ACL Surgery---ADVICE??

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ACL Surgery---ADVICE??

Postby mikaela051287 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:41 pm

Hi there--

Been awhile since I posted, but I'm in some need of advice and hoping some of you have helpful hints, etc.

Three days ago my dog, Bones, an almost 6 year old 3/4 APBT 1/4 Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, weighing in at 83 pounds, fully tore his ACL. Two days ago, I opted to have him undergo surgery. I opted for the "traditional" method---where they insert a nylon cord and construct an "ACL" out of it. He had the surgery done two days ago, and I brought him home yesterday evening at about 5PM.

The veterinarian team gave extensive directions about medication (he is on anti-inflammatories, painkillers and antibiotics with a "use as needed" sedative that I have NOT given him as of yet) but I still have all these fears about what's going on.

I bought a ramp and a very large cage. The ramp is difficult to use, and the collar that he has on is very jarring and frightening for him. He was NEVER crate trained, so this is his first experience in a cage, period. Instead of the ramp I have been wrapping a towel under his belly and lifting him down and up the two stairs by my front door. He has been actively peeing since I got him yesterday evening, and tonight, he pooped. But when he bent to posture, I heard a little pop. I assume that's because he hasn't been using the knee for the last 2-3 days, but it still scared the hell out of me. Obviously, the dog needs to poop...but I was just wondering from anyone else who's dog has had this surgery, or the TPLO, if they experienced any of the same things.

Or have any recommendations/advice in general. I would GREATLY, greatly appreciate it.

Thank you!
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Re: ACL Surgery---ADVICE??

Postby mtlu » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:00 pm

Here is a fairly current thread that might have some useful info for you. It looks like you have things covered with the ramp and using a towel under the belly is a great way to "sling" him. There are some options in the thread below about cones – the "no-bite" one looks like it could be really effective without the bulk of a lot of the usual style cones.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=148414

Is acepromazine (or "ace") the "use as needed" sedative prescribed for him? If so, please be cautious with it and do not plan on leaving him alone after giving it to him for the first time. My dog had a somewhat adverse reaction to it; I've heard stories of other dogs having pretty bad reactions and also stories of dogs who did not have bad reactions and were "calmed" by the drug. I made a thread about it a couple of years ago and can try to find the link for it if you would like.

My dog has been through two TPLO's and she had to pee a lot (and was really thirsty) while on the all the antibiotics and pain meds for the first ten days after surgery. She was also never crate trained and we used an extra tall x-pen to keep her contained.

Good luck to Bones and his recovery.
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Re: ACL Surgery---ADVICE??

Postby mikaela051287 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:55 pm

Thank you very much for the post:) I have still not given him any sedatives tonight and I even gave him a smaller dose of pain medication hours earlier in case he started having a similar experience this evening....that way, I can give him the remainder of his earlier dose which won't be going over the "minimal" dosage recommended (like I had to last night because of his high pain level) if he is experiencing a hard time sleeping from pain OR anxiety----it's very hard to differentiate between the two. The sedative has a different name and I don't have the bottle in front of me currently (I've been upstairs in a frenzy trying to print out all my work for tomorrow before a 5 AM wake-up like a crazy person! I have been SO scattered since bringing him home!) and yes, it was prescribed by the Emergency Hospital that performed the surgery and I picked it up at my local vet's office, who said they weren't concerned about it. Either way, I like to research the medicines beforehand because of exactly what you said---the potential for adverse affects and sometimes, from my experience, a lack of information given regarding that beforehand!! Thank you for the advice...as I'm sure you know it's just such a high stress, highly emotional situation (probably MUCH more so for me than him!) so I'm trying to keep my cool as best as possible:)

Once again, thank you. I will absolutely look in to what the sedative is exactly and what the possible side affects are for him. If I decided to give it a shot, I'd probably give him half dosage..that's what I ALWAYS prefer to do, if possible, with such strong medications that each and every body can react to differently. It always scares me!

Thanks for letting me vent:) Even though you probably didn't need all that info, there, haha!
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Re: ACL Surgery---ADVICE??

