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Hips and Knees
Partial tear in ACL, vet recommendations
Marty has been limping on and off for a while and we got him in this weekend for a second opinion since I didn't feel comfortable with our first vet. He was sedated then had a thorough exam including hip and knee X-rays. The vet said it's not 100% conclusive, but she believes he has a partial tear in his right rear ACL. She said he has grade 2 patellar luxation and maybe some mild hip dysplasia. So we have rimadyl once a day for an antiinflammatory and tramadol two times daily as needed for pain. He is also on strict rest and only outside, leashed, to potty and then right back inside. This is our regimen for 2-3 weeks and then slowly increase exercise. If he continues to have this problem over time, the vet suggested surgery is an option but she explained that the recovery is long and difficult. I have read over many of the LP and hip dysplasia threads in preparation, so I know that if we can prevent the need for surgery, that would be best. She also explained that sometimes ACL surgery isn't always done in small dogs vs large dogs because they're not carrying as much weight on the joints. But since he's so young and active, it's still a consideration.
The vet also recommended a supplement called Dasuquin. It's a glucosamine joint supplement. I tried searching the forum for it but got zero results. The amazon reviews seem too good to be true... like it's a miracle pill. So I'm just a little skeptical when the claims are so outrageous. Has anyone heard of this or had any experience? The other suggestion she had was something called Companion Therapy Laser which is supposed to reduce pain and inflammation and increase healing speed. I don't even know the cost of it yet, but I've never heard of this before. Again, is there anyone that's had any experience with healing lasers?
We're having a hard time keeping Marty from running around in the house and be haaaaates having to pee and poop in the yard. Normally we'd be going on nice long walks and to the park every day, so this is really tough on him. We are working on some new training, learning names for all of his toys, and I ordered a few puzzle toys from amazon to hopefully keep his mind occupied. I just feel bad for the little guy. He turned a year old just a couple weeks ago, so we may have a long road ahead as he either heals or potentially reinjures his knee leading to surgery.
I'd love anyone's input on the situation and your thoughts on what out get recommended. Thanks!!
Dasquin with MSM is indeed a fine product. He is so young to have these problems. Did you get a contract when you bought him? If so, your breeder may be obligated to cover some of the cost of a surgery. Puzzle games are great, cold laser therapy is an excellent idea, and you may desire to fit him with a cruciate stabilizing leg brace.
"Common sense isn't so common"
We adopted Marty through SIRA so he is a mill rescue. I was hoping he wouldn't have these issues, but it's not so surprising considering his past. It does seem unusual to see these issues this early even in a rescue, but just as with humans, every animal is different. Thanks for your comments on my questions!
That makes sense re him being a mill rescue. Rescues really should disclose that hip dysplasia and LP are very real problems in mill Shibas, so it won't be a shock. It's sad to see a young dog with this, but you are doing all the right things, and he should still have a happy life, perhaps not a very physically active one, but at least there are things you can do to work around it. The worst thing would be to let him get overweight, but he can still do fun normal dog activities, just on a reduced scale. I would also suggest a thyroid check every year from now on, as low thyroid dogs have a much greater risk of ligament injuries as well. Please post any other questions or issues you have as time passes. Best wishes for Marty
"Common sense isn't so common"
I would also say, though, that the surgery is an option in the future. I did it on my dog Bel. We did both the surgery for the LP and the torn (shredded was the word my vet used) ACL at the same time. It was a slow recovery, but it really did help her, and the knee was tight afterwards and the ACL repaired, and she regained most of her range of motion afterwards.
I'd want to put it off, too, if it were me, but I do think the surgery, while expensive, can really be good if the dog needs it, so I wouldn't rule it out entirely.
Lisa and Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akitas) and Leo (Kai Ken)
From the House of the Fox Dogs blog
Why it's Not About Dominance
Bel's thread: the story of a puppy mill Shiba's life
Oh so sorry for Marty. Our Kuma, who turned 2 on October 17th, is on Dasuquin. He started taking it before he had LP surgery on his left leg last June and is still taking it and probably will from now on. Our surgeon wasn't sure if he had an ACL injury until he did the surgery and lucky for us no ACL repair was needed. Kuma was restricted (like Marty) for awhile to see if he would get better, but he did not, so we did the xrays with our surgeon and Kuma needed surgery. We are still doing water therapy (by choice) every other week, and will probably continue that. Kuma is 5 months post op and doing great. His surgery was needed and I am so glad we did it. From what our surgeon said concerning Kuma, had we not, his activity would have to be restricted forever, he would have more issues with arthritis, and his knee injury would most likely get worse and need more invasive surgery than what he had. He was young and very active so it was the only option for us. Hopefully Marty will not need surgery but I agree with Shibamistress that it is an option if necessary. Shibamistress did a thread on Bel's surgery and we did one on Kuma's if you have not seen them. Good Luck! Been there and even though it is a long process, for us, it was needed and it was worth it.
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