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Thread: Please help my girl!

  1. #1

    Default Please help my girl!

    Hi Everyone,

    First time I have ever been on this forum, hoping someone may be able to help me!

    I have a female, purebred German Shepherd. She is 2 in June. She's a big girl - she weighs 44.5kg. Before anyone starts on me she is a healthy weight, her vet has said she is big for a female shepherd.

    Today, she had X-rays on her back left leg. She has been limping and putting barely any weight on it for a few weeks.
    The vet has found she has a ruptured anterior (cranial) cruciate ligament in her knee.

    We have been given the option of surgery, as most of you will hopefully understand this is a lot of money. We have a young child and I am currently on maternity leave with him.

    I'm hoping that someone may have been in this situation with a big dog or have some advice on alternative treatments? Acupuncture, massage, rest etc? Ive. never dealt with injury before and I'm not prepared to lose her.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you

  2. #2

    Default Please help my girl

    Hi Everyone,

    First time I have ever been on this forum, hoping someone may be able to help me!

    I have a female, purebred German Shepherd. She is 2 in June. She's a big girl - she weighs 44.5kg. Before anyone starts on me she is a healthy weight, her vet has said she is big for a female shepherd.

    Today, she had X-rays on her back left leg. She has been limping and putting barely any weight on it for a few weeks.
    The vet has found she has a ruptured anterior (cranial) cruciate ligament in her knee.

    We have been given the option of surgery, as most of you will hopefully understand this is a lot of money. We have a young child and I am currently on maternity leave with him.

    I'm hoping that someone may have been in this situation with a big dog or have some advice on alternative treatments? Acupuncture, massage, rest etc? Ive. never dealt with injury before and I'm not prepared to lose her.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rural Western Australia
    Posts
    2,637

    Default

    Hi SimmyN,

    I understand your situation having had one dog that has had bilateral cruciate surgery. There are different types of cruciate surgery, some quite a lot cheaper than others. Make sure you understand all the options and their cost and rehab process. The cheaper options can be successful but there are no shortcuts in the rehab. My friend had a big dog with this type of surgery and it had to be redone because she tried to move to quickly through the rehab. Mind you there are not shortcuts with any of the options.

    For a full rupture surgery is often the solution, for partial ruptures sometimes conservative management can be successful. It very much depends on your committment to the process. I have posted 2 links. One is a conservative management group where there is a lot of support and help for people who have chosen the non surgical route. One is the orthodogs group where they will be happy to discuss both surgery and non surgical methods.

    There are people on both sites who have large dogs. Good luck and remember that what ever route you chose, it wont be easy and strict adherence to the process is key to success. But you can come through. My dog is now nearly 14 and her back legs are good.

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/orthodogs/info

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...anagement/info
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 05-01-2014 at 07:05 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,584

    Default

    I know someone who had a German Short Haired Pointer - that busted its ligaments.

    She opted not to get surgery for her dog so it was on controlled on lead walks - no more ballistic running around the park playing with other dogs. So I guess it can be done. It depends on what the leg is like without support.

    limping and putting barely any weight on it for a few weeks
    This looks really bad. Especially in a big dog. The GSP was not that bad.

    So questions I would be writing down for the vet and making sure I had answers before I left (maybe you could email your vet?) - would be
    1. what does the vet recommend besides surgery - eg walking or hydrotherapy or both?
    2. what are the possible consequences of delaying surgery or never getting it. (I know for me as a human with a broken ACL - it was unacceptable to be without it but some humans manage).
    it's possible that the leg will become steadily worse and more painful without surgery.
    3. what effect on the dog's quality of life - with surgery and without... what % success rate does their recommended vet surgeon get (note that your regular vet could do this or they could refer you to an orthopaedic vet specialist (that would be my choice).
    4. could she lose a few kg and still be healthy? - because the lighter she is the better off she will be, big dog or not. Ask the vet. Vets are often reluctant to tell dog owners the truth about how fat their dogs are and if they could stand to lose a few kilo. Mine is currently at a weight that vets admire - and it's 2kg lighter than she has been for most of the rest of her adult life - vets would say ok and that she's not fat but she wasn't ideal either.

    Depending on the answers - maybe a personal loan or savings plan or some other plan will help.

