Prepare for a TPLO Surgery - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Prepare for a TPLO Surgery

First, I would like to introduce Hunter to you all, she's a 7 year Golden.



Last Tuesday morning I let her go in the backyard to relieve herself and the temptation to go chase squirrels got the better of her and she ran after them. At the end of the yard, 20 yards later she stopped and immediately held her left leg close to her. I thought "oh oh" and called her in, she proceeded to hop on the 3 good legs and came back into the house. I checked her over and at first thought maybe it was one of her pads, her pads her fine. I monitored her for the day and the next morning took her in. The vet checked her over and could tell something was wrong as she noticed some fluid in her knee joint. The vet gave some options which one was to X-Ray and another was to wait a few days and send us away with some pain medication, we took the drugs. Fast forward 2 days, I brought her back so her "normal" vet could look at her. Since the meds helped with some of the swelling, the vet could tell Hunter tore "something" and diagnose that she will need to have TPLO Surgery. After asking some questions and getting a better understanding to the differences from a dogs knees and humans, the vet said there were really only 2 options. One option was the TPLO surgery and the other was about 6-8 injections of Vitamin B and Sugar, the latter is sort of new ... Of course I asked the normal question, "what would you do doc"? He said the surgery since that is more a proven method.

So, all of this prompted me to do more searching and reading other peoples experiences, heck, even watched a youtube video (which I'm not sure that helped). There are also a few negative things going for Hunter, she has some allergy issues and has been on Prednisone, only 5mg\day and the vet said before we could do anything is we need to get her off prednisone since she can't be on that for recovery. Weaning her off prednisone takes about 2 weeks.

I have gotten some estimates for the surgery and wanted you all's input.

Intravenous Catheter Placement and fluids
Anesthesia
Surgical TPLO Fee
Surgery room fee
Radiographs - Additional Views
Hospital Care
Pain Management
Antibiotics
Medications to go home
Buster Collar

Low - $4250 High - $4950

Do these figures look accurate?
Do you know anything about the Vitamin B injections?

I have started the process to wean her off the prednisone and she continues to take the pain meds although it's hard to know if she's in pain since she doesn't complain at all but it's keeping her calm and barricaded in the family room. I understand if we go the TPLO route it will be hard for a couple of months as my wife and I both work during the day but we might be able to telecommute.

I know I probably don't have to tell you all but she's part of the family, well behaved, a great dog. I just want to provide the best option for her well being.

Thanks for reading.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 10:01 AM
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Is your vet an orthopedic surgeon? If not, seek another opinion from one. Also, while the TPLO is recommended for bigger dogs it is NOT the only surgical option. It is usually THE MoSt EXPENSiVE option.. ACL Surgery in Dogs is extremely common - cruciateguide.com

The vitamin b and sugar injections are not something i have ever heard of , and to me doesnt seem like it would work. Surgery is the best option however depending on the severity you can try cage rest, pain meds, start on fish oils, glucosamine and see where you get with that, only problem with your case on this option was the swelling in the knee already it probably wont work. I dont envy you being in this situation. The best thing you can do is go to an orthopedic, talk to them about each option, their success rates and their charges.

Your above quote may be the norm in your area, we are a little less than that. Maybe around 3,000-4,000.

Alison and 4 Furry & 2 non furry kids
Sogni Doro Life In The Fast Lane "Chase" DOB 11/13/14
Sogni Doro Where Dreams Come True "Daisy" DOB 2/18/14
Goldridge Lights Action "Lilly" CD RN CCA DOB 1/28/11
http://k9data.com/pedigree.asp?ID=433352
Sanford- JRT DOB-9/5/06

Bridge dogs
Toby-Boxer (rescue@10) 9/17/2002-11/1/12
Charlie- Boxer (1st "child")2/19/02-3/18/12
Julie- golden (heart dog) 5/6/96-3/3/07
Ruby- terrier mix (1st dog) 8/1/90-1/15/05
Rusty-shih tzu 2/5/99-1/20/04

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 10:25 AM
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So sorry this happened to you and you are at this forum under the circumstances. Welcome!

If you haven't already, seek a second opinion at an Orthopaedic specialist. I would also ask your vet how many TPLO surgeries he has performed. Many times the specialty surgeon has gone hundreds and is well versed in the procedure. They have honed in on the best meds, recovery, etc. They are also sometimes cheaper, which may be counterintuitive but in several instances I have found to be true. On this forum we have also heard several times that sometimes the dog was misdiagnosed and the 2nd opinion saved their dog from a needless surgery.

Wishing you well and I hope things work out!!


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 10:32 AM
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I would also highly recommend seeing an orthopedic surgeon. I would NEVER trust a regular vet with orthopedic surgeries.

