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German Shepherd Dog Third Degree Anterior Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tear, 1 of 8.

German Shepherd Dog Third Degree Anterior Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tear, 1 of 8.

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.


20 replies on “German Shepherd Dog Third Degree Anterior Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tear, 1 of 8.”

If you dog is limping or shows signs of injury, allow the dog to rest for days, weeks, months etc. Do not encourage play, running, jumping etc. The injury needs to heal and this can take a long time. Third degree ligament tears do not heal. A Third Degree ligament tear means the ligament is completely torn and will not grow back.

My 18mth old cane corso got off the couch last night and barked at the door I think from pain then I noticed him limping on his rear leg. He's putting 60% off his wight on it? This is the part of owning a dog I hate, not because of $ it might cost but because he deserve a healthy pain free life. My sister inlaw is a vet tech s

Rest the dog. Allow the injury to heal which can easily take weeks/months. Third degree tears of ligaments will never heal. They are completely severed.

I think i did something like this to our 9 month old shepherd. he is limping, took him to the vet and the vet can't find anything, he is now coming out of sedation (from X-rays) and on metacam (painkillers) , I am so frustrated because he was a very active dog he is almost been limping for a week now

I don't know if my dog is in pain. He shows no signs of pain, such as screaming. I have medically retired him from all playful activities. No jumping, no running etc. Walking only. He seems to be doing fine. His leg/knee is unstable and occasionally collapses from under him.

Just keep your dog calm and only do short walks, no running, turning while under speed etc. Eliminate all play.

My chihuahua has a luxated patella which lead to a similar tear. She goes through periods where she doesn't limp at all, but right now she goes from limping horribly to skipping on three legs. I'm unemployed and can't afford the surgery either. Is there any pain management that worked for you?

Im scared my nearly 3 yr old Rott has this, he was playing with my other Rottweiler Sheba and they run and tare, the next day he started to do that… My vet said pulled muscle but Im taking him back for a full examination.

Because a dog is unable to verbally communicate with you, I would think it's a bad idea to try to put a brace on a dogs leg. You don't know if it's making more or less pain. I would just reduce or eliminate all play, jumping, long walks. Treat him like he's an injured person with a major knee injury. In this case, it's a severed major knee ligament. Some Vets (not all) push for the surgery if they are the ones who benefit from it. Dogs can do quite well with an injury like this.

Tysons update as of July 29, 2012. He is now approx 11-12 years old. I have NOT had any surgery done to him. He is medically retired from most play, is not allowed to jump or run. He still walks a little sideways and his knee/leg is unstable, meaning it collapses from under him if he gets in the wrong position while trying to stand up. Otherwise, he is fine. He still dislikes skakeboarders, dislikes joggers who are running towards him, scared of fireworks, barks at other dogs etc.

Do you have an update on Tyson? My dog has the same injury.
$3000.00/knee. Not going to happen.
I’m currently modifying a human knee brace to fit and see if it will work.

Try to remain optimistic. If it is a 3rd degree tear of the CCL, the injury is moderate, but it is NOT LIFE THREATENING. As long as the dog has somebody to provide food for him, they will adjust fine. The dog will be limited in what it can/should do. The vet can tell by doing the sliding drawer test on the knee, when the dog sedated. It's a similar test that a orthopedic doctor would do to a human. It's a test to see how much movement there is in the joint. Let us know what you find out.

Thank you for taking the time to give all of this information. I have an 11 yr (this year) old gsd and he started showing these symptoms yesterday. This morning he was much worse and his leg is very swollen. My husband just took him to the vet hospital and I am drenched in tears hoping for some good news. Tyson is beautiful. Again, thanks for sharing.

@sanfranciscobay I think you may have misunderstood my intentions. I certainly wouldn't presume to tell you directly or personally what to do because I don't know you and that would be rude. I am guilty of being pretty fond of animals, I admit, and mistakenly thought you might have been asking for input on potential ideas for Tyson. Please pardon me if my comments came off as too enthusiastic or out of line. I wish you both well.

@500Knives If somebody offered me $4,000 for free if I would take Tyson in for surgery, the answer would be NO THANKS. I don't want him to go through any moderate or major invasive surgeries which could make him worst and the suffering he would have to endure while healing. He's fine the way he is.

It's very simple. You just medically retire the dog from all moderate play, never encourage them in jumping… Walking and swimming is fine.

Tysons pushing 11. GSD average life is 9.75 yrs.

@500Knives I don't want Tyson to be handled anymore. He's got a 3rd degree tear of his Cranial Cruciate Ligament in his knee. Nothing else can be done for him. He's fine. I'm not putting him through any surgery at $2,000-4,000. I don't have the money to afford water therapy and the 55 degree water around here is too cold for me and maybe Tyson also. I use to manage swimming pools, health clubs…so I'm very familiar anatomy/rehab and weight training/swimming for therapy. Again, Tyson is fine.

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