View Full Version : Dog has a torn ACL
04-25-2005, 08:18 AM
The dog has been having trouble for some time now. The original diagnosis was hip dysplasia, and his discomfort was sporadic enough that we let it go. Well, recently his toe touching has been much more exagerated, and any significant activity results in immobility basically. XRay results were not consistent w/ dysplaysia (not sure why they didn't do XRays in the first place), and a visit w/ our new vet here in SLC is consistent w/ the new diagnosis of a torn ACL. He's being XRay'd again to be sure, but the vet is convinced.
Has anybody had experience w/ a situation like this. They're pushing for surgery, but we honestly can't afford it right now. Our other option is a series of injections (can't think of the drug right now) that have the potential to reduce pain and encourage reconstruction. This option is within our range of cost, and some quick research has shown the potential for a good recovery.
I'm wondering how much of the Vet's recommendation is based on the actual need for surgery and how much is based on the potential for significantly more profit. Any help would be appreciated.
04-25-2005, 08:36 AM
I've heard a lot of second and third hand stories about doggie acls since I tore mine. Apparently it's common. Also expensive. My neighbor's cousin's friend just paid 2600 bucks for a reconstruction on her Golden :eek:. I gather, or assume that they use experimental treatments on dogs before they try them on humans. Always a tough call to spend big $ on Fido when finances are tight. I don't envy you.
04-25-2005, 08:46 AM
Happened to my bros pup. Had surgery and doing well now. Dr. Law I belive works out of clinic @ 6360 S. Highland SLC. Our vet Kanda Hazelwood @ Mountain View Animal Hospital is kick ass. # 523-1176. Got pet insurance? Probably to late but it has saved us a lot of bling w/ two large aging Newfs. Dr. Law did sholder surgery on Tigger highly recomend him. PM me if you want or need more info.
04-28-2005, 03:36 PM
My lab just had surgery on both her back knees.
She also has severe dysplacia in her right hip and moderate in her left. The vets figure that the hip problems cause her to use her legs differently than they were designed to be used which caused a partially torn ACL in one knee and a fully torn ACL in the other. The options we were presented were:
1. replace the ACL's with what looks like fishing line. This isn't recommended for dogs over 50 lbs. and mine is about 85 lbs. Also... if it's an active sporting dog, this likely won't last.
2. do a TPLO reconstruction. I don't remember what that stands for, but basically they saw off part of the joint and reposition it to function better. The dog basically gets a new knee. Is recommended for very active /sporting dogs. Expensive, but very high full recovery rate. Downside is that it's MAJOR surgery with a long recovery. It would have taken a long time and probably meant a lot of pain for our lab to have both done.
3. scope and clean the joints, release any partial tears, leave full tears as-is, but cleaned up. This is the option we chose. It's a fairly new treatment, but has had very good success so far. It requires a lot of rehab, though. ROM exercises, daily walks and swimming. The theory is that dogs really don't need ACL's and that their bodys will grow enough muscle around the knee to keep it stable. The vet expects that my lab will return to nearly-full function within 3 to 6 months. She'll probably never be able to chase a ball or frisbee again or do any running activity that requires cutting motions. We're about 3 weeks post-surgery and she's already able to run and go on walks for 15 mins. with little to no problem. She already seems better off than she was before the surgery.
04-28-2005, 04:11 PM
We're about 3 weeks post-surgery and she's already able to run and go on walks for 15 mins. with little to no problem. She already seems better off than she was before the surgery.
Sweet. :yourock: :yourock:
04-28-2005, 04:19 PM
A friend of ours has a Jack Russell that tore it's ACL - they did the surgery and fixed it. I guess it couldn't run or jump without it - and I guess for such a little dog, stairs and everywhere it goes involves running and jumping. Surgery fixed her up and she was back to normal afterwards.
I guess you have to base it on your dog and how much it's affecting him? I mean, they make the same decisions for people with torn ACL's. Some people just cut back on sports and see how it feels and if they can live with being less active. I guess if you have a dog that's older or not super active in the first place and it can get around fine without it - might as well not put it through surgery. But if it's going to drastically improve their quality of life, esp. for a younger dog, it might make sense to do.
04-28-2005, 04:46 PM
^^^^ Exactly. There's no ONE answer.
Schedule a consultation with a veterinary surgeon. Find out what options he/she has for you and weigh them against what your wishes are for your dog and what you can afford.
edit: truth... yep, it's nice to see her getting around again. She can't get enough of the hydrotherapy (fancy word for chasing a ball in the indoor doggy pool).
