Diagnosing a Ruptured Cruciate Ligament in a Doberman Pinscher

The following story comes from Jan in the United Kingdom. Though most of our readers are from the United States, I thought that it’d be great to offer information for those readers who are overseas and Jan agreed to share her story about her Doberman named Fiel. I hope that all of you all find Jan’s story helpful (this will be released in 3 parts).

Jan’s Doberman Pinscher CCL Story (Part 1)

Fiel - Doberman Pinscher who went through Tightrope SurgeryMy 6 and half year old Doberman called Fiel (means Loyal/faithful in Spanish) was just recovering from a hematoma of his ear and lying on his sofa when Millie my cat decided to walk past and wave her tail his way for the daily ritual of chase. Except this time Fiel jumped off the side of the sofa and landed awkwardly and yelped straight away. I had heard a sort of dull crack noise so I knew this wasn’t good. He cried and couldn’t put his back leg down.  I rang my vet immediately and his first thoughts were the cruciate ligament. As Fiel was already on Myloxidyl for pain relief and inflammation for his ear, he suggested to carry on with that until I could get him to his office for an evaluation. This took two days as Fiel was in some pain and the joint was not stable so he had to learn a different way of walking and getting in and out of my car.

My vet confirmed that he had the drawer movement of his knee joint which confirmed to him that he had ruptured his cruciate. He booked us in with a Orthopedic Surgeon not far from us who has a fantastic success rate with this particular operation and went to meet him two days later. Sure enough, he had completely ruptured the cranial cruciate ligament (dog ACL) and he explained the tightrope procedure to me and how it is less invasive than other types of surgery but it is likely that arthritis will be a problem in the future because of the nature of the injury. He also mentioned that his knee might have been weakened before and this time its completely snapped. Looking back I suspect he was correct as I do remember Fiel sliding badly on my laminate flooring when he was younger and limping a bit but he healed and I thought nothing more about it.

So he’d had the accident on the Monday, saw his Vet on the Wednesday, the Surgeon on the Friday and the operation was scheduled for the following Tuesday. Eight days from injury to operation. It perhaps would have been quicker but between my Vet and the Surgeon, they were running tests for Von Willibrands disorder and other clotting tests as well as checking Thyroxine levels as he has an under active thyroid. That incidentally was picked up because of a research study on Dobermans as they have a high rate of death due to heart failure, so he has quite extensively tested. Thankfully all of those tests came back negative!

Be sure to come back to read the remainder of Jan & Fiel’s story – Read Part II.

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