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Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  DVM for 19 years. Compassionate, Caring, Experienced.
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sheltie: is 11 1/2 years old and has a torn acl in her left knee

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My sheltie is 11 1/2 years old and has a torn acl in her left knee. Should I put her through the trauma of surgery?


When did she tear it?

Is she putting any weight on the leg?

How is her health otherwise?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Gabby's Post: She initially hurt it about a year ago. The vet said at that time she did not need surgery. She put her on a glucosamine supplement which she is still taking. She does put weight on it for the most part. At times she holds it up or limps. She has always had an intestinal problem which they never determined what was causing it. She has been on special food since she was about 3 years old. I think overall her health is pretty good. She is getting a little cranky with my other dogs, but I attribute that to her age.

Who told you that you need to do the surgery now?

Why now after a year?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Gabby's Post: I think she re-injured it during the snow storms we have been having in Colorado. The vet told me if it got worse, she would probably need surgery. I have read the life expectancy of a sheltie is 12-14 years, and I don't want to put her through more trauma than necessary. If it will make her quality of life better, I will certainly do it.

I understand now.

It will make her quality of life better. Right now that joint, the tibia and the femur, is unstable. Every time she moves, the ends of the bones move across one another. Each time this happens the cartilage (covering of the bone) is worn away.

Then, the surface of the bones become rough. Two rough surfaces moving against each other is painful. The roughening and wear of cartilage will get worse unless the joint is stabilized.

The surgery will stabilize the joint.

I would have a complete blood cbc and chemistry run to make sure her internal organs are functioning the way they should. I would also have chest x-rays taken to look at the status of her heart and lungs. cruciate bloodwork



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