Treatment and Recovery of Torn Knee Ligament in Doberman Pinschers

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). You can read Part I and Part II here if you haven’t read it already.

Doberman Pinscher Torn Knee Ligament – The Recovery Process (Part III)

The surgeon was pleased with his progress and the bump on his head which had gone down quite a bit, thankfully.   He’d had both hips and knees X-rayed which did show there was some arthritis on the injured knee suggesting that there was a previous injury. His hips were good as was his other knee. The plaster was changed and  there had only been a bit of leakage. He said that all toilet breaks for the next three months were to be on a lead and I had to walk him 3 times a day for 5 minutes for a week, then back to him for a check then if all was well to increase it to 3 times a day for 10 minutes. The only hiccup was on the third day when the swelling was at its worse.(as the surgeon had warned would happen), especially the ankle. I don’t feel his pain management was enough. Fiel was 55.5kgs (122Lbs)  and he was on 40mls of Myloxidyl, once a day and 3 Tramadol twice a day but he was really fidgety with the pain so in the end I rang my vet who always manages his pain well when he’s strained things running etc and he suggested 55mls Myloxidyl, once a day and 5 Tramadol twice a day. He also had a 14 day broad spectrum antibiotic.  This was only increased for another 3 days then we went back to the original dose. There was a clicking noise when he was on his walks for about 2 weeks but that stopped as the swelling went down.

All was going well eight weeks after surgery and we’d got up to 20 minutes walking 3 times a day when I noticed he was lifting his leg after the second day of this. He was in agony by the third day so back to the surgeons we went to discover the problem was the hip joint of the same leg as the op. He seemed to be in as much pain as the night of his op. He could get in the car but screamed at the motion of getting down . Back on 5 Tramadol twice a day 55mls of Myloxidyl and a strict diet. 100grams of dried food and as much broccoli,and carrots as he wants. He also has an apple or pear a day a hide chew for three times a week. He was 122lbs and 6 weeks later he’s a 103lbs. He is completely pain free has been off all painkillers for the past 4 weeks and has been discharged from the surgeon. Although he said he’s really half the way though his recovery and the task now is to really make the muscle that’s come back really strong. It’s been 13 weeks.

I have been warned by the Surgeon the other knee is venerable to the same injury as its been working hard to compensate and ideally no more playing Frisbee and ball for the same reason. He’s not allowed up the stairs for another month (about 4 months after the op) so I’ve been sleeping next to him on our bed of 5 puffy quilts since January. He’s so funny. He has an inner clock. Pills at 7am with breakfast, 10am walk. 2pm.walk. 5pm dinner. 7pm walk then pills. Put bedding down by 9.30pm, head on pillow quilt over and asleep. He barked right in my face if I forgot one of these steps early on, although he’s off the pills now except his Thyroxin. I really think routine is important and I’m lucky that I’m at home caring for my 88 year old Mum so I was able to devote the time to his needs. He’s naturally a calm dog although he’s had his moments over this period where he’s chased the cat through to the kitchen but mainly the drugs kept him quiet but to be fair he was himself. We didn’t use a cage as he’s quite happy to sit and observe, then we’d have a walk on leash to the garden. I did buy a couple of interactive games for dogs which he loves as they mean finding food. The Surgeon here feels that unless the dog is completely bouncing of the walls with energy its best not cage them and encourage normal natural short exercise so that muscle wastage is at a minimum.

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