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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I wish the writer could continously edit update so the readers could read the current information in the top, where it belongs. But that's not the case. You only have 10 mins to edit. Afterwards, it's too late. You must reply to your post.

This is a continuation from another posting I made (which was closed), started a few weeks ago re a GSD who was limping in his rear leg. Turns out to be, what I believe is a major disabling knee injury. Two surgery options are available, $2,000 or $3,500.

Facts:

The dog is a 10 year old male, 100lbs, otherwise in good health at this point.

The dog seemed to have suddenly developed moderate limping in his right rear leg. Dog (10 year old 100lb GSD, recieved as a 5 year old, mostly unkown past history) Went to the Vet on Monday to have him examined, sedated, xrayed so the Vet could try to determine what was causing him to limp on his right rear leg. We watched a video of the dog walking (which I had taken earlier), I described the obvious signs, and the dog walked in the office, ie 5-10'.

I left the dog and returned an hour later and asked if I could watch him do the knee test. They pulled the 100lb sedated dog out of the kennel (poor sedated thing, unconscious, dead weight, tongue hanging out the side of his mouth...) put him on the floor, the Vet knelt down, grabbed the thigh in one hand and the leg in the other hand and showed me the sliding drawer test on the normal side and the injured side. The results weren't real obvious to me but I wasn't the person doing the test and I was standing and the dog was on the floor. (It may be a hands on close up type thing you can feel and see from 2 feet away.)

Diagnosis, the Vet with 20 years plus in business (I'm assuming he's seen it all and been around the block a few times), said that the dogs Cranial Cruciate Ligament was severed, ie 3rd degree tear. (known as the Anterior Cruciate Ligament in humans). Vet showed me the xrays (which show bone only), he said the opposing left hip had some hip dysplasia, I'm assuming mild to moderate. I did not get a good look at them but accepted what the Vet said.

He recommended two surgical options for the knee. (His business acquitance does these in another city.)

1. Lateral Sutures, $2,000. Knee is opened and a fishing line type material is used to replace damaged Cranial Cruciate Ligament. There can also be meniscus damage which is dealt with at that time.

2. TPLO, $3,500. Knee is opened and the tibia is cut, wedged open, fixed with plates and screws to provide a stable platform for the bones to rest on. There can also be meniscus damage which is dealt with at that time.

Seeking opinions from people whom

1. have had this surgery done to their dogs or

2. who are familiar with the operation and recovery process

3. chose not to have surgery

4. euthanized their dog due to this

I also found this info on the web somewhere in regards to the Cranial Cruciate Ligament.:

Most common hind limb injury to the stifle (knee), one third tear their cruciate ligament in the opposite leg within 1-2 years, one third involve torn medial meniscus.

The dogs signs were:

1. Dog was walking on the top of his toes on injured side.

2. Dog was able to walk but unable to bear much of his weight on it. Leg appeared weak, wobbly, unstable. Looked like he was putting 5-10% of his weight on it.

3. When the dog lied down and when he walked, you could see a shift, stutter in his knee area. It's not real obvious. When he lies down, when he's about 75% of the way down, you would see a sudden shift in the knee area and the dog would lie down quickly.

4. Dog lies down and sits much more frequently.

5. When dog sits (frog sit), he was sitting with his injured knee pointing away from his body.

I'm treating him as an injured dog with a severe knee injury. Keeping him confined to a few hundred feet or less, allowing him to walk only if he wants to. He does some walking, but then lies down more frequently.
 

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thanks for updating and I'm glad you got a diagnosis on him (tho not glad to hear, but it could be worse!)

I can't recommend which route for you to take, other than I wouldn't euthanize him for this condition, I know I would do one of the two surgeries offered and I guess I would go with what the vet suggested regarding which one he felt would be a better success.

As for the other leg "blowing" out, got that speech to, but honestly, I know ALOT of people who's gsd's (and other breeds) have had this surgery and NOT have the other leg go so again, honestly I wouldn't worry about that. I would try to drop some weight off him, the less he weighs, (and I don't mean starving skinny) the less weight put on the affected leg/joints.

