torn ACL - surgery?

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MaggieRocks
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torn ACL - surgery?

Post by MaggieRocks »

A co-worker's mom's pit bull was recently diagnosed with a torn ACL. The family is trying to make a decision on surgery. The dog is 10 years old (I'm not sure of average lifespan for pit bulls, but I'm guessing maybe 10-12 years). So between the age and the expense (they were given an estimate of $3000-$3500) they are trying to make the smartest decision in this case. They really don't want to have her put to sleep, but obviously both the dog's age and the expense are factors.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Barb Wright
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Re: torn ACL - surgery?

Post by Barb Wright »

My personal experience with a torn ACl is very personal...myself. I also had a torn meniscus along with the torn ACL. I opted for no surgery, instead went with an excellent nutrient that helps the body heal itself. Worked like a miracle, a slow miracle (took about 3 months), but made the knee better than it had been for years.

And I see no reason why a dog won't heal the same way, massive trauma notwithstanding. A lot depends on how much damage has occurred. One thing that will be absolutely necessary is to keep the dog from re-injuring by being too active....i.e. jumping up or down, running fast, putting side loads on the leg, etc. It sounds like this dog is old enough that it shouldn't be a problem keeping him less active, though of course some exercise every day is a must. Pain meds should be only enough to keep him from being miserable, a little bit of discomfort will keep him from trying to over-do. If you take all the pain away they think they are okay and won't favor the leg like they should.

So, if you are willing to think outside the box, here is the supplement. Sea Mussel by Food Science of Vermont. Another excellent brand is Perna by DaVinci Labs, also Vermont. If the dog can be kept comfortable it certainly is worth a try, can't hurt may help :)

P.S. If you type in "torn ACL" (without the quotes) up in the Search Function you will come up with other discussions we have had about torn ACL's. Might be some help there.
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

BARB J
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Re: torn ACL - surgery?

Post by BARB J »

Our previous dog, a Border Collie/Aussie mix, tore an ACL playing Frisbee, and we elected to have the surgeon perform a TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) It was believed that there was no chance of recovery without surgical correction, as it had completely ruptured. This was nearly a decade ago, and I don't know if it is still the standard treatment, but it would be worth her researching if it's the recommended course of action.

Our dog was younger, about 6, so we really wanted to give him a chance. It was a brutal surgery with a long recovery - about 11 weeks if I remember correctly, of only potty breaks on a short leash and rehab after that.

When he ruptured his second one about 18 months later, we decided to repair that, too. Back to the xpen for another 11 weeks. He handled both surgeries quite well, considering he was such an active breed, and lived until 15. Arthritis set in earlier for him than it would have without the surgery, but we managed it well.

Would we have done the surgery at age 10, with a lifespan of just another two years? Probably not. The dog can probably get along okay on three legs, if he's slowing down due to old age, so that's something else to talk to a professional about. The main problem with that is that if one ACL goes, the other probably will, too, for it ruptures due to the slope of the tibia and that's likely the same on both legs.

I know nothing up to date about this treatment, and it's very possible I'm explaining the technical details incorrectly, but it's what I remember from what was explained to us at the time.

Good luck to them making a decision. For us, it was an easy one. For her, it sounds quite a bit harder
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Cindy
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Re: torn ACL - surgery?

Post by Cindy »

Annie had two torn ACLs. The first one came at about age 9 and the second at age 11. She recovered beautifully from both, although recuperation was different but she was pretty much good to go after 6 weeks. Totally worth the money since she lived to almost age 15. I can't remember all the technical details but the cost was around $800 for each one. My understanding at that time (about 15 years ago) was that the smaller/lighter the dog, the better the outcome. I had a friend with a part lab/part mastiff with a torn ACL and she was told that she wasn't a "good" surgical candidate because of her size/weight. She did supplements and something else with fairly good success.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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MaggieRocks
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Re: torn ACL - surgery?

Post by MaggieRocks »

Thanks for the input, everyone. I'll let her know about the TPLO.

Barb-where would she find Sea Mussel or Perna? Can it be found in a health food store or would it need to be ordered online? Do you remember how it was given-was it a pill, or a supplement added to meals?

Meanwhile, I'll also use the search function and see what else I can learn.

Barb Wright
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Re: torn ACL - surgery?

Post by Barb Wright »

MaggieRocks wrote:....-where would she find Sea Mussel or Perna? Can it be found in a health food store or would it need to be ordered online? Do you remember how it was given-was it a pill, or a supplement added to meals?
Most health food stores would likely carry the Sea Mussel, the Perna needs to be ordered online from DaVinci Labs. It is powder in a capsule. A therapeutic amount would be the maximum per day adjusted for a dogs weight versus the human suggested dosage. However, start out with one cap and increase to maximum over several days. This allows for toleration. If the dog will eat it sprinkled on damp food that is the best way. Otherwise, hide the capsule in something they will just gulp down, like cheese, or wrapped in meat.

Don't expect a magic bullet....the nutritional approach is almost always a slow progression because you are giving the body nutrients to work with and it takes time to make repairs. Again, it also depends on how much damage there is. That said, can't hurt might help....with me the "help" was amazing. Another anecdote: my DH was having hip discomfort and some knee discomfort as well. Started on the Perna and within weeks the hips were no longer bothering him at all. Took a little longer with the knees. Now I can't hardly get him to pulse the supplement....he is a believer just like me :lol: :lol:
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

Bama Britt
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Re: torn ACL - surgery?

Post by Bama Britt »

Sorry this has turned into a supplement conversation, but a few key words came to my attention. I have been giving Ginger (will be 11 in April) Super Snouts Joint Powder (http://www.supersnouts.com/) for a couple of months as maintenance, so I can't say I have really seen improvement since there wasn't anything to fix. She seems to do well on it with no adverse reactions. It's only ingredient is green lipped mussels with the active ingredient of perna, which leads me to ask if anyone has experience with this product? Also, Barb, is this another source for the supplements you suggested above?
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- Max Eastman

Barb Wright
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Re: torn ACL - surgery?

Post by Barb Wright »

Yes, New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel, that's what you want.
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

Bama Britt
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Re: torn ACL - surgery?

Post by Bama Britt »

Thanks Barb! And bonus for me, my neighbors sell it. If anyone is interested, let me know and I will provide their information.
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"Dogs laugh, but they laugh with their tails. What puts man in a higher state of evolution is that he has got his laugh on the right end."
- Max Eastman

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