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Thread: Advice and/or what to expect after ACL surgery

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    Drool Catcher AdventuresWithOliver's Avatar
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    Default Advice and/or what to expect after ACL surgery

    Hi there -

    Our year-and-a-half old Oliver has torn his ACL and will be having surgery on May 21st. Our first bulldog never had surgery of any kind, aside from spaying, so I'm a little nervous. I'm a worrier by nature and I know I will receive instructions from the surgeon, but I'd like to be prepared AS POSSIBLE!

    Looking up stuff such as "aftercare for dog's ACL surgery" is providing lots of information, but so much of it is conflicting. Does anyone have any advice? I see some people who say crating afterwards is essential and others saying to not crate. The good thing is that I am home with Oliver so he will be watched at all times. When my husband or I aren't at home, we have two options: crate him or use a baby-gate to block off our bedroom, which is carpeted AND is where his big, soft comfy bed is. We've also elected to start him in physical therapy to aid in his recovery.

    I feel we are lucky in the sense that Oliver is a very low-key kind of guy. Our first bulldog was a high-strung lunatic. (and we loved her for it) Oliver isn't a "runner" and is super lazy - but we do know his leash will become his best friend for the next few months when going out in the backyard to the bathroom.

    I guess I'm just nervous and looking for as much info as possible from people who have gone through this. Some specific questions:
    • Did anyone use a sling/harness to lift their dog when going out to the bathroom?
    • Does anyone have any ideas for distraction toys to keep Oliver busy, yet with little movement required? (A Kong will definitely be one item)
    • Oliver will be staying overnight at the hospital. What can we expect when he comes home pain-wise - will be still be in a lot of pain?

    Any advice, help, or general support would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!
    Life is always an Adventure with Oliver!
    http://adventureswitholiver.tumblr.com/

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    I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog? I am an EBN Reporter
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    Default Re: Advice and/or what to expect after ACL surgery

    we did exactly that.... when Nitshcke has his ACL surgery, we turned one of the bed rooms into a big doggie bed. Took the furniture out so he would not jump up or down, put a mattress on the floor with lots of pillows and blankets and baby-gated the doorway so he only was out when we let him. he could move around but not too much and we took tuns sleeping in there with him. We did this for three months --- oh, and we carried him up and down stairs.
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  3. #3
    Drool Catcher AdventuresWithOliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice and/or what to expect after ACL surgery

    Thank you so much for the reply! Did you use a sling to help support Nitshcke's weight when going out to the bathroom? I've read many people do that, either buying a "recovery sling" or using a towel. I'm going to have to call the hospital and ask for more aftercare information. I'm also super nervous about this so there are a million questions floating around my head!
    Life is always an Adventure with Oliver!
    http://adventureswitholiver.tumblr.com/

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    Default Re: Advice and/or what to expect after ACL surgery

    I don't have any wisdom for you -- I'm glad you've heard from 2BullyMama already - or I'd have tagged her. I just want to say WELCOME. And bump this so you're sure to avail yourself of the mega wisdom here. You might also use the search field "ACL SURGERY" and I'll bet there's a plethora of threads about it. Looking forward to hearing about Oliver!

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    Drool Catcher AdventuresWithOliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice and/or what to expect after ACL surgery

    Thank you so much!
    I think I will also call the veterinary hospital today. When we went for the consultation, we were given some surgery options to think about, so the appointment for the actual surgery wasn't booked until later when we came home. Since we didn't book the surgery while there, I didn't quite receive any aftercare information aside from how long recovery will be. We were told Oliver will be limping, but definitely able to walk the next day. Fortunately, we only have 2 small steps in our house. I'm concerned over deciding whether he needs to be crated at night or if he can sleep in his bed as he normally does. (he isn't opposed to his crate at all, but I do feel we'd have to buy a bigger one. the current one is small, which he loves, but for after-surgery, it might be too small) And I'm conflicted on whether or not to use a sling to support some of his weight. Searching online gives such conflicting opinions on EVERYTHING.

    I appreciate the welcome and am happy to be here. This forum comes highly recommended from our dear friend @Chunksmama !
    Life is always an Adventure with Oliver!
    http://adventureswitholiver.tumblr.com/

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    Default Re: Advice and/or what to expect after ACL surgery

    Oh no,,,, you know Chunksmama??? Sorry? LOL

    Im no help with the post ACL surgery but wanted to welcome you to the site. I hope you find all the info you need here. Thanx for joining.

