Hi.  My Ella was running after a ball and suddenly yelped and sat down.  After that she was limping.  We watched her for a few days and it seemed to improve.  However, it wasn't completely back to normal in 2 weeks so we took her to the vet.  The vet felt around and said that she tore her ACL and would need surgery.  Surgery is scheduled for this coming Thursday.  I was all set until I started reading up on ACL surgery.  I'm wondering if Ella can possibly heal on her own without the surgery if I keep her from running or going up/down steps.  I know it takes a long time to completely heal but I'm worried about putting her through a surgery that may or may not help.  Has anyone's baby had this surgery or is there anyone who chose NOT to have it?  I don't have much time to make up my mind since her surgery is scheduled for Thursday.  Any information would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks. 

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I have to ask...the vet based his diagnosis just by feeling her leg?  He didn't take any xrays?  None of my dogs have had a torn ACL but having worked with human patients a doctor is not going to recommend surgery just based on feeling the leg.  Hopefully someone who has been thru this and I know several have, will respond with an answer.

Hi Linda.  No xrays were taken.  The vet took her in the back and came back saying he did a "drawer test" and it confirmed she had torn her ligament. 

One of my dogs, not a Corgi (but weighing around 35 Lbs.) tore her ACL.  She was 11 yrs. old then and I did not want to risk surgery.  The rehabilitation took close to a year. I first confined her to a leash tied to the couch, bed, table, whatever was strong, so she had 6 ft. to move around in and no more.  Even in the house, going from one room to another, she was on leash..... This for about a month or two.  Only out on leash to do her business. From there she progressed to freedom in a gated area ( our living room and small kitchen ). Still only out on leash to do her business.  Then started the rehabilitation: short walks on leash, just up the driveway and back at first, to build muscle, until eventually I had her walking up to a mile.  Re injury is very common, so it is important to rebuild strength and allow full healing. The full process took about a year, after which I could again let her run loose on our 10 acres ( holding my breath). She is now 15 and doing fine.  We go for long walks and she follows our Corgi around exploring.  She occasionally limps, but it is only for a few steps when she runs out.  For us it was a good decision. 

Surgery can be a better option for a younger dog.  Best wishes with your decision.

Thanks for your input, Anna! 

Roxi tore her ACL while on a lure course almost two years ago now. Ran her little heart out and then came back limping and sitting. After two days of her sort of better but not fully we took her in and the doctor told us she did tear it. While healing would be an option he explained that it will probably tear again especially in a young dog like her. Also with Corgis if one pops the other is bound to pop eventually as well.. so we're playing the waiting game on her other leg.

Anyways! To answer your question. He did take Xrays and did talk through the whole procedure with us before we made a decision. We did go with the surgery just because she was young. 

Took a month of surgery recovery and a few more months for her to be fully normal. Had to basically let her slowly up her movement so she didn't do things too fast. Now you wouldn't know if you looked at her.. Acts almost 100% normal.. Example is she's romping two days in the snow no problem.. the third day we had to cut her off because she started limping which just means its bothering her and she needs a break. So just careful watching and making sure they don't over do it ;)

Hope this helps! I'm adding pictures of the process. 


Thanks Avyon!  Your baby looks pretty happy despite the surgery :))  I appreciate the pictures.

Ein tore her acl herding. We were moving heavy sheep, she jumped at one to get it moving while at a run and came up limping. The vet did not take xrays but it was an acute tear. She had surgery because she is so young and active, the recovery time is really long without and a much higher likelihood of the supporting leg giving out. Let me know if you have questions. My tumblr shows surgery and afterward. Scroll to the bottom, I started it to track her progress. http://teapotdormouse.tumblr.com

That was very informative and funny!  Thanks, Ivy for sharing your documented experience. 

What type of surgery did you have?

How old is she? My parents' Chesapeake Bay Retriever had ACL surgery as a young dog. At 13, she has some arthritis but nothing terrible. The surgery made her sound enough to hike and hunt. Usually the rest approach leaves you with a dog with restricted activity; that's acceptable for an older dog but not usually for a young one.

Good luck either way.

Hi Beth!  Ella will be 4 years old this coming August.

Well, before I read everyone's comments, I called Ella's vet and cancelled her surgery appointment.  I still don't know if I should've or not.  She's only going on 4 years old so maybe she should have the surgery.  After seeing some of the pictures and stories of similar experiences, I don't feel quite as worried about going through with it.  So hard to know what's the best decision.  I think I am going to give it another couple weeks and see how she's doing.  Unfortunately, this morning she was in my bed and my other dog was begging to go out and she wouldn't let me pick her up like I usually do.  So...I told her to stay and rushed my older dog outside.  When I came in, there was Ella standing by the door!  That means she had jumped off our bed AND made her way down stairs.  Of course, she was lifting her leg up again after that.  Ugh.  Now I know better.  I've been carrying her up and down the stairs and on and off the bed for a couple weeks now.  I'm to the point where I'm on muscle relaxers because she weighs 28 lbs. and my poor back can't take it.  I really do appreciate everyone's input though.  It really does put things in perspective a little better for me and Ella.  Thank you, everyone! 


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