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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Quick question..

My friend's Pit mix tore her ACL about a month ago. They put the surgery off until this month, or so I thought. Two days ago, the friend informed me that they have cancelled the surgery and plan to get it done sometime "after the wedding". The wedding is in December. Her reasoning behind this is that the dog is now putting full weight on the leg and is jumping and dancing around like normal.

I don't agree with this logic at all, obviously, but can anyone with experience with this tell me what's going on with the dog's leg? I was under the impression that a torn ACL didn't heal itself. Can the dog be bouncing around on a torn ACL? If so, is it possible for it to heal itself or simply heal enough for the dog to put weight on it again? The vet said it was a complete tear, to my knowledge.

Of course, I asked her what the vet said when she called to cancel the appointment and she said they simply told her not to wait too long. I'm not sure that they meant "it's safe to wait until next year". That would mean the dog's ACL has been torn since the beginning of July and will be torn until at least January of 2012. That's five months. That seems like an awfully long time to put off a surgery.
 

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It could be a misdiagnosis, but I doubt it.

Pit mixes (and most dogs) are very good at hiding how much pain they're in, so it could be that it still hurts immensely, but the dog is just "ignoring" it, because that's what they're naturally conditioned to do.

My neighbor's dog, also a Pit mix, tore both of its ACLs. They didn't get it to a vet immediately and it is now confined to leash walks for the rest of its life. It can't run, jump or play, or its ACLs will simply re-tear.

IMO, it's cruel and selfish to delay a surgery of this magnitude until after a wedding, and if they don't care about the welfare of their dog, they shouldn't have it anymore.
 

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Eek.... like dmickle1 said, it could be a misdiagnosis but I doubt it as well.

Pit Bulls are very good at muscling through pain. However, I'd be surprised if she was actually as active as her owners state. Have you observed the dog personally?

ACL tears is no small issue. However, the fix usually involves multiple thousands of dollars. That being said, they have no reason to wait that long. If the diagnosis is correct, the dog will likely cause irreversible damage to itself. If they need to wait, they need to talk to the Vet and surgeon about what they can do to help her. This will likely include immobilization.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I dont know, but when my husband tore his ACL, he sure wasnt jumping around!
Yeah, I'd imagine not. Hm.

It could be a misdiagnosis, but I doubt it.

Pit mixes (and most dogs) are very good at hiding how much pain they're in, so it could be that it still hurts immensely, but the dog is just "ignoring" it, because that's what they're naturally conditioned to do.

My neighbor's dog, also a Pit mix, tore both of its ACLs. They didn't get it to a vet immediately and it is now confined to leash walks for the rest of its life. It can't run, jump or play, or its ACLs will simply re-tear.

IMO, it's cruel and selfish to delay a surgery of this magnitude until after a wedding, and if they don't care about the welfare of their dog, they shouldn't have it anymore.
Yeah, that's my opinion as well.. I just can't figure out if the dog is actually able to do the things she says it is.

Eek.... like dmickle1 said, it could be a misdiagnosis but I doubt it as well.

Pit Bulls are very good at muscling through pain. However, I'd be surprised if she was actually as active as her owners state. Have you observed the dog personally?

ACL tears is no small issue. However, the fix usually involves multiple thousands of dollars. That being said, they have no reason to wait that long. If the diagnosis is correct, the dog will likely cause irreversible damage to itself. If they need to wait, they need to talk to the Vet and surgeon about what they can do to help her. This will likely include immobilization.
That's the thing--I haven't seen the dog at all in the past month or so because I've been working like crazy and haven't had time to head over there for socialization. Yeah, I nkow they won't keep her immobilized. In fact, my friend told me that the dog is now doing her "car drive" dance, where she flips out and get zoomies when asked if she wants to go for a car ride. Apparently, they're encouraging her to bounce around on it.
 

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ACL (actually CCL in dogs) tears can stabilize on their own, especially partial tears (and there isn't a super accurate way to know whether its a full tear or partial until you open the leg up) but not in a month. Some people opt to go with conservative management to see if the knee will stabilize on its own. This is not an option generally for your super active, high drive pit bull but may be if he's a calmer mid or low energy dog. If he's full on using the leg with no limping and no pain management, I would guess its a misdiagnosis. Torn CCL's hurt and I really can't see a dog running around on his leg completely normally a month after the injury (I am assuming he's not on painkiller ATM). If my dog were scheduled for surgery and then was walking totally normally I wouldn't go through with it either but my definition of totally normally may not be the same as your friend's. If it is a torn CCL 5 months is not too long to wait for surgery but the dog shouldn't be allowed to bop around. Really, I don't have much of an opinion without seeing the dog and knowing what he's been up to, pain management etc.
 

