Cruciate Ligament Torn - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Cruciate Ligament Torn

Hello, I just joined this site and I need some advice. I rescued my shepherd 6 yrs ago and we were told he was probably 4, so we estimate he is 10-11 today. He has always been healthy and we have grown so attached. He developed a perianal fistula and was put on cyclosporin. Two days later he was limping very badly. I took him back to the vet and he had an x-ray. He has torn his cruciate ligament in his left knee and TPLO surgery was suggested (xray also showed that right knee will probably need to be done as well). The vet also took him off the cyclosporin and prescribed an ointment. I have changed his diet and the fistula seems to be healing. At this age should we be putting our beloved Brixx through 2 surgeries? The price quoted was around $2700 each knee, how can I put a price on him? Even as I write this I am tearing up. Will it be selfish to do it? Any advise please, thanks
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 11:39 AM
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I thought the same thing with our Banshee when she was 10 yrs old for a different surgery. 2 yrs later we did the surgery and she's still doing fine at almost 13 yrs old. if your dog is otherwise healthy, I would get the knee fixed that is torn (if the tear is bad enough that conservative management is not an option) and probably wait and see with the other.




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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much, he is so special to us.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 11:46 AM
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My only regret with having the major surgery done was not doing it sooner. We really believed that she wouldn't be with us that much longer. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't hesitate to save her 2 years of discomfort.




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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 11:55 AM
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Did you view the x-ray, and could you see a tear? Did the vet do physical exam (drawer pull)...sometimes a partial tear becomes a full upon assessment.

Why the other? 60% of dog stear the other knee within 1 year of surgery. This is because suppportive therapy wasn't done. Was this speculative on vets part because of the 60%.

I would ask for the x-rays (if didgital they can put on disc) and go get a second opinion, in the meantime, you need to start supportive therapy.

No jumping, running. Brace for stifile support ($500 approx.), custom made and will either manage it to heal on own and/or will be needed for therapy and healing...Animal Rehab Services in Mt. Albert - Canada...they will have your vet do measurements and custom design and ship...I haven't found a U.S. company that offers a brace like this...there are hinged rods on "both" legs to support and prevent further injury...will have better success whether you choose to do surgery or not.[ATTACH]Cruciate Ligament Torn-p7150014.jpg[/ATTACH]
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 12:03 PM
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Just an FYI...it took my Jax almost 6 months to fully recover doing conservative management with a microtear. You can not see tears of ligaments on xrays. What you see is inflammation and possible displacement of the bone.

If the xray showed that the other knee may need to be done, what is the vet seeing? Is it inflammation from arthritis? Or inflammation from a torn ligament? If he is not showing any clinical signs, my ortho vet would refuse to do surgery. Jax's drawer was positive, her xrays showed inflammation, but she was not showing clinical signs when he examined her and at that point said he would not do surgery, which was fine with me.

He also does not do TPLO's. If you are on the east coast/NY area, I'll PM you his information. I think I read somewhere that Cornell no longer does TPLO's either. You could research that. There is also a "traditional" surgery but I've read that is not terribly successful with larger dogs.

In the meantime, get him started on fish oil, joint supplement and MSM. YOu could also use turmeric and bromelain for inflammation but remember that turmeric will work as a blood thinner so discuss with your vet when to stop using it if you decide on surgery.




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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 12:11 PM
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Our last gsd was diagnosed with the same tear in her rear leg when she was 9 yrs old and we decided to have the surgery done- but when the vet got in there he said it wasn't actually a complete tear. He was able to clean up some bone spurs and tighten up the knee. The total cost was $900 and she recovered fully to live another 2 1/2 years. My point is that the surgeon may not know how extensive the tear is until the knee is opened up. Is surgery your only option or will medication and rest help?
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 12:18 PM
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Agreed Stosh. Contact Diane (Jakoda) and ask her also. She had a dog that the vet was doing surgery on and he just cleaned up some bone spurs that didn't show up on the xrays. They never really know until they get in there exactly what the situation is.




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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 03:26 PM
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jax ia VERY correct, soft tissue injuries are not seen on x rays. get the xrays and get a second opinion, even if you have used this vet for years. always want to know your options.

something doesn't sound right that he also wants to fix the other leg, more info is needed.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 07:17 PM
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yep,,I wouldn't hesitate to do surgery on a 10 yr old dog if he's otherwise in pretty good health.

And yes, been there done that,,tears/ripping acls do not show up on an xray, you'd need an MRI for a definite diagnosis, which is VERY expensive, probably cheaper to just open them up.

For the OP, I would Seek out a board certified surgeon and go from there..IF it's a complete tear, it will not heal on it's own, if it's a partial, it can be managed but if its serious enough to affect his daily life than I would opt for surgery.

THO, they 'can' blow the other the leg because of compensation, I've had two, (not acls but OCD, arthritis, bone chips), and neither blew or damaged the other knee because of compensating.

As for the PF's, also been there done that, twice,,Desitin (baby diaper rash creme) is a wonder drug for helping clear them up as well, but dont use it with other ointments your vet has given..Did he give you tacromolis(Sp)? If you want to try desitin, use one in the am, the other in the pm,,

I would not do "both" legs at once if your vet is suggesting that,,LOADS of rehab, I would also seek out a PT for after care..

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