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My almost 7-year-old Golden, Henry, appears to have a torn ACL. It has back left leg. I say appears to have because we're waiting to get to the Vet.
When he was just over 3 he was playing at a dog park where the play area is on a slope. It was summer so the dirt was dry and he must have slipped while playing. I heard a yelp then he was limping. It seemed to get better so I actually didn't think about it for a long time. Several months ago he started displaying new behavior. We would go on our morning hike, he would come home and take a nap then would be limping when he got up from his nap. The limp went away fairly soon and he would be walking normally. This past Saturday we went on a hike and because it had been raining nicely we let him plop down in the water in this wetland about halfway through our hike. He was so happy to be in the water he did his usual happy dance/growl after shaking himself off and within seconds there was that loud yelp I remembered from years ago. He could barely walk and we still had a distance to get back to the car. He would hobble along then lay down. He's been resting all weekend. We've been giving him CBD treats, I bought him a heated bed and he seems to be adapting. Today if he only has a few steps to go he will put his toe down and use the bad let to stabilize. If he has farther to go he will hop on 3 legs.
I've been reading the posts about the ACL surgery. Everyone has positive things to say about recovery and long term normalcy. We will be getting X-rays tomorrow and the vet said it was time for a non-steroidal shot to help him along and that then we would discuss the options. I've read about cold laser, surgery, self-healing....Henry weighs about 80lbs, is very, very tall and very fit. He eats a combo of raw and grain-free, gets Chinese Herbs, Vitamin E, Curcumin and Salmon Oil in his food. My heart is broken.

I would love feedback from the community.
 

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My Robbie had TPLO surgery on his knee. After recovery he was solid on that knee for ten years. Have it surgically repaired if it's torn, that is the only way he will be able to be go back to the fully active life you want for him. If you try to let it heal on it's own he will never be able to be as active as he was before the injury.
 

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Our Max tore his left ACL in August of 2017 at age 7. He was injured in a soft, sandy, river bed near the beach. He was able to limp back to the car. We tried rehab for a couple of months, but could see that was not going to work. He had TPLO surgery in November. By 16 weeks or so post op, he was cleared for full activity. He is a big boy, at over 130 pounds, but recovery went well. Our surgeon recommended rest, and he was only allowed out to potty on a leash for several weeks. Worst was the cone. There are some Facebook groups that can give you more information.
 

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Sorry to hear about Henry. Several years ago I had a Golden with a torn acl ccl. Fully torn, walking on 3 legs. The vet did a hard sales pitch on tplo knee surgery or tta surgery but after talking to others with dogs who went thru the nightmares of tplo, pain and suffering, massive infections, never walking normally again, etc, we decided against those painful and life altering side effects. A vet tech that attended the World Veterinary Meeting saw the custom acl ccl Posh Dog Knee Brace at the Veterinary Conference and recommended to try that as a more effective and safe compared to the painful knee surgery. The Posh dog knee brace supported the knee, and my Golden was able to walk on all 4 legs for short dogs walks from day one when the posh brace was fitted, then the dog walks got longer and longer and in a couple months was walking normally. Years went by, and walked normally ever since. The vet still wants to sell the surgery anyway, but the Posh brace works better than surgery. Take a look at PoshDogKneeBrace .com right away as that custom brace is very effective and safe. Why put poor Henry thru a painful knee surgery.
 

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Our girl, Jazz, had TPLO surgery. Won’t lie and say the recovery was easy; but we took it very slow and conservatively. Once she recovered she never had another problem with either leg. She died at 8/9 years from kidney issue, and never exhibited any signs of arthritis in the leg. She was also on JD by Science Diet, salmon oil, and glucosamine/condroitin her whole life.
 

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Sept 15, 2018: The AVMA Admits That TPLO Dog Knee Surgery Causes Bone Cancer, Which Is Very Often Fatal!




I have read this too regarding the TPLO but have read that TTA has less incidence of bone cancer. Something to think about. I have read that TTA is easier to reverse if there's problems with it and easier recovery than TPLO. My Callie had TTA and we unfortunately lost her 3 weeks later. Suspected blood clot. We don't know for sure. If that is indeed what happened, it is very rare. I have known many whose dogs had the TTA and had no problems. If OP decides to do surgery, follow recommendations for aftercare exactly. Callie got out of her enclosed area and hobbled up the stairs one night 7 days after surgery. In hindsight, I wish I would have slept with her so she wouldn't have been anxious. Callie also did underwater treadmill PT and cold laser which prevented arthritis from setting in. If there is a complete tear, then surgery is best option from what I have learned. IF partial tear, there is stem cell, prolotherapy, or platelet rich plasma (PRP) which can heal the tear. I wouid suggest looking into those too. Preventing arthritis is key if you decide against surgery. Seek advice from a holistic vet and PT. Good luck.
 

