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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
If you're looking for updates after the operation, then jump to page 3 or so!


Hi,
I have a 2 and half year old GR called Eva who's been limping (left hind leg) everytime she gets up after a rest. It lasts about 10 or 20 seconds and then get's better. But, she's definately not putting her full weight on this leg, even though she's getting about okay. We've tried lots of rest, 5 minute lead walks only and only on the lead in the garden. Over the 5 weeks, we've seen some improvement, but as soon as we let her do anything slightly energetic, the limp gets worse.

And so, after multiple vet visits and X-rays, which have ruled out everything else, our vet thinks it's a partially torn CCL. She'll be seen by a specialist orthopaedic surgeon in 3 weeks, for another set of x-rays, more checks while she's asleep and who will perform the TPLO op, if he's convinced it's a ACL tear. I know the vets well, we've been going there for years and I trust them to make the right decision, which will be in the best interests of Eva. The surgeon has a good reputation, he specialises in GRs and has been performing TPLO's weekly for 8 years.

I know this is the calm before the storm so just wondering what we could be doing now to help us prepare during the next 3 weeks and then some tips to help us get through this. Would love to hear from anyone who's experienced this! Many thanks.
 

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I know several people with dogs that have had TPLO surgery. A couple dogs I train with frequently had it at about 3 years and you would never guess it if you saw them running today.
Follow your vets advice and have a plan in place for the rehab.
 

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My 7 year old golden had a TTA surgery last June the first weeks were rough. I was so greatful I work from home and was able to be here with him minus my office being upstairs and he had to stay downstairs and sleep down here.

We bought a open pen vs a crate has he has never been create trained and I didn’t want to force that fear on him all of a sudden. We set up his area a few weeks prior to surgery got him used to it, we have tile so I bought foam flooring for inside his pen. He did amazing going in and out of it on his own during his recovery. I could also just open one of the sides and go sit in there with him to do heat/cold compression and exercises. We did this 3-4 times a day for the first 4 weeks. Taking him outside on the lead was rough at times as he wanted to keep pulling and walk further then he should.

We got so lucky that we found a rehabilitation mobility vet 10 minutes from our house and he went there once a week for 15 weeks for 3 hours and they gave us detailed exercises each phase to do at home. And they were able to address other joint issues and weight issues he had and now he still goes for a recheck with that vet every 6 weeks.

My biggest suggestions is do your research I saved so many different sites lots of vets list their recovery programs though I’m sure you’ll get one it’s good to compare here is the link for the main one I used along with the info



Sit up a small comfortable space for recovery keep that area clean and sanitized infection is very common.

Find a cone that works for your dog. We tried a few and 3 days in he got out of one cone and tore out all his staples! It was the worse experience ever waking up to that at 3am… luckily there was no blood or anything it turned out okay we took him right into the vet in the morning. this was the e-collar we had the best success with.
ZenPet Pet Recovery Cone E-Collar... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YGXNM3Y?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

Don’t be alarmed if the leg is very bruised and swollen I was not prepared for that.

It will be a long road and it’s going to take extra care but it will be worth it. I remember the first day we actually went for a walk, and when he finally could come upstairs and sleep. It’s rough but just take it day by day! 10 months later our golden is finally 90 % of the time sitting normal again!
 

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I know several people with dogs that have had TPLO surgery. A couple dogs I train with frequently had it at about 3 years and you would never guess it if you saw them running today.
Follow your vets advice and have a plan in place for the rehab.
I second this see if there are any rehabilitation locations in your area or do your research for a rehab plan at home.
 

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Rehab will be very very expensive If you don't do it yourself. It isn't difficult, just time consuming.
One of the dogs I know won a field trial amateur stake exactly one year after TPLO. For those not familiar with field trials, winning an amateur is a very difficult task, both mentally and physically.
 

