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Poppy has been diagnosed with knee ligament damage - not a complete rupture (her vet described it as "tweaked"), but enough to cause concern. Given her size, age and pre-existing liver failure surgery would be very much a last resort and the hope is that with rest and careful management she will recover sufficiently to continue gentle walks and a happy, pain free life.

Advice, experience, and commiserations all gratefully received!
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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I can offer only commiseration with you and with dear Poppy. With you over the predicted but surprising frailty and vulnerability of older companions, and with Poppy over the pain, restriction, and long recovery of soft tissue damage (in my case, tennis elbow). I hope the weather over the next few weeks remains conducive to long, snuggly evenings indoors, and many wishes to Poppy for a full and speedy recovery!

Did your vet recommend a brace?
 

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No - just rest at this stage. I commiserate with your tennis elbow - I whacked my arm in a fall back in September and it has taken until now not to wake me up in the night. I'm hoping to be able to use a trowel by Spring!
 
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Aww I am really sorry to hear that this is the diagnosis following on to your weekend thread about limping. Getting old sure stinks. Maybe that leg can have a wrap done that will support it?
 
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Complete rest, and here is advice or knowledge as it were I was given from my vet, small dogs or rather tiny dogs can and do get along very well on three legs without issue or rather wear and tear on their bodies. It is larger dogs that suffer more with damage and the wear and tear on their other limbs due to weight and size. So basically you can pass on surgery and no harm will be done.
Hope that makes sense
 

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Very much what my vet said, Twyla. He said that for a young rottweiler he would consider surgery sooner rather than later, but a poodle weighing less than 5 kilos will put much less stress on the joint, and should do well with conservative care. I am trying to stop her bouncing, but you know poodles, even elderly ones! Reassuring that it won't necessarily mean the other knee failing in a few months though - thanks.

I need to wrap my mind around this new reality, and find the best way through. In due course we may need to look for a physiotherapist, but for now I will concentrate on rest. She is being very good about peeing and pooing immediately - all those years encouraging toileting on cue really pay off at times like this.
 

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I am so sorry to hear this! I have a friend with a cat she rescued that was lame when found. Vet could not find cause for the lameness but over time she recovered. A year(ish) later the cat suddenly presented very lame in the same leg and was diagnosed with a full torn CCL. It was believed that the initial lameness was due to a partial CCL injury that eventually gave out. But in between, the cat was perfectly fine other than avoiding high jumps. I think it is very reasonable to expect good recovery with avoidance of strenuous activity. I think you have a good course of action. The CCL surgery is really rough and I would not want to put a senior through it if it can be avoided.
 

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We agreed that at the moment the balance is against any pain relief that might adversely affect her liver. The Prednidale she is taking for liver failure is anti-inflammatory and pain relieving, and she is not showing any signs of significant pain - in fact the problem is keeping her from leaping around and doing the poodle bounce. If she should be in severe pain the balance would shift, of course, but for now I think she is OK.
 
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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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I’m sorry, Poppy. You’ve got so much on your plate already. Time to curl up with your doting human and get to healing. Maybe some extra chicken for supper?
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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No - just rest at this stage. I commiserate with your tennis elbow - I whacked my arm in a fall back in September and it has taken until now not to wake me up in the night. I'm hoping to be able to use a trowel by Spring!
I hope you recover in time for the start of gardening season. I go days without pain and become hopeful, but then I pick up something with a little weight - a small appliance or a jug of water - and the now familiar twinge burns my arm. I'm impatient.
 

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Poor Poppy and poor you - this is not fun.

My friend's elderly cockerspaniel partially tore a ligament. Her vet recommended surgery, but friend hemmed and hawed because he was elderly, it was very expensive surgery and this would be a terrible stress on him and he may not recover from it. She had a second opinion who said to start with bedrest and keep his activity limited and give it a chance to heal. If it didn't improve she could still have surgery. Enough healing took place that two years later he can walk up stairs without a limp but he doesn't walk far and is no longer jumping. He has slowed down significantly. I mention this because maybe Poppy can heal enough that she can be mobile again.
 
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Thanks Skylar. Poppy is already only walking shortish distances - up to 1.5 miles at a time on a good day, and was beginning to find stairs a struggle. If we can get her to the point where she can safely jump onto furniture and go for gentle walks I will be happy - easy enough to carry her up and down stairs etc. We are now 12 months on from her diagnosis with liver failure so every good month is a bonus...
 

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I have no experience to offer but I am really sorry Poppy has to suffer again. Good news is there is no tear. I’m sure you will take very good care of her, as you always do.
 

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I'm sorry to hear this, poor Poppy :(
My Jasper ended up with a torn ligament and he was able to recover to full mobility without surgery. He was a furniture jumper but that has to stop after the injury. He is able to do everything but jump on the couch after his recovery.
 

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That is reassuring, Dogs4Life. How long did Jasper take to recover? Furniture jumping is going to be the most difficult thing to prevent - she has already hopped up once or twice while my attention was briefly off her - I must do better!

Emerging from the internet rabbit holes, and discarding the extreme positions ("No dog will recover without surgery" v "No dogs need surgery - it is a money making vet scam"), and the wilder alternative proposals, the sensible advice is pretty consistent and very much her vet's advice - very limited exercise at first with no stress on the joint, and very carefully increased gentle walking over a number of months. Remembering my own knee injury 18 months ago I can understand that programme - I stupidly kept on walking and gardening and generally getting on with things and blew something that might have resolved in a month or two into a complex mess that still occasionally hurts. When I eventually saw a physiotherapist I was horrified when she said recovery would take months rather than weeks - she said I should count myself fortunate I was getting slowly better without surgery!

We can do this - Poppy crated or leash in my hand at all times, day and night; hot water bottle and treats for Poppy in the car crate while I walk Sophy, and perhaps a buggy for when the weather gets warmer. She is already learning to wait beside me to be picked up rather than attempting stairs or longer distances - the tricky bits are sudden exciting happenings, like spotting a favourite neighbour, or the arrival of a delivery at the door. We both need a little time to adjust, and for me to accept this new reality - it is hard to have the pleasures of relaxed walks and easy going home life wrenched away and replaced by yet more Thou Shalt Nots...
 
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