Our Dog Has Torn Her ACL

German ShepardWhen it rains it pours as the saying goes. It seems like something is constantly happening around our place, and it’s not good things. Thursday evening the boys, myself, and the dog were all outside; the boys decided to go quad riding and as I watched them start down our dusty driveway I heard a yelp (so loud the boys also heard it above the quad motors) and the dog went down. She couldn’t even get herself up so my oldest son carried her into the house and put her on her loveseat in my office. We’ve assumed for quite some time that she was starting to get hip dysplasia because of her age. Often in the last two years she would limp every now and again for a couple of days, especially any time she went swimming in the pond.

IMG_0420She’s a 100 pound shepard and I can’t lift her on my own so I had to wait until my son was home from work on Friday to get her to the vet. She never moved all day Friday, not even to try and get up to go to the bathroom, so I knew things were bad. I put the seats down in my Jeep, put her cushion in the back, and loaded her up. When I got to the vet they brought a stretcher out to get her (which she did not like), but there was no way to carry her without her being in pain. The vet said it wasn’t her hip it was her knee she had torn her ACL, he wasn’t sure to what extent without sedating here and taking X-rays but suggested we take her home and give her pain meds for two weeks to see if there’s any improvement. If not they could do surgery followed by 6-8 weeks of therapy. 

We took her home and started the pain meds. Since it’s her back leg she can’t even squat to pee so hubby made a sling to go around her middle and she walks on her front legs and we support her back legs with the sling. This dog thinks she’s my keeper and also my shadow, so it’s very stressful on her not being able to follow my every move all day long. 

Easy DIY Tulip Basket For Any DoorThe vet suggested she lose 20 pounds before even considering the surgery and referred me to a pet food supply store that a vet owns and is managed by a trainer. (We noticed the weight gain when we thought she was having hip issues). She no longer could do her morning 5 mile walk with me.

I walked in and told the trainer the situation, the dog’s injury, her weight, and how old she was. She immediately told me to feed her Premium Edge dog food and an all natural dog treat (and the only people food was raw carrots, green beans, and apples). When I went to pay she took no money, she said to try it and see if it works and if it does she knows I’ll be a lifelong customer. How nice was that? She even gave me her personal cell phone number in case I needed anything. So right now the dog isn’t eating much and I’m not sure if it’s because of the meds she’s on or because she’s not hungry from lack of exercise; but at this rate she’ll definitely lose the weight. 

For now it’s just a waiting game and she is slowly showing signs of improvement. The vet said not to let her dart after things (like quads, rabbits, and squirrels) I’m not sure how I’m supposed to do that but I will try my best. I spending much of my time reading and keeping quite around the house so she can rest. I take her out on the porch with me and try to garden in an area where she can see me I don’t want to add stress to her or leave her alone in the house. 

Never a dull moment around here I tell ya!


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  1. Your dog is absolutely gorgeous, and I’m sure she’s a real sweetheart!! I am praying for her to have a speedy and complete recovery!

    1. Thank you Karenann it’s been two weeks now and she’s doing better. Certainly not back to her old self but we don’t have to use the sling anymore to help her walk.

  2. Dawn, she is a beautiful dog. We had a shepherd when we were first married so they have always had a soft spot in my heart. I hope all goes well and please give us an update on her condition.

    1. Becky so far she is getting better a little every day. I’ll be back soon with an update!

  3. Good luck with your dog. I know how difficult it must be for her and your family. Love reading your blog.

    1. Cheryl thank you she is losing weight and doing better, now we have to decided if the surgery is a must.

  4. Melissa Smith says:

    awww..I hate when dogs are hurting or sick. I have had several dogs that were part Shepard and had hip issues..so sad.wishing a speedy recovery ❤

    1. Melissa I know it’s so hard to know what’s wrong with them, if they could only talk. We thought for sure it was a hip issue and just part of age so I’m glad we took her in to the vet.

