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Thread: Suspected ACL Injury

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    Bully Bootie Duty betterxthanxnew's Avatar
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    Default Suspected ACL Injury

    Effie had her spay surgery on Friday morning. Everything went fine, and she slept most of the evening away once I got home. On Saturday I was doing my best to keep her calm. She was doing really well. She was actually laying down in the living room taking a snooze, so I went into the kitchen to mop. Around 3pm I heard my room mate head down the stairs, so I started to walk into the living room to keep Effie calm. She gets so excited when she sees people. I was 2 seconds too late. As soon as he got to the bottom of the steps she went to jump at his knees, lost her footing, and landing on the ground hard right as I was getting to her. I will never forget how loudly she cried out. I immediately fell to my knees to check her incision, thinking she had hurt her gut when she fell or even maybe pulled her incision. Everything looked fine there. She stood up about a minute later, and was only walking on 3 legs. Her back right hind leg was totally lame. She wouldn't put any weight on it whatsoever. I called our vet (we've only used Banfield up until this point for her shots & spay), and of course they said they were booked and couldn't see her (surprise, surprise) and that I should take her to the emergency vet. I waited 2 hours for my husband to get home, and also because I was hoping and praying there would be a change. There wasn't.
    At 6pm on Saturday we took her to the emergency vet. He did the "drawer" movement on her, and said that he suspects a torn ACL. He prescribed Tramadol & Carprofen. He also gave a Xanax rx in case she needed help to relax. He has referred us to an orthopedic surgeon to schedule a consult.
    I am scared out of my mind. We have been keeping her confined in the living room (using baby gates) & in her crate if we are not supervising. We aren't allowing any running or jumping. I am so sad for her. She is only 5.5 months old. She's just a baby. All she wants to do is play, and it breaks my heart that she is most likely going to spend the rest of her puppyhood recovering from this injury. I've been doing research about the different methods. I have a feeling she is going to be too young for TPLO, as her growth plates haven't even finished developing yet. Does anyone have any experience with the basic ACL surgery? Any advice? I can't sleep. I can't eat. I can't stand the sight of my baby hobbling. It breaks my heart to think we may never get to see the "puppy zoomies" again
    "Be the person your dog thinks you are"


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    Default Re: Suspected ACL Injury

    I went through this twice.... the recovery is the tough part. 6 weeks of limited activity, no stairs, running, jumping... leash walks only.

    We also, turned our spare bedroom into a big doggies bed -- remove furniture so he could not try to get on anything, placed a baby gate at the door so he could see everything going on and not feel alone. We also took turns sleeping in there with him on a futon mattress that we placed on the floor. I have tons of pictures and will post them later tonight when I get home
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    Default Re: Suspected ACL Injury

    @betterxthanxnew I am so sorry to her this about poor Effie. I have never been through this(thank God) but I do know the feeling,as I have been through many things over the years. I will be praying for you and your little gal. I know how freaked out you must feel,and we all get like that,though it doesn't help a thing. I am sending you the best wishes that I can, and one wish is that we all lived in an area close enough, to support and help each other,when one or more of us is going through troubles. I guess EBN is the next best thing,as we all understand about the "feelings" that so many people just don't get. Praying for you Tasha and Effie
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    Default Re: Suspected ACL Injury

    Thank you. I wish I could just stop crying, so that I could focus. I guess her being so little makes it even harder for me to deal with. I could understand (to a degree) if she were older. I keep feeling like it's my fault. If I had just gotten there a few seconds earlier- it wouldn't have happened. Or if I just would have had her resting in her crate She did just get spayed after all. I feel like I let my little girl down. Sorry I'm so emotional. I think I mentioned in another post that my husband and I can't have children. She is my first dog- and she literally is like my child.
    I've done a lot of reading online about the different procedures and the recovery periods. I know they are hard and long. That just makes it that much worse. It's like she's never going to get to be a normal puppy. I am waiting for the orthopedic surgeon's office to call me back, she was dealing with a patient when I called in earlier. She did mention that they probably won't be able to get Effie in for a consult until Friday. That's almost a week after her original injury. I noticed last night that she is starting to walk with both legs on the ground again. She's putting very light amount of weight on it, and not carrying it anymore. Same thing this morning. She is limping though. I am not sure if this is a good sign? Or if it's just the natural progression of the injury. I have read online that you can keep them confined with no exercise, jumping, or running, and eventually scar tissue will form. I know there is increased risk for arthritis. I think there is increased risk for arthritis with or without the surgery? It all just breaks my heart truthfully. I never thought we would be dealing with something like this at 5.5 months old. It never occurred to me.
    I would hate to think that she is starting to feel less pain, and we have to wait a whole week for the ortho to look at it, and he's surely going to do the "drawer" movement again- and break up any kind of natural healing she's gotten over the week. I'm no vet. I don't claim to understand it. But the ER vet did tell me that doing the drawer test does hurt a great deal.

    I am thankful for yall's support. It means a lot. Especially because my husband and I are so stressed and saddened right now, that we can barely help each other
    "Be the person your dog thinks you are"


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    Default Re: Suspected ACL Injury

    I'm so sorry this happened to your baby. my brothers dog had an ACL injury and she did not need surgery, they are doing therapy and she is doing well.

