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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I am new to this forum and am hoping you can help me and my sweet cockatoo Olivia. She is 9 years old and completely tore both of her hind ACL's. Upon taking her to a veterinary hospital, we discovered she had a pretty severe heart murmur. She went on heart medicines for ten days until it was safe to perform the surgery. The doctors decided to operate on one leg at a time as it was too risky to have her under long enough to repair both legs.

Surgery was today, however ten minutes after going under, Olivia's heart nearly stopped beating. It took 3 shots of epi to revive her, and the doctor decided not to do the surgery. She's recovering well now and is in good spirits, but I've decided not to proceed with another attempt at surgery after today's harrowing experience.

I am wondering if anyone has experience in alternative/homeopathic/not surgical treatment for ACL tears. I want to keep her as comfortable and pain free as possible, and try to maintain some of her quality of life. I know she can never be the same as she was before, but any advice you can give would be so helpful. Thank you so much!
 

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I am so sorry, poor Olivia and poor you.

I don't know much about alternative therapies but I do believe they are very effective.

Hopefully Marilyn (Cat53) will come along to tell you about Bowen Therapy.

Hope she heals up well.
 

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Hello.
How awful for you and your dog. This must be so hard for you.
I know a GSD who had an ACL tear in one leg - he had a knee brace made, had acupuncture and then hydrotherapy. Max was a large, older dog who had previously been very fit and healthy. However he was an old dog and his owner felt she did not want to put him through surgery. Max made a good recovery, although she said she always knew when he needed more acupuncture because he was reluctant to move much, so obviously he was in pain.
I think in the end you know your dog and can judge her quality of life. Having tears in both legs is rotten. How much can she move around? How much does she weigh and how happy would you say she is?
I'm sure that you will be guided by love for her. If surgery is not an option and you are prepared to try alternative approaches go with it. Time in itself is a healer - in that dogs are amazing at adapting and coping with pain, and if she is coping and you feel happy then treasure the days. If she is in pain and unhappy, then you will have to be honest with how much you can help her and if it is fair to her.
I really feel for you and hope that things work out well for you and Olivia.
 

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So sorry to read this. I have no advice as all treatment I know is surgery. There are probably treatments they may ease her pain and make her a little more comfortable. ACL tears are very painful.
Good luck, I hope someone can advise you.
 

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I have no advice either but I have seen dogs in wheelchairs. Devices you strap to their hindquarters that support their weight while they roll on little multidirectional wheels. I wonder if she would take to one of those? Not sure how they would manage their toileting however? :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for your kind words. To answer your questions - Olivia right now is 27 lbs. I'm attaching a picture of her I took right before we went to surgery. She is such a happy dog and is so loved. Her favorite things to do are swim, ride on the paddle board with me, and run around. Swimming and running may be tough from now on, but we can still paddle.

The two tears were 3 days apart. At first she couldn't walk at all. I fashioned a sling out of a dish towel to hold her up so she could go to the bathroom. About two weeks have passed since then, and I think scar tissue is building up because she can now walk a bit, go potty herself without a sling, etc. Through it all she's been as happy and in as good of spirits as ever - wagging her butt (she has no tail) when we walk in the door, playing with her toys, etc.

We're definitely going to try acupuncture - perhaps a brace, and are working with the vet to manage pain she may have from the ACLs. We're also looking into physical therapy and since we have a pool and she loves to swim - hydrotherapy.

Would love to hear from anyone who has any experience/input. Thanks again everyone!
 

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Glad to hear she is managing it so well. Sounds like she is very far away from wanting to give up. :) Could you tell us how the injuries happened so we can all be forewarned with our own dogs? Was it just random acccidents or was she doing something really athletic?

I met a man with an elderly pitbull once with some kind of leg issues. He used a multiprong approach to care. Meds, holistic supplements, massage, hydrotherapy etc...I think the dog had a different therapy most days of the week. The thing that struck me was how happy and cheerful the dog was, I could tell it knew it was so well loved and cherished. That, I think, is the most important part. Good luck with your girl. :)
 

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So sorry to hear of Olivia's problems. I am a human Bowen Therapist and don't know enough about canine bowen to help much, but on a human level Bowen is a gentle hands on holistic therapy that is great for reducing pain and aiding healing. It works on a muscular/skeletal, organic, emotional level and is veery relaxing. I do treat my dogs with it and they melt like warm chocolate. Mandy my late elderly dog would move round so I could treat the sore areas. I don't know where you live but if you would be interested in Bowen for Olivia then let me know and I,ll see what I can do to find a canine therapist near to you. It has to be a referral from your vet to though. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cat53 thank you for replying! I'm in Vero Beach, FL in the winter and on Long Island, NY the rest of the year. I'd be interested in a referral in either place if you know anyone.

fairlie - The first leg went out when she jumped off of a golf cart…totally random, didn't fall funny, wasn't being aggressive…it just happened. The 2nd leg went two days later and the vet said it was most likely from weight bearing on only one hind leg.

Olivia has been very active her whole life - swimming, running around with her human siblings, etc. She tends to barrel down the stairs, take off sprinting after any squirrel that catches her eye - so I can definitely see how there would be a lot of wear and tear on her knees.
 

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Olivia looks lovely, great markings - she has a lovely spot on her butt just like Molly :D
I hope she improves soon and can get back to some of her sporty activities that she seems to enjoy xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The separate issue we're dealing with aside from the legs is the heart murmur….that is the reason we can't proceed again with surgery. She's on several heart meds prescribed by her cardiologist. Anyone have any experience with that?
 

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The separate issue we're dealing with aside from the legs is the heart murmur….that is the reason we can't proceed again with surgery. She's on several heart meds prescribed by her cardiologist. Anyone have any experience with that?
Search heart murmur in the search box, I can't recall who, but someone recently said their pup had one x
 

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Olivia looks lovely (the square marking on her back is like little Molly's) and it sounds as if she is coping well, bless her and her happy butt waggle :D
Please keep us informed, I shall be thinking of you and Olivia.
 

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Have put out some feelers for you. I hope something comes back, but it would be worth you doing a search for Bowen Therapists your end. I feel sure there must be something in the US. Will come back to you as soon or if I get any info. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Do you by chance have another number for her? That number doesn't work. I did find her website and e-mail, but there was no phone number listed. Thank you!
 
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