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  • Results 1 to 8 of 8
    1. #1
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      rs_smoove's Avatar
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      My Lola has a partial ACL tear

      Hello everyone,

      Looking for some advice. Looks like my lab Lola has a partial tear of her ACL. Not sure how it happened but she loves playing fetch and she loves jumping off my deck so I'm sure that it happened during play time. She limps, especially after laying down. She's not crying or whining from any pain. Once she walks for a min or so, she wants to start hopping and running around. She is 20 months old. The vet I took her gave me an estimate of $3,000 to repair the partial tear. This particular vet performs the tight rope technique.

      Obviously this gave me sticker shock. The cheapest ACL surgeries seem to be the ones that perform the suture stabilization which are typically around $1,000 - 1,500. I'm looking for suggestions from this board on what I should do? I've read stuff that even with surgery, dogs still may have issues and it looks like after a tear or partial tear regardless of repair, the dog is 70% more likely to tear the other ACL or at some point, could tear the same one.

      Has anyone done the surgery? Thoughts on it? Have some gone a different direction like a holistic approach? Look forward to hearing from you.

      Thanks
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -lola1-jpg  

    2. #2
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      Tanya's Avatar
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      CCL tears are pretty common sadly. Generally due to the angle of the knee I think (and general make-up of the knee) so a dog is born with susceptibility to them taring. It can happen just walking outside, slipping on ice. My last dog tore it fetching. not doing any fancy moves, she just went out to get her toy and came back on three legs. And sadly, if one knee goes it is highly likely the other will go at some point. So long term ensure the dog is at a slender healthy weight (more towards skinny) and proper muscle tone (but not too much) on both back legs.

      It cost me $5000 for one TPLO. all vet costs here are higher though.

      if it is a partial tear you can consider conservative management (strict limited exercise and rehab) but with a young dog that can be hard. The goal is for the scar tissue to build and stabilize the knee. Would depend on how "big" the tare is and if the meniscuous (sp?) is intact. I'd recommend doing this with a rehab specialist and a good vet ideally. There are braces you can get (but can still cost a bit to have made).

      Did a regular vet make the diagnosis? how? I recommend before doing any surgery to talk ti over with a specialist for proper diagnosis and review of all possible treatments (conservative managment, tightrope, tplo, the other one) https://www.acvs.org/

      Price can vary by region. For a lab i'd be wary about tightrope to be honest. TPLO is more invasive but pretty much guaranteed.

      Your Stories and Information About Labs with Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Tears

      I seriously considered Tightrope for my 44 pound mix. She was at a weight where it was more likely to work (and the Tightrope specifically is a pretty solid fix). But i opted for TPLO as I wanted to be fully active and competing in sports again.

    3. The Following User Says Thank You to Tanya For This Useful Post:

      rs_smoove (03-16-2018)

    4. #3
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      Calla's Avatar
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      I have had 2 TPLO's on my lab....the first surgery at 13 months old and the second on her 2nd birthday. For sure, it's not cheap..... but to me, it was the only option. I wouldn't have the suture surgery on her because of her activity level & weight (the success of suture surgery on dogs over 50 lbs is not good). Same reason that I wouldn't do conservative management....the chance of it working at all or long term would be negligible. The surgery recovery is a bit of a journey until all healed but was worth it for me as my dog can be a dog again :-). Btw, my lab is a stoic dog and did not have any lameness.....just weight offset at rest and surgeon felt a 'mild' drawer.....but she had FULL tears on both legs, as seen at surgery time. Good luck :-)

    5. The Following User Says Thank You to Calla For This Useful Post:

      rs_smoove (03-16-2018)

