Author Topic: How to get Jasper to use his hind leg after ACL surgery  (Read 4623 times)

Offline Nathan

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How to get Jasper to use his hind leg after ACL surgery
« on: June 10, 2010, 11:30:35 AM »
Jasper ended up having surgery for a torn ACL on his left hind leg. He got under my wife's legs as she was carrying something causing her to fall on Jasper. Jasper didn't show any immediate signs of injury but he started carrying the leg about three weeks later. We took him to our normal vet for exam &  x-rays which didn't show anything. After another 4 weeks and 2 more exams our vet suggested a specialist. Specialist immediately confirmed a torn ACL. It was an unusual tear on the head of ACL and that is why it wasn't detected by our normal vets exams & x-rays. He is doing OK now. When the staples were removed, specialists noticed Jasper was still not using that leg. Jasper is doing the three legged shuffle. Vet said it is commom for small dogs to just get used to carrying their leg. Vet was concerned as Jasper is loosing muscle mass in that leg. Vet wanted to continue him on rimadyl and gave a few suggestions: using treats to sit, but he sits sideways; holding good leg up but he transfer weight to front legs; walking him up an incline, we have no incline areas close by.  none seem too effective.
What other suggestions can you offer that will get him to start using his leg.
Thanks for your help

Offline Peter

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Re: How to get Jasper to use his hind leg after ACL surgery
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2010, 04:08:12 PM »
It's the most natural thing in the world for the three Schnauzers I've raised to jump up on their hind legs to get petted, get a treat, get something up high. Did Jasper do that before?

If it's okay with the vet, that might be a way to get him to use that leg. He can't really do that using just one.

Or short of that, can you get him to climb up onto something low... then slowly raise the height? (But be careful about him jumping off it too soon.)

Peter
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BennyBear

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Re: How to get Jasper to use his hind leg after ACL surgery
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2010, 05:55:09 AM »
No no no no take it easy with him! NO jumping and climbing yet!!!     

He needs time.   No stairs for a few months, and no jumping for a few months.  And NOOOOO running! If you rush it you could injure it more!   


Take him swimming!  Look online and find a place that will do dog swimming.  We have a rehab facility around the corner from us, that is just for dogs.  They take the dogs swimming and it makes them use the muscles but in a good way.   Usually there is a trainer there that will help you as well.  I think they put a life preserver on him and make them swim around for a while.  It's very good for them- but you need a controlled environment, like a pool.   


We do TONS of acl repairs, and it's a long healing process. Is he not toe touching yet?   Just give him a bit of time, and take him swimming.  Find that pool.  I just looked online and they have tons of hydrotherapy. I highly suggest it.  Even if the dog doesn't like it-  it's really worth it.

My friend's bulldog had 2 patella surgeries AND a cruciate (acl) done at the same time.   She takes him swimming every monday and friday- and he HATES it, but he's doing fantastic since!   

Right after the surgery he wouldn't walk at all. Wouldn't take his meds- she went through a REALLY tough time with him.  He couldn't go up the stairs for i think 6 months. She still takes him swimming once in a while to keep him strong.

Offline Michelle

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Re: How to get Jasper to use his hind leg after ACL surgery
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2010, 10:22:32 AM »
I know there is a doggy pool in Salem, and they do some therapy type classes, but that might be far yet for you to go.
If not, it's called Everything Pawsible. They have a website that gives a lot of information on what they offer...
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Offline Nathan

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Re: How to get Jasper to use his hind leg after ACL surgery
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2010, 12:07:25 PM »
Thank you Peter, BennyBear and Michelle for your suggestions. I will look for a place in Grants Pass to take him swimming. I like that idea and will probably buy a small pool deep enough for him to swim in if I cant find a place to take him. Jasper loves his bath but doesn't like the water at all, go figure. What do you mean by toe touching BennyBear? He is resting his paw on the ground when standing but not weight bearing it at all.
Our vet suggested taping something to the bottom of his good leg that will irritate him enough to weight bear his injured leg. I ha vent done that and given BennyBear's reply I am wondering if that is a good idea right now.
I am trying to take it easy with him. When not directly by us, he is in his kennel and always on a short leash outside. We dint let him run, jump or get excited which as you know with a Schnauzer is not as easy as it sounds.
I will keep you updated and look forward to any further suggestions.
Be Blessed
Nathan

BennyBear

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Re: How to get Jasper to use his hind leg after ACL surgery
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2010, 03:02:10 AM »
Toe touching means that when he walks he's trying to put weight down on it so he touches his toes as he walks occasionally. Usually that comes first.   A lot of times we see that already at the suture removal.  But everyone heals differently. 

I've never heard of putting anything on the bottom of the foot- seems very strange to me.   And kind of painful.   The worst thing about a cruciate repair is the money- and the length of recovery.   


Nathan, i'm going to use the site of the guy that is our specialty vet.  http://www.ambulatoryveterinarysurgery.com/postoperativecare/postconventionalrepairs.html   

That link goes directly to post op care. This guy- is the best of the best out here- he travels to clinics doing only specialty surgeries.  His talents are great-  however, nice person he is not. He is a very nasty man.   I guess all his talent and money got to him, because he is incredibly nasty to us, and to his clients. But he can be i guess because he is the best.   

So this page is HIS page all about his technique and info.  But i wanted to send you the post-op to see if you could learn from it.  He's saying you shouldn't have weight on it for a few weeks at least. And i have to say all of his cruciate patients do VERY well with us- so i guess it works.  That lady i mentioned earlier had her dogs legs fixed by this man too. 

Hope it helps!

Offline Sarah

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Re: How to get Jasper to use his hind leg after ACL surgery
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2010, 12:33:05 AM »
If you could make it up to the Portland area at some point Bisi has an AMAZING doggy sport medicine/physical therapy and rehab vet that he went to after our car accident a few years back.  She does hydrotherapy in her office, but if you could even come up for a basic consultation session to learn how to safely get him back in action (exercises to do, a timeline, etc.) that would probably be well worth the time, money and effort.  She really knows her stuff.  I definitely agree with the swimming.  You could even try filling your bathtub up as high as it will go and see if he dog paddles.  Bisi will dog paddle in the bathtub if the water gets high, even though he can still touch the bottom, it's pretty funny! 

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Offline Nathan

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Re: How to get Jasper to use his hind leg after ACL surgery
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2010, 12:14:49 PM »
Lots of great info here. Looked at both sites and they give more info than the vet specialists who did the surgery.
Not sure why they didnt offer more on recovery but I think I am getting the gist of what to do.
Found a therapy pool in Grants Pass at Home Away From Home. We board Jasper there when we cant take him with up but didnt know a pool was something they offered. We are starting him there this week so I am looking forward to seeing how he does in the water. Although he likes his baths, he is a big baby around water. Just a few raindrops or the like and he starts to freak out.
Thanks again to all for such a great response.
I will post how he does on his first session at the pool

BennyBear

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Re: How to get Jasper to use his hind leg after ACL surgery
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2010, 04:47:00 PM »
:) Glad the info could help you! Like i said, i know this vet personally- and he might be a jackass, but, he's seriously the best of the best.    Problem is he knows it.   Hope that the swimming goes well and jasper starts healing right away!