Cruciate Ligament

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  • #62329
    rona
    Member

    Hi everyone. I’m a newby and this is my first post.
    Alfie my beautiful Goldie, has just been diagnosed with problems with his cruciate ligament. He is not showing many signs of being in pain but he is sometimes laying with his back leg stretched behind him.
    He does not limp when exercising but is quite stiff after a rest. My vet is telling me to restrict his exercise (which I am doing) but I have never read anything about dogs getting better from this without an operation.
    Could any of you, put my mine at rest. has anyone had a dog recover like this

    #83996

    I can’t help but others sure can, I seem to remember Mark’s girl Cass had a recent cruciate strain (search for the thread ‘white lights for Cass’) may be worth a read and hang a six, others will definately advise.  Oh and welcome from me and my Toby dog!

    #83997
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Firstly don’t let the Vet scare you with horror stories because depending on the degree of the strain dogs can & do recover from cruciate tears providing it is not a complete rupture.

    Cass went inexplicably lame at 5 months old & after visits to 3 specialists they could find nothing wrong but the vet i was with was convinced it was cruciate & insisted it needed surgery, they even told me that if i dodn’t get it done her other leg would go within 6 months & my dog would be disabled.

    I refused point blank to let them do such a drastic operation on what at the time was only a 5 month old puppy because i felt it was inapropriate & unethical to do surgery like that when she hadn’t even finished growing, so i left the vet & went for a second opinion with another one who refused to operate because the strain was so minor.

    Now she’s 2 years old & apart from the odd episode of limping if i let her run for long periods and go mad jumping about she’s fine and lives a normal life. It’s always a worry but it does not impact on her every day life enough to justify putting her through surgery.

    Get yourself some Flexi Joints for dogs from http://www.healthspan.co.uk/dog-supplements/ProductList-c1786997.aspx and just be careful not to let him do anything silly to strain it further. Have you had any x-rays taken at all?

    #83998
    Sweetypye
    Member

    There are different degrees of damage to the cruciate which require different outlooks depending on the age of the dog, whether or not it is a performance animal or just a pet and whether it is a chronic or acute problem.

    some people will wait until it ruptures to do surgery some not, some will live with a stretched ligament ok until it needs surgery or forever so if necessary get a referral…..

    #83999
    Anonymous
    Guest

    hi,

    you may also be able to help him by looking into his diet (making sure he doesnt have any extra weight on it) and give him support to deal with it 🙂

    claire x

    #84000
    .dodger.
    Member

    My grandparents dog had this. He was holding his back leg up all the time and some days he was in pain with it some days it was fine. Took him to the vet and he needed an op because it was pretty bad. He’s all better now and you wouldn’t even notice anything had happened if i didn’t tell you.

    #84001
    Lucyr
    Member

    My male Rottie started limping after an over enthusiatic run when he was 14 mths old, after extreme restricted exercise, hydrotherapy and numerous visits to the vets we all thought he was recovering but then suddenly started limping again.  I do show my dogs and as I wanted him back to normal asap I got a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon.  My Rottie was only limping occasionally but after 4 to 5 mths I really wasn’t happy.

    The orthopaedic surgeon said he would examine and if possible not operate as on first inspection he thought it was maybe soft tissue damage.  After knocking him out and investigating we decided to go ahead with surgery and it was found he had one stretched ligament and a small tear in the other one.  He didn’t want to do the TPLO as he said it is very drastic surgery and you don’t get any better results than having the other ‘stitch/suture’ method apart from they heal quicker.

    6 mths down the line I have found that my boy is too energetic off lead at the moment and keeps tweaking his leg so we are cycling instead….he loves it and is muscling up and not one sign of lameness.

    For my dog surgery was the only option but yes they can heal without it but this is more common in smaller breeds.