    I had an AWFUL experience with banfield. I did a ton of research online after my experience with them. there are so many others with stories like mine. (prescribing unneeded meds, suggesting unneeded tests and procedures - all for monetary gain) not to mention we were herded in and out like cattle.

    my best advice would be to get yourself to a vet with a good reputation for bullies, and stop googling things. You're just making yourself worry more!! Get to a good vet, that will be your best asset at the moment... I hope they can calm your nerves. hang in there!!!! *hug*


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    Default Re: Suspected ACL Injury

    Quote Originally Posted by madie4589 View Post
    I'm so sorry this happened to your baby. my brothers dog had an ACL injury and she did not need surgery, they are doing therapy and she is doing well.

    I had an AWFUL experience with banfield. I did a ton of research online after my experience with them. there are so many others with stories like mine. (prescribing unneeded meds, suggesting unneeded tests and procedures - all for monetary gain) not to mention we were herded in and out like cattle.

    my best advice would be to get yourself to a vet with a good reputation for bullies, and stop googling things. You're just making yourself worry more!! Get to a good vet, that will be your best asset at the moment... I hope they can calm your nerves. hang in there!!!! *hug*
    ^^^This is a good post^^^

    I would stay clear away from Banfield. I too have heard the same exact things with them. Just like Madie said, find yourself a reputable vet, who has experience with bullies. Just bc one vet said she has tear, get a 2nd opinion. She could have just come down on it too hard, and sprained it. We were also told that Tyson had a partial cruiate ligament tear (not by our regular vet) - we did not do surgery - instead, went to our reg vet who said keep him on rest, started supplements, and he slowly came around and stopping limping. Check out the forum here for vets in your area.... that would be my next step.

    My whole heart, Tyson.
    Whoever said diamonds are a girls best friend, obviously never owned a Bulldog.

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    Default Re: Suspected ACL Injury

    I am so sorry for you and Effie -- I definitely agree get a second opinion.

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    Default Re: Suspected ACL Injury

    Tasha, I'm so sad to hear about little Effie's injury. I'm hoping that just maybe it isn't her ACL. The reason is that I have taken bullies at least 3 times to the emergency vet for exactly the same thing, a scream, then not walking on that leg at all. It's usually a jump of some kind that's caused it. In all three cases, the vet gave me pain meds and sent me home with instructions to watch it. And in all three cases, it was cleared up after a few days. I think dogs sometimes just sprain something. I have had the same thing happen with my boxers. I've been to the emergency vet often enough for lameness, that now I don't go immediately, I wait and it has always cleared up in a couple of days. It is encouraging that Effie sounds like she's improved a little?! Anyway, that's just been my experience and I'll keep my fingers crossed that it's not Effie's ACL.

    I do know how sad and worried you must be. I would be the same way. Lynn said it all in her post! When Jack had to go through heartworm treatment, his activity had to be severely limited. We were looking at 2 months in the crate with only potty breaks in the yard on a leash. It just seemed awful, but it turned out to be not nearly as bad as I'd anticipated. If she does have to have surgery, I know you and she will do fine.

    And please don't feel guilty that she wasn't resting in her crate. Dogs don't have to rest in the crate after a spay--none of mine have. If it is her ACL that tore from a little jump up on someone, I think it would have torn anyway at sometime.
    Welcome to parenthood! I've never had any of my kids get sick or hurt (skin or fur kids), that I didn't feel guilty and that it was somehow my fault. My brain know's it isn't true, but I still feel guilty. Don't do it, it just makes you feel worse.

    Please keep us posted! I'm sending positive thoughts and hugs your way!

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    Default Re: Suspected ACL Injury

    We mostly used the Banfield Puppy Wellness Plan as a sort of way to "finance" all of her puppy wellness visits & shots, and her spay surgery. For the most part, it's met my expectations- except that whenever she has an urgent situation they never seem to have time for her. It's frustrating. Part of the reason we liked their wellness plan was because of the unlimited office visits- which we were told would include emergency walk-ins during normal office hours. Yet, on 2 different occasions (she ate a wasp one other time & now this)- they haven't been able to get her in, and tell me to use an emergency vet. At this point we are going to switch to our regular vet full time, and just use our Banfield wellness plan for the remainder of it's included benefits (shots, deworming, fecal exams, etc.)

