comment on and I would like to have some advice about what to do after your lab has surgery.

    First, my vet suggested that ACL and/or cruciate tears are becoming an epidemic among the large breeds. She suggested breeding (for example Hogan has very straight back legs that led to more strain on his knees) and growing so fast (Hogan was over 100 pounds at 10 months old). Although he was fed special food to slow down his growing (imagine if we didn't, haha) he still grew at an enormous rate.

    Second, as all lab owners know, it is hard to NOT exercise your dog. Hogan, was actually quite calm, but still loved to go for a mile or so run. We live in Canada (Southern Saskatchewan, to be exact) and it snows a lot here, we would run Hogan down the ditches of a road south of town, he loved it! Unfortunately, later we found out that running in hard snow is horrible for dogs - and that is when Hogan probably wrecked one of his cruciates. My trainer and vet suggest not exercising your dog a lot during the winter, especially when there is hard snow or any ice.

    Third, someone asked about how you can tell if your dog has an injury. Hogan started limping a little bit, like he had a sore muscle. We didn't really think anything of it, everyone gets a little sore sometimes. We rested him and he went back to normal. Later, after another long run he seemed sore again, we took him to the vet. She said it could be sore muscles or hip dysplasia or a torn ACL. She sent us home to rest. We took it easy and it seemed after even a little walk or a short game of fetch was even causing him pain. We took him back to the vet after Hogan spent a day with his "cousin" a lab cross and could barely walk and get up later that night. It brings tears to my eyes again just thinking about him. We took him to the vet and she put him under and took x-rays. She said it torn ACL's - both legs. She recommended a TPLO (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy) specialist and we are scheduled for surgery in a week.

    Lastly, I would like to know how many of you dealt with your lab having surgery, especially surgery where they are unable to walk for a while. What training you did to prepare your lab for this kind of surgery, etc.

    Thanks,

    Melissa AKA Hogan's Mom

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    stlabs is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: A Question about ACL Injuries

    My boy had TPLO on both knees. He's made a full recovery and is doing great. We discovered it because he would limp a lot after getting up from a nap or strenuous exercise. He was never lame though - just had a limp. Basically, you have the surgery and then they're on restricted (i.e. basically no) activity for six weeks. After that you slowly start rehabing them. There is a place here that will rehab using an underwater treadmill. We opted to rehab by walking. We started slowly and built up over time to a mile. We did one surgery, waited six weeks to heal, then did the other knee, waited six weeks and then did rehab. Having gone through it, I can't imagine doing both knees at the same time although I know some vets do it. There is no training that I know of to prepare a dog for TPLO.

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    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: A Question about ACL Injuries

    Hudler blew out his first knee in June of 2005. Had TPLO in July, got an OK from the vet that he could start moving around a bit more in September. Promptly blew the other knee out the same day. Had 2nd TPLO that week, and by December was fully healed with both knees.

    We noticed because he started limping. He never limped before. We didn't do any post-op therapy, just his regular walks. He's back to running and playing normally, competing in obedience and rally events, UKC conformation shows...like nothing ever happened.

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    derekiar is offline Junior Member
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    After reading through all these posts, I think my dog may have torn his ACL as well. Scout is almost three years old and loves chasing balls in the back yard. He doesn't quit, will just continue to toss the tennis ball at you so you will throw it again. Yesterday, was the first time this year he has got to go swimming(another favorite activity). Everything went fine, got him home and he still wanted to play fetch. He is now limping around and does not seem to want to put any weight on his back right leg. He has had limited activity today and we are trying to just keep him laying down. He doesn't mind if you are moving the leg around or anything, he just simply doesn't want to walk on it. What do you think? Please advise on how we should proceed.......

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    javasmom is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekiar View Post
    After reading through all these posts, I think my dog may have torn his ACL as well. Scout is almost three years old and loves chasing balls in the back yard. He doesn't quit, will just continue to toss the tennis ball at you so you will throw it again. Yesterday, was the first time this year he has got to go swimming(another favorite activity). Everything went fine, got him home and he still wanted to play fetch. He is now limping around and does not seem to want to put any weight on his back right leg. He has had limited activity today and we are trying to just keep him laying down. He doesn't mind if you are moving the leg around or anything, he just simply doesn't want to walk on it. What do you think? Please advise on how we should proceed.......
    Skip the regular vet and get Scout to an orthopedic vet for an exam. They can do a quick test (drawer test) to check for an ACL injury.
    My girl blew both her knees at the same time when she was 13 months old and had back to back repairs.

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