cruciate tear

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cruciate tear

Postby lindsey » 26 Jan 2013, 13:56


It's such a long time since I have posted here!!

My now 6 year old lab cross (rehomed when he was 9 months ish), lept off my bed a week before Christmas and yelped when he landed. He hopped around on three legs for a few minutes and then carried on as usual. I noticed him limping a little on christmas day, but again it stopped quickly, so i didn't think it was serious.

Last weekend after a big play in the snow, I noticed him limping again so I took him to the vets. She diagnosed a small tear in his cruciate and recommended complete rest for one week, and providing he is not limping at all two weeks of restricted lead walks, and if he is still not limping, he can return to usual exercise.

it's been 5 days, and whilst he's not limping, he is looking a little stiff in his leg.

My concern is, from all the research i have done, it is probably not going to heal without surgery, and if it does, it is going to take a lot longer than three weeks. I don't want to put him through surgery unless he really needs it, but i am worried that the vet is being a bit ambitious in her recommendations. He 's approx 28 kg, and although he has put on a couple of kg over the years, is certainly not overweight.

has anyone got any experience of this? Hetty, do you still post here????

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Re: cruciate tear

Postby Ozzy » 05 Feb 2013, 00:23

Hi Lindsey

I haven't seen Hetty posting on here in a long time but it might be worth sending her a private message? She might get a notification and will have a look then, you never know!

Google and the internet can be really helpful and a great resource.....but can also cause you extra worry and concern. Same goes for any other kind of research that doesn't involve a degree/qualification or several years of study!

Don't forget, your vet has studied for many years and I for one applaud any vet who doesn't rush into surgery but gives other options a go first.

I'm sure she will advise you on the best of her knowledge and will advise surgery if necessary. However, if you are that concerned, why don't you discuss other options like hydrotherapy etc with your vet to see if she thinks that there is anything that can help recovery along the way?

Best of luck, I hope your doggy feels better soon,
OZZY, 7, Cocker Spaniel, male, Bristol
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Re: cruciate tear

Postby lindsey » 12 Nov 2013, 19:01

Hi Sara,

Sorry I never got back on here to reply to your post.

We went for the conservative approach to healing his leg, and had about six months of very restricted exercise. In June I took him back to the vets as I noticed he was holding his legs funny when he was running around the garden. I had also noticed him panting a lot on walks and generally looking rather uncomfortable, and seeming a bit subdued. The vet checked him over and commented that his knee seemed stable, but she could feel some stiffness in his hips. She advised moderate exercise and suggested controlled swimming might be a useful activity to help ease the stiffness and keep him mobile.

We got in touch with the local hydrotherapy centre, who offer 'fun swim' sessions- basically we get to both go in their pool for half an hour and play with toys. We managed two sessions, and I decided to start with off- lead exercise. On his second walk he wandered off and wandered back again on three legs. Back to the vet we went, we saw a different vet at the same practice who recommended sugery, so we were referred to a specialist.

He had the surgery at the end of august, and it has felt like a bit of a long and painful slog, but we are nearly 12 weeks post op now and I am so pleased we went ahead with it. We have followed all the instructions for re-hab, and he had lost a huge amound of muscle tone in his leg, but with lots of walks gradually building up the length and pace, and lots and lots of hydrotherapy sessions, his muscle is coming back and I finally feel I have my bouncy happy dog back.

We have been discharged now, but continue to keep up the walks and swimming. I am nervous about letting him off-lead again, but the specialist has encouraged me to try this in a few weeks time, for short periods initially. The swimming has done him the world of good, and physically I think he is probably fitter than he has been for a long time. When we started swimming, it was a case of 'little swim, big rest, little swim etc' but now he does big swims with only very short rest periods.

As for his hips, the orthopedic vet couldn't feel any particular stiffness in them, although no xrays were taken. I think we will keep up the 'fun swim' sessions for as long as he is enjoying them (they are just playtime to him and he's always been a very confident dog in water) and hopefully that will help to keep him mobile into his senior years.
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