Olivia, Conservative Management (Recent Injury)

Olivia, a dog who injured her ACL, but is too old for surgery.

My sweet (about to be 14 next month) English Springer Spaniel who is still quite healthy (although slowing down)….has had the start of arthritis and somehow managed to jump off the last step just right on Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day)…that she slipped….came up limping and turns out she tore her ACL. Vet can’t say 100%, but he thinks it is a complete tear … so sad….

At this age (despite her good health), I hate to put her through a surgery….

We are 3 days post-injury and she is doing better at getting up from lying down on her own…and moving around amazingly well….although only tapping on the injured back leg from time to time and using it for balance when standing…. Although she can slip and fall (since she isn’t used to balancing) if she hits the wood floor (I’ve got yoga mats covering most of the floor) or if she is bumped into….

The surgeon said it wouldn’t be ridiculous to do surgery given her good health (but he’d want to meet her first)…..

I just don’t know…. the vet thinks the scar tissue will fill in a bit and help stabilize her knee so she will slowly do a bit better even without the surgery…

Has anyone had an older dog with a complete (or near complete) tear that got slowly a bit better??

I’m using the help-em-up harness on the outside stairs to get her in and out of the house!!

My inside stairs are carpeted but steep and not a lot of tread space (old house) so even before the injury she only did them once a day to go to sleep and come down in the morning….but I’m SO scared of her injuring the other leg…that I’ve been carrying her…..but perhaps I’m over-worried since the stairs ARE carpeted and I would be there with the harness….

Would love to hear others thoughts…. Thanks!

One thought on “Olivia, Conservative Management (Recent Injury)

  1. My Dog Sophie is a nine year old English Springer Spaniel too and she had ACL surgery in March 2019. Surgery went well and recovery was going well until about week 12 when we went back for her recheck and we told the vet that Sophie had slipped coming up the front porch and was limping on her right leg. She had ACL surgery on her left leg.

    The vet that we went too told us that she recommended TLPO surgery on both knees since both knees were bad we didn’t want to put her through another surgery with her being so old so we opted to not do the surgery and do conservative management. The Conservative Management was going really well until today when she slipped coming up the steps from our downstairs. She didn’t yelp or cry so we are hoping she just aggravated it.

    If you start slow with the conservative mangement it should be successful. You can at least try it. Hope this helps.

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