Must haves for post-ACL surgery

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Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby IloveBlu » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:50 pm

My baby is getting operated on next month. :crybaby:
He was diagnosed with a partially torn cruciate in March and because of my work schedule, finances and the spring (his worst allergy season), we decided to wait until the end of August. He'll be having a TTA, unless I change my mind and opt to go with a traditional repair, but I don't think I will.

This month, I'm giving him some play time at daycare and extra walks (what's the point of making him continue to rest it, ya know?)

Besides the instructions and medications from the surgeon, what are the absolute must-haves for recoup?

He has a crate, but I'm thinking an x-pen for when I'm home may be better? How tall does it need to be?

Also, every exit of my house has stairs. Should I get a ramp? Or just carry him every time?

Was also thinking of getting a leash that attaches to me so he can be connected to me without using my hands when he is first starting to walk around again. Good or bad idea?

What about carpeting? I have hard wood floors, and the surgeon suggesting getting some cheap area rugs to throw over the floor where possible. Wouldn't he trip/slide though? I'm also assuming I'll have to take the couch cushions off, because he loves curling up there and I'm afraid I won't catch him in time.

I'm almost more nervous for the recoup than the actual surgery (okay, I'm really nervous for both).
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby mtlu » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:02 pm

IloveBlu wrote:(what's the point of making him continue to rest it, ya know?)

I wouldn't let him get too crazy even though surgery is coming up soon. Besides ligaments being torn, there is a "pocket" of fluid called the meniscus that cushions the joint – if that gets torn, it makes surgery and healing more complicated.

My recommended item list – not that I'm the end-all expert of this but we have been through it twice now ;)

X-pen - definitely useful for confinement while allowing room to stretch. I used an extra tall one (@ 40+ inches) because that is what was loaned to me but I'm sure a "regular" height one would work too.

Sling - for supporting his back end when out on potty breaks.

Lots of kongs – I filled them with lowfat cottage cheese and raw green beans and froze them – I know Blu has allergies so whatever you can fill them with that won't make him chunk out or blow up with allergies will be good.

Rug liners - the liners are what go under area rugs to keep the rugs from slipping. We have hardwood and linoleum and I laid down the liners over the lino and the hardwood that wasn't already covered by are rugs. The material of the liners is slightly rubbery and they are textured to provide more grip. They worked really well and I was able to wash them and hang dry (I think they would melt in a dryer lol ) as both of Molly's surgeries happened during rainy season.

Orthopedic foam mattress – this might be an optional item but I bought an orthopedic foam bed for Molly to rest on in the x-pen since she was spending so much time lying down.

Couch/cushions - depending on how high your couch is, I would either remove the cushions or use the x-pen to block it off. He shouldn't be allowed to climb up or jump down from the couch for quite a while. We took our couch apart (one of those ikea things that's a mattress on a frame) and set the mattress on the floor and folded up the frame for a couple months. We also took the feet off our bed so it is only 11" high (to the top of the mattress).

Stairs – if it's one or two steps it should be ok to support him with the sling but otherwise, I would carry him. We have stairs out the front door and out the back door so our choices were 10 steps or 15 steps lol A ramp could work for you guys provided he is consistently guided to use it and not allowed to hop off onto the steps.

Hands-free leash - Molly pulled a lot after both surgeries, and pulling meant that she would hold up the leg that was operated on which was *not* a good thing for the TPLO (not sure if it's the same with the other repairs). I actually had Paco Collars make me a 20" leash which I called the "rehab tab" to keep her close to me. I'm not sure how much moving around you do around the house but we kept Molly in the x-pen most of the time and kept track of the duration of the recovery walks. Your doc will probably have a recommended schedule of walks and incremental duration increases as he progresses through recovery.

If your doc is prescribing acepromazine as a "calming" drug during his post-op recovery period, ask for a pill or two to try it on him *before* the surgery. Molly had a bad experience with it and we had to try a couple other things (xanax and valium) and wound up with Rescue Remedy and melatonin working best for her.

That's all I can think of for now, good luck to Blu. I think I was just as wrecked as Molly (but in a different way) after her first surgery lol
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby IloveBlu » Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:28 pm

Thank you so much. I've called his surgeon and asked those questions. I will buy an xpen. I've been meaning to buy an orthopedic bed for a while...any suggestions?

Also, the surgeon recommended this:
http://www.gingerlead.com/buy-dog-sling.htm

Does that look like it will work?
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby mtlu » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:13 pm

That sling looks really nice since it is adjustable. The one we used was just the sling portion without the leash/padded handle attachment and not adjustable. Red actually gave it to us and I've loaned it out since then to a couple of other people locally who have needed a sling for their dogs.

The bed I bought was from a local pet store and they happened to be having a 25% sale off all beds so I picked one with the orthopedic foam for Molly. I've seen some really nice ones from Drs Fosters & Smith before.

