Your rehab email series was a great help in understanding how to help our dog recover. We decided not to submit him to ACL surgery. One of the big reasons we opted out of surgery is our dog (70 pounds) is almost 12 years old and his physical stamina has been waning for the last couple of years. So we had no expectation that he could be restored to boundless energy and running around like he was one year old, like he had been until he was 10 to 10 1/2 years old. We wanted him to be able to resume walking but did not expect a return to top speed sprints all over the place, like when he was younger. We were concerned about the stress of surgery on him as an older dog.
Our vet predicted dire consequences, essentially permanent disability, if he did not have the surgery. I noticed, however, that between the recommended courses of action for rehab following surgery and without surgery, the rehab was essentially identical. And although your rehab was stated to be for post surgery rehab, it worked just as well, I think, for our dog. We got a second opinion from another vet who recommended that we give the rehab 8 – 12 weeks, then reevaluate whether surgery was needed. I think the results so far support foregoing, or at least delaying, the surgery when the dog can be constantly restricted in his activities and led through a carefully planned rehab process, like you provide.
He is back to walking normally with no apparent instability in his injured left rear leg. He also is able to do some jumping and goes up and down stairs now with no difficulty, although he has learned to go up stairs more deliberately than he used to. He is still limited in endurance more than he used to be — he will now begin to limp a little and slow down his walking after 50 – 60 minutes of walking, although I am not sure whether the ACL injury or his age is the main contributor to that.
So all in all, we are very pleased with his recovery so far and we are grateful that you provided your rehab series — I think it helped a lot.