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kmarrero28

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We have a 3 year old English Mastiff named Leonidas. He tore his acl on his right rear leg right before Christmas. We were going to take him for a TTA this month, but last night he fell in the snow and couldn't get up. Now it looks like he has torn both ACLs. He won't stand, he can't walk, and he can't support himself when going to the bathroom. I'm completely devastated. We had saved up enough money to have the surgery done on his one leg (and that's with the vet agreeing to do it at cost), but there's no way we can afford to have both legs done. Not to mention he is in an incredible amount of pain. I can't stand to see him suffering, but I don't want to put him down because of this. Has anyone gone through torn acls in both legs at once with their mastiff? Nidas weighs about 185 pounds.
Unfortunately, my husband is in the military and will be gone for the next several weeks, and if something else goes wrong, there's no way I could lift him by myself to take him for help. I was thinking maybe we could find a place that would rent a doggie wheelchair for him, but there's nothing around us, and I don't think we could afford that either! Any help of advise would be greatly appreciated!!!!
Katie
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Oh dear Katie - I'm so sorry to read this.  Question for you ....if you're the only one around and were planning on doing one ACL....how were you going to manage by yourself during rehab???  I know that when I checked into this when I thought our girl had ACL problems -it scared me logistically on how to manage.  Pls check with your vet & breeder about any funds/programs that you might access for help with the cost/surgery.  Good luck - you've got some hard decisions ahead.


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kmarrero28

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Reply with quote  #4 
I went through a torn acl, surgery, and rehab with our lab mix in November of 2009 alone as well. And while he weighs significantly less than Nidas, I figured if I had a newborn and was all alone last time and I got through it, I could do it again with Nidas this time.
I just took him out to go potty, and he seems to be a little more sturdy today, but still not good. And his left leg definitely seems to be worse than his right now. He's putting more weight on the right one, with the known torn acl, than the left. His left leg is very shaky and looks swollen around the knee. I made an appointment for the vet at 10:30 today, so I'm praying that they'll give us some decent news that maybe he just landed on it wrong and it'll be okay.
I'm really hoping that we can somehow just make a wheelchair for him (I have a couple family members that have done this in the past who said they would try to help in anyway possible. I'd just have to make the 10 hour drive back there to get it done.) Maybe if he had the support of that for a little bit, and we get one knee done first, we'll be able to pull this off. Guess it just depends on the report from the vet.
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If you've gone thru this before then you're way ahead of the game for most people.  Good luck at the vets!


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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmarrero28
We have a 3 year old English Mastiff named Leonidas. He tore his acl on his right rear leg right before Christmas. We were going to take him for a TTA this month, but last night he fell in the snow and couldn't get up. Now it looks like he has torn both ACLs. He won't stand, he can't walk, and he can't support himself when going to the bathroom. I'm completely devastated. We had saved up enough money to have the surgery done on his one leg (and that's with the vet agreeing to do it at cost), but there's no way we can afford to have both legs done. Not to mention he is in an incredible amount of pain. I can't stand to see him suffering, but I don't want to put him down because of this. Has anyone gone through torn acls in both legs at once with their mastiff? Nidas weighs about 185 pounds.
Unfortunately, my husband is in the military and will be gone for the next several weeks, and if something else goes wrong, there's no way I could lift him by myself to take him for help. I was thinking maybe we could find a place that would rent a doggie wheelchair for him, but there's nothing around us, and I don't think we could afford that either! Any help of advise would be greatly appreciated!!!!
Katie

My black Lab, Hawk, had to have TPLO surgery on both hind knees; however, his surgeries were one year apart.

A company called CARE CREDIT (google it) and they are a credit card for medical purposes (including dogs).  This is the company I used to finance my dog's 2 surgeries!

Good luck

Dawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CChauncey

Oh dear Katie - I'm so sorry to read this.  Question for you ....if you're the only one around and were planning on doing one ACL....how were you going to manage by yourself during rehab???  I know that when I checked into this when I thought our girl had ACL problems -it scared me logistically on how to manage.  Pls check with your vet & breeder about any funds/programs that you might access for help with the cost/surgery.  Good luck - you've got some hard decisions ahead.


REHAB for this surgery is INTENSE!  Total house arrest, nothing bigger than a 4 x 10 feet spot on a non-slippery surface.  Then short walks on a short leash for 2-3 minutes, graduates up to a bit longer, like 5 minutes.  Then you can increase the length of the leash and then decrease time back to the 2-3 minutes.

You will need to have a towel under the belly to assist them to go to potty.  My Lab was hard enough, I think you will definitely need help with Leonidas.  It is EXTREMELY important that there is no horse play or anything like that or it will undo the staples.  My boys had staples from his stifle right down to his ankle almost.

If I can be of further help, please let me know as I've been through it twice!  We  have only 2 vets in the state of Vermont that are trained and qualified to perform this surgery.

Good luck!
Dawn
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Reply with quote  #8 

Lots of times they need both because when one goes the other does all the work and then the good one will go. Talk to your Vet. They will advise you . He's only 3 . He has many good years left. He can get through this.


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Reply with quote  #9 
Just a suggestion to help with the financial side... look into a loan against your husband's TSP... we had some rough times four years ago and that is what we had to do... It is a loan that you pay yourself back the interest and the military takes the allotment right out of your paycheck. May help.

Good luck with your sweet boy!!

