Tag Archives: Golden Retriever

Pets At the Vets – Torn ACL – Part Four

18 Sep

Facts on a hand-out may state that it takes dogs approximately two months for their bone and surrounding soft tissue to heal. Highlighted is the case for “mandatory” confinement of our post-surgery friends.
Another of those inexplicable conditions of full recovery which we can not adequately share with our dogs is reduced playtime, movement, walking through the house, even on carpets, especially hard wood or tile floors. Even going to the bathroom must be controlled. With the cone on or off (your call), your best friend must be led outside at the appropriate times to relieve themselves. Care must be taken not to allow them to jump on a planter or change elevations suddenly. Keeping them on a “short leash” has new meaning to you and your best bud.
The bottom line is that while you may be a dog whisperer, your average “dog’s best friend” must put in a day full of “leavings” and “doings.” You have to get the kids off to school, shop at the grocery, stop at the dry cleaners, pop in to the bank, tire store, or pizzaria. So given the unique circumstances of your household, you will have to figure out the details surrounding your dog’s recovery. Time is critical. The healing process moves on without our explicit intervention.
Since the “plateau leveling” procedure causes any pain your dog experienced to go away, your best friend is again forced into a situation we have created.

Controlled activity is still a good two months away.
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Pets At The Vets – ACL (Part Two)

18 Sep

The Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) is the name of surgery performed on dogs to compensate for the fact that they have completely torn their ACL. As with humans, the ACL is a ligament. It does not grow back to full strength with rest. In fact, it does not return. Once torn, it must be repaired or it will heal as it would in the wild. The dog would have a limp or worse for the rest of its possibly shortened life span.
The literature from the vet stated that the rupture “of the cranial (anterior) cruciate ligament” if not repaired immediately resulted in “derangement changes” such as osteoarthritis in the stifle (aka “knee”) joint.
As if that were not bad enough, additional cartilage and related areas suffer (i.e. the meniscus), osteophyte growth known as bone spurs, and the joins of the other legs wearing out or blowing out prematurely due to excessive compensatory wear.
As Dr. Adam Galler states, “The TPLO has proven effective in returning” torn ACLs in dogs “to full function.” Also, he mentioned a comparative study recently completed in which numerous Labrador Retrievers had been followed post-TPLO, too. A full seventy percent of Labrador’s recovered.
“Our dogs are Golden’s,” I noted lamely myself, still stunned myself by the need for Casey’s sudden surgical requirement. Obviously, the size, bone structure, and genetics of the Labrador’s and Golden’s are similar. I started to think about the remaining thirty per cent. Why didn’t they make full recoveries? What happened along their their path to returned wellness that made the expensive TPLO not always a rousing success.
Now, I understand. And we’re only ten days post surgery. Soon you will know, too.

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