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I'm posting my experience in hope of helping other doodle owners avoid going through the same thing.  My healthy, rambunctious 2 yr old doodle's favourite activity was ball retrieving and swimming in…

I'm posting my experience in hope of helping other doodle owners avoid going through the same thing.  My healthy, rambunctious 2 yr old doodle's favourite activity was ball retrieving and swimming in the lake; we did this almost daily.  To use a Canadian metaphor, he went full tilt and then slammed on the brakes like Sydney Crosby.  One day (Dec 29) when chasing the ball, he wimpered, went down and couldn't get up.  The diagnosis: a ruptured cruceate ligament.  The surgery required to fix this knee problem is expensive with a L O N G recovery period - no stairs, no running, short controlled walks, heat and cold applications, massaging, manual manipulation of the joint etc.  Farley is now doing therapy on an underwater treadmill which will hopefully speed up the recovery process.  I'm posting this as a precaution to owners.  Don't let your dog overdo the exercise - they are retrievers after all - and will chase a ball as long as you throw it.  And if your dog begins to limp. don't assume he/she's just tired; he might have damaged this ligament and needs to see a vet.  I've learned it's not that rare an injury in large dogs and the worst part is, once it happens in 1 leg, there's a one in four chance it'll happen in the other!

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Comment by Andrea O'Brien on April 11, 2011 at 9:32pm
Bruce, you amaze me!  "Eat till it pops"??? Where on earth do you come up with these lines???  I quit smoking a year ago...haven't quit eating since, so your comment is applicable in this case.
Comment by Bruce Anderson and Ginger on April 11, 2011 at 2:44pm

Marg...thanks for your story.  It hits home with alot of people.  We sometimes have to remember, just like eating till it pops, a dog will play till it drops.

My best wishes for a full recovery.

Comment by Connie Kaplan on April 10, 2011 at 11:46pm
Really sorry to hear about your dog.  I try to be aware and not let Soba overdo it.  I wish Farley a speedy recovery.\
Comment by Cal's Mom on April 10, 2011 at 6:43pm
I'm glad you have posted your experience, and I'm hoping that Farley is doing well!  Cal recently was limping but went away several weeks ago, as mentioned below - he runs, flips, trips, etc. and you're never quite sure how he does what he does.  Sometimes I will throw the ball a cople "extra" times in thought of 'tire the child and the parents have a relaxing evening' ... I will think twice about this the next time.
Comment by Laurie, Nug & Puk on April 10, 2011 at 11:34am

I'm so sorry to here Farley injured himself.

Yes it is common in the large dogs to have ACL injuries and usually it will happen in the other leg if the injured leg goes without being fixed for a long period of time, the good leg has to compensate for the injured leg and there is too much weight bearing down on that leg. Many times once the injured leg is healed you will not have a problem. It's possible that it can happen because we all know how crazy These Doodles are about play.

I just had the big scare last week with Puk, but luckily it was just a muscle strain and he has recovered fully from that. It tends to make you paranoid but I cannot not let them be who they are.

Puk runs and jumps full tilt at all times and there is no way to stop it. I think all we can do is keep them as healthy as possible with diet and exercise, and prayers.

I hope that Farley has a quick recovery, and is back to being his Doodle self soon. Give him hugs and kisses from me.

Comment by Andrea O'Brien on April 9, 2011 at 8:04pm

Oh dear.  Marg, I just read your blog.  Gosh, it so could be our Gracie in the same situation.  Gracie is a ball freak and has now turned frisbee freak. Although we do worry about injury because there is defintely enough speed involved to do some damage, we still proceed to throw her frisbee (lately) for sure once a day, if not twice.  We actually have multiple balls and a chuck it stick as well as a second flying disk, so what we get is a rapidfire-run.  She loves it as Farley does. 

We had Gracie to the vet last month and inquired about hip and leg problems and we told the vet how often we take her and how hard we run her and we let her know that she is now jumping up to grab the disk, told her that we worried about her hips especially..the vet seemed unconcerned.  Said that the dog was in good shape and that she had great muscle tone etc.  But I am still not convinced that this type of injury couldn't happen to any dog when the are so atheltic and tend to run full out like this.  Arg.  It sounds like a terrible nightmare. 

We sure hope that Farley has an excellent recovery and I want to say thank you for the blog.  We may reconsider lessening the rapidfire, full tilt running and jumping like a circus dog.  Good luck to you both.

Comment by Grace and Pemon The Gentle Giant on April 9, 2011 at 6:25pm
Marg:  I'm so sorry to hear about Farley's accident.  Wishing him a full recovery and hopefully pain free.

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