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<-- Dixie
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Discussion Starter #1
Well my Dixie has a torn acl in her right hind leg. It must have happened snowshoeing or skiing with me. I noticed her limping on it a few days after so I'm not sure exactly how or when it happened. I took her to the vet on monday and was told she would need surgery. I was wondering what suggestions I could get from some of you who have been through this.

The price I was quoted for the surgery at the vet for just the ACL was $900 and for the TPLO was $3000. I would have to drive 4 hours south to Colorado. I am so stressed over what to do. I called the orhto surgoeon and said it's $91 just to have her checked out by him and then surgery the next day that could go as high as $3500. I can't do all this driving back and forth from Wyo to Co. day after day.

I'm just a poor college student with an $8/hr part time job. Dixie is my best friend and I want the best for her. She is literally all I have and I'm so upset about this. She is my hiking, backpacking, travel the world buddy but I think my only option is to do the traditional surgery here at my vet which they are worried about because she is 77lbs. So if anyone has had great success with just the ACL surgery I'd really like to hear about it.
 

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RIP Sweet Skyler
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Skyler had traditional acl surgery and was fine until he went to the Bridge. I do NOT know the advantages, if any, of TPLO over traditional surgery. I notice that you are obviously very active outdoors and Dixie goes with you on your jaunts. The one thing that the surgeon really, really stressed to me was limiting the amout of vertical jumping Skyler did in the future. I know that some members have had TPLO surgery done so am bumping this so they might advise.
 

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bumping up for people that have had dogs go thru this
 

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Magica Goldens
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I've been through this a couple of times. I'm not your vet and I'm not a vet so take this for what it's worth. It depends on WHY the crutiate ruptured. Was it a result of an improper angle or bad structure? Then TPLO is your best bet. Was it a freak accident? Then suture method might be in order. Either option some weight is going to need to come off Dixie - post crutiate surgery you really need to have her at a really good weight - and that might mean keeping her at "less than ideal" body weight- or what us agility folks call "agility weight".

My Kasei was 29.5" tall and weighed 75lbs after his crutiate surgery. I went with the suture method and because he wasn't a performance dog in addition to the two crosses my vet put in a third suture down the middle for some stability. He did really well and didn't blow out the other knee. His was an athletic injury though not structural....

There's a lot more I could tell you - and I can relate to your position in terms of feeling out your options as a college student facing a really big vet bill...Are you sure it's a full tear and not a partial tear? Have you tried two weeks of ZERO physical activity? Outside to potty and then in a crate/ex-pen the other 23.75 hours a day? It sound awful - but if it's a partial tear it can heal - and the only way to know is to totally rest that leg. It'll be hard on both of you...Kasei's was a partial tear. I put him on a small dose of deramaxx and adequan and two days later on a 12" leash he tore it the rest of the way leaping around because he felt so good. The only way to confirm full vs partial is an ultrasound, x-ray (sometimes) or surgery - you can't confirm partial/full through palpation or a soundness exam...

Erica
 

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Daisy - my heart
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Daisy's had 2 traditional ACL surgeries and both her knees are fine now. She gets a little stiff when she's really active but it's manageable.

Her vet gave me a sample of what they use to link the joints together, not sure what the material is but it's very strong -- it's called a "suture." And they typically double it, wrap it around twice. It would take a lot to break or tear it.

I think the important thing is to follow the post-surgery treatment plan. Lots of rest so the scar tissue can form around the suture which increases the stability. After about 6 months, you're pretty much free to return to normal activities but I would still be careful. Daisy's 2 years out on her first one and I don't even worry about that knee anymore, it's very strong.

Try to get your dog to lose a few pounds ... it really helps after surgery. I had Daisy down around 70-75lbs during her surgeries but she normally weighs around 83, which is where she is now.

Good luck, these injuries are so unfortunate ... but there is life after the ACL, chin up :)
 

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Premium Member
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Traditional repair does work for a lot of dogs. However, it did not work for Robbie, 3 months after surgery the suture pulled loose and we had to have surgery again on the same knee. We went TPLO the second time and after recovery Robbie's knee is 100%.
 

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Dog Lover for Life
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220 Posts
Hi,
I'm sorry about your troubles. I live in Colorado Springs and my dog ZsaZsa (Australian cattle dog) had to have knee surgery 4 years ago. She also had the TPLO surgery. I took her to the http://www.veterinaryspecialty.com/ center here in Colorado Springs. It was 2500$. Where did you want to go for the surgery Fort Collins or Denver? It might be worth talking to them and see what they charge for the surgery. COS isn't that much further to travel. If your dog is young and active chances are very high that the wire surgery is not going to hold. My friend had it done on her old dog and he never had much strength in that hind leg. All the best,
Elke, ZsaZsa and Bogart
 

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I researched these when my Maxine needed her second knee done. I had no choice but the TPLO for the first one. It was the "only" procedure my surgeon told me about I did not know I had options. So I spent $3500. Then 16 months later we needed the other knee done.