My Golden boy had a TPLO done on his right knee a little over a year ago. It was the only option presented to me by a orthopedic surgeon and my boy had the surgery done the day after injuring himself. He healed up great and is walking great on that leg.
I paid 2500 Dollars here in Tennessee including all meds, etc.

There are other surgical options out there and there are some people on the forum that had other procedures done, maybe they will give their input.

I don't regret for a minute having had the surgery done on my boy. He was in so much pain and he was actually standing on the operated on leg, the very same day he had surgery.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 10:40 AM
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Welcome to Hunter, she's a very pretty girl

I'm sorry she's been diagnosed with a torn ACL. I agreed with OnMyWay2MyDreams assessment above. I can't even imagine how the vitamin b and sugar injections would work. When the ACL is completely torn, it's torn. Also, because the left leg is compromised, she'll be putting more weight on the other legs.

Did your normal vet use the "drawer test" to determine the ACL was torn? See a video of it here:

I also agree with the others that if the vet you are dealing with isn't an orthopedic surgeon, get a referral to one. Is there a teaching hospital in your area? Often their fees are a bit less. Yes, the TPLO is the most expensive option. I have friends whose dogs ACLs have been repaired with the suture method and with the TPLO. Results varied widely. One of the dogs had to have the suture redone after 4 weeks, one failed after a year (and a TPLO was done), two dogs were fine with sutures and two were fine after the TPLOs. My, that's a lot of torn ACLs in my group of friends!

I'm in the southeastern U.S. and my girl has had 2 TPLOs (2009 at age 8 and 2012 at age 11). I paid about 2800 each time which was all inclusive. This included blood work, x-rays, rechecks, surgery, etc.

I would encourage you to search the forums and read about others experiences with the various surgeries and the recovery process. Keep us posted.

ETA - I meant to include that my girl has severe allergies and has been on steroids (prednisone for 10+ years and now temaril-p) for her entire life. That included the time during which she had the TPLO surgeries and the multiple cancer surgeries.

Last edited by hubbub; 12-02-2012 at 03:00 PM.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, all great suggestions.

In regards to the Orthopedic specialist questions, I have complete confidence in his ability to diagnose, he wouldn't be the one that does the operation, they bring in a specialist but will find out how many he\she has performed, good points. I'll be getting a second opinion also, need to reach out to my friends vet. I prefer to have taken care of this already but getting her off the prednisone first is the first priority and I guess this will give me time to do more research.

- hubbub
Yes the vet did the "drawer test", Hunters issue doesn't seem to be as bad as the video but you can hear the "clicking" noise. (which I cringe when I hear it)

Thanks for everyone's comments, they have helped.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Hunter had her surgery on 12/26 and so far all is well. She gets her stitches out tomorrow and hopefully that will be uneventful.

We couldn't get her off the prednisone as a rash developed right where the incision was going to be and the vet postponed the surgery until the rash was gone. So, after some antibiotics and getting her back on a small dosage of prednisone (5mg every other day) seems like the correct dosage.

What I learned, Hunter does not like any type of cone (tried 5 different types) thankfully she knows the "leave it" command.
Booties are a must for hardwood floors (with the assistance of a sling)
Ice\Heat packs have helped in the swelling\bruising
Tramadol, is a wonder drug

Next major event is the post xrays to determine if the bone is healing properly, I think in a week or two.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 06:08 PM
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Glad to hear she finally got the surgery. Recovery seems like forever but you will have a normal dog soon.

Alison and 4 Furry & 2 non furry kids
Sogni Doro Life In The Fast Lane "Chase" DOB 11/13/14
Sogni Doro Where Dreams Come True "Daisy" DOB 2/18/14
Goldridge Lights Action "Lilly" CD RN CCA DOB 1/28/11
http://k9data.com/pedigree.asp?ID=433352
Sanford- JRT DOB-9/5/06

Bridge dogs
Toby-Boxer (rescue@10) 9/17/2002-11/1/12
Charlie- Boxer (1st "child")2/19/02-3/18/12
Julie- golden (heart dog) 5/6/96-3/3/07
Ruby- terrier mix (1st dog) 8/1/90-1/15/05
Rusty-shih tzu 2/5/99-1/20/04
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 06:14 PM
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Thanks for the update. I am glad she is doing so well.
Keeping my fingers crossed for a full and uneventful recovery
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 11:31 PM
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Thanks for the update We also wish you guys an easy, uneventful recovery - I hope you'll see a bit of progress daily. Before you know it, you'll both be back to a normal routine - - but I'm sure that getting the stitches out will make her much more comfortable.
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