Sunday, 18 July 2010

Penny rests her cruciate ligament

As Penny rests, and hopefully recovers her health, I’ve been learning more about cruciate ligament injuries. Until this scare I hadn’t realised how prevalent they are in the dog world.

I’ve come across a great Yahoo group, where generous people share their experience of canine orthopaedic issues. I posted a question based on our experience and feel encouraged by what I’ve learned so far:

  • Some dogs, if their cruciate is not too badly injured, can recover enough to live a good life without needing surgery. One member said her dog was managed conservatively for 8 years before needing surgery, and another member said that dogs who don’t have a significant injury can do well. She had a dog who did well.

  • Make a rehab plan, realise it may be months before Penny is completely well, and don't assume she is recovered just because the limp goes away.

  • If all goes well, we’ll go to short walks in the street, longer walks in the street, and then eventually some play in the backyard to see how she goes.

  • Being overweight is a big problem for dogs (uh oh!), and being only sporadically active can cause injuries.( I think we don’t have to feel bad about that one, because Penny has been active every day since we got her, barring times when she wasn’t well or there was some difficulty getting out for exercise.)

  • It's important to make sure she builds up her strength equally on each side, so that she is symmetrical. (Having a disc problem myself has made me aware of this, as for thirty years I have tended to favor one side of my body, and so I know the problems this brings.)

A few sites I've bookmarked are:
Dealing with Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Labrador Retrievers

Veterinary Orthopedic Sports Medicine Group

Mar Vista Animal Medical Center

Miss Sunshade (yet another gorgeous Airedale) has a very interesting and informative site about her stem cell treatment for an injury.


curator said...

Oh dear! I did not know Penny had a problem with that! If it helps at all, one of my coworkers has a medium-to-large sized dog that just had cruciate ligament surgery a few months ago. She was wanting to play within days and has healed up very well indeed. The trick is to keep the dog quiet for enough time, so I hear!

parlance said...

Thanks, curator! Every big of positive encouragement gratefully received!

Betsy, Ivory Rose and Tusker said...

here's hoping a great recovery for penny. my mastiff, rio, had a torn acl? they wanted to do surgery. i got her a brace through wore it for two years, looks great now...all the best!

parlance said...

That's great to hear about Rio, first because it encourages me, and second, of course, because I'm glad Rio's okay.

i said...

Happy had a torn ligament when she was 1 year old. She recovered without having to go for surgery. I was initially worried as it was very hard to keep her quiet. Only way to do it was to crate her as much as possible then. Hope Penny is resting well and recovers soon.

parlance said...

Happy is the first dog I've heard of who definitely recovered without surgery! I'm dashing over to your blog to ask you more about it.

parlance said...

Happy and Rio, that is! But I gather Happy didn't wear a brace for a couple of years, as Rio had to do.

The blog world is great! In my pre-blogging days I would have had to just ask around about others' experience in my area and I wouldn't have had all these wonderfully helpful comments from all around the world!

Molly the Airedale said...

Our sissy's dog just had ACL surgery last week. She is just now feeling better! Uncle Jim said that it's been very hard on Leah and yes, she is very overweight!
We're sending you lots of AireZen, Penny!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Noah the Airedale said...

Thank you so much for the information on the eardrum. Noah has another appointment on Wednesday so hopefully with the meds we've been administrating over the week there will be an improvment and the vet will be able to see a bit better.

I do know Sunshade and I remember when she lost her hearing. It was such a sudden thing for her. Where as Noah was due to infection from water being in there after being groomed.

We have to stay on top of it now.

Thanks again.
D x

Noah the Airedale said...

Poor Penny. Good luck with her rehabilitation. I'm sure she has a very good nurse looking after lol.

D x

parlance said...

Maggie and Mitch, I've always thought we were feeding Penny sensibly, so it was quite a shock to realise she was overweight!

Thanks for the good wishes.

parlance said...

D, I hope Noah is well soon. Thanks for the good wishes for Penny.

i said...

Hi Parlance,

Have not started blogging at that time. Happy wasn't recommended surgery as she's less than 10 pounds. Surgery is only recommended for larger breeds.

She was on anti-inflammatory med for 4 weeks. Think I kept her confined to an enclosed area for 8 weeks or so.

Keeping her in the crate at night wasn't a problem as she's used to sleeping in her crate.

The hard part was keeping her still when I let her out of her confined area. She was so used to running all over the house and following me around. Think you can imagine how hard that is if Penny is like that too ;-)

Had to use baby gates to keep her in the living hall, or had the door closed when she's in the bedroom with me.

But time passes quickly when it becomes a regular routine.

How heavy is Penny by the way?

Here's a link to this site which might have some info that would help.

Just key in cruciate ligament in their search button and you will get this:

Hope this helps.

parlance said...

Serendipity, it's very helpful. Thanks. I read the first article at the site and it's extremely detailed and informative, though I didn't understand all of it, not being a vet.

Penny's about 35 lb, so she's well into the weight range where surgery might be advised.