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Thread: ACL tear - very weak back legs - HELP!! Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-29-2014 11:57 PM
Colie CVT Surgery ultimately is what takes the pain away and allows the dog to have a normal life again. However it is expensive, and given your location, the cost for it isn't really a surprise. Surgeries where I work tend to be around 2400 for a TPLO and around 2000 for a lateral suture. Give or take. Physiotherapy is really very helpful for them. Acupuncture, hydrotherapy, cold lazer. They can also be very helpful.

However there is one other option that others have not mentioned on this thread. There are some companies out there who create custom braces for your dog. Now these are not cheap either, nor are they going to help your dog function normally without them after a time. There is one company that makes a good product compared with others. I will have to ask the physiotherapist I work with what it is called again. This will not be super cheap either. I know my co-worker who had her mastiff tear his ACL spent I believe 800-900 on it, but he can run around now since she cannot afford to do the surgery yet.

Conservative management can work at times, however some times it doesn't work well either. Hopefully you can figure out perhaps talking with a surgeon what options you have, and if they have something that can help you. Where I work we have come up with something to help people with limited income have access to specialty care for their pets. Something like an ACL tear would qualify. It isn't free, but it is greatly reduced and we all want to see pets get healthy and back to action again.
06-29-2014 08:08 PM
Originally Posted by Spaetzlesmom View Post
He gave me the number for a surgeon but honestly, I don't have the $3000 a knee it will take....Now I don't know what to do. What about conservative management? I've been reading about this as an alternative to surgery.
I researched this a lot. I finally found one website that put it so I could understand it.

If you want a dog that will be fine walking across the living room, then don't do the surgery. My daughter, I and our dog were very active prior to the tear. I can't imagine a dog I can't go on hikes with.
06-29-2014 07:43 PM
Gretchen As others have said, throwing supplements at your dog will not help this injury. Keep your dog on the rimadyl as prescribed by your doctor. You want to keep inflammation down, its not just a pain killer but an anti-inflammatory.

I understand the surgery is expensive. Ours was $4300 but we could have done it for less if we opted for the non-arthroscoptic surgery. My neighbor did the non-arthroscoptic and the incision site was huge, for me more risk for infection, but their dog did fine. I've observed several human surgeries where they use the scope that are minimally invasive, that is one reason I chose this.

Until then, you will have to rest your dog. No jumping, running or playing with other dogs. Consider getting a ramp for your car. I probably would not do no more than 15 minute walks 2x a day, plus out to the bathroom. I'd do this for two weeks, then try to gradually increase, but not too much more.
06-29-2014 03:25 PM
Originally Posted by hev1128 View Post
Our quote for the surgery, meds and after care rehab was almost $3500 for 1knee for Tightrope. $1800 sounds like a steal. or it doesn't include full post op care.
Our tight rope was quoted at $1,800 and the TPLO was $2,700 to $3,200, we paid $3k. After care consisted of a follow up exam with X-ray for another $200. We chose to do PT after the initial 8 weeks for the bone to heal, that ran $30 per session. To the OP, You can do some of the PT exercises yourself. Go and learn from a few sessions first, then apply what you've learned at home, follow up with another session later on to have a "trained eye" observe your progress. We went every week, the money we were spending on training just went to the physical therapy vet instead.

I will say we've over paid compared to some quotes folks have posted on other procedures. Zoey had a root canal/crown on her lower canine, I think we paid a good $5-600 more, but this vet was the only show in town.
06-29-2014 02:36 PM
hev1128 Our quote for the surgery, meds and after care rehab was almost $3500 for 1knee for Tightrope. $1800 sounds like a steal. or it doesn't include full post op care.
06-29-2014 02:27 PM
Nigel You say he needs to loose a bit of weight, how much does he weigh? The tight rope surgery is not $3k, we were quoted about $1,800 for it, the reason we elected to go TPLO is Ranger is under 2 yrs, 95 lbs and very active, our vet who does tight rope, suggested we go with the TPLO. Your dog being older may do just fine with the other surgery, remember this type of surgery was the standard for years before the TPLO came along. You could look into care credit as well. Try working some of the weight off, the leaner the better, then save what you can then apply for CC.

If you need to exercise him in the mean time while trying to get the weight down, remember you'll want to do multiple short (leashed) walks vs long walks, running etc.
06-29-2014 02:26 PM
hev1128 our rescue 4year old girl has 2 torn ACLs.
Our ortho vet recommended surgery but since they are old injuries couldn't guarantee us a great result. Ginger is currently on several supplements and meds- Meloxicam (like Rimydl), Adaquan injection and another I can't think of at the moment. We have started rehab with her as well. The rehab is laser therapy and will be integrating some water therapy too. Don't fret about not doing surgery. Sometimes the recovery from the surgery can be very traumatic as well. Our vet has supported our decision to try alternatives for awhile. I would recommend limiting walking and playtime though so it doesn't get worse or more painful.
06-29-2014 02:05 PM
trcy There isn't much you can do to make them comfortable other than the pain meds.

My oldest dog blew out his right ACL. It was surgically repaired, but he also has a torn left ACL. The specialist advised to have it repaired also, but the surgery is $3k at a minimum. I think we paid more for laser therapy and platelet injections. Anyway, most days he walks fine on his left leg. After he does a lot of physical things, even swimming, he won't walk on the left leg. He holds it up, but after a nights rest he walks on it again with no issues. We try to keep his activity very mild.

The first surgery took a lot out of him. It was a long recovery period and he had to be crated and leash walked. He got very depressed. We were concerned about him. He was also getting a bit aggressive. Once he was healed, out of the crate and not being leashed walked every where he eventually went back to his normal self. I don't want to put him through that again unless the left ACL blows out. He's also 8 years old.

It is a personal choice. If my dog could not use his leg I would look into getting it fixed. One vet did give us a Chinese herb to try. I didn't notice it helping any. I'm not sure what it's called. The bottle says tendon/ligament formula. The brand/maker is Jing Tang.
06-29-2014 02:02 PM
my boy diesel i am sorry if my post seemed rude
but you have everyone on this thread telling you to take the dog to the vet
i do not know what more we can tell you
06-29-2014 01:55 PM
Spaetzlesmom Wow, thanks for being incredibly rude and insensitive. I know I have to contact a surgeon - but I'm trying to make him comfortable in the process.
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