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Tiga tore his ligament :(


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Hello everyone. It's been a while since I've posted on the boards. Things have been pretty crazy around here. We've had a long couple of months. First we found out in Feb. that Tiga has a heart murmur. We're still investigating the cause of it. He's had x-rays and his heart is normal size and no fluid on the lungs. We've also had bloodwork done that shows no anemia. We're still waiting on the rest of the results.

 

As if that wasn't bad enough, on Saturday he tore the ligament in his knee while playing with a friend's dog. :rolleyes: They suspect it's completely torn as he is not using it at all. We'll find out for sure on Monday, but it looks like he's going to need surgery. For now, complete rest, no stairs and pain meds. Poor guy is so confused. To top it all off we're moving to a second floor apt at the end of the month. Looks like we're in for a long couple of months. :S

 

I just needed some support. I'm super stressed out. :D :D :D

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Sorry to hear about both his heart and his knee. I have a dog that is having her 2nd knee surgery in a year next week. There's a yahoo group called Orthodogs which is really helpful and has a wealth of information - I strongly suggest you join it. There are several options for knee surgery so do your research. The rehab after surgery is pretty important too and it'll be a long couple of months for sure.

 

Good luck and I'm sure you'll handle it all just fine!

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Poor Tiga- that sucks :D

 

When my dog, Shiloh was 5 or 6 months he hurt his leg and had to be off it for 2 weeks. We had just moved to the 14th floor in a condo downtown that is over the top extreme about where dogs can pee(we are moving in a week, hooray!). Anyways, it was really tough- he was already 30 lbs and we had to carry him down the hall, into the elevator, down the hall, out the door- walk a block and let him pee. He hated it- I almost wanted to teach him to pee in the stairwell :rolleyes: But we couldn't see the neighbors being too happy about that!

 

Anyways- I know the injury is different, but we found that his nutrition really helped. Raw eggs with the shell, human grade fish oil, raw meat and bones and recovery formula (supplement). That seemed to really speed his healing up and the marrow bones also kept him busy in the house (the clean up was a small price to pay for that, he had to stay in 1 small area).

 

We will keep you and Tiga in our thoughts...

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Poor Tiga. My acd has had TPLO on both knees (age 7 yrs and 9 yrs). She has made a great recovery and you can see video of her playing flyball at almost 12 yrs of age under the Riot and Tempe flyball video I posted. I finally added the link for Foster.

 

It will suck but rehab is definitely extremely important.

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I feel for ya... Not with my own,but a friend's dog that I kept from 3 days post-surgery thru the entire rehab.

 

There are some really good resources out there for info, including non-surgical management (if possible)

Yahoogroups has the Orthodog group and its sister group Conservative Management.

You could also check and see if your dog might qualify for the *Tightrope* procedure.

The groups are a good source of the latest info and support plus a lot of good ideas on how to manage everybody's stress...

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Thank you everyone for the well wishes. I will check out those yahoo groups for sure. Things are pretty stressful around here. He's doing a little better with the pain killers. Only problem is keeping him still. He wants to stay in his usual routines so it's very challenging. I was searching the old threads for ideas of things to do with him that don't involve moving around but I wasn't sure what to search for and had no luck. Does anyone have any ideas?

 

I know we'll get through this, it's just a rough week. I'm working a 60 hour week this week on top of everything.

 

I don't think there's any options for water therapy around here or anywhere close I"m sure. I'm in the maritimes in Canada and our options are kind of limited. I will ask though. We do have access to a camp with an amazing lake that he loves to swim in so we can certainly take him there when the weather is warmer and he is able to start doing stuff again. I haven't been this stressed out in a long time. Thank you all.

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I know many people will think this sounds cruel but if he is trying to do too much while on pain meds then think about cutting them back - not as many, 1.2 dose, etc (discuss with vet first)... The pain meds mask the pain so they think they are fine when they aren't. My dogs will get pain meds for a day or 2 max if they had surgery but after that the pain meds make them feel too good and it makes it harder to keep them quiet so they can heal properly.

 

No I don't like my dogs being in pain. I actually hate it but sometimes when symptoms are masked just like with humans the dogs will over do it and cause more damage. I have done the same thing with myself when I had knee surgeries. I took meds for a day or 2 and after that it was quite limited because I caught myself doing stupid things since I wasn't in much pain.

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We did a lot with frozen Kongs - moisten some of his daily ration of kibble, then cram it into a Kong and throw it into the freezer. That kept him occupied longer than anything else. His "Leo" toy (another treat-dispensing toy) also has kept him occupied for quite a while at a time. He made pretty short work of Bully Sticks (we usually gave him one a day). Ice cubes also kept him occupied while in a crate without adding calories (or weight - not what you need when a pup is dealing with ortho issues). All of these worked fairly well when he had to be crated (i.e., when he wasn't actively being supervised). Our vet does not recommend giving bones without supervision.

 

We also trained a number of games: "touch", "give me a kiss", and so forth. As he had a pretty good "stay", we taught him "catch" (as opposed to "fetch") - put him in a "down stay" and toss a squeaky ball to him; if he missed it, he had to stay, but if he caught it, he got to squeak it for a while. We also worked on teaching him to "roll it back" to us. Finally, we got a couple of yogurt cups and would put a ball under one, and ask him "where's your ball?". If he knocked over the right cup, we'd toss it to him and let him play with it. If he got the wrong one, then we got to play with it.