Recupperation, is no jumping, no running, out for walks to potty on leash only, lots of rest. When my two had knee surgeries, I had multiple dogs as well, I thought oh my god, this is going to be an ORDEAL, keeping the affected one quiet. Not so, both, seemed to know they needed to stay toned down and did so. Lucky you only have this dog, so it shouldn't be much of aproblem keeping him toned down during recupperation...S

Does he like to swim??? that is GREAT for theraputic purposes, if you can find a place for him to swim some (water takes the weight off the rest of the body)

My husband just had ACL replaced 6 weeks ago, the bill for him and this was outpatient, was 32,000 !!!!! I should have taken him to a vet:)))

Please keep us updated, I hope he feels better soon:))
 

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First of all, I would not euthanize a dog with a torn ACL. Even without the surgery, it will heal to some extent and scar tissue will build.

Lisa's link has a lot of good information - well worth looking into.

My nephew's dog hurt her leg last week. He's a college student and took her to a vet where his school is (about an hour from Denver). They sedated her, did the xrays and the mobility test. Diagnosis - torn ACL - $3,000 (the TPLO). Second option, repairing the ligament - $2,200.

I called my vet here in Denver. He concurred that the TPLO was around $3,000 because it has to be done by a board certified surgeon. His cost to do the repair (your option #2 above) - $650.

My nephew brought his dog and the xrays home this weekend. When I saw her, she was not limping at all. As a matter of fact, I couldn't tell which leg it was. We set up an appointment to see my vet yesterday. He didn't see any tear on the xray and when he did the mobility test (without her sedated), didn't see any indication that the ACL was torn. I guess my only point is that if you trust your vet completely (my nephew went to Banfield at Petsmart), then I'm sure you're getting good advice. I trust my vet completely and wouldn't seek a second opinion. Just mentioning it in case...

My Max hurt his ACL when he was about five. My vet suggested not doing surgery right away and treating with anti-inflammatories and rest. As he said, it's going to develop arthritis with or without the surgery and we could have always done the surgery later. Max did great and recovered to the point where he didn't limp. In later years, he suffered from back problem and it affected his other leg. I was so worried that the "bad" leg from years earlier wouldn't be able to support him, but for another year and a half it did.

When I talked to my vet about my nephew's dog, he said he would definitely do the TPLO on a young, energetic dog. On an older dog, he would probably do the ligament repair.

Tough decision, but my vet said that the recovery time for either surgery is about the same.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Sprains/tears in ligaments can vary in severity. Similar to burns, they can be graded from better to worse, 1st degree, 2nd degree, with 3rd degree being the worst. In some cases, it may be obvious the ligament is completed severed. Without an MRI or looking inside the knee, a Vet is estimating the degree of injury.

Can we post videos here (on this website), of our injured dogs?

For those wanting to read the original post or see the videos of the dog, you can go here for the time being.

http://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...roblems-sudden-100lb-german-shepherd-dog.html
 

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you can post the links to the videos like you did in the other thread,,:))
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Here are three videos on youtube showing the limping of the dog with a 3rd degree tear of the Cranial Cruciate Ligament of the knee in his right knee, known as the Anterior Cruciate Ligament of the knee in humans. Serves the same purpose. Best to post your comments here on the GSD website.


Video #3:

Video #1, you can stop it at 2 min when the dog lies down because there is no more walking after this point:

Video #2, this one shows his left side, the non injured side:
 

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I just watched a bit, too painful for me to watch though, knowing how much is has to hurt him.

Looks like you can help the boy out by getting a few pounds off him, start your conservative management, and the supplements that would be good would include glucosamine and chondroitin, and hyularonic acid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are there any other surgical methods using arthroscopic type of incisions instead of opening up the entire knee area? I like the idea of small openings and small tools, less invasive, less damage.

