Alex’s ACL Injury

brace1I thought that Alex sprained her leg like she has done a few times in the past, but after taking her to the vet for a consult, x-rays, blood work, etc., she was diagnosed with having an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, ACL, also known as cranial cruciate ligament.  According to what the vet told me and what I read, this is one of the most common injuries in dogs.  I had no idea since Alex, although a senior dog, never had such an injury.

brace2I asked Cynthia to go with us to the vet because honestly I was really worried about Alex.  The vet referred us to a surgeon, and the next day I made an appointment for them to see her and schedule her for surgery.  Unlike other times when she starts eating in about 1/2  a day, this time she did not want to eat at all for 3 days.  We went back to the vet for an upset stomach, but I asked for them not to sedate her anymore.  With the medication given to her for her tummy, she finally ate, but I was really frantic and was ready to take her to have surgery, but Cynthia said, “Let her recuperate first and then we’ll do whatever is best for her.”

brace3We thought about it and considered all possibilities and we decided, ok., Cynthia convinced me, that it was best to start with the least intrusive way to address her injury.  With that in mind, we did some research and ordered an A Track Dynamic Brace.  We got it within 3 working days and it took us longer to measure Alex for the brace than it took Cynthia to put it on her.  Before the brace, she walked on 3 legs, but as soon as she had the brace on she started to put weight on her injured leg, hind left leg, and I was amazed. She has a long, long way to go, but this is, at least for Alex, a good start.  In a couple of weeks, when the knee gets better and stronger I’ll be looking into hydrotherapy and acupuncture.

brace4For the next couple of weeks, I have to get her to walk inside the house for no longer than 5 minutes at a time about 4 to 5 times a day, and increase time little by little.  She wears the brace during the day, but when is time to go to sleep, the brace is removed and Alex sleeps inside her kennel which she loves, but rarely ever uses in order to limit her movements.

IMG_6434Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and now more than ever, specially after this crazy and worrisome last week with Alex, what I am most thankful for happens to be my girlfriend, Cynthia, for getting me to see things clear when I am panicking, and my Alex, ok. fine I’ll share, our Alex, for making me appreciate the things that many times I overlook.  Doesn’t Alex looks like a cute dominatrix?  I know, I know, that is probably an oxymoron, but that is just my opinion.  Anyway, I’ll continue writing about Alex’s progress, but for now let us wish you and your family a wonderful, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving.

20 Comments Add yours

  1. writetowag says:

    Trev and I send health and healing wishes your way!!!! Please give Alex a hug from us!!!!

    1. Marcela says:

      Thanks a million:-) I will.

  2. Morgan says:

    Oh goodness, sending lots of positive thoughts your way! With you looking out for her, I know she will be right as rain in no time!

    1. Marcela says:

      Thanks a million for your well wishes.

  3. says:

    You’ve mentioned acupuncture and hydrotherapy and both are good ideas. I’d also look into low level laser therapy (to manage blood flow and inflammation) and massage. Since I’m in New Zealand, you’ll need to find someone a bit closer to you! Happy belated Thanksgiving!

    1. Marcela says:

      Thanks, I did not know about laser therapy. Happy belated Thanksgiving to you too:-)

  4. p3farm says:

    At least she still looks cute! Keep us updated, we are all worried along with you.

    1. Marcela says:

      Lol. Thanks. Yes, I’ll continue to write about her progress.

  5. newsferret says:

    Our Monty went through that and is perfect today after the op. Only problem was being a young pup to keep him calm for almost a year.

    1. Marcela says:

      I am glad your Monty did well after surgery, but Alex did not respond well, for the very first time, to being sedated, she is also 11 1/2 years old so we decided to start with the least invasive method for her. With the brace, today is her 3rd day with it, she is walking putting weight on it. Oh boy, if your Monty was a young pup that must have been harder to keep him calm for that long. Thanks for your input. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Monty and all your family.

  6. Jean says:

    I’ll be doggone! I’ve never seen such a thing. Good to know, though, since Sabbath is a very active girl. I would be surprised if she injures herself one day.

    1. Marcela says:

      That is why I love to hear from other pet parents, and my girlfriend Cynthia, since she was the one who mentioned it. Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. junefit says:

    My heart goes out to you and Alex. When my companions hurt I hurt.

    1. Marcela says:

      Tell me about it. Thanks for your kind words.

  8. rileysaur says:

    Poor Alex 😦 Get well soon!

  9. Will and Eko says:

    That’s sad news, but you really went the extra mile to get excellent care for Alex. This is a great lesson for how you care for your pet! Lots to be thankful for, happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Marcela says:

      Thanks Will. Money was not a consideration when choosing to go for the least invasive way to treat Alex, although I am not a well to do woman:-), but rather the risks involved in going for surgery. My girl is 11 1/2 years old so I need to be careful. Happy Thanksgiving too.

  10. I wish I had known about that brace when Dudley blew out his ACL. Wishing Alex a speedy recovery and everyone a Happy Turkey Day!

    1. Marcela says:

      I did not either, but Cynthia, my girlfriend, was the one that asked the vet about it. The vet told us that there was no brace for dogs, or at least she did not know of any brace, but we went on line and did some research. I’ll write about her progress and what we do aside from the brace in the future. Poor Dudley.

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