    #84002
    .dodger.
    Member

    For my dog surgery was the only option but yes they can heal without it but this is more common in smaller breeds.

    yup it was the same for my grandparents dog (he is also a small breed)

    #84003
    rona
    Member

    Thanks for prompt replies. Alf hasn’t been xrayed yet as my vet is not the type to put him through anything which is not vital. She managed to manipulate the joint with him fully awake cos he’s such a softy, the joint is a little swollen and he has been on flexi joint for about a year now and has just started cod liver oil.
    My main problem with him, is that he is used to being out with me all day as i have a job were he can come, and we usually walk for about 2-3 hours a day, so you can imagine the poor little hard done by eyes every time he thinks he should be out! With this amount of time running around I can assure you that he is not overweight.
    He was a rescue dog that I homed when he was 20 months old and he had not been exercised very much and had no muscles at all, I thought that I had built him up slowly but maybe I over did it, as he has had problems with a front leg as well.
    I have managed to track down his breeder so when I have time I will find out if any others have had problems

    #84004
    Sweetypye
    Member

    As a matter of interest is he neutered and if so at what age?

    #84005
    rona
    Member

    Yep he is, he was done before I got him at 11 months, he’s 7 years old now. What relevance is this or were you just asking?

    #84006
    kizkiznobite
    Member

    well posted mark…thats why i love this forum…even when it goes wonky…dog folk passing on re dogs and personal stuff…

    thanks all other posters too….

    hi and welcome rona… 🙂

    give us some more info if you can… 🙂

    #84007
    Sweetypye
    Member

    There is some evidence to support the theory that early neutering can predispose dogs to cruciate ligament problems.

    Look here:

    http://www.caninesports.com/SpayNeuter.html

    Extract:

    Orthopedic Considerations

    A study by Salmeri et al in 1991 found that bitches spayed at 7 weeks grew significantly taller than those spayed at 7 months, who were taller than those not spayed (or presumably spayed after the growth plates had closed).(1) A study of 1444 Golden Retrievers performed in 1998 and 1999 also found bitches and dogs spayed and neutered at less than a year of age were significantly taller than those spayed or neutered at more than a year of age.(2) The sex hormones, by communicating with a number of other growth-related hormones, promote the closure of the growth plates at puberty (3), so the bones of dogs or bitches neutered or spayed before puberty continue to grow. Dogs that have been spayed or neutered well before puberty can frequently be identified by their longer limbs, lighter bone structure, narrow chests and narrow skulls. This abnormal growth frequently results in significant alterations in body proportions and particularly the lengths (and therefore weights) of certain bones relative to others. For example, if the femur has achieved its genetically determined normal length at 8 months when a dog gets spayed or neutered, but the tibia, which normally stops growing at 12 to 14 months of age continues to grow, then an abnormal angle may develop at the stifle. In addition, with the extra growth, the lower leg below the stifle likely becomes heavier (because it is longer), and may cause increased stresses on the cranial cruciate ligament. In addition, sex hormones are critical for achieving peak bone density.(4) These structural and physiological alterations may be the reason why at least one recent study showed that spayed and neutered dogs had a higher incidence of CCL rupture.(5)

    Another recent study showed that dogs spayed or neutered before 5 1/2 months had a significantly higher incidence of hip dysplasia than those spayed or neutered after 5 1/2 months of age, although it should be noted that in this study there were no standard criteria for the diagnosis of hip dysplasia.(6) Nonetheless, breeders of purebred dogs should be cognizant of these studies and should consider whether or not pups they bred were spayed or neutered when considering breeding decisions.

    #84008
    Anonymous
    Guest

    hi
    I would guess SP was asking as the growth plates do not shut until a dog is at least a year plus usually around eighteen mths if a dog is spayed too young it speeds up leg growth therefore adds to strains on the legs
    Val

    [quote author=rona link=topic=12703.msg245342#msg245342 date=1224088372]
    Yep he is, he was done before I got him at 11 months, he’s 7 years old now. What relevance is this or were you just asking?
    [/quote]

    #84009
    kizkiznobite
    Member

    this (in a way) is  fascinating really…have posted on here re beamish bless her…went over the bridge last year…she was a 1/2 working bred black lab…due to a mix up at vets  ::) she was spayed at 4 and a bit months..she was very gangly…there are pics on here…i often wondered what the effect of that was on her joints…at the end of her life…and she lived until a real old age…it was the joints that suffered…

    will check that out SP thanks

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