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Several years ago our Max tore his left ACL when about 7 years of age. We tried rest for a couple of months, but determined that surgery was the best option. Max was a big boy--over 100 pounds. We found a vet in San Diego who used a board certified traveling orthopedic surgeon for TPLO procedures. I took Max in at 8am and picked him up at 4:30 for the 80 mile ride home. He walked out of the vet office and we lifted him into the back seat of my truck. We used a ramp for him to walk out of the truck and into the house. We kept him in an x-pen in the living room, and took him out on a leash to potty. His activity was limited for about 14 to 16 weeks during which time we gradually increased his walking. By around 18 to 20 weeks he was completely healed and we resumed normal activities. We went back to the vet a couple of times for check-ups and one set of x-rays. There was zero physical therapy.
Dog Carnivore Dog breed Companion dog Fence
Dog Carnivore Dog breed Companion dog Fawn
Water Dog Carnivore Dog breed Beach
Max lived the rest of his life completely normal, with swimming, running and retrieving like any Golden Retriever, plus a lot of therapy dog work. We paid a flat fee of $2600. One of the pictures shows Max in his cone, which was huge and a real pain.
Dog Carnivore Dog breed Companion dog Fence
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thank you for all the replies and links to medvet pdf…that’s really useful. It's so reassuring to know there’s light at the end of the tunnel! (and Max looks like he was an amazing dog!).
Eva has never really happy in a crate so I'll set up a pen. Luckily she is fine wearing a cone, and we had to get a huge one when she had a hot spot on her tail. Looks like I have to plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Should I set up a pen at the back of the house near the garden so she doesn't have to walk through the (not so big) house? Eva “only’ weighs 61 pounds so I can carry her around, but I’d be worried about squeezing her leg as I do. We have tiles too, but have some old carpet we can put down.
The worst bit is that the vet isn’t 100% certain it’s a CCL issue, but can’t think what else it can be. He doesn’t want to do a CT or MRI scan as this means another anaesthesetic and the cost could be thousands, so would rather wait until the orthopaedic surgeon sees her in 3 weeks who may decide to operate then after some more X-rays. So….I don’t even know if she’ll have the TPLO, but need to plan for it. So much uncertainty! By the way, in the UK it’s around £4.5k, so $5.8k, luckily we’re insured!
 

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Thank you for all the replies. It's so reassuring (and Max looks like he was an amazing dog!).
Eva has never really happy in a crate so I'll set up a pen. Luckily she is fine wearing a cone, and we had to get a huge one when she had a hot spot on her tail. Looks like I have to plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Should I set up a pen at the back of the house near the garden so she doesn't have to walk through the (not so big) house? Eva “only’ weighs 61 pounds so I can carry her around, but I’d be worried about squeezing her leg as I do. We have tiles too, but have some old carpet we can put down.
The worst bit is that the vet isn’t 100% certain it’s a CCL issue, but can’t think what else it can be. He doesn’t want to do a CT or MRI scan as this means another anaesthesetic and the cost could be thousands, so would rather wait until the orthopaedic surgeon sees her in 3 weeks who may decide to operate then after some more X-rays. So….I don’t even know if she’ll have the TPLO, but need to plan for it. So much uncertainty! By the way, in the UK it’s around £4.5k, so $5.8k, luckily we’re insured!
I’d suggest setting up a pen at the back of the house near the garden that way she won’t need to walk as far. That is what we did with Gower. My biggest suggestion is setting it up asap so you can get her used to it. We would go inside it with him to get him used to it; and put some toys in and he’d start going in by himself so by the time his surgery came he was used to it and was comfortable in the pen. Here is gower in his pen prior to surgery that opening was covered with the door we just hadn’t added it yet and once we put the door on we zip tied it shut. If she is a jumper I’d definitely work with in the pen prior.
Dog Dog crate Dog breed Carnivore Pet supply


Gower stayed in the pen for at least the first 4 weeks minus to go out to go potty. With the pen we had like i mentioned we could just open it up and sit in there with him to to do exercises and spend time with him. Once you do allow her to have a bit more free roam make sure any furniture is blocked so she cannot jump and if you have stairs make sure those are blocked off too.

This photo was the day he came home which was 24 hours after his surgery
Dog Carnivore Dog breed Comfort Fawn

Him getting his cold compression
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Working animal Dog supply


Enjoying his recovery time with all his friends
Dog Toy Fawn Carnivore Companion dog

Finally getting to see his cousin after 3 months
Dog Dog breed Couch Carnivore Floor


His graduation from rehab
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here is doing amazing now 10 months post surgery and he is down 20lbs he was 96lbs when he had he is able to keep up with his 2 year old golden cousin and 6 month old golden cousin

Plant Felidae Dog Carnivore Big cats



I understand the frustration with it possibly only being a partial tear that was what we were experiencing with Gower our vet said he wouldn’t be able to determine that with an x-ray and even with a partial tear he’d still like to go in and operate. Gower actually didn’t have x-rays till the morning of the surgery the vet we had it done with prefers to wait till the day of the surgery so they do not need to put them under anesthesia twice and if sees anything on the x-ray that will change the surgical plan he would call. It did turn out gower’s wasn’t fully torn yet but the surgery was still the best option we had the TTA for him as I mentioned prior. I know it is a very tough decision I was a nervous wreck we went through a vet who does many of these surgeries vs a specialist as the specialist weren’t taking even an initial appointment for 2 months.

