ACL Injuries in canines

is much like ACL injuries in humans although it is harder to do your own physical therapy…meaning I am trying to find a place where I can take the Maggie B in and work her in a pool myself versus paying someone to do it for me.  I managed to do all my PT for my torn ACL’s myself.  I think I can manage taking her into a pool and letting her swim.  I completely understand the process even though she is a canine and know I need to do something soon prior to scheduling surgery or she is not going to have any muscle left and then she’ll probably tear her other one.  Trying to not make that happen!

I feel really bad for her.  I think this was a slow process for her rupturing her ACL rather than blowing the whole thing at once – which has it’s benefits.  She didn’t have a “pop” of the ACL which usually means a high level of pain – or maybe she again takes after her owner and doesn’t react to it when it happens…(well, the first time it happened anyway). 

There of course are a couple of types of surgery that we can do and since she isn’t that terribly active nor a show dog she will get the less expensive kind.  What they do is drill a hole in the lower part of the leg and thread a thick piece of “string” through it and attach it to the top of the leg.  They don’t replace the actual ACL but make the body and bone think they did.  The bad thing about this is that once this is in place scar tissue develops which actually stabalizes it…but arthritis can definitely set in.  I also didn’t realize that arthritis can actually start developping on the onset of the injury.  So again – the sooner we can get this done the better!

If you are like me and want to see what they actually do during a canine ACL surgery check out this website:

It is going to be a long winter…

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One Comment on “ACL Injuries in canines”

  1. Alan & Joel Says:

    I must let everyone know about the WONDERFUL results that Dr. Fritz Trybus, of Animal Hospital of Woodstock (Illinois) accomplished with a very difficult ACL repair.

    My poor Shadow, a Lab Blue Healer mix, Blue Healer body on Lab legs tore his ACL (actually the term used was destroyed) while on a walk. Initially, Shadow was taken to his regular vet, and yes, he’s about 10 pounds over weight, and the vet refused to operate on him until he lost the weight (during the middle of Winter) and had us feed him 1 cup of green beans and 1/2 cup diet dog kibble per day (Shadow weighs 88 pounds). After 2 months of losing no weight, and having a lethargic and unhappy dog, I decided to get a second opinion with Dr. Fritz.

    On Friday Dr. Fritz examined Shadow and immediately scheduled him for surgery the following Monday. The surgery was an OUTSTANDING success, and after just 48 hours of recovery (only 5-10 minutes of activity each day) Shadow was able to stand, with NO PAIN on his operated leg. Not only that, but on the 3rd day, Shadow descended a flight of stairs with NO PROBLEM and NO PAIN. Shadow is now 12 days post-op and is off of all his pain medication and is making a remarkable recovery. Dr. Fritz was impressed as he has not had a dog recovery quite as quickly, but Dr. Fritz did note that he had recently received additional training in traditional ACL repair, made sure that the entire knee area was clear of all debris, and cleand out what he could along the lines of arthritis in the joint.

    If it were not for Dr. Fritz I would still have a miserable, limping dog, with a not so bright future. I now have, thanks to Dr. Fritz have a dog that I look forward to having long walks and lots of play time once his rehab is complete.

    IF you’ve been told or have read ALL of the horrible stories on the internet about poor results, tremendous pain, and other complications, then you need to have your beloved companion seen by Dr. Fritz! You can learn more about him at their web site at, you WON’T regret it!

    I can not thank Dr. Fritz enough, and am happy to answer any questions you may have about his practice! (also he is very reasonable, and the staff is wonderful)!

    Alan & Joel

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