ACL damage on a Weimer

Discussion in 'Health & Nutritional Care' started by Bailey's Mom, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Super Moderator Staff Member

    One of my dog's best friends is Molly, she's a Weimer. She's extremely high energy. She has two speeds, freak-out and sleep. A couple of months ago she came up limping, but with forced rest it seemed better. It's hard...very hard to get this girl "at rest." And, yes, she runs circles around my Mastiff, but she loses in tug of war contests.
    So, here we are....needing help. Her human Dad doesn't like what he is hearing from Vets, like the likelihood that she'll blow out the other side if this side is operated on. (This happened with my daughter's Rottie.) Her need for speed and her inability to be at rest, make her a prime candidate for re-injury.
    My friend needs another modality...another way of resolving the issue. Somewhere here I read about a different protocol that worked as well as surgery. Would anyone familiar with this process please advise us. Molly is a sweet dog...crazy wild, but sweet. Our friend would die if he lost her. She is his heart dog.
  2. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    Best of luck. I know we've had a few people that have dealt with this conservatively.
  3. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    are the vets he's talking to orthopedic vets ? the fact dogs that rupture their acl's often tear the other has nothing to do with the surgical repair ? imo it is clear that most dogs that rupture their acl's are genetically predisposed , or physically put in the situation for it to happen (weekend athlete type situation) …….. the recovery from the surgery is much quicker ……… if she recovers from rest , she's definitely a conservative candidate …….. conservative recovery requires long term restricted movement , then longer term rehab with restricted movement to avoid relapse ………… surgery requires the same restricted rehab , and a change in life style as far as the type of exercise that resulted in the acl tear , to prevent another …… I knew a guy who's dog competed on a "world class" level at weightpull after a surgical knee repair …….... either way it's a lot of work , especially with a weimer …………….

    my wife loved weimaraners , she/we had a bunch of them , definitely hard crazy dogs ………..

  4. Smokeycat

    Smokeycat Well-Known Member

    I don't have any experience with knee issues in dogs but the canine orthopedic group I'm part of on Facebook is mostly comprised of people who have/do, Orthodogs. I will say they typically do advocate for surgery but there are some that have gone with conservative treatment for one reason or another. One thing I have learnt by reading their posts is that if it was a traumatic event like a fall or hitting something that caused the tear the risk of the second knee going is low. But if the tear occurred during normal activities like running the second knee has a high likelihood of tearing regardless of the treatment chosen.
  5. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Super Moderator Staff Member

    It was an injury from just running hard in the dog park. Molly had been re-homed with my friend when her original family couldn't handle how extreme she was. Weimers are not calm dogs. She came to them spade, so I'm not sure when she had the operation or whether they had held off until she was mature. I know for our Mastiffs it is really important to let them finish growing so as to avoid problems with their joints.

    I've suggested getting a second opinion from the Vet College at Guelph because you can't undo this once it's done, and perhaps there is some newer approach that can be tried. But factually, I'm not very hopeful here.
  6. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Denna tore her CCL 2 years ago. We're going the conservative management route. She was doing great (back to 95% activity after 1 yr) until last month... when a 3am visit to the yard caused a relapse; she had gone out unsupervised... I was away on biz, and my hubby is a zombie at 3am... she was lucky to be let out at all... best guess was she saw a rat and twisted her bad knee as she sprinted after it... in any case, she's back on the IR list again.

    We're following the guidance from this site:
    We're also in this CM FB group:
    We're also in the Othrodogs FB group Smokeycat mentioned.. but they are a surgery-first group.
    I do worry Denna will suffer from extra arthritis due to us skipping surgery, but with this type of injury, arthritis is expected, with or without surgery.

    We manage inflammation with Turmeric Golden Paste, and also added Green Lipped Mussel powder for added minerals (especially manganese, which is one of today's popular 'bad-guys' for joint and tendon issues).
    Lots of Omega-3s (fish oil + vitamin E) daily
    And the regular joint supplements: Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, Hyaluronic Acid

    We're also getting fit for a custom brace this week.
    She has a Posh brace (also custom), but it doesn't work well for her... her legs are too straight (one thing among many I blame for the injury) and the brace slips too much. We're going with an Orthopets brace, which my PT vet (Equisport in Kingston, WA) will fit for us in person - it has extra options to prevent slippage.

    With all the PT and braces, we're easily equal to the cost of the surgery by now... but the rest/recovery is easier (but longer), the pain levels lower (I've heard horror stories of the pain the dogs go through post TPLO surgery... even with meds)... the amount of NSAIDS required is less... but, we're also limping again, 2 years later. So... pros and cons. I'm comfortable with our decision to not do surgery - Denna's NOT a high energy dog, so extra R&R is easy. For a high-energy Weim, I might have to think harder about surgery...

    And, to Marke's point... Denna and I were "weekend warriors", I do put some blame on that lifestyle for her injury. She started limping during a 2 mile long casual hike in the woods. She might have slipped on a rock in a creek, or tripped over a log on the trail - but I missed seeing it happen.

    So far, her second knee is just fine. I think people who do surgery might tend to push recovery earlier, not knowing how much extra work the "good" knee is doing until it's too late. With CM, you go so SLOW with everything, the good knee has time to build up and isn't subjected to as much work early on. At least, that's my take.

    I put some of Denna's recovery process on her facebook page (link below). You have to go back to Jan 2017 to see the start of it all... even though the injury was in 11/2016. We did't see the vet about it for a few months, hoping it would resolve itself with rest...
  7. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

  8. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Other things to research:

    Stem Cell therapy (uses cells from the dog's own tissues)

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