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My Golden had a complete tear and only able to walk on 3 legs. All 3 vets diagnosed it as a full tear with a fully torn meniscus. The orthopedic surgeons only wanted to sell tplo or tta because that is all they sell is surgery so a surgeon does not sell any alternatives as their primary business is to sell surgery. TTA also has some very bad side effects, as the previous comment mentioned. A vet tech mentioned that a Posh Dog Knee Brace featured at the World Veterinary Conference would be the most effective at healing a torn acl or ccl knee and it is safe as no risk of severe infections, no risk of amputation of the leg, less arthritis then those that buy the surgery, no risk of bone cancer, as she saw many dogs with tplo succumb to bone cancer just at the vet clinics where she worked, and saw many problems and failures with the tta surgery too. The vet tech had assisted many surgeons on 100's of tplo and tta surgeries, and said most vets and surgeons are not completely honest upfront with customers about the many severe health issues, failures, and forced to do an amputation, that happen with tplo or tta surgery. We did opt for a Posh Dog Knee Brace and with the support of the posh brace, even with a full tear, was able to start short dog walks from day one, and in less than 3 weeks the meniscus had healed, and the dog walks got longer each week. Even in the house without the brace, she was already walking normally on 4 legs, but we continued with the Posh Brace for dog walks and outside activities for several more months as recommended to make sure she would be strong enough to walk normally and to return to her active lifestyle. We also learned that by starting with a brace there would be less arthritis. Arthritis is worse in the dogs that get the tplo or tta surgery. We are happy that we learned that there was a safe more effective alternative than tplo or tta surgery. If this ever happens to another of my Goldens or any dog, I would get the Posh brace immediately and never buy the risky painful surgery. I am very thankful to know there is an effective safe alternative for a torn acl or ccl. I don't want other Goldens to suffer from a painful knee surgery when there is an effective safe option to heal a fully torn or partially acl or ccl. Most Pet Insurance Companies will pay for a Posh Dog Knee Brace because it works. My pet insurance paid 90% for mine. Hope this helps.
 

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Sept 15, 2018: The AVMA Admits That TPLO Dog Knee Surgery Causes Bone Cancer, Which Is Very Often Fatal!




You need to provide more than just a bolded comment to assert this kind of alarmist statement. Where are the reports of this supposed issue?
 

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My experience with TPLO of our Labrador Retriever.....He blew his ACL when he was around four....We did everything wrong which is why this forum had been such a resource. Had him neutered at six months old...played catch with him as he grew until he was so tired. I cringe thinking about it.

We did the TPLO and I was just completely unprepared for how hard it was on him. He just looked as if he was in so much pain. The bruising...I slept on floor next to him for the first few days because I was just so uncertain what I could do to take the pain away.

Taking him outsid with the sling to do his business as he couldn’t bear any weight on that leg for almost two months. It’s like having a puppy all over again but you have to be so vigilant that they don’t jump up or down on anything because it can blow the repair.

His surgeon at Animal Specialty here in LA, Dr. Bilbrey put the fear in me, and I’m glad he did.

Six months post op he was back to his jovial Labbie self....One of my fondest memories of Clyde was at age 13, we were at the beach...a couple was playing catch with a football...they engaged him and he played for almost 45 mins. Arthritis had caught up with him in his other legs, but not on the repair.

I had to practically drag him away that day from playing because I was comcerned he was going to be unable to walk the next day and/or injure himself.

I wish I had the answer for you...looking back, we def made the right decision for him because he was having so much difficulty in walking. Again, that was us, not saying that is what you should do. This was almost 15 years ago and I don’t know if there have been advances in repair.

Will say prayers for you & your baby.
 

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https://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/10.2450/javma.253.6.75

But this is a non issue about bone cancer. Why risk even 1% of cancer, as this tplo tta surgery is painful and unnecessary and a surgery injury
takes too long to heal, so your dog is severely depressed for way too long.
My golden wore a posh brace and never had to worry about bone cancer from any knee surgery.
Too many poor dogs damaged with bad tplo or bad tta knee surgery.
I had numerous friends that were or are vet techs or vets.
They told me this tplo or tta is a gruesome surgery with too many bad outcomes, so they would never buy tplo or tta surgery for their own dogs anyway.
when there are more effective and safe alternatives like a posh dog knee brace.
Some time ago I happened to speak with a human orthopedic surgeon who said he knew the high risks of tplo surgery and had plenty of money
to pay cash for tplo surgery and he got a posh dog brace too and said his dog healed wearing the brace.
Fortunately there is a more effective safe alternative to knee surgery now.



