I am sorry to hear about your dog and glad to help. because your dog is older surgical correction of the torn ACL may be warranted but the biggest risk is the anesthesia.
I would ask your vet for a complete set of blood tests along with a urinalysis to evaluate his internal health.
Checking the thyroid status would also be helpful as low thyroid called hypothyroidism is very common in Golden Retrievers and causes excess weight gain without an increase in appetite. Certainly steroids cause increased appetite which leads to weight gain. They also can cause iatrogenic Cushings Disease and other internal issues which the blood panel would detect. This is very important to do before your dog is put under anesthesia.
It is important to check the active unbound levels of circulating thyroid hormone for true accuracy. To do this ask your vet to include a FREE T3 and a FREE T4 with the blood tests and I always recommend having blood tests run at a lab rather than in your veterinarians office.
I have unfortunately seen older dogs like yours undergo surgery for one hind leg stifle or ACL injury and in some cases the other hind leg suffers and a second ACL injury results. This then leads to another ACL surgery which may or may not be successful.
I would be glad to discuss this further, review lab tests and offer more specific suggestions. Feel free to contact our office.
Once you obtain the blood, based on the results, an organic diet, natural supplements and careful exercise would be helpful to promote weight loss and could help to avoid surgery completely.
Natural rehabilitation including swimming, massage, magnetic therapy and hydrotherapy would be wonderful for your dog. These combined with a proper diet, natural supplements and weight loss would warrant your strong consideration.
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