I now believe, this is may have been the first day of the injury, Feb 1, 2010. This is the first of eight videos of my 10 year old dog Tyson. He was diagnosed by a Vet with a Third Degree/completely severed Cranial Cruciate Ligament of the Knee (known as the Anterior Cruciate Ligament in humans). I noticed him limping, took this video, then took him to the Vet. You can see it in his right rear leg, specifically his knee. The dog was sedated, the Vet did the Sliding Drawer Test to his knee, and had his hips x rayed. His Cranial Cruciate Ligament is completed severed, third degree tear. It will never grow back since it’s completely severed.
I’m not sure how or when he injured himself. He did not scream when it occurred. His injury could have occurred as he was jumping in the back of a small truck or on top of a concrete platform approx 2 feet high. Some of the signs I can see:
1. Limping in rear legs.
2. Walking on the top of his toes, injured side.
3. Unable to bear 100% of his weight on his injured side. Appears that he is putting 5-20% of his normal weight on it.
4. Unable to bear weight on his injured side when he lifts his healthy leg to urinate on a tree.
5. Leg appears weak and wobbly at times.
6. Knee area appears to suddenly shift midstride when he walks, sits or lies down. This is the Tibia sliding forward on the Femur.
7. When he sits, he bears weight on his healthy buttocks and sits with his injured knee laterally to his mid line, known as a frog sit. I believe that is a strong indicator of an ACL tear.
8. He sits and lies down more frequently.
My opinion is that when a dog is injured like this, just like a person, it DOES NOT heal quickly. It takes months or years and is never going to be the same. The dog needs to be medically retired from moderate to heavy play. I have NOT had surgery on the dog. His knee is weak, unstable and prone to collasping. I do not allow him to run, jump, play…If I had a pool or access to a lake, I would allow him to swim as much as he wants since his bad knee is not bearing any weight when he swims.
I received Tyson as a 5 year old from the original owner. I noticed in the past few years that when I would throw a tennis ball for him to run after, ocassionally both his rear legs would slide out from under him as he tried to grab the ball in his mouth. Sometimes he would come back limping so I stopped playing ball with him because I thought he was going to hurt himself.
Would like to hear from other dog owners who have had a similar knee injury to their dog. See the latest video of him, video 8, which is approx 10 months after injury here and you’ll see he’s limping much less but the knee is still unstable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSz0YSJ-MB8
Healing options are:
1. Leave injured side alone and greatly reduce dogs activity level. In other words, the dog cannot walk the same distance or do the same activities as before the injury. This is the method I am choosing at this time.
2. Lateral Sutures, ,000. Knee is opened, fishing line type material is used to hold knee together.
3. TPLO, ,500. Knee is opened, Tibia bone is cut, wedged open with plates and screws and allowed to heal.