Advice needed for torn cruciate ligament treatment
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Thread: Advice needed for torn cruciate ligament treatment

  1. #1
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    Advice needed for torn cruciate ligament treatment

    Looks like my 5 1/2 year old dog has a partially torn cruciate ligament in her back leg. My vet says surgery is the only treatment. I've read some other information on the internet suggesting that some dogs fair just as well without surgery as they do with surgery. It was also suggested that without surgery dogs will get arthritis, but dogs that had the ligament surgery may also develop the arthritis anyway. When I asked my vet about these claims, he said such websites were disseminating misinformation.

    This surgery is not cheap, approx. $1500. TLPO surgery is over $4,000. The TLPO does not appear to be an option for us financially. I want what's best for my dog, but there's no guarantee for a full recovery from the standard surgery and if she "may" be just as well off without the surgery, why put her through it?

    I understand small dogs can recover from the torn ligament without surgery, but my dog is 45 lbs. and is not in that category.

    Although we are leaning toward the surgery treatment option, I am wondering if anyone out there has any experience with this type of injury and what you did and what happened. If you could share your tale (no pun intended) and what advice you have, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
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    Hello.

    I have had two dogs with this problem, and have seen many more with it. It is true that the smaller dogs can get better, but not so much with the bigger guys. With my two, one was about 20 pounds, and the other was rather overweight at about 30 pounds. (Being overweight doesn't help, in fact makes things worse).

    I decided to wait with the 20 pound one, and she did fully recover. The other one though was much worse and his other leg was bad too. We had the TPLO done and he is doing pretty good on that one and the bad one. The bad one hasn't gotten bad enough to fix yet.

    As far as having a regular vet do the cheaper repair instead of the TPLO at a specialist, I have seen some vets who are really good at it and have great luck, and some vets that screw it up over and over trying to get it right. You are taking a chance by having a regular vet do it. If you can talk to them and ask them what their success rate is, you may get an honest answer, or not. If you can find other people in your area that can recommend that vet as being good with those surgeries, that would be great, but that may be hard to find.

    You could ask to speak to some of the people that have had this vet do cruciate surgeries on their pets in the past. That isn't foolproof, but better than nothing.

    The other option would be a specialist doing the simpler surgery. Still more expensive than the regular vet, but not as bad as a TPLO.

    No matter where you go, ask for lots of pain medication. They recover so much better with it.

  4. #3
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    cranial cruciate ligament tear

    Day before yesterday our husky was running and suddenly let out a yelp and started limping - holding his right hind leg off the ground. The limp was still there yesterday morning, so I called to get him into the vet. Long story short - he has a cranial cruciate ligament tear! Vet highly recommends surgery. I've been doing some overtime online for more information - found this website, fortunately - and have come to the conclusion, for the sake of my dog's future, that we really will have to go ahead with the surgery. The reason I was looking for a non-surgical solution is because I was quoted $2500. for the surgery. I'm in upstate New York, I would love to know where I could get the surgery for $1,500.!!! The non-surgical solution only seems to be appropriate for quite small dogs. Sean is 7 years old, 61 pounds, very active, although he is a house dog - he'd be highly offended if he had to sleep outside overnight! I don't know how I will keep him passive for the weeks following surgery. I was considering just letting his leg heal as well as it could, but there seem to be so many negatives that I could not deal with the guilt there. I don't mean to sound cheap, but three years ago he was hit by a car and had some sciatic damage - that cost me $4,000.+ before we were finished, so this is one valuable husky we are talking about!! I couldn't afford the expense then and still can't now, but as life goes, somehow we will manage. This may have to be our Christmas present to ourselves. And yes, we love him dearly. He is a red husky with blue eyes and words cannot describe how beautiful he is!
    Anyway, don't know if I helped you any. Just be assured you are not alone. Vet and the internet seem to agree this is not an uncommon problem.

  5. #4
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    Wow! That very same surgery cost us $600 last year. Our ten year-old, 20-lb. terrier mix came through it just fine...just like new.

    Hmmm, do I sense a possible new trend? How about a network of B&B's in the rural south for pet owners whose animals need surgery? There's nothing wrong with our vets and considering the price difference, you could drive down to Alabama, pay a couple of hundred dollars for room and board for a couple of days and still save money. Maybe I should get our guest room finished!

  6. #5
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    Borntorun---You don't say which surgery it was that you were quoted for. Was it the TPLO? By a specialist? My dogs TPLO was around $3000.

    There are different surgery options, but I think the prevailing thought now is that the TPLO by an veterinary orthopedic specialist is the best, and of course, the most expensive.

  7. #6
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    Thanks for the responses. Dogged....What breed is your dog? The surgery quote was for the basic suture which replaces the original ligament. I believe the TPLO would be more. I have been referred to a specialist who is qualified for both. I met them when Sean had his accident and required a CT scan, etc., so even though I know from experience how good they are, I also know they are expensive. Frankly, with our freezing temps right now, a trip to Alabama looks really good!

    Jude, I was just searching about your situation with Sissy - it appears the enlarged cecum (upper section of the large intestine) can be infested with whipworms and create the symptoms you are describing. Very difficult to diagnose as whipworms are not so visibly detectable in the stool. Usually requires repeated dosing to get rid of adults and eggs. Need to be monitored to avoid reinfestation, etc. Has your vet mentioned this possibility? Hope this helps.

  8. #7
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    Re: cranial cruciate ligament tear

    I know this is a little late, I just found this site, we are in Owego, NY and our dog has to have her ACL repaired, they do it here for $400-$600. Very good veterinary clinic, called Owego Veterinary Clinic, Dr. West does this type of surgery.

  9. #8
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    Re: Advice needed for torn cruciate ligament treatment

    Hello All,

    First off, I would like to say hello and thank you for those of you that made this info available for people like myself. My 8 year old Rott / Pitt mix has a torn cruciate ligament. I am starting to research this issue. I have the name of one Surgeon located in Fremont, CA name S. Gary Brown, but I was wondering if anything is located near me that has had good luck with this person or can refer me to a Vet that can perform this surgery. I don't have a ton of money, but I would be willing to work with the Vet on terms of monthly payment. My regular vet has said that the surgery can run about 3 to 5 grand. Can anyone please help and supply me with some avenues.

    Thank you for you time.

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