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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! im new here on Rottweilers online and i am hoping to learn valuable information and share stories of the sweetest dogs we all cant live without! the Rottweiler. i was just curious, i know these problems do happen and i am worried, i know surgery will help loads, but is there any special food or supplements? like cod liver oil? or any natural remedies?

Thank you!
 

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ACL tears/injuries can happen to the 'weekend warrior type of dog, or the conditioned competition dog. There really is no way to prevent them except for not letting your dog make quick turns or run at all - my inlaws dog did it while running in a straight line, but she's also fat, and I'm sure that played a part in it.

There are no supplements or foods you can feed to prevent the injury either. Keep your dog lean, well muscled and in shape - that'll certainly help, but as I said, a well conditioned athletic dog can also tear the ACL.

I know of an agility dog that tore her ACL, had the repair done and was back competing within 6 months. My inlaws dog took much longer to get back to full activity - almost a full year, because they didn't do ANY of the post-op rehab, which is almost MORE important than the surgery itself!

Alot of folks have opted for no surgery and conservative management to 'heal' an ACL injury, but if the ligament is 100% totally torn, the ONLY way to repair it is surgical. A partical tear can often repair itself, but as the dog ages, arthritis will set in much faster in the joint.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much! this is really helpful, oh god, now i just have to watch them while they run, i just dont think i could stop a dog from running freely, but what can you do? if its to prevent a major & painful surgery i will do it, i think i should stick to taking them swimming instead! thank you again! xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Another teeny question please =D at what age does this ACL usually happen? early or late or anytime? much appreciated! A big thank you!
-Aisha
 

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Another teeny question please =D at what age does this ACL usually happen? early or late or anytime? much appreciated! A big thank you!
-Aisha
Could happen at any time in the dogs life. I know of a very young dog (about 18 months) that tore her ACL, and I know of dogs as old as 11 that have torn them.

I have never restricted my dogs from doing anything - I play fetch with them allow then to run, jump, leap like nuts...should an ACL injury happen, we'll take care of it, HOWEVER, my dogs are also healthy, lean and in shape - so maybe we're all set - who knows!

I was also told to prevent my dog from jumping on and off of high surfaces (my bed) until at least 18 months old to protect their hips and elbows. I never restricted Neelah from doing anything and her OFA results are OFA Excellent Hips and OFA Normal Elbows...
 
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As well as what has already been said, I think dogs lacking in angulation are more prone, recently there was a judge who said should we be worried about angulation in Rottweilers. Quite what was meant by that I am not sure but I would say yes. Whilst we dont want to see Rotts ending up like GSD's, I prefer stronger angulation.

Somewhere I found a good article explaining why GSD's dont suffer ACL tears/injuries. It made a lot of sense. I will find it and put it here.

Also early spaying and neutering can play its part too.
 

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I was at a Sieger show 3-4 years ago and commented about how GSD's slink around and said my ^Ben^ didn't like them - he never had a bad experience with one, just never liked 'em. An hysterically funny young man from Germany who had been helping folks run their dogs (AWESOME guy!) said he wouldn't trust a GSD either the way they are always 'sneaking around and don't stand up straight - like they are sneaking up on you or trying to hide' (gotta say it with a German accent <LOL>). Cracked me up.

I think one of the ONLY reasons my Jayda has not yet had an ACL injury (I'm waiting for it to happen) is the fact that she's got great angulation, and she's small - only 65 pounds. She's also very muscular and lean. Should she ever need surgery to repair her ACL, I think *I* would need drugs during her rehab as keeping her calm is near impossible!
 

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Thank you so much! this is really helpful, oh god, now i just have to watch them while they run, i just dont think i could stop a dog from running freely, but what can you do? if its to prevent a major & painful surgery i will do it, i think i should stick to taking them swimming instead! thank you again! xx
If possible, daily free running is excellent. Too many people get told to do nothing with their pups until they are 6 months old, and they literally keep their pups cooped up. Free running from an early age is so important for the integrity of the joints, muscles and ligaments as long as its done, especially with puppies, sensibly, dont push them just let them do what they want. Likewise sensible walking is important to build bone strength.