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    @TessaAndSamson @sheshistory also have experience with this surgery... Tagged them for you

    Nice to meet you!

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    Drool Catcher AdventuresWithOliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice and/or what to expect after ACL surgery

    Thanks everyone! And yes @BruceP, @Chunksmama is a friend of ours! We love them so much. Chunk is my sweet, cute muffinhead and I sort of get depressed when I don't see him for any length of time. Sadly, Chunk and my Oliver are frenemies. They sometimes love each other and other times (when there is a ball involved) aren't too crazy about each other. Ha!

    -5-15-11-21-jpg
    Chunk & Oliver

    I appreciate the advice and discussions. The more I research the more I realize Google can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Ha!
    Life is always an Adventure with Oliver!
    http://adventureswitholiver.tumblr.com/

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    Default Re: Advice and/or what to expect after ACL surgery

    Hi there!

    My bulldog, Bentley, had both of his ACLs repaired. I am sure you were told, once one goes, the other is something like 92% likely to follow.

    Are you getting the TPLO surgery where the surgeon eliminates the need for the ACL by reconstructing the form of the joint?

    Anyway - to answer your questions:

    Bentley was also in the hospital for the night and when he came home, he was a little groggy and lethargic but not in obvious pain. He had a little cast on but it was off within a day - which is totally normal. Better to have it off that to slip down as the swelling reduces and have it bothering the stitches or staples.

    We gave Bentley his allotted amount of pain medication but we did not use the acepromazine (used to keep the dog calm) because he was already pretty calm and we tried it once and it caused labored breathing, which I didn't like.

    As far as going potty, we had a sling and I think we used it for a day. That is how dogs are - they are not like humans who take a year to recover from a torn ACL and are afraid to try out their new joint - they are born to walk. So Bentley hobbled around on his leg very lightly to go potty but stayed off it for the first couple days otherwise.

    We crated Bentley during the night time (as normal and when he was unsupervised) but otherwise, he was with us in the living room. It may be necessary to confine some higher energy breeds to the crate for longer but I didn't find it necessary. BUT, if unattended, your bully should be in a crate during recovery to avoid any running, jumping, sudden movements, etc.

    In about a week or two, he was hobbling around the house and he kept getting better and better until he resumed full activity in 8 weeks.

    I gave Bentley extra TLC during his recovery, made sure he didn't get too wild, and made sure he did no jumping but I didn't do anything special for him in terms of toys or anything. He was only 10 months when he had his first ACL done and he was happy to spend time with me hanging out, though a peanut butter Kong or a deer or elk antler would be great ideas to keep him busy during recovery.

    Really, I was worse than Bentley after his surgery - it looked like it hurt and I felt sorry for him but he weathered both surgeries just fine. Keep your bully off slick surfaces and the furniture and I bet he'll do great. They are resilient animals and typically recovery well!

    If you need anything or have any more questions, let me know! Good luck with the surgery!
    Last edited by sheshistory; 05-05-2012 at 06:56 PM.

    "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
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    Default Re: Advice and/or what to expect after ACL surgery

    Here's Bentley immediately after we brought him home after his second ACL surgery...poor fella but he recovered great!

    (The haircut they get from the ACL surgery takes FOREVER to grow back!)

    -bentleyacl-jpg

    "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
    Bentley (5.24.04 - 6.26.10) & Linus (1.10.06 - 7.31.13)

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    Default Re: Advice and/or what to expect after ACL surgery

    I have no experience with the surgery but Roxy was hit by a car about 10 years ago. It broke both of her back legs. I slung a towel under her waist and helped her outside when she needed to go. It didn't take but a couple of days until she was walking by herself.

  12. #12
    Drool Catcher AdventuresWithOliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice and/or what to expect after ACL surgery

    @sheshistory - Oh my, thank you SO much for your reply! You definitely answered my questions. I honestly think I will be more traumatized by this than Oliver. We have also elected to have Oliver start physical therapy two weeks after surgery. (the benefits of having a friend own a canine rehab center!) I spoke with her today and she also answered my questions. I think we're set now and I feel a little more prepared. I'm someone who needs a plan of action before I can feel at ease and I think I'm getting there. PS: Bentley is so cute! I hope Oliver is as resilient.

    @Twice - Roxy sounds like one tough bulldog! Hearing your story gives me hope that Oliver will do well in recovery. Thank you!
    Life is always an Adventure with Oliver!
    http://adventureswitholiver.tumblr.com/

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