04-28-2005, 07:45 PM
Thanks for the help.
He's 5.5, and 115 pounds, so that leaves 2 (well 3, w/ the injections) options. He's never been real active, mostly because he's lived w/ his granny for the past couple of years. I'm not going to be entering him into any frisbee catching comps, but I would like for him to be able to go hiking with us, especially when we travel down south to Moab and such.
The problem w/ surgery is that we just can't afford it. jibij, was the scope and clean more cost effective (I'm assuming)? The vet said surgery, but didn't get really specific.
04-28-2005, 09:01 PM
jibij, was the scope and clean more cost effective (I'm assuming)?
It was about 1/2 of what the TPLO would have been. It was just under $2K to scope, clean and release both knees.
Keeping your dogs weight down and building his muscle tone will be key to his joint health regardless of which option you choose.
10-26-2010, 12:44 AM
dog is 3 days post op. going to be a long recovery.
2 weeks of heavy meds, only out to pee and always on tight leash, and the e-collar torture device.
That cone head device is the worst of all.
Otherwise, she's doing well. some bruising, but she can actually put some weight on it.
Full tear prior to the surgery - could support no weight.
$1,000 for fishing line repair if you don't love your dog or dont care
$3,000 if you want the TPLO titanium option.
website above has great info - but turn off your speakers first
10-26-2010, 12:53 AM
We *just* went through this ourselves!
Poor buddy :( here he is drugged out on tramadol post-op:
for more pics (and our bill!) go here:
He's recovering well, however wants to run and jump and play way too much- we have to restrict him to the crate so leg can heal. Tough 8 weeks :(
Stitches coming out tomorrow...
10-26-2010, 01:53 AM
My Rottie tore his back on New Year's Eve. He had the TPLO surgery. It was NOT cheap! But, as soon as the heavy duty meds wore off, he was mobile around the house. Within a couple of weeks we were doing short walks. After a couple of months you couldn't tell he ever had a problem.
Their are two major reconstructive surgeries - TPLO and TTA. My vet left it up to us, but was kind of pushing us toward TPLO. He said recovery time is usually a little quicker with TTA, but that TPLO is just the more proven procedure and when you're talking about a 120+ pound dog still in his prime that does lots of hiking, it would be wise to go with the most proven procedure out there. Cost was virtually the same. We went to Dr. Stubbs in Highlands Ranch after numerous other vets directed us that way. Shopping around, virtually all of the prices in the Denver metro area were fairly comparable and we were going to have to go all the way to the Springs to save significant money, plus have to make a few trips down there for follow up. It just wasn't worth it. If the savings isn't huge, go with the best available.
10-26-2010, 06:58 AM
MY Lab has had to TPLOs. So far so good. That is the way to go with this probem.
10-26-2010, 07:30 AM
Our Corgi did this a couple years ago. We went with the cheaper (?) surgery option. I took her about three months to be really up and around but now she's as good as new.
10-26-2010, 07:35 AM
My Irish Water Spaniel also has a TPLO, and also had a superb result. As long as your dog is crate-trained the recovery is not that big a deal, IMHO.
10-26-2010, 07:55 AM
My keeshound tore his when he was 12. We didn't think that she'd survive the surgery, so we just kept him in a small room and really limited his activity for about 4 weeks. It wound up healing on it's own. Don't know if we just got lucky, but I was happy that we didn't have to go the surgery route with him.
10-26-2010, 08:37 AM
Far cry from when my old man was a vet and we did them w/ a sterilized craftsman drill,
were talking 35 years ago.. all this progress for our best friends
10-26-2010, 10:15 AM
My family had a lab mix that blew an acl at age 3. It was healing on its own then because of the added stress on the good leg he blew the other acl, we were told this is very common. The vet recommended double surgery. Facing $6k in bills was too much so we opted for option number four, joint meds and let it heal on its own. There's a Yahoo group called ConservativeManagement that is strictly for rehabbing canine injuries naturally that had a lot of good advice (also check out OrthoDogs for general canine orthopedic advice). We had the dog take it really easy, no running or active play and he began to heal. At 6 months we started short walks and at 18 months post injury the dog was running and jumping with no limitations.
10-26-2010, 10:48 AM
LOL! Awesome pic. And uplifting thread to see that the world doesn't just consist of the cock bags that move into a new apartment and give away a family member (went to the pound w/ a buddy looking for a new dog last week....made me really hate most humans)
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