Is the reason the Vet opens the whole knee area up is because that is the only way to access the injured area and there is not enough room to use arthroscopic tools?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here is the Wikipedia link re Arthroscopy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthroscopic

Arthroscopy (also called arthroscopic surgery) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which an examination and sometimes treatment of damage of the interior of a joint is performed using an arthroscope, a type of endoscope that is inserted into the joint through a small incision. Arthroscopic procedures can be performed either to evaluate or to treat many orthopaedic conditions including torn floating cartilage, torn surface cartilage, ACL reconstruction, and trimming damaged cartilage. The advantage of arthroscopy over traditional open surgery is that the joint does not have to be opened up fully. Instead, for knee arthroscopy for example, only two small incisions are made - one for the arthroscope and one for the surgical instruments to be used in the knee cavity to fully remove the knee cap. This reduces recovery time and may increase the rate of surgical success due to less trauma to the connective tissue. It is especially useful for professional athletes, who frequently injure knee joints and require fast healing time. There is also less scarring, because of the smaller incisions. Irrigation fluid is used to distend the joint and make a surgical space. Sometimes this fluid leaks into the surrounding soft tissue causing extravasation and edema. The surgical instruments used are smaller than traditional instruments. Surgeons view the joint area on a video monitor, and can diagnose and repair torn joint tissue, such as ligaments and menisci or cartilage. It is technically possible to do an arthroscopic examination of almost every joint in the human body. The joints that are most commonly examined and treated by arthroscopy are the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, ankle, foot, and hip.

Why can they do arthroscopic surgery on human knees but not on dog knees?
 

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I have no idea why they can it on humans arthroscopically vs dogs, maybe because with a dog they have to get in there and really check it out?

I have a pic of when they did Sami's, I'll see if I can scan it and load it later, it's not as bad looking as you think, hers was probably about 6 inches long(?) kinda by the knee and up,,of course the area had to be shaved . Sami had staples, which I ended up removing (by then she was a stress bag at the vets, so it was easier for me to remove when the time came)

I'm sure others have pics of their surgeries so you can see what it looks like.
 

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Seeking opinions from people whom
1. have had this surgery done to their dogs or
2. who are familiar with the operation and recovery process
I think that if you are seeking surgical information that a really great resource is yahoo groups ortho dogs, orthodogs : Discussion of canine orthopedic issues

As you mentioned this injury is a very common one among ortho injuries so the members there advise on this every day to numerous people. The files are a great resource and the people very knowledgeable.

That said, in my opinion, they are very surgical oriented, so if you were entertaining ideas of a non surgical approach I do not think that they would advise you to do so or support your decision.

3. chose not to have surgery
This is the route I have chosen for Penny, twice. In her cases the tears were diagnosed as partial so I chose a route that is often termed conservative management. Had her tears been diagnosed as full blown I am not sure what I would have done. Probably I would have tried CM and if no improvements in 8 weeks then go to surgery. Arthritis is a risk either way and as long as you are controlling the dog and its movements then there is little to no harm in waiting other than a potential loss of time.

A group that has supported me tremendously and is dedicated to the CM recovery is yahoo groups 'conservative management' ConservativeManagement : Canine Conservative Management

one third tear their cruciate ligament in the opposite leg within 1-2 years
Penny fits this statistic as at 1 yr almost to the date she presented with second stifle problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks for the two Yahoo Group links which deal with the knee, ligament and bone type injuires.

ConservativeManagement · Canine Conservative Management
ConservativeManagement : Canine Conservative Management


orthodogs · Discussion of canine orthopedic issues
orthodogs : Discussion of canine orthopedic issues

I just joined the Conservative Management group, (not sure what I've done but I kept clicking and it looks like I completed the process) and recieved in my email a download with 13 pages describing the dogs knee, the anatomy of the knee, surgical proceures to repair the knees ligaments etc.

Just read something on page 3 of the download which says: "This is NOT a life threatening injury and euthanasia should NEVER be considered as an option." That's nice to hear as everything else I was hearing was that the dog was going to be "lame", the joint getting worse, premature arthritis etc.

I'm going to read through it now and return later.
 

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Good luck, I'm glad you have a diagnosis. I don't have any experience with this kind of injury, but I do think that getting some weight off will help him. Less weight = less stress on his joints, so I hope you've already started working on that by cutting back his food. You can do this gradually by feeding him 1/4 cup or so less at each meal. Strengthening his muscles with low impact exercise such as swimming may be a good idea too, you might want to ask your vet about that if you haven't already done so.
 