That’s wonderful you are insured! Unfortunately o Gower wasn’t and a year prior to that I had been seriously looking into insurance for him but hindsight is 20/20 with his surgery and rehab for 12 weeks and follow ups we spent around $4,500.

Since you do have insurance for her do you know if your insurance covers any rehabilitation options? I am not sure if they do have vets there that do have rehabilitation services near where you live but it could be something to look into if the insurance will cover it. Of course rehab is possible to do at home and we did a lot of at home rehab but having the weekly session with the rehab vet for 12 weeks was wonderful as we got at home exercise, and they also did under water treadmill rehab and as well as cold laser therpy was all included in the package they offered.

I wish you the best of luck with you and your golden! It will be a long recovery but following the timeline your vet gives you is best. Just try to keep her as calm as possible For the weeks after the surgery with her being young that might a challenge but even at any age a golden still acts like a puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thank you! Lovely to see Gower too! This is Eva last week on one of our very short walks!
Plant Dog Carnivore Dog breed Fawn


Good ideas, I'll set up the pen this weekend, luckily I kept all the kit from when she was a puppy. She normally sleeps in the hallway (we have a stairgate and all doors closed) but when the postman comes she does get excited, so the back of the house will be quieter too. I suspect I'm going to be sleeping downstairs for a while :rolleyes:!

We had the same option as you. Wait 2 months to go to a specialist centre or 3 weeks for our local vetinary surgeon to do it. Our vet told me that if his dog needed this surgery he'd have no hesitation in asking the local surgeon...so that swung it. Also, at a centre you don't necessarily know who's going to perform the operation. We still have the booking at the specialist centre in case the surgeon decides not to operate, where they can do CT or MRI scans.

I think my insurance does cover £1000 of "physio", sounds like it's worth doing. Especially as we have a holiday/vacation booked at a cottage by the sea in mid-August. I'm not expecting to let her off the lead then, but it would be nice if we could walk the 1/2 mile to the beach and back. That'll be 3 months after surgery. Do you think that'll be do-able?

Although Eva's only 2 1/2 she is very calm in the house, most of the time. She can get a little excited when we have visitors but she's hopelessly lazy and given the chance will sleep her days away. We've had days recently with no walks and she's been absolutely fine. That was a bit of an eye opener for me...we usually do about 2 hours walking a day... turns out she'd rather sleep!

Thanks again for all the support and advice...I'm also a nervous wreck and was getting worse so it's very much appreciated!
 

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Thank you! Lovely to see Gower too! This is Eva last week on one of our very short walks!
View attachment 891726

Good ideas, I'll set up the pen this weekend, luckily I kept all the kit from when she was a puppy. She normally sleeps in the hallway (we have a stairgate and all doors closed) but when the postman comes she does get excited, so the back of the house will be quieter too. I suspect I'm going to be sleeping downstairs for a while :rolleyes:!

We had the same option as you. Wait 2 months to go to a specialist centre or 3 weeks for our local vetinary surgeon to do it. Our vet told me that if his dog needed this surgery he'd have no hesitation in asking the local surgeon...so that swung it. Also, at a centre you don't necessarily know who's going to perform the operation. We still have the booking at the specialist centre in case the surgeon decides not to operate, where they can do CT or MRI scans.

I think my insurance does cover £1000 of "physio", sounds like it's worth doing. Especially as we have a holiday/vacation booked at a cottage by the sea in mid-August. I'm not expecting to let her off the lead then, but it would be nice if we could walk the 1/2 mile to the beach and back. That'll be 3 months after surgery. Do you think that'll be do-able?

Although Eva's only 2 1/2 she is very calm in the house, most of the time. She can get a little excited when we have visitors but she's hopelessly lazy and given the chance will sleep her days away. We've had days recently with no walks and she's been absolutely fine. That was a bit of an eye opener for me...we usually do about 2 hours walking a day... turns out she'd rather sleep!

Thanks again for all the support and advice...I'm also a nervous wreck and was getting worse so it's very much appreciated!
She is very beautiful! Such a sweet girl.

