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Torn Acl - Surgery Required


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Well sadly my Australian Shepard tore her ACL and it requires surgical repair. That estimate was $4000.

 

Does anyone have experience with this?

What do I expect?

Is that a reasonable estimate on a 83 pound dog?

What's the recovery like?

 

Any insight to what's in store for me and Asti would be appreciated! I was told I need to get her in within 2-3 weeks before changes start that make it worse and she blows out her other one compensating for the blown one. :(

The Girls

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Our first mutt Rosie weighed around 55 lbs. She had the ACL surgery in 1994 and cost around $800. She was young and the vet warned us that the other leg would need the same surgery within a year or so. He was right.

 

Recovery was easy as she wasn't a runner like greyhounds are. We only had to limit her from getting up on the couch.

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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I had this on my last non-greyhound dog, a 25 pound mixed breed, in the 2011-2012 time frame. Went very well, but as a previous poster said it tends to show up in the other leg later and that was the case for my dog. It was about $2000 per leg but that was for a small dog in Cleveland, so I'm guessing $4000 is reasonable for a large dog in California. I'm sure the vets can tell you more, but what I was told is that for a small dog they can use a "rubber band" type ligament, while for a larger dog (e.g. a greyhound) they need to actually attach it to the bone so would make it more expensive (again, making $4K seem reasonable to me).

 

Recovery was good, dog walked out both times. Did not put weight on the leg for a few days, started "toe-tapping" and gradually used the leg more and more as it healed. There were instructions about not letting the dog put much weight on it for a while, don't recall the detailed schedule. First night was pretty bad, dog crying once the sedation wore off.

 

Based on my experience I would recommend going with it if you can afford to.

Rob
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Guest equestrianerd

My parents' dog (shepherd mix who weighed ~75lbs) tore her ACL in 2005-6. I think her surgery was $2-3k. We were warned that her other leg might go but she lasted another 7 years and didn't have any issues. (She acted like it was a bit ouchy to sit, but if you had a treat her butt went down super fast ;)). We did hydrotherapy with her after surgery, and my mom took her running occasionally after she recovered.

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Post-op cold laser therapy may speed up healing. Is that included in your surgical estimate?

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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Post-op cold laser therapy may speed up healing. Is that included in your surgical estimate?

Don't think so. Playing phone tag with vet to go into more detail on it.

If you do the new surgery, there is a good chance she will blow out the other leg. Look around for a good vet that does the old surgery. Price is better and the it's just as good.

Old surgery meaning TTA, tibial tuberocity?

 

Ok, a little humor in this. As I read up from "Google university" as I call it, one problem states:

 

"Pet owners are financially unstable after the surgery".

 

Ya think?!?!? Lol!!!!!!

The Girls

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Ouch! I had a friends who's dog had to have ACL surgery. That dog was severely obese. Once she did the surgery and put the dog on a diet with regular exercise he did great.

 

Hope the surgery goes well.

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~Beth, with a crazy mixed crew of misfits.
~ Forever and Always missing and loving Steak, Carmen, Ivy, Isis, and Madi.
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Before you judge me, try to keep an open mind, not everyone likes your taste.

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She is obese. Sadly she truly doesn't eat much, but with me back to work, she doesn't get much exercise either. I feel her pain. ;)

 

She's on the "knee" diet now. ;) she's not eating much which is good and bad. She needs to drop 20 pounds at least.

 

I pray this works and the other knee holds.

The Girls

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There are pros and cons to both the 'old' extracapsular repair and the newer techniques like TPLO and TTA. There's a good chance the other knee will go too, regardless of which surgery she has. Doing the newer surgery doesn't increase the risk of her blowing out the other knee. The reason both knees tend to eventually be effected is related to their anatomy and conformation.

 

With a larger dog, especially one who is overweight, TLPO or TTA is probably the better way to go. If you try the less expensive extracapsular repair, and the suture doesn't hold, then you end up having to do the more expensive surgery anyway. Of course, there are also successful results with the extracapsular repair, so it's a bit of a gamble.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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If you Google "TPLO, Kramer" you will find the story of my mixed breed dog who had a total rupture of his ACL and the HELL he went through.

 

After all was said and done, it was at least $10,000, and over a year and a half of recovery. We were very unlucky--he got a bone infection and almost died a year after the surgery.

 

Kramer's initial surgery seemed to go OK, but he just wasn't healing. The doctor eventually blew me off and basically called Kramer a sissy--I no know he probably had an infection festing for a very long time.

 

Nearly a year to the day after his surgery, I came home from work and he could barely stand. He was actually hot to the touch--and I rushed him off to my vet who admitted him immediately. A different ortho surgeon worked on him, removing the hardware from the TPLO (a screw had broken off in his leg), drained the infection, and he was on massive doses of antibiotics after that for two or three months.

 

I want to thank my father for paying for all of this--because I sure didn't have $10,000!

 

I tried to get pet insurance after his first surgery. HAHAHAHHAHAHA. The insurance companies know the odds of the other leg going and the policy arrived with pages and pages and pages of exclusions, making it not worth the paper it was printed on.

 

Note--this was a BAD and unusual outcome. There are many success stories on the same blog that Kramer's story is on.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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A different ortho surgeon worked on him, removing the hardware from the TPLO (a screw had broken off in his leg), drained the infection, and he was on massive doses of antibiotics after that for two or three months.

 

To quote my vet (who has no published scientific proof - but he did date Dr. Couto's daughter - also now a vet - does that count?)

"When TPLO does go wrong it goes way wrong"...usually concerning hardware failure and infection just like in Kramer.

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Her surgery is scheduled for June 8. This surgeon does all 3 procedures regularly and a lot of experience doing them all. I am comfortable with him doing my girl. Final decision on type will be when he evaluated her personally.

 

All I can do is hope and pray she does well with the surgery needed. I can't leave it as is. :(

The Girls

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  • 3 weeks later...

Miss Asti goes in Monday for surgery. TPLO is the best option for my moose girl. I have to travel on Monday too. :( She will stay in the vet hospital till Friday. I'm petrified about getting her home. Just getting her in and out of the car. I have an xpen, orthopedic bed, pads, sling and painkillers ready.

 

I hope and pray she does well and the other joints hold. I'm afraid a front joint is compromised already.

 

Monday morning at 7:30 she has to be there.

The Girls

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