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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My lab may have injured his ACL while pheasant hunting a couple of weeks ago. I took him to the vet and after examining him and doing the drawer test he thinks it could be a partially torn ACL. Anybody have any experience with these especially with Labs? He is not in pain and it only is noticeable after he is lying around and gets up quickly. I am really hesitant about surgery because trying to keep him still for 3 weeks and then limited exercise for another 6 is going to be tough. It is a shame since he was really having a very good year with pheasants and grouse. He is a 4 yr old nutered male and is really turning out to be a very good bird dog.
 

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I had a beagle that tore the acl in his left knee. He was 7 1/2. He was on 3 legs it was that bad. had him operated on and I hunted him till he had a stroke at 12 years 1 month old. He did get arthritic but a regimen of cosequinDS and he was jumping in the truck. So, I would say it is definitely worth it if you like the dog.
 

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My old vet. told me my setter had the same thing. They wanted to open her up and repair it. I said no, not without a positive diagnosis of a tear. I did not accept "we think it is a partial tear" We went to Virginia and had an MRI done and it was clean, her leg was absolutley perfect. Started with a new vet. and they put her on Doxycycline for 21 days and the problem went away. Never had a positive test for Lymes desease but Doxy is also a anti-inflamatory. get a 2nd opinion before you open up your dog. If I would have accepted mine old vets diagnosis we would have had a dog going thru an operation for nothing, then in about 6-9 months having the risk of the other side blowing out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies, my dog is on doxycycline now and is about halfway through it. It is really confusing, he does favor the leg about 75% of the time but is in no pain and still will jump into the car and on the couch with no hesitation what so ever. That's what makes me think it is a slight tear. I just would hate to open him up and have more problems than what I have now. He is really a top shelf hunting dog and my best buddy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will get a second opinion when the doxycycline is up mainly because I was not impressed with the vet who did the drawer test. He kept pushing and pushing on his leg until the dog turned around and then said Yep could be a possible tear. Just have to wait and see and hope for the best.
 

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I would also get a second and third opinion, had a beagle who tore the acl and luxated her patela in one swift move. Went through 3 vets and numerous test. Tried 3 months cage rest and meds to no avail. Finally bit the bullet and spent $2700 on August 13 this year. She is now getting to the point were she will run a rabbit by herself again probably in January. Best of luck and hope your dog feels better.
 

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I had a "mutt" Lab that was just like another child to the family. She was a freebie, and blew out one "ACL" as we humans say. Had an operation that was about $600 and essentially replaced it with what could be called a piano wire. Six weeks in a cast and just fine.

Year later, blew out the other leg going after a bunny. Same operation, same result.

This was a family pet, not a hunting dog, but upon recovery she lived a very long, active, and full life. Never appeared to be a problem in her romps in the yard, could never tell she had the surgeries. Again, not a field dog.

And she could *seriously* haul the mail if one of the local stray cats showed itself in the yard, post-surgery. She could also basically drag me on her leash into the downstairs if we got home a little late to feed her. The knees seemed fine the rest of her days.

We even became a "Lab family" because of Lucky. Got another black one about a year after her passing, then had to add a chocolate from the same parents in their final litter two years later.

We learned "Lab math". Black Lab + Chocolate Lab = Chaos.
 

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I was hunting canadas when my Maggie blew the first one out....4000 dollars later and months of therphy....she was back....2 months later blew the other....so it a full year after both operations to get my lab back in hunting shape....i walked and low impact running all summer...shes now hunting in cornfields and im alittle leary about putting her in the cold water...because theres always alittle arthrists in the knees....and dont want her crippled when she gets alittle older....the operation is not bad..i ended ip putting her in a cage when no one was home....with the scratch quard around her head..but took it off when i was home...it was alot work and time....but i trained this lab since she was 15 weeks...and i wasnt going to stop her from hunting she loves it....but you have to give her special attention....regular walks..swimming is the best.....xrays dont help...they go right to the knee and make the repair.....the longer you wait....the faster arthiris will set in....Honkers41
 

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I would go to veterinary sports medicine group in Maryland. No place is better then them. We run retriever field trials and hunt test, that is where every one takes their dogs when an acl injury is suspected. The longer you wait, the more arthritis sets in if it is torn. Most partial tears will fully tear at some point. The web site is www.vetsportmedicine.com
 

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not putting the foot completly down tipping toeing..holding the leg up....limping..limping when getting up from a nap...ussally if its a partial its going to completly tear at any momment..dogs can tear it just doing every day things..but attention has to be given to the dog...it can happen to any dog...not just our working dogs..
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey, just wanted to give an update, received some good news from the Vet. I took him back the other day after he was done the doxicycline and there was enough improvement that surgery was not recommended. His hunting season is probably done but the real risk is the wrestling and playing with the other 2 yr old Lab. The 2 yr old still acts like a puppy and wants to wrestle at every opportunity.
 

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def from above we had the exact same thing happen with our choc lab and then the other leg blew and so did the piano wire both legs then got a black for me to hunt . she willbe 13 in feb still hunts the choc is just a house dog till she died of brain tumor
 
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