The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

Bruno's First ACL Ordeal: Fourth Week after the Suture Lateral Surgery Left Knee—The Recovery

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) rupture/tear in dogs


Week four...

Bruno's week four written instructions are as follows:

"Continue exercise and adjust therapy from week two; increase leash walks to 30 minutes and include gradual inclines and declines in the terrain. Continue ice therapy if swelling is observed."

Day 22

Close Up - Bruno the Boxers leg wound minus the staples

Bruno had his staples removed today. The wound where the staple had either popped or stretched is not very deep at all. Just a surface wound.

Bruno the Boxer wearing a blue coat, walking in a parking lot

Bruno had an extra spring in his step today. I am not sure if it is because his skin felt better without the staples or if he was just happy that it was time for our walk. We all slowed down a little when we turned the corner and felt the 34-degree, 30-mile-an-hour wind gust, but we finished out our walk and the dogs still seemed happy to be out. When we got home they curled up by the fireplace and went to sleep.

Day 25

Bruno had water treadmill therapy. His report says, "Bruno walked at 1.6 mph for 20 minutes in the underwater treadmill. He is using the leg 90% on the land and 100% on the treadmill."

Close Up - Bruno the Boxer's incision with staples removed with a triangle shaped hole where the staple had popped off

On the 25th day Bruno's wound is healing up nicely. It is healing from the inside out. The spot is not very deep. This picture was taken after his water therapy.

Day 28

Close Up - Bruno the Boxer's incision with staples removed with the triangle shaped hole shallower

On day 28 Bruno's leg is looking pretty good. He licks it now and then. There are no staples in his leg; the wound is not at the point where it could be reopened and a dog's saliva contains healing agents, therefore I allow him to keep it clean rather than keeping the cone on and spraying the area with disinfectant.

Bruno's instructions for the start of week five (which is tomorrow) say to increase his leash walking so I took him out for a more normal walk. Bruno had been used to getting a few hours of exercise a day. We went for a slow hour-and-a-half walk. I watched for signs of any strain or awkward steps. He did great. We walked all over town, making his kid brother Spencer the Pitbull walk at Bruno's pace. We added in a few hills both up and down. After the walk Bruno didn't show any signs of limping or holding his leg up. I think it was just long enough. That will be it for him for the day other than going out to do his business because I don't want to push him too much. Still no running for Bruno. Our goal is to build that left leg muscle as much as we can.

Raising a Puppy: Bruno the Boxer