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Our GSD, Binky, went through a TPLO in 2006. In fact I kept an entire diary week by week of her recovery. Still have it. Anyway she came out fantastic. had it done by a surgeon that teaches the technique at vet colleges. Here are a couple pictures of her recovery.

Day One



Day Six (you can see stitches)



End of Week Six



First Day of Freedom! She celebrates by opening up feather duvet!

 

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This is looong, but I think anyone who has had to or will be dealing with an ACL repair would love to be able to read a diary of a GSDs recovery. So here is Binkys TPLO and recovery. I hope it helps anyone thinking about it.

BINKYS TPLO RECOVER DIARY APRIL 27 - AUGUST 11, 2006
4/27/2006
Binky had her a TPLO today at 9 am. She has one of the best surgeons in the country, Dr. William Hoefle at the Las Vegas Veterinary Referral Center, so we expect things to go well. This center is only for veterinary surgical procedures. Dr. Hoefle removed her medial meniscus, ruptured ligament and leveled her joint and put it back together with a plate and screws. We are supposed to pick her up tomorrow between 12 noon and 5 pm. Dr. Hoefle said she went through surgery fine, had even eaten a little around 7 pm and sat up and looked around. Then she will come home for her recovery. This will require 12 weeks of sedentary life with the first three being strict confinement.
Because Las Vegas does not have grass in most yards, we spent all day Wednesday removing 80 square feet of rock from the backyard. We then installed Scotts LawnSoil and grass sod to the area last night. I tried to mix the lawnsoil in with the native soil but even a pick axe could not break the ground up. I will lay some gypsum down to start the process.
Tomorrow we will prep the living room area where Binky will spend the next 12 weeks. We cant wait to get her home!

4/28/2006 - Day 1 Recovery
We picked Binky up at noon. The hardest part was controlling her as she wanted out of there! The leg bandage is big so she tends to drag it a bit as she moves along. Sometimes her legs get all crossed up! We got her home and on to her bed. She drank a whole bottle of water on the way home. She ate 8 SNAPs as soon as she was in her bed and downed a frosty paw with a burp. I think we should be more worried about her barfing at the moment than not eating. The hardest part will be getting her to pee. We have to cover the bandage bottom with a plastic bag to keep it dry and then she drags it along. Cant wait to see her try to actually pee and poop (hopefully not in bed!) Here is her first picture home:

4/29/2006 - Day 2 Recovery
Well we made it through night #1. I think Binky got more sleep than us as we had to watch for any licking or need of assistance in turning. She went out at 9 pm, around midnight and then at 5:45 am since she is drinking alot of water. Food is going in but not coming out, but the vet said it could be 4 days before she does #2 due to the anesthesia. She has been eating normally since she got home. We stick her antibiotics and pain pills in little cheese balls that go right down. The hardest part is taking her out and in. The bandage is quite stiff, like a cast and she likes to hop along but we have to stop and assist her whenever there is a small step (such as the back door). That and we had to improvise to keep her from dragging and messing up the bottom of her bandage. We took a sock, placed a plastic bag over the bottom and covered that with electrical tape. So far so good even though it takes a minute to put it on without moving her leg much. We leave the harness on all day and take it off at night. Tues or Wed we will take her in for bandage removal. It will be easier for her to go out, but then we have to watch for licking of the incision area, which I think is supped to be like 7 inches long.

4/30/2006 - Day 3 Recovery
She has also learned to do her business on grass again, which creates a shorter trip outside. She is antsy and wants to go around the house but we have been good at keeping her in one area. Going out is not her fondest thought since I don't think she likes hopping around with the peg leg bit. Her appetite remains normal and she love snacks the same, which has been good. She got me up at midnight and 4:45 am, which was not too bad. Tonight I get to sleep through the night. Tuesday should be the removal of the bandage and then we start the next 10 day phase until stitches come out.