The mistake is those who do very little all week and then get to go out and hare around at the weekend chasing frisbees or hurtling around with other dogs
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you Kaza, you are truly amazing and made me understand this issue, my breeder has told me not to let the dog jump in and out of the car, my friend who has a rottie tore his ACL and he was only 6 months old!!!!!!!!! that freaked me out as my hoshi is just 7 months old! i dont want him going through surgery at such a young age, and does neutering cause it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i castrated all my dogs at 6 months of age! eeek! oh well, like you said, if it happens, will deal with it right then and there, good thing i have an amazing vet in the area, and he has seen alot of cocker spaniel with torn ACLs and rottweilers, he said mostly rottweilers, hes fixed my friends rottiweler, and the puppy is alreay putting weight on the leg he has had surgery on, and its only been a month, and what is the post-op rehab? i should tell my friend, he only walks his puppy, is there anything more he should do? thank you again! i really appreciate it xx
 

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my breeder has told me not to let the dog jump in and out of the car, my friend who has a rottie tore his ACL and he was only 6 months old!!!!!!!!! that freaked me out as my hoshi is just 7 months old! i dont want him going through surgery at such a young age, and does neutering cause it?
Well whilst I think all puppies should be allowed daily free running there are a couple of things I am always wary of. One is wet slippery wooden garden decking and the other is youngsters, especially when overweight/loaded on the front end landing steeply and heavily when jumping out of the higher type of vehicle (4x4's etc)

6 months is VERY young to have torn a cruciate? The youngest I have ever heard is 14months.

Yes early neutering and speying can contribute to cruciate injury. I will find the aricle and put it on here.
 

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... he said mostly rottweilers, hes fixed my friends rottiweler, and the puppy is alreay putting weight on the leg he has had surgery on, and its only been a month, and what is the post-op rehab? i should tell my friend, he only walks his puppy, is there anything more he should do? thank you again! i really appreciate it xx
Your friend should follow the vets advice regarding rehab, again be very careful with steps and getting in and out of vehicles. I will say I do firmly believe than a good raw diet is a key element in growing a strong dog and also incases of rehab
 

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MOST dogs will be weight bearing - even if only toe touching/big limp within days of the surgery. You WANT to allow SOME weight bearing but very slow gradual buildup to a return to normal activity. Normal post-op rehab is anywhere from 3-6 MONTHS. It also depends on the type of surgical repair done. TTA, TPLO or tightrope/traditional repair.

Here is more info on all three:

Tightrope repair: TightRope - probably one of the more common repairs for 'non-athletic/non competition' dogs (family pets versus agility/obedience/breed ring dogs)

TTA: Tibial Tubercle Advancement (TTA) - I would ONLY have a very experienced veterinary orthopedic surgeon do this procedure

TPLO: Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy - TPLO A Good Choice - I would ONLY have a very experienced veterinary orthopedic surgeon do this procedure

I have heard that the TPLO is falling out of favor, not sure why - I don't know anyone that has had it done, so can't comment...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well whilst I think all puppies should be allowed daily free running there are a couple of things I am always wary of. One is wet slippery wooden garden decking and the other is youngsters, especially when overweight/loaded on the front end landing steeply and heavily when jumping out of the higher type of vehicle (4x4's etc)

6 months is VERY young to have torn a cruciate? The youngest I have ever heard is 14months.

Yes early neutering and speying can contribute to cruciate injury. I will find the aricle and put it on here.
ahh crap, oh well, theres nothing i could do regarding the spaying now =( oh well, im going to keep my ears open, and yes, my friend has a 6 month old pup who did tear it unfortunately, i actually directed him to my vet, and my vet said to watch out cause this usually happens with rottweilers, thats when i freaked out, as my pup is almost 7 months now, i dont want him going through this stage, all the vet said was for rehab is that he should be walked on a leash, and thats it! just take it easy, he also said that a month after the surgery, he will look like he did post op, and after 2 months he will look like he got a new leg, im hoping all the best for my friend, as he is trying so hard with his rottie, i spoke to him about the raw diet and he isnt too keen though, oh well, i will do it! thank you again =D
 

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The sex hormones close the growth plates, so the bones of dogs or bitches neutered or spayed before puberty continue to grow. This growth frequently results in a dog that does not have the same body proportions as he/she was genetically meant to. For example, if the femur is normal length at 8 months when a dog gets spayed or neutered, but the tibia, which normally stops growing at 12 to 14 months of age continues to grow, then an abnormal angle may develop at the stifle. In addition, with the extra growth, the lower leg below the stifle becomes heavier (because it is longer), causing increased stresses on the cranial cruciate ligament. This is confirmed by a recent study showing that spayed and neutered dogs have a higher incidence of CCL rupture (Slauterbeck JR, Pankratz K, Xu KT, Bozeman SC, Hardy DM. Canine ovariohysterectomy and orchiectomy increases the prevalence of ACL injury. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2004 Dec;(429):301-5).