    With my ACL injury - it was important to keep moving - walking in water (hydrotherapy) was best because I was supported but there was quite a bit of resistance to work against for my leg muscles. So I'd be ambivalent about crating / crate training your dog. But if you are going to opt for surgery later - when you've saved up, then the dog will need to be comfortable in a crate - so crate training now couldn't hurt. But you will need to stick to an exercise plan so that the surrounding muscle stays strong and working to support the joint.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 05-01-2014 at 07:24 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,584

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    PS joined the two threads and put in general because more people will see that there tho they probably belong in the nutrition and health section. Maybe I will shift later.

  6. #6

    Default

    Hi Kalacreek,

    Thank you so much, my partner and I will do anything for her - she's our baby. We are going to speak to the vet who would be the one doing the surgery. I at least want to hear options. We have been quoted anywhere above $2500. I know it may seem like a small amount to some people, we are a young family. It's hard to be able to afford that. We can speak to the vet about a payment plan but I also don't feel comfortable doing the surgery. I'm not against it I'm just concerned about messing with her back end. She is a German shepherd and it's a concern.

    The vet did X-Ray her hips while she was under and they are perfect. It just worries me to mess around back there.

    Thank you for the links! I will have a read of them.

    Thank you again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Western Sydney
    Posts
    809

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    SimmyN,

    Welcome to the forum...I've never had your problem and have owned three GSDs...two bitches and one dog. Your girl is about 12.5 kgs over weight and might be the cause of your problem...GSDs are lean dogs and fed too much will affect their hips or maybe what has happened to your girl.

    I'm not having a go at you but she is not healthy at that weight...my GSD Chloe is 2yrs old and weighs 32 kgs and is just a little chubby and I've cut her kibble back just a little. My GSD boy Rex is 11.4 yrs old and he weighs 36 kgs and I don't want him any heavier than this.

    You should be able to run your hands along the rib cage and just not feel her ribs and she should also have a waist. Your girl may require surgery...I have heard of this injury in Rotties (a heavier breed) and surgery was needed. Did the breeder give you a diet sheet and tell you about over feeding and bloat....The only thing I can advice is to put her on a diet.

    Please have a look at this...Dr Hedberg is a very knowledgeable vet and a member of the GSDL.

    http://webs.dogs.net.au/kazkiri/uplo...SD_Hedberg.pdf
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  8. #8

    Default

    Hi Hyacinth,

    Sorry didn't realise there was another reply! Thank you for that! I appreciate it

    As I just write we are going to speak to the main vet at our clinic, he's quite highly regarded around here and does a lot of complicated surgeries - he's the go to vet in Central West NSW. I feel confident with him, but as I said I don't feel comfortable with surgery. But yes we do need to have every question answered, in detail. If surgery is going to the best option for her I would consider it more carefully. She is an inside dog 80% of the time (which she loves) if it takes time to heals n we need to put the ridiculous amount of effort in we will. She's part of the family.

  9. #9

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    Dogman - not to sound rude, she is nt overweight. She is extremely tall and long. Every vet at our usual clinic and breeders we have seen have stated how she is such a big dog. She may possibly be a few kilos over but not that much.

    Looking at averages on height and length of German shepherds she is above average for a male.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rural Western Australia
    Posts
    2,637

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimmyN View Post
    Hi Kalacreek,

    Thank you so much, my partner and I will do anything for her - she's our baby. We are going to speak to the vet who would be the one doing the surgery. I at least want to hear options. We have been quoted anywhere above $2500. I know it may seem like a small amount to some people, we are a young family. It's hard to be able to afford that. We can speak to the vet about a payment plan but I also don't feel comfortable doing the surgery. I'm not against it I'm just concerned about messing with her back end. She is a German shepherd and it's a concern.

    The vet did X-Ray her hips while she was under and they are perfect. It just worries me to mess around back there.

    Thank you for the links! I will have a read of them.

    Thank you again.
    Hi SimmyN, the cruciate problem and her hips are separate. Having cruciate surgery is not going to mess with her hips. My dog had cruciate surgery and did agility and still has perfect hips and she is not a small dog.

    A ruptured cruciate is a very painful condition and left untreated for too long will result in more arthritic changes in her knee joint. I acted fast with my dog and she has minimal arthritis.

    Conservative management could still be an option it will depend on the severity of the rupture. You could always try and if it is clearly not working go down the surgery route. Personally I would probably only attempt conservative managemnet if the cruciate was only mildly ruptured. The links I gve you will bring you in contact with people that have tried it all and it will give you a feel for waht is possible.

    Good luck with it all!

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