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kmarrero28

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Reply with quote  #10 
The vet confirmed that he did tear the other acl! This one seems to be worse than the tear in his right leg. So, I brought him home, with some Tramadol for pain and Rimadyl for inflammation. Stopped at petsmart and got an exercise pen and orthopedic bed (Both on sale, only $100 total for both if anyone else is looking). There's just enough room for a water and food bowl and for him to turn around, which will definitely help. He's not all that thrilled about it, but it's better than a crate (which they don't make in his size anyways!)
At least this way he won't try to get up and pace or follow me around whenever I go in the kitchen.

I appreciate all the suggestions! I already have care credit, though there's not much left on it after all his xrays, and the remainder of our lab's surgery, so I will definitely look into the TSP loan. I never knew about those!
Thanks for all the support. I definitely need it!

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CChauncey

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Reply with quote  #11 

It's hard when they're hurting.  Keeping him confined is the best and will give you some peace of mind too!  Remember....Moms know best!  Hugs from here!


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FredMan

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Reply with quote  #12 
I'm so sorry to hear about your boy.  I don't have any experience with a torn acl (much less two, poor baby) so I can't help you there.  If I may, I'd like to make a suggestion on helping them up when they can't do it on their own.

My boy, who is a little over 200#, has the 'help em up harness'.  http://www.helpemup.com/flashmovie.html  He has the extra-large (the gold colored one) which says it is for a dog up to 170#.  I can assure you it fits a dog much larger.  There is a lot of padding and it adjusts automatically as they move so it is not restrictive at all.  The two handles are sturdy and make it easy to lift them up.  My husband does it a lot easier than I but nonetheless, I don't have any problems with him.  It is also completely washable (in case they potty on it). 

They can sleep in it without it being uncomfortable.  My Fred has never acted like it has bothered him at all.  I always used the towel method for lifting him up until he was outfitted with this at a specialist one day.  There really is no comparison.

I don't see where it would work if your boy can't put any weight on his hind limbs because it is more or less for assisting them when they can't do it on their own.  Maybe as his recovery progresses???  If it's something you think might be helpful, I'd be happy to answer any questions.  Good luck to you both!

Becky

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Reply with quote  #13 

I do not have any suggestions, just empathy.


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Reply with quote  #14 
For what it's worth, Hawk was in rough shape with his torn ACL.  He is now  completely recovered and runs, plays, and jumps!

Positive thoughts heading your way!  It'll be tough, but you can do it!

Where there is a will there is a way.  I'll keep wracking my brain too. 

Dawn
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Reply with quote  #15 
We went through an ACL repair last year on our boy.  I'm only 5 feet tall and Cowboy is tall enough that I was useless trying to support his weight.  There was just not enough distance between my arms and him to get any real support for him.  This is something to be aware of.  The rehab is lengthy and most difficult in the first week or so.  In your case with two bad legs it will be much, much more difficult.  I wonder if you can brace the leg that's not so bad while the other heals and you are saving for further surgery. http://www.woundwear.com/home.cfm

 We were told that Cowboy needed his ACL repaired on the other leg, as well, for a partial tear.  However, it seems to have developed scar tissue and is stable now after a long time of keeping his activity limited. 

I wish you the best in dealing with this but you sound pretty resourceful and determined so I bet you'll come up with a plan!


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Reply with quote  #16 
My first mastiff tore both CL at about three years of age.  We spoke with our Vet who
recommended doing one surgery immediately and waiting a year to do the other one.
That was many years ago and today they probably do both at the same time.

I did the rehab myself.  I'm not that big but was able to manage just fine. I bought a sling through one of the pet stores for about $20.00 ...and that really helped. I set up a x-pen, with canvas for flooring, a bed in it, a water bowl and a few comfort toys. I had to walk her to the outside to go potty....

My girl lived to be eleven and a half years old.  Those surgeries were worth every penny...Yes, you are glued to the house for the first couple of weeks..but I didn't mind.  You can do it!!!


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixie
My first mastiff tore both CL at about three years of age.  We spoke with our Vet who
recommended doing one surgery immediately and waiting a year to do the other one.
That was many years ago and today they probably do both at the same time.

I did the rehab myself.  I'm not that big but was able to manage just fine. I bought a sling through one of the pet stores for about $20.00 ...and that really helped. I set up a x-pen, with canvas for flooring, a bed in it, a water bowl and a few comfort toys. I had to walk her to the outside to go potty....

My girl lived to be eleven and a half years old.  Those surgeries were worth every penny...Yes, you are glued to the house for the first couple of weeks..but I didn't mind.  You can do it!!!

I totally agree!  It's definitely worth it.  Hawk had  his first surgery at 2 years old and the other a year later at 3.  I was fortunate to have an entry way that is fairly small and right off the living room and we just put up a gate, put a big sign on the front door telling people to use another entrance  and just followed the vet's directions to the letter.  That's so important for his recovery.

Dawn
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Reply with quote  #18 
Here are a few pictures of Hawk, right after his surgery.  He IS NOT loving the cone!


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Reply with quote  #19 

Sorry, I'll try it again!

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Reply with quote  #20 
another thought, are there any good vet schools near you?  Maybe there would be
a discounted rate according to your ability to pay.

btw, my girl was around 200 lbs. at the time. So it was just me at home. I slid that
sling under her and gripped the handles. They can usually walk but she needed some
support on the rear portion of her belly...

Remember, the best years of owning a mastiff is in the years to come!  The older they get the better they get...that old girl protected me even when she was over ten years old!


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Reply with quote  #21 

 Samantha had TPLO when she was 5. At that time the vet said she was lame in both legs. He repaired the one and said save up for the next one. I have kept her on meds for joints and was careful with her activity. She will be 9 next month  and has not had the second surgery. She is very careful herself. When the other mastiffs are running or playing, she goes and lays down by the fence. She can run herself across the yard, but is careful not to get bumped by the others.


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