.
 

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https://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/10.2450/javma.253.6.75

But this is a non issue about bone cancer. Why risk even 1% of cancer, as this tplo tta surgery is painful and unnecessary and a surgery injury
takes too long to heal, so your dog is severely depressed for way too long.
My golden wore a posh brace and never had to worry about bone cancer from any knee surgery.
Too many poor dogs damaged with bad tplo or bad tta knee surgery.
I had numerous friends that were or are vet techs or vets.
They told me this tplo or tta is a gruesome surgery with too many bad outcomes, so they would never buy tplo or tta surgery for their own dogs anyway.
when there are more effective and safe alternatives like a posh dog knee brace.
Some time ago I happened to speak with a human orthopedic surgeon who said he knew the high risks of tplo surgery and had plenty of money
to pay cash for tplo surgery and he got a posh dog brace too and said his dog healed wearing the brace.
Fortunately there is a more effective safe alternative to knee surgery now.



.

Gee, this sounds like a paid promotion by "Posh Dog Knee Brace" LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for your reply Henry had TLPO surgery on Valentines Day so is about 12 weeks out. He's doing great except that he's rarin' to go and still has to be on leash. We are now taking long walks around the neighborhood. He had a resting tremor for some time prior to surgery and that seems to be gone! So glad he'll be back to his blissful active self before too long!
 

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I think the AVMA journal article is this one:
Selmic et al, Association of tibial plateau leveling osteotomy with proximal tibial osteosarcoma in dogs, JAVMA, September 15, 2018, Vol. 253, No. 6, Pages 752-756

https://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs/10.2460/javma.253.6.752

OBJECTIVE To assess for any association between a history of tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) and subsequent development of proximal tibial osteosarcoma in dogs.

DESIGN Matched case-control study.

ANIMALS 34 client-owned dogs in which proximal tibial osteosarcoma was diagnosed between January 2005 and December 2012 (cases) and 79 dogs without osteosarcoma, matched 3:1 to cases (when possible) by age, breed, and initial examination date (controls).

PROCEDURES Information on each case and control was collected from the medical records and other sources regarding date of birth, sex and neuter status, body weight, breed, and whether TPLO had been performed ≥ 1 year ago. A multivariable conditional logistic regression model was constructed to evaluate associations of body weight and history of TPLO with the outcome of proximal tibial osteosarcoma in dogs.

RESULTS After adjusting for body weight in the multivariable model, dogs with a history of TPLO were 40 times as likely to develop proximal tibial osteosarcoma as were dogs with no history of TPLO. In addition, each 1-kg (2.2-lb) increase in body weight was associated with an 11% increase in the odds of proximal tibial osteosarcoma.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that dogs with a history of TPLO were at increased risk of developing osteosarcoma of the proximal region of the tibia relative to dogs with no such history. Therefore, it is important for proximal tibial osteosarcoma to be included among the differential diagnoses for new or worsening hind limb lameness in dogs that underwent TPLO ≥ 1 year previously
While interesting, 34 dogs is a pretty small study and the authors' conclusion is to check for osteosarcoma in dogs who had TPLO, not that TPLO is not worth doing.
 

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There is No need for Henry to get surgery. I went to several vets with my Golden all trying to sell me on the unnecessary surgery several years ago. When someone came over to pet my Golden in the parking lot, they told me their Golden died from a severe infection caused by the tplo surgery, and the infection cost thousands more to try to save their Golden and still died, they were very angry and sad, and warned me to never ever buy knee surgery for my Golden. They said the vet just laughed when they asked for a refund for the tplo that caused the infection and for all the emergency infection care at the emergency vet. Their vet said no vets ever guarantee that surgery will ever work and may actually kill the dog and the vet still gets to keep all the thousands of dollars, matter what happens. I ended up getting a acl ccl custom posh dog knee brace to support the knee for dog walks from day one. No down time. In a few months, the posh brace was used less and less as the knee recovered. Returned to normal walking and never had the risky painful surgery. Others with dogs that went thru the nightmare tplo or tta surgery, said they would never go thru it again and wished they had done what I did, get a dog knee brace and avoid the painful surgery. Happy healing to Henry to avoid surgery.
 
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