I understand the issue with a vet vs the specialist. I don’t regret the vet doing the surgery. we had found him from a recommendation from a golden Facebook group in Orlando, FL. He has done many of these surgeries and seemed to have decent reviews. However our experience with the follow up appointment was very interesting…We took gower for his follow up they did x-rays not under sedation, there was construction going on outside the building and our boy has very bad anxiety with loud noises so they x-rays were not very clear. The vet reviewed them with us and mentioned he didn’t like the way the bone was heeling and there was a chance the hardware could break and he wanted to schedule surgery for the following week for another $1,30 -but he might not need it but it’s better to do it then not. He was not being very clear at all what the issue actually was, it was very interesting and myself and husband felt very confused when we left that appointment. When we got home I called our rehabilitation vet and she called me back after hours and talked over everything with me that happen, she was very confused as well as to why the vet wanted to do a second surgery. She calmed my nerves and set up for gower to have sedated x-rays and she would send them to the animal hospital that is the board certified surgeon to review - we had the x-rays done she got an opinion from the radiologist, as well as 3 other vets on a special vet forum. All concluded the x-rays look fine and he is healing just fine. They said without a bone graft the bone wouldn’t fill in, so they had no idea why our vet said that.During this process we made an appointment at a board certified surgeon to get a 3rd opinion just to verify same results that he was healing wonderfully.

If you feel that comfortable with the vet doing the operation and they do have experience doing many of these operations and they are able to do it sooner I would do it with the vet.

If your insurance covers a rehab things definitely look at what options are in your area. In terms of your holiday to the beach - at 3 months post-op she should be fine to walk down to the beach some dogs recovery faster then others. I know at 3 months we were doing at least 2 (20) minute walks a day. Just use caution as we had multiple vets tell us there is a 50 % chance they’ll tear the other knee within the year. I’m still very cautions with gower - I just can’t imagine having to put him through that again.

That is good she is fairly calm it will help with recovery. I know I was a nervous wreck as well, I’d stay up all night doing research and preparing. It will be hard at first seeing them in so much pain but you know it is what is best for them long term.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh, so sorry to hear about all that confusion, what a nightmare. I thought that that kind of thing only happened to me! Very glad that you got that sorted so well.

I also read TPLO takes a little longer than TTA, but I'm hoping her age and weight will help with recovery. If not then we'll just have to enjoy the views of the beach and sea. 😭

I heard 60% go on to having it on the other knee. I'm hoping because I spotted this early, and reducing her exercise now before it's got bad, the damage will be minimised. I mean, when I take her to the vets, no one can see a limp - they've only seen it on the videos I've taken when she gets up from rest.

There again I worry that it's not a ACL issue at all, and perhaps something else, but x-rays seem to have ruled out other options, I hope.
 

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Oh, so sorry to hear about all that confusion, what a nightmare. I thought that that kind of thing only happened to me! Very glad that you got that sorted so well.

I also read TPLO takes a little longer than TTA, but I'm hoping her age and weight will help with recovery. If not then we'll just have to enjoy the views of the beach and sea. 😭

I heard 60% go on to having it on the other knee. I'm hoping because I spotted this early, and reducing her exercise now before it's got bad, the damage will be minimised. I mean, when I take her to the vets, no one can see a limp - they've only seen it on the videos I've taken when she gets up from rest.

There again I worry that it's not a ACL issue at all, and perhaps something else, but x-rays seem to have ruled out other options, I hope.
Oh that’s interesting that they can’t see that she’s limping when she’s there. When she sits down is she sticking the leg out to the side at all or she still sitting normally? I know that is also one test they use for it. With gower you could see him limping right away, and he’d sit with his like out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, they can tell she's not really bearing weight on it when standing still, but she walks quite normally (after the 20 seconds from resting). She does sit with her leg out sometimes..but prefers to lie down!

I think a lot of people would ignore the 20 second limp and do nothing until things got worse. But the vet got it when I showed the videos, she really looks in pain then. And 5 weeks later there's no improvement.
 

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Yes! There's a step or two but nothing much, I've read that supporting her weight with a towel under her belly for a day or two will help with the steps.
I’ve heard some vets say full flights of stairs are fine even a few weeks post op… another example of our vet who did the surgery he said he was fine to do stairs at 4 weeks….. our rehab vet didn’t clear him until after 16 weeks.
 

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I’ve heard some vets say full flights of stairs are fine even a few weeks post op… another example of our vet who did the surgery he said he was fine to do stairs at 4 weeks….. our rehab vet didn’t clear him until after 16 weeks.
We had a few little step out to our yard as well not very high ones so he was just fine.
 
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