5/1/2006 - Day 4 Recovery
Some of her normal behaviors are back, such as chicken pecking in circles before sitting down and she has also taken to using her bandaged leg as a headrest. She still has a voracious appetite. She has an appointment tomorrow at 3pm to get off the bandages so that should make for new and interesting challenges as she might have a little more discomfort without the support. We will see.
5/2/2006 - Day 5 Recovery
We are back from the surgeons office after getting Binkys bandages off. Least to say she is sore from all the tussling and moving in removing the bandage and coming home since the support of the bandages is gone. She ate dinner and is laid out sound asleep across our bed trying to find new comfortable positions for her leg. The stitches take up a pretty long area of about 6 inches. There is a little weeping at the bottom end of the stitches near the ankle. The vet tech thought it might be a small incision infection (which can happen when the incision sits under bandages) so she had the surgeon check it. The surgeon checked it and said it was fine and that the weeping was just fluid draining down. He still gave us another weeks worth of antibiotics to be on the safe side just in case (Cephalexin, 1500 mg per day). The leg is pretty pink, as they told us it would be, from all the compression, which they say is also normal. The scar looks pretty angry at the moment until the redness starts to subside and the swelling goes down. She has a fatter ankle as all swelling travels down hill. To make sure she does not lick he stitches for the next 10 days, we trade showering so that Binky is not left alone for 20-30 minutes each morning. We heard that is usually when dogs try to lick them. I will take a picture after Binky has had some rest and show everyone the turkey leg and stitches. :)

5/3/2006 - Day 6 Recovery
The stitches look better today. A little less angry and a little less red, so we were able to take pictures of her. She has spent most of the day lounging and resting with warm packs on her leg to increase circulation and healing of the incision. She only goes out to do her business and that is on the grass area we planted. We are glad that her appetite stays good and that she is not really bothering the surgical site. If all goes as planned her stitches come out next Friday.
Here are two pictures. One sacked out and one closer to her leg. You can barely make out the stitches on the inside of the knee.

5/5/2006 - Day 8 recovery
Well, skipped a days update! We had bought some DVDs and wanted to watch one of them for the evening! So all three of us piled on the floor bed and watched a movie for the evening as a family! Binky is doing well. She toe touches and weight bears when she walks slowly. Wish I could take a picture of them, but she just wont let me and wraps her tail around it when I try!

5/7/2006 - Day 10 Recovery
I think we are now ready to move to weekly updates on the Binkmiester! She has pretty much leveled out to what she will be doing for the next 11 weeks...lounging. She has not licked much and we have caught her 99.99% of the time so there is no redness on the leg from licking. She corrects very well for sure. The stitches are dry and the leg swelling is pretty much gone. Now it is the waiting, which Binky does not like. She thinks she is all better and we have to keep reminding her that we know better, which leaves her bored and staring at us as to why she cannot go romping off leash. I am sure the next 11-14 weeks will be challenging. At least starting week 9 after x-rays she can start walking little by little.
5/9/2006 - Day 12 Recovery
We just had to put in this picture since it really shows her soft side. Stitches come out in 3 days!

5/15/2006 - Day 17 Recovery
Ahh the joys of having a dog that now thinks there is nothing wrong with her! Binky has been weight bearing on the leg since about the end of week 1. She walks with a limp but puts weight on the leg. Chalk it up to good genes from her breeding! The surgeon was impressed with how much she was walking.
She thinks she is fine, so taking her by leash out back is quite the chore since she tries to speed up. The doctors recommended bicycle exercises to increase range of motion but she is already stretching it herself to full extension, etc while standing up. She seems to want to do it all herself! I think it has helped having someone with her all the time so she is not stuck cramped in a crate. She can go back and forth between her bed and ours and stretch out as needed and flip around as needed. Many of her old habits are back such as wanting to pay lazy dog ball and chicken pecking in circles on the bed while getting ready to lie down.
Her stitches came out with no complications so far and we have inspected the incision line daily to assure that no problems are arising and that any area that might seem red gets a nice coat of Neosporin (in case she has licked it and put germs there). With a 24 hour guard, her chance of licking is extremely reduced.
Her fur is growing back so now her butt looks like some twisted version of a Mohawk haircut (picture below)
We will let you know how things are next week.

