I think every Rottweiler owner has searched the Rottweiler Limping question at some point in their life. I’ve owned 5 Rottweiler’s the past 25 years and all have experienced some kind of temporary limp.
Usually when our Rottweiler were puppies they’d jump off of something, who knows, and all of a sudden a front leg was sore for a couple days.
But a few months ago our 7 year old female Rottweiler did something bad. One day I noticed she was standing in the yard holding up her back leg. We live on 2 acres and our dogs love to chase stuff, even our big girl will pick-up some speed, so I thought she just pulled a muscle.
After a week of her limping, actually not putting any weight on that leg at all, I scheduled a Vet visit.
Diagnosis by Vet
X-Rays were taken to make sure the joint wasn’t dislocated or that there were no fractures, those were ok. I thought that was good news…but it turned out she tore her ACL. Yep, just like what can happen to people. I know this first hand via a skiing injury I experienced years ago. Ouch, I can really sympathize with her!
The treatment options our vet gave were shocking. Not just the price, $3000, but the actual procedure options are very aggressive. Basically they either carve out or split the leg bone to realign it with the knee. I was told that along with the unique structure of a Rottweiler’s leg and their size/weight it will determine what they recommend. Long story short, I had to do some research to validate what I was being told.
I found out that one of my brothers’ dogs, a Siberian Husky, had gone through TPLO surgery. He said it helped, but his dog still had a limp. Hmm… After much research I found a website that thoroughly explained all the options. Tiggerpoz.com has a well supported point of view that opened my eyes to some facts.
Their following quote got my attention; “Some vets try to push people into immediate surgery by telling them that without immediate surgery their dog will be crippled with arthritis. That is not true. Vets may claim that only immediate surgery can protect against further injury to the joint. That is also false. Controlling the dog’s activity during recovery is the key to minimizing both future arthritic risk and the risk of further injury during recovery.” That’s exactly what I was told!
I read every article on their website and chose to try the Recovery without Surgery. It has been 3 months so far and she’s slowly improving. I have been very diligent about controlling her activity. I put her on a leash when not in the fenced part of our yard. No running allowed! I walk her for 4-5 minutes every morning to keep her limber and to rebuild the muscle lost during the time she wasn’t using her leg.
I also changed her food to help her lose a few pounds. She was about 10 pounds over-weight according to the vet. I believed that part. She recommended Natural Balance Fat Dogs Low Cal Dry Dog Formula. It has helped her shed the weight and being a Rottweiler means she loves it.
ACL tear rehabilitation is a slow process that must be monitored daily. Luckily I have the time and the desire to devote my time in helping her to heal!
Her healing is picking up pace. I’m noticing more chasing and playing with the other dogs that I have to intervene to slow her down.
I also added, (Amazon link) Hyland’s Arnica Montana, 30X, Tablets, 250 tablets (Pack of 3), which is said to help with soreness. They come in small tablet form that dissolves in the mouth. They’re pretty tasty, kind of sweet, and she takes them right out of my hand. I give her 4 in the a.m. and p.m..