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ACL (actually CCL in dogs) tears can stabilize on their own, especially partial tears (and there isn't a super accurate way to know whether its a full tear or partial until you open the leg up) but not in a month. Some people opt to go with conservative management to see if the knee will stabilize on its own. This is not an option generally for your super active, high drive pit bull but may be if he's a calmer mid or low energy dog. If he's full on using the leg with no limping and no pain management, I would guess its a misdiagnosis. Torn CCL's hurt and I really can't see a dog running around on his leg completely normally a month after the injury (I am assuming he's not on painkiller ATM). If my dog were scheduled for surgery and then was walking totally normally I wouldn't go through with it either but my definition of totally normally may not be the same as your friend's. If it is a torn CCL 5 months is not too long to wait for surgery but the dog shouldn't be allowed to bop around. Really, I don't have much of an opinion without seeing the dog and knowing what he's been up to, pain management etc.
My concern was that Pits are SO good at hiding pain that he could indeed be suffering incredibly, just not showing signs.

After Atlas was trampled by horses, he had a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain, broken toes, broken teeth and had been kicked square in the face so that his lips were torn from where they met his gum line. He ended up being in the ICU of the vet clinic for 5 days and had over 40 stitches in his mouth alone. He walked into the clinic that day, not acting like anything was really wrong.

It sounds like these people are being entirely irresponsible dog owners and are putting their own life plans ahead of their dogs. I mean, rescheduling your dog's surgery because of a wedding is just selfish, in my book. My dogs come first, always.
 

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If they wait too long surgery may not even be an option anymore (not a good one anyway). If the knee is not surgically corrected it will do what all angry tissues do without correction, become massively inflammed and fill in with a bunch of fibrosis. Once they get to that point I don't know any surgeons who will still operate on them b/c it becomes a waste of time.
 

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My concern was that Pits are SO good at hiding pain that he could indeed be suffering incredibly, just not showing signs.

After Atlas was trampled by horses, he had a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain, broken toes, broken teeth and had been kicked square in the face so that his lips were torn from where they met his gum line. He ended up being in the ICU of the vet clinic for 5 days and had over 40 stitches in his mouth alone. He walked into the clinic that day, not acting like anything was really wrong.

It sounds like these people are being entirely irresponsible dog owners and are putting their own life plans ahead of their dogs. I mean, rescheduling your dog's surgery because of a wedding is just selfish, in my book. My dogs come first, always.
I know they are but I've yet to see a pit bull with a CCL tear not limping. Going about their daily routines and not acting like they're in pain, yup for sure, but they always limp IME.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So, just an update..

I saw the friend last night for the first time since she'd told me the dog was better.

She's not. She's still on pain pills and isn't even putting ANY weight on the leg. I mentioned to the friend that if she waited too long, the other ACL might tear and fibrosis would build up like Mr. V said.. She said, "Oh, I know. The lady told us that it took like a year for all that to build up, though. She'll get the surgery in January or February."

....

I feel so badly for this dog.
 

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I'm dealing with a CCL tear right now in one of my Malinois. She was injured 8 weeks ago, she saw both my vet, and then the specialist, who did recommend a TPLO, after a lot of research I decided to try conservative management first then reconsider surgery depending on how the CM was going. She's had 8 weeks of crate rest, controlled potty breaks, and we started swimming a couple weeks ago to prevent any more muscle loss and start to regain some of what was lost. At 8 weeks she walks with a minor limp, will put full weight on the leg (standing on it while scratching with the other one), but based on my research she's progressing at a faster than normal recovery rate.

CM can work, there is a good yahoo group about it with MANY success stories and at the rate Kita is going I fully expect she will recover without surgery. But chances of recovery they way your friends are doing it are slim.

And yes, I do have some personal experience having injured ligaments in both of my knees, the first I had surgery on, the second and worst injury, I opted to do CM on myself. And it's actually the stronger of the two knees now.
 
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