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Thread: Surgery or no surgery? What would you do?

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    Default Surgery or no surgery? What would you do?

    The Vet told me 3 weeks ago that he's pretty sure that Bella has a torn ACL in her right hind leg. He put her on anti-inflammatory meds for 10 days. If she gets active the limping comes back. On days that she is not that active she doesn't limp at all. My husband wants to give her more time to see if it heals on it's own. My fear is that I read the longer you wait for surgery the more likely arthritis will set in. I don't want to rush into surgery. But I don't want her to suffer now or later either. My question is what would you do? Thank you all!

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    Default Re: Surgery or no surgery? What would you do?

    I have been lucky enough not to deal with ACL issues with my bulldogs. I would definitely recommend a second opinion. I'm sure others that have dealt with this will be along to give great advice. Poor Bella, I think probably trying to keep her from being too active will also help her heal
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    Default Re: Surgery or no surgery? What would you do?

    I would wait and see if it'll heal. Any chance that you can take of not putting her under the better IMHO. I hope she feels better real soon.

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    Default Re: Surgery or no surgery? What would you do?

    I would get a second opinion, and go from there.
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    Default Re: Surgery or no surgery? What would you do?

    Second opinion is always a good way to go
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    Default Re: Surgery or no surgery? What would you do?

    Thanks everyone! I love my vet. He's really not one to rush into surgery. He's been with her since 6 weeks old. I don't appose a second opinion though. Does anyone know of a vet in Knoxville, Tn that specializes in english bulldogs?

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    Default Re: Surgery or no surgery? What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by girlbully View Post
    The Vet told me 3 weeks ago that he's pretty sure that Bella has a torn ACL in her right hind leg. He put her on anti-inflammatory meds for 10 days. If she gets active the limping comes back. On days that she is not that active she doesn't limp at all. My husband wants to give her more time to see if it heals on it's own. My fear is that I read the longer you wait for surgery the more likely arthritis will set in. I don't want to rush into surgery. But I don't want her to suffer now or later either. My question is what would you do? Thank you all!
    Same thing happened to Lola. She went lame, the vet took x-rays, put her on anti-inflamation drugs for a week and after that did not work he had me see an orthopedic surgeon. Both vets suspected a torn ACL, which would not show up on an X-ray and would not heal on its own. So I did the surgery. After the surgery, I was told that the ACL was not torn after all. When they went in there, they just found a lot of swelling due to her extreme luxating patella. They corrected the patella and my surgery ended up being $1000 cheaper than I thought. So, on the one hand, it could very well be just swelling and NOT a torn ACL. If it is, resting it and taking the meds will eventually help, but for how long? On the other hand, the younger the dog the quicker they recover. Lola can run better now after the surgery than before she even went lame. I think it is OK to wait a week or two like your husband suggests. Arthritis will not set in that quick. Just think about the likelihood of her requiring surgery later anyway. The sooner she gets it the better because the more she favors the other leg the more likely you will end up with a knee problem in that one too. Good luck!
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    Default Re: Surgery or no surgery? What would you do?

    How old was Lola when she had the surgery? How long to recover? Bella will be 5 years in August. She has always been very active. She thinks she is a rabbit hunting dog! Lola is beautiful!

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    Default Re: Surgery or no surgery? What would you do?

    IMHO I would wait it out, and see if things improve… also I would seek the opinion of a second vet. I don't know of anyone in the Knoxville area, but I would go to the AKC website and start from there. Also if there is a bully rescue near you they may have a good recommendation.

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    Default Re: Surgery or no surgery? What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by girlbully View Post
    How old was Lola when she had the surgery? How long to recover? Bella will be 5 years in August. She has always been very active. She thinks she is a rabbit hunting dog! Lola is beautiful!
    Lola had the surgery 1 week before her 1st birthday. She had really bad luxating patella and went lame after playing hard one day. I couldn't bear to restrain her activity for the rest of her life as she is so active and loves to run. Im glad the issue turned out to be just the patella and not the ACL repair they initially thought because that would have cost about $1000 more to correct. Now that the patella is fixed, the chances of an ACL tear in that knee have been dramatically reduced.
    I was told that the recovery was 8-12 weeks. You will need a stroller to get her around if she is too heavy to carry. They give you this sling to help prop up the hind ind but it is pretty useless in such a short dog. With Lola, it was tough the first 2 weeks and then it was hard to stop her. It has been 6 weeks after her surgery now and she is at 100%. She runs around like crazy and the knee is great. We are rehabbing her with swimming which will hopefully strengthen the muscles in the other knee as well to prevent surgery to that side.
    A second opinion with a specialist (orthopedic surgeon should be doing the surgery anyway, not a regular vet) would be good, just keep in mind that all they can really do is palpate the area and give an opinion. ACL issues cannot be seen on X-rays, as they are tendons. So no vet, not even a specialist, will be able to confirm an ACL tear until actually cutting the knee open. Wait the two weeks on meds. If she improves, great! But if she starts playing rabbit hunter and goes lame again, surgery may be the only option to be able to keep her active in life. Good luck with Bella!

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    Default Re: Surgery or no surgery? What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by agentbunny View Post
    So no vet, not even a specialist, will be able to confirm an ACL tear until actually cutting the knee open.
    Don't veterinary orthopedic surgeons do a MRI prior to cutting? Or do they not utilize that technology?


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    Default Re: Surgery or no surgery? What would you do?

    My vet gave me the option to take her to an orthopedic vet or he could do the surgery if I made the decision to go ahead with it. He has done this surgery successfully many times, but for performance dogs that are highly active he sends them to the orthopedic vet. They do the surgery a little different than he does. $2,800 vs. $600. I do have pet insurance so that will help some.

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