    6. #4
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      Dennis Thomas, DVM's Avatar
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      Bortles and his research at U. Of Tennessee Veterinary College (Sports Medicine Dept.) says that two years after any cruciate surgery, the knee is functionally the same. Dr. Barkley Slocum's creation of the TPLO surgery and its subsequent patented procedure (first patented surgical procedure ever) was intended to create a school which required vets to come to, learn the protocol and purchase equipment from. His plans fell through when he died of a heart attack shortly after creating the protocol. Way over-rated protocol, has devastating potential for post-op complications (including amputation) and in the long run is no better than the old extra-capsular techniques (modified Flo technique, fibular translocation, etc). After having done CCL surgeries for over 25 years, I now treat them conservatively, without surgery. The only time I recommend surgery is if there is a torn medial meniscus that has created a flap. My two cent/

    7. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Dennis Thomas, DVM For This Useful Post:

      lovemylabby (03-14-2018), rs_smoove (03-16-2018), Sadie and Cooper's mom (04-08-2018), SunDance (03-14-2018)

    8. #5
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      This is why I'm torn. I'm reading so many different opinions, it has my head spinning. She's currently 63 pounds, probably gaining weight now as she's not doing much. The normal vet I go to does the suture repair. I contacted my breeder who the vet she recommended does the tight rope procedure. I keep reading that those 2 may not be ideal for my dog because of her size. Then I read up on the other techniques and some hate them because of how invasive they are and the fact that it changes the alignment of the knee and even my breeder said not do the the TPLO or TTA.

      Dennis, can you provide any specifics on what steps I should take if I decide against surgery? Supplements? How long without activity?....etc

      Thank you all for the responses.

    9. #6
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      Calla's Avatar
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      I completely disagree with Dennis regarding surgery....having been through 2 TPLO's on my lab & 1 ex-cap surgery on my smaller dog, I am thrilled to have my dogs run/play without pain. There are many, many other dog owners that agree with me. My orthopaedic specialist detailed out my options....she explained different surgeries and conservative management....it was my choice on how to proceed. I researched a lot! Conservative management is a long road of strict rest and the success rate on larger dogs is small. The complication rate of TPLO is ~11% with 8% being minor complications and ~3% being major (needing corrective surgery). The fact that the previous poster mentioned amputation....oy. The chance of that is miniscule and would be a rare occurrence. Yes, the TPLO is invasive with the bone cut and correcting the angle to eliminate the need for the ccl BUT a suture surgery does not address the shearing force of the knee which is especially important in a large dog. Obvi, I am very happy with our outcome and pretty passionate that these surgeries work (surgery choice based on weight & activity level of dog)....it's a dedicated recovery period but I have no regrets. If your interested...there are 2 facebook groups you may be interested in 'Canine Cruciate Recovery (members discuss different types of ccl surgery, conservative management and its more geared towards people that have surgery) and if your interested in conservative management only, 'Canine Cruciate Stories - A Conservative Management (CM) Support Group'. Both groups can give you information and help with your decision whichever route you choose :-)

    10. #7
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      Tanya's Avatar
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      you can just try Consevative management and see how it goes. but it isn't easy. worse case you do surgery later if the CM doesn'T work.

      in my case, penny was in pain and she was far from herself. something had to be done. so we went with the invasive surgery that offered the best odds to full recovery to "life as before".

      if you are unsure, talk to someone (or a few people) who can walk you thru pros and cons of each (honestly). Even try CM and see hw it goes you can switch to surgery if you decide that later. with a lab i'd personally go with TPLO (with a board certified surgeon).

      I have never really heard of amputation. i mean sure it's possible. I know a dog that lost a leg after ... something went with wrong intervenous? (something like that). shit happens.heck dogs die going in for a neuter. But the odds are slim. there IS a concern for infection after TPLO and we did have to deal with that sadly. but infections can be beat. my experience went a bit...crazy so not a good example.

    11. #8
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      My Samson had TTA repair on his left knee in July of 2016. 12 weeks of recovery and I completed it like book work. No stairs, confined, leased potty breaks, etc. I did 12 weeks of rehab and did therapy at home with him. If/when his right knee goes, I will do TTA on that leg as well. My guy is pretty big -- 95 pounds.

      Best of luck with whatever you decide. Good thoughts your way.

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