Oh, last thing to mention – but I'm not sure if Blu will be affected by this: due to the combination of post-op drugs, Molly got rather thirsty and she also "leaked" a little pee here and there – maybe just a few drops or so but I kind of have a strong sense of smell. Anyhow, I bought a few $5 fleece throws from the local drugstore and changed her bedding as often as necessary so that her bed stayed clean and dry. We put a water dish in the x-pen and flipped her cone down over her shoulders so that she could still drink out of the dish.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby Red » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:22 pm

Good post Mtlu, helpful suggestions.
OP, I am using this one with a foster who had a cruciate surgery a months and a half ago:

Image

http://www.flyingpaws.biz/

I could have gotten mine wider, just messed up with the measurements but it actually worked okey.It is well padded and with solid handles.I would not mind to lend it to you but I am waiting to see what happens with the foster recovery since I might need it later on.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby kaytenmags » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:39 am

with maggie's knee surgeries (we've had four...) she was coned and tethered if i was around, or in a wire crate big enough to let her turn/move with her cone on. i have xpens now, and i'd definately use one of those instead. it's more roomy, and it's easier to move around than a huge wire crate.

i had a pretty basic sling, it's padded with fake sheepskin looking stuff, and it's about 6" wide. i got it from the place where mags had her surgery. i wouldn't spend a fortune on a fancy sling, i'd be more inclined to invest that money into some treat dispensing toys to keep the broken dog busy.

important tip: keep the dog busy lol
when your dog starts to feel a little better (after the first week) they may be a pain in the ass. mine was!
treat dispensing toys are invaluable. bones, bully sticks, kongs, etc. are awesome. i tried to feed every meal out of a kong. teaching tricks also wears their mind out, and is a good way to keep them manageble when they start to become more mobile. targetting, object discrimination, whatever you can think of.

for the floors, you can get pretty cheap rubber backed mats/rugs/runners from walmart. the rubber backing stops them from sliding around on the floor.

another thing i'd pick up beforehand is one of those gel ice packs. i got a small 'tensor' brand one for pretty cheap, and it was great. my surgeon told me to keep it in the fridge, not the freezer, and it was much more convinient to use than messing around with ice in a bag with a towel, or frozen peas, or whatever.

good luck!
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby IloveBlu » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:23 pm

Thanks everyone.

We are ordering a Marri's lead from Ella's lead and I think I will order that Ginger Lead I posted above for the harness. I don't think you can use a hands-free leash with a back-end supporter harness, can you? If not, is it okay to have him walking on a regular leash with no harness after the first few days? Or does he always have to be supported when walking?

I also bought him a comfy cone.

I was looking at x-pens in Petco today. The one they have in the store seemed very light and flimsy, like he could push it all across the room. Any suggestions for sturdy ones?

His surgeon does not want to test meds on him because she doesn't like sedating them for no reason. But, she is going to call his dermatologist and find out about classes of medications he shouldn't have, and how we should handle his abx before and/or after surg.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby IloveBlu » Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:43 am

I'm starting to get cold feet about this doctor. We're taking Blu for a second opinion on Wednesday.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby mtlu » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:23 pm

Good luck. I think getting a second opinion is great and also making sure you find a doctor that you feel you can trust is really important anytime surgery is involved. Keep us posted.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby PitBull-Lady » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:55 pm

Good luck. It can be quite nerve wracking.

For preventing suture licking, I'm a fan of the inflatable blue rings instead of cones. Jasmine and Amnesty both had balance issues with the cone and the inflatable she does much better with, can get on/off the couch without face planting etc.
The only thing that really helps to have on hand is a snap buckle type collar to put on the inside of the collar. Once you see it, you'll understand why and how it stays on. We were pleasantly surprised by it.

Also, bring the ring to the vet, after all why pay for the cone if you don't have to!

Image
Image
This kind of says it best>> "The inflatable collar provides unique, cushioned comfort and allows your pet to maintain full visibility, which only speeds their adaptability to the recovery collar. True to Kong durability, the tough, washable collar material is scratch and bite resistant, and it won't mark or scrape walls, furniture or other objects."
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby IloveBlu » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:35 pm

He's scheduled for Thursday, September 8 at a different place than we had the original consult.

I'm still freaking out about it, but more comfortable with this doctor's experience.

I'm trying to get the house set up.....I can't think of any place that he can be without access to things to jump on so I think he will be crated during the day. I hate that, but I don't know what else to do. I'm looking for an xpen that will work in the living room while we are home, but I'm not comfortable with that when we're not home since he may jump it.

Any sturdy xpen suggestion? They all look so flimsy.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby Red » Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:10 pm

IloveBlu wrote:Any sturdy xpen suggestion? They all look so flimsy.


Yup, this one, welded wire and heavy duty:

Image

I have a few things to do with the dogs but if you give me a couple of hours I'll send you a Pm with the info on it.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby IloveBlu » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:20 am

Thanks red. That one looks good. Will also respond to your email soon....been a little nutty here.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby GoingPostal » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:08 pm

Red can you send me the info on that xpen as well? Jersey just got diagnosed with a partial tear as well so I'd like to start collecting things we need.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby lilangel » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:07 pm

orthopets brace.

are you guys sure you want to opt for surgery for a partial tear on an otherwise undamaged and healthy dog? That just seems really premature to me. I've had dogs with partial tears recover 100% with conservative management. Not only is that free, it is much easier on the dog, less painful and more natural. If the CCL should fully rupture some time in the future, which they probably will, then and only then will I opt to cut the dog open.

I've done it both ways and surgery was not nearly as successful.

JME.
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