Ugh...Michelle, I'm sorry...
You know I'm not new to ACL injuries.
I will argue with one thing people have said on here...everyone is saying that swimming is the best exercise/rehab for an ACL tear because it is low impact...however, VOSM told me there's a ton of newer research saying that that is NOT the case. The way dogs swim requires a motion that can turn a partial tear into a full tear. I had thought it would be the best thing, and when Nemo partially tore his ACL (even at the time of surgery which was 5 months later, it was only about 20% torn, but it was very stretched out), they told me that it can lead to a full tear. Instead, they recommended the underwater treadmill. They said, first and foremost, it's a regular walking action (so no weird kicking like you have in swimming). Second, they said that they are able to regulate how much effort the dog has to put into it simply by increasing or decreasing the level of the water (as well as the incline on the treadmill). So, more water, means less effort for the dog, less of a chance of more injury to the joint. But they still have the resistance which leads to increased muscle mass...
Even now (post-surgery), I was told that Nemo would not be allowed to go swimming until his bone was fully fused and healed (about 12 weeks post-op).
Nemo did the underwater treadmill 1-2x weekly from late-February to (about 5 weeks post-injury) late May (surgery was May 25th), and they said that his muscle mass in his legs was incredible, and probably masking a lot of the pain he was feeling.
If you have any questions, feel free to call me...I did a ton of research on dogs and knees when Nemo injured himself...
Oh, and I agree...if you can find vet wrap to keep the ice pack on, it would be good...
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."
Sacha CGC - Dumb Lab
Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
Drusilla SLUT- Pet
Nemo - Dual-Purpose Narcotics
Cy TC, PSA 1, PSA 2, 2009 PSA Level 3 National Champion
Axo - Psycho Puppy
Rocky - RIP My Baby Boy