Hating that idea, I sought another. Meanwhile, Lois favored that left hind leg more and more. Then I learned about an ACL treatment called Tightrope.
This is a much less extreme and invasive procedure. Basically two sets of two small holes are drilled into the bone near the knee joint through which a sturdy cord is threaded. This cord supports the joint; doing the job a fully functioning cruciate ligament does. I made an appointment with Dr Lanier to determine if this was an appropriate plan for Lois.
Dr L examined Lois and said he wasn't so sure it was an ACL tear. He couldn't feel the "shelf" you see. Physical manipulation of a joint sans intact ACL acts differently than a normal joint. A torn ACL creates an abnormal space or shelf. When the dog is fighting the manipulation it is difficult to feel the shelf.
We agreed that we'd sedate Lois so Dr Lanier could be sure of the diagnosis. If he found a shelf, he would perform the Tightrope.
Guess what? No shelf. No torn ACL. It turns out that Lois has arthritis! She has been favoring the left leg because there is a chunk of calcium in her knee that hurts when she moves it.
Dr. L gave Lois an injection of an anti inflammatory directly into the joint. He also prescribed some anti inflammatory medication to be taken orally. In addition, Lois has had three Laser treatments and will have three more in the next week.
Lois has improved enormously. She is back to her normal play routine. (We had stopped the fun for several weeks to rest the allegedly torn ligament). Lois runs and jumps with ease and glee. There is no sign of strain or pain in her leg anymore.
Yep. Say it with me...Wow!
Just imagine if we had proceeded with the bone cutting plan. I try not to think about it too often, for that thought is an ipecac.
Lois will be seven next month. That's middle aged for a big dog. She may need anti inflammatory medication in the future and perhaps some more Laser therapy. We will manage her arthritis. Being a middle aged gal myself, I will share my Glucosamine Chondroiton suppliments with Lois. Our exercise regimen will continue too.
I will be forever grateful to Dr Lanier.
info on Tightrope: http://www.warrenanimalclinic.com/tightrope.html
info on Laser: http://www.warrenanimalclinic.com/