Read the entire article at the link below

Early Neutering

Somewhere in one of my Rott' Club Yearbooks and is an article about the adverse effects of early spey/neuter which I painstakingly copied out and put on another forum and I'll be boogered if I can find it now!! I am sure the information above comes from that article, The study involved a lot more Rotties than is ever used to test flea preparations etc!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you , this is an eye opener for me, next time I won't listen to my vet! I still have a mutt puppy and shes3 months old, wnt be spaying her anytime soon!
 

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I had a bitch who tore both cruciates. The first one at 17mos old, and the second one at age 6. Per the veterinary surgeon (board certified orthopedist who does 2-3 TPLO's PER DAY), and from what I saw in my own perusal of literature, there is NO particular causative agent known for cruciate tears. They do seem to run in certainly family lines. However, there is no predictive factor (not tibial plateau angle, which some try to claim, not a specific rear angulation). Common factors in dogs with tears do include poorly constructed and out of shape dogs. The surgeon I saw said GSD's are one of the most affected breeds with cranial cruciate tears (CCL is actually teh correct name for the ACL in dogs).

We did TPLO, with aggressive rehab afterwards, and a bit of disregard to how limited to be in movement post-op, and my girl was competing in agility 5 months after the surgery.

I do not know what surgical procedures are in vogue right now, Banja's TPLO repair was done in 2004. She was an incredibly fit bitch, already competing in agility. Her tear was traumatic, done while running full speed in a chase with a Beauceron. She ran under a teeter we were picking up and it startled her (us picking it up) and she turned hard to move out of the way. She yiped, limped minimally, but then not much more. She was never dead lame, and the day I brought her in, she was walking perfectly normally..........a tech who didn't know her wondered why we were there.
 

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I would think that cruciate injury is far more of an issue than HD in Rottweilers and certainly agree that poor conformation/angulation is high on the list for predisposition

Found the following on a very reputable site

On a more positive note German Shepherds have a low incidence of cranial cruciate rupture and disease when compared with other common breeds of similar size. It is postulated that this is due to the increased flexion of the stifle that alters the functional tibial plateau angle (this is all technical jargon and is outside the scope of this article).

Therefore if the sloping topline is bred out maybe cruciate problems with resultant stifle osteoarthritis will be substituted for hip osteoarthritis!

 Sloping topline. Is it detrimental?
 

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Here's a reference from the UMichigan. See the bullet point under "Clinical Signs" for most affected breeds:

Here's another reference, again, GSD is listed as a commonly affected breed: Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture - Overview, Incidence & Causes - Healthcommunities.com, Inc.

And finally, here is a scientific journal article, from the Canadian Veterinary Journal, 2003. They show which breeds are represented, and GSD's are 2x as much (7.8% of patients) as Rottweilers (4%).

"One of the major issues in cruciate disease in the last 2 decades has been a shift to large breed dogs. In our first survey, 65% of patients were small breed dogs, while 35% were large breed dogs. In the first 8 y of the previous survey (1983–1990), large breeds made up only 22% of cases, but from 1991 to 1994, the numbers increased to 48%. From 1997 to 2002, the trend continued, with 61% of patients being classified as large breed and 39% as small breed. In both surveys, the definition of large versus small breed was based on a cut-off point of approximately 15 kg. Some obese animals > 15 kg were classified as small breed. In the latest survey, Labradors and Labrador crossbreds comprised 21.6% of all CCL patients; poodles and poodle crossbreds, 9%; bichon frises, 8.5%; and German shepherds and shepherd crosses, 7.8%. Rottweilers and golden retrievers have been cited as breeds in which CCL disease is common. In our survey, they made up 4% and 4.6% of all CCL patients, respectively."

The article you link to above sounds like a breeder who found a vet to say "just what they wanted." It goes against everything I've ever heard from speaking with many sports vets. The GSD is considered a structural disaster, especially the showline/highline dogs.
 

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I tried to post a reply to this thread yesterday, and it wouldn't go.

Here's a link to a Canadian Veterinary journal, in which GSD's are shown to have 2x the cruciate tears that Rottweilers have (7.8% vs 4%):
Canine cranial cruciate ligament rupture in profile

I had several other links, but as I said, the post didn't go through.

Every doc I've ever spoken with bemoans what a structural disaster most showline GSDs are these days. The "ugly working dogs" are far more sound.
 
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