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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if any of you guys have experience with this..?

A friend's dog tore his cruciate over a year ago and was on Metacam for it. They were offered surgery but they tried the Metacam and it seemed to do the job and he was doing really well.

Yesterday when out he slipped on the snow, and they are back to square one having retorn it slightly. I was wondering whether any of you know what the recovery time/how your dog was through such an op?

He is 8 years old but fit and healthy apart from his cruciate. His owner is really upset, they had loads of hydrotherapy last year too but the insurance is unlikely to pay out again.

Do any of you have experience with this type of thing?
 

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Sorry I cant help but bumping up as I know some members have had experience of this :crossfing someone can help.
 

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Daisy - my heart
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It's my experience that torn cruciate ligaments may heal somewhat over time but they are never as strong again as before the injury. Torn ligaments tend to tear again until they rupture completely.

I always recommend surgery. Not only does surgery fix the problem over the long term in most cases, but also reduces arthritis that builds up over time due to joint inflammation.

8 years is not too old for this type of surgery. There is some down time and a period of recovery but the dog can be well on the way to normal activity again within 6 months.
 

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I've just gone thru CCL surgery with Spip, my 7 year old Lab.

There are 4 kinds of possible surgeries : extracapsular repair, TPLO, TTA and tightrope surgery. The two most commonly used are extracapsular (also called traditionnal) and the TPLO. Lots of big dogs get a TPLO which is only done by orthopedic surgeons and involves sawing into the bone and putting plates in the leg to modify the angle of the knee so that the cruciate ligament becomes un-needed. The extracapsular is less invasive and some local vets have plenty of experience with it. It involves installing a line in the knee and letting scar tissue form to reinforce/replace the torn ligament. I would need to go back to my notes to give more details about TTA and tightrope. We went with the traditional repair in late October and Spip is now up for walks almost a mile long (she had a set-back in November which slowed down the process by a good 2 weeks).

PT, hydrotherapy and other things can be done after each type of surgery. Depending on the surgeon and the particular dog, crate rest is prescribed for a period up to 8 weeks then short walks are re-introduced. Complete return to normal activities (depending on the dog and what his normal activities are) can take up to 6 months. It is imperative to avoid all running, jumping, lunging, slipping during the recovery period.

There is a yahoo group called "orthodogs" dedicated to orthopedical problems. Very nice and supportive people and plenty of detailed info there if your friend wants to take a peek.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you very much Honeysmum, Thalie and Jo Ellen, really interesting and useful thank you very much xx
 

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I went through two TPLO's with my dearly departed Maxine. Expensive but she came through with flying colors, and never limped again for the remainder of her life. Her second TPLO was almost 3 years old, first 4+, when we lost her. I had NO regrets with the surgery.

As for non surgical solutions. They really do not work. If your friends dog got by without, it probably was not much of a tear. For a human your leg would be put in a cast, and you would be off it for weeks, and then you would have PT. Dogs need their leg every day, they can not stay off it. The tear never actually heals and gets re-injured and the surgery rears it's head again. Surgery takes them 'off' their feet, but the soreness does keep them from 'using' it.

Most of the knee surgeries I have heard great success stories. So my suggestion (take or leave) find a GOOD ortho vet, get all the possible procedures on the table, find the one best for the dog, family and budget. The traditional repair is probably one of the least expensive and still a very good repair. I honestly think with any surgery like this the success rate is also related to the skill of the surgeon. A good teaching hospital is also a good option for a slightly reduced cost.

I took my dogs to Michigan State University, for Max's second TPLO and Teddi's hip. Max's second knee surgery was over $1000 less than the first at a specialty hospital, AND her surgeon at MSU was the surgeon who trained her first knee's doctor. Both were good, but the second surgeon was so much better. The costs stay down as they do not have to hire techs to care for the animals before and after surgery. The students do it.

Ann
 

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Missing Naughty Charlie
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My cross Lab/Alsation did both of hers not at the same time she had surgery and had to take it easy i can't remember how long now as it was a long time ago but she was just fine afterwards.
 

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Cruciates can repair but it all depends on the size of the dog etc. Holly ruptured both her cruciates, the first one at just turned 6 months old, and the other the day that she had the stitches out from the first one. The ortho vet warned us that she may never walk properly let alone run again, but after both ops she was putting her foot to the ground the day after. The recuperation period again depends on the dog, but it is essential that there is no jumping on or off furniture, no jumping up people, stairs are out of bounds, and to be kept as quiet as possible. We were perhaps lucky, I don't know, but Holly was the perfect patient. For about 3 weeks hubby would carry her out into the garden to go to the toilet, that was mainly because of the steps, once in the garden we kept her on the lead until she had finished and then carried back indoors again. Once we got the all clear from the vet we started by walking her up the garden and then gradually increased the distance, but never enough so that she was tired. She went to hydrotherapy and we carried on with that afterwards just for the fun of it.

As a recovery time, months rather than weeks, and when the vet said finally that we could let her off the lead in the field, I will admit I was scared, but as he said it would be better for her to run in a field probably in a straight line than to have zoomies in the garden where she could twist and turn and perhaps cause more problems.

In the last few years, Holly had arthritis in her joints, but was on Metacam, devils claw and a magnet collar and she was still running around up to the week before we lost her at 14
 
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