5/23/2006 - Day 25 Recovery
Well she finally has enough hair on her legs to look like a real short hair german shepherd. Other than that her incision is healing well and there appears to be no problems. We sat her out by the pool on her bed for about 30 minutes to give her a diversion from staring at the back of the couch. I am sure her favorite day will e when she can jump on the big bed again or the couch. She has been a real trooper through this without a whimper or a growl. We scratch her knee for her as it itches and we don't want her to lick it. 4 more weeks and we get to have her x-rayed to see how well the bone is knitting.

6/1/2006 - End of Week 5 Recovery!
The weeks seem to fly by and at the same time crawl as we wait for the 8 week x-ray! We have upgraded Binky to her larger, thicker orthopedic bed and put one of our pillows on it. She liked this and spent much of the day snoozing. At a normal walk she appears to be full weight bearing. The scar is now covered with a short coating of fur, making it more of a ridge than a visible scar. Oh, and she is bored...BORED...BORED...BORED. She so wants to play and run so much that she seems to find the leash more of an irritant. I am sure when she finally goes leash free she will go a bit bonkers.

6/8/2006 - End of Week 6!
Well another week flew by and Binky gets more and more restless to get out of major confinement! The doc is actually scheduling her x-rays for next Tuesday so we will finally be able to see how well the bone and plate are doing in the middle of week 7. If she is good enough we will let her have more space across the family room, though none of the bedrooms or den will be available. Also no couch to jump on at least till about week 12-16.
She is out of her harness and we use a collar and leash for ease of moving around. Her sleep schedule is normal now (sleeps through the night) and she has much more fur on her leg making the incision all but impossible to see. Here is a picture of her leg now and cute hello picture!:


6/15/2008 - End of Week 7!
X-rays were done on Tuesday June 12, 2006. We had them done a week early since Binkys surgeon, Dr. Hoefle, would be in town. They did the x-ray using newer digital equipment so it was not necessary for her to be sedated to be placed on traditional x-ray plates! YAY!
Dr. Hoefle was extremely pleased with the results and said that the bone was 2/3 healed, which was excellent! He released her from major confinement in the house as long as she had no access to anything to jump on (beds and couches) or climb (stairs). We altered the house accordingly and released her to roam. Boy was that a happy dog! The first thing she did was spend most of the next day sleeping behind her favorite chair next to the kitchen!
Dr. Hoefle also released her to start her rehab walks to strengthen her muscles. She has since had two morning walks of 10 minutes each and enjoyed every minute. She is quite spirited so she has bucked a few times up on her rear legs, making us cringe, but survived each buck without limping! It was amazing that after two months in the house, her foot pads had become baby smooth. So we will have to roughen them up with walks before we let her wander on the kitchen floor, which is slippery for her with soft pads and fur between her toes from being a long hair!
We also asked Dr. Hoefle about removal of the plate down the road since we had read about the possibility of bone cancer with surgical implants in canines. He said the risk was extremely low and usually occurred in dogs that had infection problems at the surgical site after surgery (which Binky did not have). Dr. Hoefle said that unless we really wanted the removal of the plate, which would mean additional invasive surgery down the road, he did not see a high risk for Binky since she experienced no post surgical infections at the site. However, if we ever changed our minds, we could have it done.
Dr. Hoefle says that as long as she does not start limping, we can increase her exercise weekly and in about 5 weeks allow her to jump on furniture or beds and go without a leash out back. At least now we can leave her alone in the house since she is not confined and trying to escape. So we will block the slippery kitchen floor , the tile by the front door and the back door for kitty viewing and then eat food out this weekend! We cannot wait!
So end of week 7 brings good news and more healing!