In my research I was told by vet friends who had dogs who went through this surgery, really any surgery you choose is a good repair option. The TPLO at the time was the "latest and greatest", I believe there is another option that is less invasive now. Anyway, we ended up going with the TPLO again, we went to a different ortho (veterinary teaching hospital) who had trained my previous surgeon in the TPLO, he laid all our options on the table, and because it was a teaching hospital, the procedures were 'less' as students do a lot of the pre op and post op care. It cost us over $1000 less the second time around. We went with the TPLO again, we knew how Maxine did with the first and we were comfortable with the rehab and out come.

I want to add Maxine had her needs done 3 years ago, she was just recovering this time of year from #2. For the last three years of her life, she never once limped again, needed an NSAID for pain, ran around and kept up with my younger dogs until she got cancer. Only then did we stop allowing her to jump in and out of the car. I have absolutely no regrets about the money we spent. I do want to stress find the BEST ortho vet you can that will make or break any procedure you choose.

I have a friend with a 13 yr old boxer/lab mix who had her knee done (traditional) and her dog is still going just fine too. Both procedures are good choices. In "my" opinion (and I have NO fact to base this on) the sound of the traditional repair does not sound as stable but yet I have never heard of problems. So that is my 2¢

Good luck. Sorry you have this decision. The eight week rehab is long, but then you move on. It could be worse. I have done TPLO and THR (total hip replacement) recovery... give me knees ANY day! Much less stressful.

Ann
 

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Holly ruptured both her cruciates before she was one year old and had the Cruciate Repaired. We lost her at 13 years old from kidney failure, and apart from getting arthritis you would never have known that she had ever had a problem.
 

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<-- Dixie
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the information and support so far. I have decided on the traditional surgery because of location and money. I simply couldn't afford the TPLO but I figure some surgery is better than no surgery. The travel costs on top of TPLO would be more than I could ever afford and on top of that the roads are not very safe between Wyo & Colo. right now. Anywhere I'd go is at least 3 hours away.

Her surgery is on monday so please keep her in your thoughts while we go through this process. Thanks
 

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Will be keeping you in thoughts and prayers. Will be hoping for a good recovery
 

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Magica Goldens
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Her surgery is on monday so please keep her in your thoughts while we go through this process. Thanks
Good luck! The recovery process is so slow - and the initial two days is AWFUL! Looking at them all shaved and so miserable and in so much pain you're going to feel awful for doing the surgery - don't beat yourself up. I could have brought Kasei home the day he had surgery. I didn't - I waited until the following morning. If I had to do it again I'd probably leave them an extra day at the vet - if only to get them through the first 48 hours post-surgery when the pain is pretty intense and the dog is woozie and needs a lot of support to move.

Make sure you have help to get her in and out to potty - and that's all she's going to be able to do. When Kasei had his surgery it was 2 weeks of zero activity (potty twice a day - no stairs). Then another two weeks of just really short walks - 5 minutes three or four times a day. Then another 2 weeks of 10 minutes...two more weeks of 15 minutes. He was on a leash for 10 weeks and then I had to carefully figure out how to let him off-leash for the first time.

Erica
 

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Daisy - my heart
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Would you like to see some pictures beforehand of what this is going to look like when you bring her home?

Make sure you stay here with us since this is your first time. I was a wreck with Daisy's first, talking with people that had been through it really helped.

Don't bring your girl home from surgery without some type of pain medicine. Daisy's vet didn't give her anything, said she'd be fine, but we had a horrible first 24 hours. As soon as I got some pain medicine into her, she settled down beautifully and we both got some sleep.

Be careful with the water when you bring her home, too. She may be thirsty, she will probably be excited just to be home again, but only give her a little bit at a time, like 1 cup every hour -- until she's settled.

What kinds of things are you worried most about? I'm sure a few of us here can give you some very practical advice.

Don't worry too much, she's going to be fine. And you will be fine too :)
 

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Can someone explain TPLO?

Bails has had two failed surgeries (either side done a year and a half apart), could be hip issues mixed in there as well, but I am keen to hear alternatives.

He just had 8 week post-op xrays done on the right, and it's not good.
 
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