  5. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope the ACL heals without surgery. Our shepherd had problems with her hind legs and had to go through surgery twice. It is a slow recovery but she did get through it. We used a sling to help her get in and out while she was healing. We lost her several years ago and I still miss her every day. They are truly are best friend. Please keep us posted.

    1. Karen, we are praying surgery won’t be needed. Wow surgery twice for yours, was it the hips or knees?

      1. Hope things continue to improve. Our “Dani” had to have surgery on both back legs at separate times. She was a real trooper. The surgeries did give us some additional time with her. Keep us posted.

        1. Karen that’s so good to know, thank you for that!

  6. So sorry about your beautiful dog. Our little dog has gone through the ACL surgery on both rear legs. Once it is over she’ll get back to her old self. Good luck with her diet!

    1. Peggy thank you so much! So far the diet is working. I think I need to try it myself, LOL. We were trying to avoid the surgery but now I’m thinking we should do it so she gets around better. She’s 10 so it’s hard to know how much longer she has left.

  7. Kathleen G says:

    A magnificent family member! Hope she fares well and heal without surgery. I always enjoy looking at your protector. Please keep us updated of her progress.
    Kathleen in Az

    1. Kathleen I’m hoping no surgery is needed too. Yesterday we hit the 2 week mark and there is improvement so now to get the rest of the weight off her and see how she is.

  8. Diana@gardenthymewithdiana.com says:

    I’m sorry about your shepherd, a beautiful dog. I’ll be thinking positive thoughts. Keep us posted.

    1. Diana thank you for the kind words and I will update you here soon.

  9. Oh, Dawndie! I’m so sorry to read this about your precious dog – she is such a pretty thing! I pray her injury will heal and she can loose the weight to help her. About the free food – just blesses me to know there are still very nice people in the world. Take care and have a nice 4th of July.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

    1. Shelia thank you for the prayers so far she is losing the weight and getting around much better.

  10. Oh my ! I’m so glad you are doing all of these things for you fur baby. It’s sad to see them grow old and suffer.

    1. Ann it is horrible to see them in pain and not know what to do, she is getting better everyday but certainly not back to her old self yet once the weight is off we’ll see if surgery is still the plan.

  11. Dawn so sorry your sweet pup is having to go through all of this. I hope keeping her quiet and taking her pain meds will show signs of improvement and she will not have to have the surgery. Keeping good thoughts for you. She is so beautiful.

    1. Thank you Kris I think I’m having a harder time with it than she is. It’s also hard to keep quiet when I’m also doing something. Maybe it’s a lesson for me to slow down.

  12. Yes, a speedy recovery – hopefully the weight loss and time will give her the rest she needs before having to consider surgery! I’ll say a prayer for your family member!


    1. Marisa thank you for the prayers I appreciate it so much 🙂

  13. So sorry to hear about this. I had that same thing happen to one of my dogs. She healed nicely even though she was 13 and lived until she was 15. Caring for her made me even closer to her.

    1. Good to hear even an older dog can handle the surgery that was one of our concerns. She’s 10 but over the last two years has really gotten old if you know what I mean? She is getting better every day and losing weight so we will have to consider our options with whatever the vet advises.

  14. Poor pup!!! Poor Mom!!
    xo Kris

    1. Kris, yes I think I’ve been worse than she has. LOL

  15. About 20 years ago our cat (then a kitten) tore an ACL. She was fine within a few days of the surgery and lived another 15 years with no further troubles from that surgery. Hope your dog fares as well as she did despite the advanced years!

    1. Wow I’ve never heard of a kitten having the ACL injury. I hope she recover well after the surgery or heals enough to not need it. Right now she is doing better but no back to her old self by any means. I think we need to give it more time and lose the weight before we move forward with anything. Thank you for the uplifting news!

    1. Shirley she’s doing better every day but must not like the new food she’s only eating about once every 5 days, so now we’ll have to work on that with her.

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