    The emergency vet was very kind, and said that he hopes to be proven wrong- with suspecting an ACL tear. He seemed pretty convinced that after he did the "drawer" movement, there was enough movement in the knee to assume ACL tear. However, we are going to get 2 more opinions. I scheduled an appt with our regular vet (the one we've used for the last 8 years for our cats). She said she definitely does not claim to be a bully "specialist", but she has treated "enough to feel confident". I trust her a lot more than I trust Banfield, that's for sure. Especially for something this serious. We have an appointment with them Thur afternoon. I finally heard back from the Ortho dr. and we have a consultation scheduled with them Friday morning at 9am. I am glad we have a few days to see how things progress with her leg, and I am also glad that our regular vet will be able to look at her before we go for the ortho consult as well. I'm going to check the page on here and see if there are any Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads recommendations for actual bully specialists. I looked before and I don't think I saw any. But I'll give it another look!
    @Donnam, thank you, I will continue to hold onto the hope that maybe it isn't an ACL tear. It is encouraging that she is walking with the leg down now. But again, maybe that's just natural progression. I really don't know. I can't stand the thought of my baby having a permanent limp. I keep telling myself that it's impossible to control her every move. And I am trying not to blame myself- but it's difficult not to. I feel like I'm responsible for her safety, and I let her down
    @TyTysmom, we went to Care A Lot last night and picked up some glucosamine supplements. Our thinking was that maybe it would help with her limp. What kind of supplements would you recommend? She will definitely be resting over the next few days- so maybe we will be able to tell a difference before her ortho consult, and be able to make a better decision in regards to any surgery. She's in her crate when we can't supervise, and we set up a pen in our living room with several baby gates, so that we can restrict her activity.

    Thanks to everyone for your continued support. I will definitely keep you updated with how she's feeling & how her appointments go later this week as well. I appreciate everyone's concern!!
    "Be the person your dog thinks you are"


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    Default Re: Suspected ACL Injury

    Quote Originally Posted by betterxthanxnew View Post
    We mostly used the Banfield Puppy Wellness Plan as a sort of way to "finance" all of her puppy wellness visits & shots, and her spay surgery. For the most part, it's met my expectations- except that whenever she has an urgent situation they never seem to have time for her. It's frustrating. Part of the reason we liked their wellness plan was because of the unlimited office visits- which we were told would include emergency walk-ins during normal office hours. Yet, on 2 different occasions (she ate a wasp one other time & now this)- they haven't been able to get her in, and tell me to use an emergency vet. At this point we are going to switch to our regular vet full time, and just use our Banfield wellness plan for the remainder of it's included benefits (shots, deworming, fecal exams, etc.)

    The emergency vet was very kind, and said that he hopes to be proven wrong- with suspecting an ACL tear. He seemed pretty convinced that after he did the "drawer" movement, there was enough movement in the knee to assume ACL tear. However, we are going to get 2 more opinions. I scheduled an appt with our regular vet (the one we've used for the last 8 years for our cats). She said she definitely does not claim to be a bully "specialist", but she has treated "enough to feel confident". I trust her a lot more than I trust Banfield, that's for sure. Especially for something this serious. We have an appointment with them Thur afternoon. I finally heard back from the Ortho dr. and we have a consultation scheduled with them Friday morning at 9am. I am glad we have a few days to see how things progress with her leg, and I am also glad that our regular vet will be able to look at her before we go for the ortho consult as well. I'm going to check the page on here and see if there are any Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads recommendations for actual bully specialists. I looked before and I don't think I saw any. But I'll give it another look!
    @Donnam, thank you, I will continue to hold onto the hope that maybe it isn't an ACL tear. It is encouraging that she is walking with the leg down now. But again, maybe that's just natural progression. I really don't know. I can't stand the thought of my baby having a permanent limp. I keep telling myself that it's impossible to control her every move. And I am trying not to blame myself- but it's difficult not to. I feel like I'm responsible for her safety, and I let her down
    @TyTysmom, we went to Care A Lot last night and picked up some glucosamine supplements. Our thinking was that maybe it would help with her limp. What kind of supplements would you recommend? She will definitely be resting over the next few days- so maybe we will be able to tell a difference before her ortho consult, and be able to make a better decision in regards to any surgery. She's in her crate when we can't supervise, and we set up a pen in our living room with several baby gates, so that we can restrict her activity.

    Thanks to everyone for your continued support. I will definitely keep you updated with how she's feeling & how her appointments go later this week as well. I appreciate everyone's concern!!


    I'm glad you are getting 2nd opinions, and I'm even happier you are kicking Banfield. I will be praying that she doesnt have anything serious, and that she will improve by the day!! We give Tyson Nujoint. Same makers as Nuvet. He does great on them. We know she is loved, and well taken care of, keep us posted on her progress!

    My whole heart, Tyson.
    Whoever said diamonds are a girls best friend, obviously never owned a Bulldog.

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    Default Re: Suspected ACL Injury

    oh no. This is a constant fear for me. These dogs like going on sofas and jumping from them like they are some kind of superhero and next thing you know they lose their footing and get hurt.

    I am really sorry you have to go through this. I can only offer prayers and positive thoughts going your way. Good Luck. Hoping that Effie gets the comfort and relief and back to her old self again.
    Hug your bully today

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    Default Re: Suspected ACL Injury

    I'm so very sorry to hear this, I know this must be very upsetting. First of all I seriously feel that you need a SECOND opinion by the surgeon before you get too upset… this could be a tear. I know that my babies have injured their legs and after a couple of days they seemed fine. Try to remain optimistic until you know for sure… you are just going to get yourself even more upset and our babies can sense that. I would definitely stay away from Banfield, I know that in our area the vets there have a bad reputation. Good luck and keep us posted!!!

    "What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller
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