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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some guidance and advice on behalf of a friend. They have a 120 lb rottweiler fur daughter named Bella who is their dearest heart. She's 5 years old, with some hip dysplasia/hip arthritis issues. She has torn the ligaments in her back left knee this week (ACL), and would require a surgery that would cost them something like 4000 dollars. That is out of their money range, and with her older age (for a big dog) and existing joint problems they are not comfortable with it being the best option anyway. They are looking at non-surgical avenues including self healing (not very promising), and braces and/or 'wheelchair' dog cart.

Their local vets are strongly advising against a dog cart or a brace and are not willing to explore the option, I think because of her size or even because they are not familiar enough with the use of mobility aids for dogs.

They want to seek a second opinion, and do more research. So friends, do any of you have access to vets that would be willing to speak to them who offer these options, promote or work with making mobility aids, or do you know of a dog who uses one of these things? Basically anyone we can talk to for education and real information?
 

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try going on fb and checking out bruno's story , this might give you some help with this :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you have a link?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for this. I'm sending everything to this family. They both cried their eyes out when the vet told them that Bella would either get the surgery or be put down. Bella isn't a dog to give up or lose spirit and still a puppy at heart, so she's definitely not ready for such a dire prognosis.
 

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Hm, the thing I would wonder is if using a cart could actually potentially make the dogs hip issues worse?

Normally if a dog has hip dysplasia, vets will recommend that you work to strengthen the dog's leg muscles with moderate exercise. Apparently having strong muscles to support the hip can slow down the progression of HD.

But if the dog's in a cart, and not able to use it's back legs normally most of the time, I would assume there would be some issues with muscle wasting which may very well effect the dog's hip condition. The surgery for HD on both hips I bet would be more expensive than the surgery to fix the ACL.

They couldn't try to raise the money for the surgery somehow? Will another vet do the surgery for less, or offer a payment plan? I don't think a torn ACL is an emergency, so they'd probably be able to buy some time and wait a little bit to have the surgery done if the extra time would help them be able to save up the money.

I would definitely seek out a second opinion, and maybe even a third. I think that sometimes ACL issues are left alone, but normally only in small dogs? If the tear is only partial than I think sometimes there is a chance it will heal on it's own, but if it's a full tear then surgery is usually considered to be the best option.

Good luck! I really hope they are able to work something out that works for Bella and allows them to keep their baby with them for many years to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for all of this. I'm passing everything shared to me on to my friends.

I'll keep you updated.
 

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It might be possible for them to build a quad dog wheelchair where they can control the amount of support that Bella gets. There's a website for making dog stuff, forget the exact name.
 

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How's Bella doing?

I really hope her family is able to work something out for her that works, no matter what the solution ends up being! 5 years old is still really only middle aged for your average rottweiler. She sounds like she still has a lot of life left in her, despite her hip and recent knee issues.

I wonder if a holistic vet would be more open to trying nonsurgical options? If there is one in Bella's families area, it might be worth a try to talk to them and see what they suggest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bella's actually feeling better, though of course that's not necessarily a good thing since they have to keep her off her foot as much as possible. They're literally in the process of contacting people from all over the world seeking education on their options. Gotta love the Internet. This is obviously going to be a slow motion process though, since it's a long term thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As it stands, surgery just will not be a good option for her. They are letting her heal at home with movement and pain/swelling management treatment. As long as she can walk and potty, they'll let her. They are much more hopeful now that they know of the option of braces and doggy wheel chairs. Bella's such a positive spirited happy old puppy, she's a good candidate for anything like that.

They just adopted a third puppy from a rescue too, a little lab/chow looking little thing. Bella's completely fallen in love with her, and relishes her role as teacher and nurse maid. Puppy Therapy. :)
 

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"Their local vets are strongly advising against a dog cart or a brace and are not willing to explore the option"

"Gotta love the internet"

As a general rule, I'd trust the judgement of a vet who has actually seen the animal than the third (fourth?) hand opinions from over the web.
Are your friends following their vet's guidance in the "self-healing" option? Or are they applying the devices without consulting the on-site vet?
 

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I am strong on following your local vet's advice in general. For something different like a cart, may be the exception.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
"Their local vets are strongly advising against a dog cart or a brace and are not willing to explore the option"

"Gotta love the internet"

As a general rule, I'd trust the judgement of a vet who has actually seen the animal than the third (fourth?) hand opinions from over the web.
Are your friends following their vet's guidance in the "self-healing" option? Or are they applying the devices without consulting the on-site vet?

I agree with you with trusting the judgement of a vet who's seen Bella over the Internets, but I also believe in keeping options open, and as you seem to be saying, /responsible/ use of any research information found. :)

At the start of any information gathering process, we keep the parameters as open as possible, and then start filtering down from there. This one was also driven by fear, getting as much info as quickly as possible, so that's probably the worrisome vibe you're getting--That the initial research stage that was at the beginning of this thread is going to jump helter skelter into the final implementation stages without any further thought. So just to ease your mind (and to be clearer to others who might be reading this for the first time but don't have the experience yet to be self discriminating), as of right now, they do have a close cooperative relationship/friendship with their vet, and are working closely with the vet as they explore these options.

They are following the vet's self healing recommendations-self healing is always the best route if it works, since nothing we have compares to the quality of what nature made. They haven't purchased any of the devices. As I tried to indicate in the follow up replies, her healing and treatment will be a long drawn out process and not be rushed. They are considering the devices a last choice, not a first choice. And even then, they will let Bella's mental and physical well being drive their decisions.
 
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