Postby mtlu » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:39 pm

No worries, I was a mess during Molly's recoveries lol I can laugh about it now but it was a very stressful time. Don't hesitate to ask questions since quite a few members here have gone through this with their dogs.
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Re: ACL Surgery---ADVICE??

Postby mikaela051287 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:40 am

I read through that thread and you're right, much of it seems very similar. And, unfortunately, I was incorrect about the sedative----it IS the one you mentioned. So, what reactions did your dog have, because, as I said, I was told by two vets now that this drug has "no" negative side affects, etc, etc.
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Re: ACL Surgery---ADVICE??

Postby mtlu » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:09 am

Here is the old thread – note that Acepromazine is used in small amounts combined with other drugs for sedation prior to procedures like surgery – that application of Ace is different from the amount prescribed for your dog so you will need to keep that in mind as you read the thread because quite a few people talked about using Ace in that context:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=130060
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Re: ACL Surgery---ADVICE??

Postby Kingsgurl » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:53 pm

Oh, I feel your pain! Those first few days post surgery are a nightmare. Trying to get a routine, trying to differentiate -between post=anesthesia whining and actual pain, freaking out about 'ruining' the surgery. Relax, take a deep breath. I would skip the ramp, if it's new and scary, now is not the time to use it anyway. Sling him, or lift him, the more he gets his legs underneath him early, the better off he is going to be. You, of course, do not want him to overdo anything, but the way the repair you had done works is that scar tissue builds up around the joint and holds it in place, NOT the actual fishing line they have (temporarily) put in place. That will break eventually, but it will not be needed by the time it does, the joint will be stable.
Follow your post up instructions carefully, walk him when they say to walk him and for as long as they say to. Do NOT feel sorry for him and cut those sessions short. Post op care is crucial to how successful your pups surgery will be. Don't give up and don't be discouraged either if he isn't perfect after the 6-8 weeks.
I'm sorry I can not give you any help on Ace. Martin reacts badly to it and it was never prescribed for him. We did no sedatives, only pain relief after surgery. I used an X-Pen, rather than a crate for recovery.
Good luck
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Re: ACL Surgery---ADVICE??

Postby mikaela051287 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:23 am

Thank you:)

These first few days, you're right, have been a NIGHTMARE. I didn't know how emotionally difficult it would be, although I certainly wasn't expecting it to be a breeze. However...I feel there have been drastic changes on Bones' part in the last day to day and a half.

I have cut back his Tramadol significantly, and am NOT using Metacam every night (it's doing weird stuff to him digestively; he has been actively pooping but afterwards he "leaks" a little bit, which I think may be from all the drugs, so I'm giving him lower doses of everything, and so far so good)---I tried the Ace one night, and cut the dose in half, and he SEEMED to be okay but he did act a little strange. Then, after reading what everyone else said I decided it's best to just not go with it at all. It's just not worth the risk with everything else he has going on.

And you're completely right---he is scared of the ramp, so why use it when I can towel-lift him? I use it on my two biggest steps because he doesn't mind walking down it there, but he hates walking up it so I just lift him and he seems happy the whole time---lots of wagging;) He's VERY happy when he gets to go outside even momentarily, so my plan for today is to get a clean sheet, put it on the grass in my front yard, and just sit outside together for a half hour or hour or so. I think it will emotionally help him, and since I'll be right there, his movement will be 100% limited but at least he'll feel the nice, new cooler weather we're having:)

I'm feeling much better today because he let me sleep last night, I think he's feeling much better today....and my second dog is taking to all of it fairly well. She's being very sweet and calm around him (which she never is since she's an insane, hyper ball of energy 24/7) and that seems to help him as well. Last night they "played" (I lose that term loosely since my dog sat in one spot....) tug of war THROUGH his crate with his brand new 16-squeaker Dragon toy. Seeing the little things like that makes me feel like my dog is going to fair well through this. Also, when we go out for him to pee he lifts his left leg, putting all of his weight on his right, newly operated on leg. I think that's a good sign, because he could very obviously choose which way to go and seems quite steady. All of these are good signs!

All the comments help. This is hard! And it's really great to hear from people who have been through it and can help lead me on my way a bit. So thank you!
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