6/22/2006 - End of Week 8!
Wow, has it really been two months since her surgery?
Well Binky has taken very well to her house freedom. She wanders about. We keep all doors to dangerous jumping areas closed.
We found on Monday that she started to do a "bambi on ice" on the kitchen floor when she walked on it since her bottom paws are slippery and she is still increasing leg strength and balance. I caught her around the tummy before she totally went flop, worrying that such a splay would damage her leg.
Pushing her backwards off the floor, with her having absolutely no balance or ability to slide her legs straight to get traction looked like I was vacuuming with a giant German Shepherd tick tail first!
To keep it from happening again, our kitchen floor now looks like a rug factory with one large center rug and two bathroom rugs on either end. We put the no slip stuff under the big rug. The bath rugs already comes sticky underneath. This has eliminated possible "bambis" in the future.
She has started taking walks and has done a few different routes. Generally she does fine. Thought she has a tendency to try and jump, bound or do other restricted activity when she gets excited! The hardest part is when we go out and then come home. She greets us and then wants to run back and forth to the family room. As a result, a natural part of our language has become "SLOW!!!!!....SLOW!!!!". We also found if we walk in with a tasty morsel it distracts her enough to slow her down some. It will be nice when a few more weeks pass and we don't have to try and tackle her during these excitement outbursts.
Week 8 brought additional healing! On to week 9!

6/29/2006 - End of Week 9
Binky has settled into a more normal routine now. Except for not being allowed to run fully or jump on anything and also having to wear a leash outside for the next 5 weeks or so, she is able to do what she wants. We still are avoiding visitors, and taking her to the grandparents house until we are sure she can jump up and down again or rear up on her hind legs, which is sometime around the middle of August. This way we don't have to worry about a slip and fall and don't have to worry about couches.
She has taken to throwing her own toys in the air since we wont throw them across the room on a running game of catch. As a result she sometimes boings straight up in the air all four legs off the ground to pounce on the toy she has thrown and we have to calm her down!
The kitchen will have the rugs for another 5 weeks and we are actually considering getting a permanent center rug since we like it too!
She only limps now when she tries to go a little too fast and we tell her to slow down. Her fur still has a way to go on growth since she is a long hair, but the coloring is all back. She takes a 15 minute rehabilitation walks every morning and walks are now more restrained by temperatures that reach 95 degrees by 8 am than by her limitations. When it cools later in the summer we can then go on more walks in the evening and morning.
If all goes on the same path, she will be completely out of all restrictions and rehab in about 6 weeks. Cross your fingers!

7/6/2006 - End of Week 10
Well, things are still progressing well and on schedule. We are able to go out, run errands etc. Though Binky still hates having the leash on in the backyard, she will still have to deal with it for a few more weeks or so to make sure she does not bolt around or go up the berm. Her limp on a faster trot is starting to disappear and she enjoys her morning walks. I think she is getting inside muscle exercise with her leg since she turns in circles so much when she lays down. The thing she will enjoy most is when she can get on the couch or bed or take a car ride to the grandparents house for a little more loving from the family.
We get up at 6:30am every single morning to take her on a walk. We cannot take her any other time due to the heat of the Las Vegas summer. But when fall finally arrives she will be able to go to the park to walk, etc. or go out a few times a day instead of one.
You can now only feel the scar and surgical area when you run your hand over the inside of her leg, which she allows without any protest. She got her front nails trimmed with extreme protest by pulling her paws out of my hands constantly. Since I cant take her up on the couch to do the nails, I have to practically do a headstand or battle to turn her paw over. But we got it done with two people and a flashlight!
Mid August will be her return to normalcy with beds and couches and trips in the car though I am sure we will have a heart attack watching her first jump on to something. And then she will probably be glad to make this whole summer just a memory!

7/14/2006 - End of Week 11!
Binky is doing very good. She is taking uphill and downhill walks in the mornings for about 30 minutes. Vegas is very hot with 90 degrees by 7 am and 112 in the evening with sun all day, so we can only walk her before 7 am. She is now sitting out by the pool with no leash as there is no where to run amok and she enjoys it. She is starting to romp around the room on her own with little bursts of speed until we slow her down !!

Doctor Hoefle say she can start jumping on furniture in about 5 weeks and then things will be back to normal. IT is so nice to see her happy and not limping or popping when she moves fast. Her fur still has abut 2 inches to go before it gets close to the rest of her body and we have to run our hands down the inside of her leg to feel it and check it.