 

My ortho vet didn't like reducing the dosage of pain meds per se (preferred that we just skip the evening dose) but this might depend on the reason for the pain meds (it was in my pup's best interest to use his joints equally while recovering, so masking pain during the day was more important than at night).

 

On water therapy - my ortho vet urged caution. It all depends on how comfortable the dog is with swimming. Some aren't, and will thrash - this could actually aggravate things. We're taking our pup for weekly therapy on an underwater treadmill at present instead; this enables a more natural "range of motion". (So I second Ms. DaisyDuke's suggestion!). Unfortunately, they're few and far between.

 

Good luck coping with all the stress - here's to a speedy recovery to all!

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Thank you everyone for the well wishes. I will check out those yahoo groups for sure. Things are pretty stressful around here. He's doing a little better with the pain killers. Only problem is keeping him still. He wants to stay in his usual routines so it's very challenging. I was searching the old threads for ideas of things to do with him that don't involve moving around but I wasn't sure what to search for and had no luck. Does anyone have any ideas?

 

Check out http://www.clickersolutions.com

I think under the Training articles / Misc./ clicker tricks there's quite a few behaviours that don't involve any movement..

There are puzzle toys too...

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I know many people will think this sounds cruel but if he is trying to do too much while on pain meds then think about cutting them back - not as many, 1.2 dose, etc (discuss with vet first)... The pain meds mask the pain so they think they are fine when they aren't. My dogs will get pain meds for a day or 2 max if they had surgery but after that the pain meds make them feel too good and it makes it harder to keep them quiet so they can heal properly.

 

No I don't like my dogs being in pain. I actually hate it but sometimes when symptoms are masked just like with humans the dogs will over do it and cause more damage. I have done the same thing with myself when I had knee surgeries. I took meds for a day or 2 and after that it was quite limited because I caught myself doing stupid things since I wasn't in much pain.

You made some very good points - pain does serve a purpose and masking it too much will be counterproductive if the dog overdoes things.

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This story is going to be a lot longer than it needs to be, but I love to tell it.

 

My "heart dog", Missy, was the gentlest, most loving creature that God ever put on this earth. When Missy was 9 years old, she suffered a complete tendon tear, and the leg was unusable. I immediately took her to the vet, who could do nothing for her because she did not have the orthopedic surgical skills. She told me that Missy was likely in excruciating pain, and that the sooner I could have her operated on, the better. She referred me to a surgeon that she considered to be the best canine orthopedic surgeon in the country, and who was within driving distance. So I immediately drove 70 miles to Boston Road Hospital in Springfield, MA, setting a new land speed record for an internal combustion engine along the way. My vet called ahead to expedite the admission process, and it went smoothly; but when it came to schedule the surgery, the assistant said they were backed up, and it could be two to three days. I reluctantly left my dog in their care. The next morning, I called the hospital to see how Missy was doing, and happened to get the surgeon. He told me that when he went to meet Missy in person, she was such a sweetheart that he couldn't let her go days in pain; so he and his team had stayed late the previous night and performed the surgery, reconstructing the torn tendon with surgical nylon. I jumped in my car, drove to Springfield, got my dog (only after the surgical team finished saying "Goodbye" and showering her with affection), and drove her back to the vet, where she stayed 2 weeks for the initial stay and recovery (did I mention that we had previously learned the hard way that Missy knew how to get out of an e-collar?), under my vet's watchful eye and care.

 

I tell this story for two reasons. First, Missy's reconstructed leg was better than new, and she never had another problem in the 5 remaining years of her life. So I know in my heart that in the long run, Tiga is going to be okay. Second, I love to tell the story of a medical practitioner who truly cared for his "patients", even to the point of personal inconvenience and self-sacrifice.

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You are all giving me hope that he will be ok. The waiting is very hard. He has hurt himself before but never this bad and for this long. It's hard enough to keep him quiet now, I'm worried about what to do after the surgery if he ends up needing it. He doesn't use a crate. I have a friend that has one that we may be able to borrow, but I'm worried that may stress him out more. We're so scared that he's going to hurt the other knee too. The vet said that that's a pretty big concern. Bah. This sucks.

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Try to wait for Monday so that you really know what you are dealing with. My Celt was diagnosed with a tear, the vet felt xrays and sedated drawer exam confirmed that, and then the ortho vet said that no, it was just a sprain - and she was right. But, yes, my dog was just coming out of his crate with a hitch and walking out of it. Not the same symptoms as your dog.

 

You just don't know for sure yet so use the internet to familiarize yourself with the potential situation and alternative treatments, and wait and see what the final diagnosis is. After my experience, I wouldn't want to make a decision until an ortho vet saw my dog, his films, and did a thorough exam.

 

That said, I do understand that if there is a "weakness" that makes tearing more likely, it is often also seen in the other leg after - sometimes shortly after because the dog is depending so much on that "sound" leg and sometimes a long time later because there is a disposition towards weakness - but sometimes it never happens. Each dog, each circumstance is different.

 

Very best wishes!

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Well tomorrow is the big day. We will find out if he needs surgery and how much it's going to cost us. It's been a very very long week trying to keep him quiet. I'm very nervous about what we'll hear tomorrow. Thanks again everyone for the well wishes and words of support. Wish us luck.

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