We clipped her nails, which turned her into a total squiggle bunny so it took two of us to accomplish the task. If we do not do it, she has a habit of doing it herself and eating the nail bits....YUCK!!!!

We now can leave her alone in the house (except for the couch and beds) without worry that she will hurt herself or need of oversight.

7/21/2006 - End of Week 12!
Wow! three months! A few more weeks and Binky will be release for full activity, which will finally include off leash in the backyard and jumping on the couch and bed! We are looking forward to a full return to house furniture and opening up the den to let her jump on the couch to look at the window and bark. Bout the time she can do that, kids will be back to walking to school and that is her favorite activity to watch!
She is doing fine and enjoys her morning walks whenever the temperature is below 87. That is our threshold for her walks since anything over that with the Las Vegas sun tends to make her too hot with her long black fur. I feel her scar now and then to make sure it feel okay and not hot. Seems okay and she does not seemed bothered when I rub my fingers over the area. She loves now to bound around the family room and it is hard to make her stop that one!
In August she will get her first car ride in our new dog mobile and go to Henderson visit grandma and grandpa whom she will be dying to see by that point!! It will be her first car ride in months that did not go to the surgeons for a checkup.
So if all goes well, in 4 weeks we will be able to close up this journey and saga!

7/28/2006 - End of Week 13
Boy has it been hot here. For a while it was 90 degrees as the low before sunrise, so we had to stop her walks for a few days. Her fur is so thick as a long hair that she gets hot faster. The temperatures are back down to around 84 in the morning so her walks have resumed.
Her fur is almost grown back now so she does not have that wicked Mohawk anymore. She tends to bounce, bound and jump around the room. The only time we see a slight limp is when she tries to run. She still has some strengthening to do of the muscles since walks have been shorter lately from the weather. Also I am sure because of her hips, she will always have a bit of a limp. Her knee feels fine on the inside. You can feel the scar and the slightly different shape to the bone. Now I always keep a check on the other knee to assure that there is no calcium buildup, which is a symptom of a CCL tear.
She goes in the backyard now without a leash as long as we have done a "cat check" to assure that there is nothing to chase. When she takes her walks, she is also on the expandable leash so that she can have a little more room to trot. In three weeks, we will allow her to start jumping on the bed and couch again and she will get to take a car ride to do something other than go to the vet! Boy will she be surprised when she gets in a car that is not the same one she rode in last time!

8/3/2006 - End of Week 14
So close to returning to normal we are excited! We even bought a new comforter for the large bed! The couch and bed will be available to her in two weeks.
Binky has let us know that she considers herself more normal that we do. While on a walk the other day, she was going along side a berm wall that was the height of her back. On top of the berm wall we guess other dogs had done their business. Feeling she too had to do her business, she stopped and then promptly jumped right on top in one BOING!
Lucky for us she did not hit the wall with her leg or miscalculate her first jump in four months and made it up and down on her own, with no permission from us. I guess the daily 1 mile walks are helping strengthen her muscles.
I am amazed at how long and how short this journey has been. but we are glad we did it. Her knee now works and she again sits up straight!
8/11/2006 - End of Week 15
Well another week under the belt and her left leg appears fine. I run my hand over it now and then and can feel where the scar is but she has no reaction to my rubbing so it must feel okay. Next week we will break the house down back to what it looked like back in April and free up the bed and couch for Binky. I am sure she will be happy as she stares at the bed frequently and you can tell she wants to jump up on it.
Of course, being the klutz she is, she bounced up and down earlier in the week and came down funny on her front paw, slightly straining that. But since she has done that two or three times in the past (jumping off of beds or chasing a toy and running into something since she does not always look where she is going), we just let her have off walks for a few days and it was better right off. I think she is a perfect member of the family considering we are klutzes too.
I will update this page one more time next week and then take a picture for the close of this recovery diary. PHEW it has been a long 4 months!
8/15/2006 - Week 16
Well Binky finally made the big move and the couch was opened up for her! She tentatively jumped on on it twice and is currently laying on the couch. The couch gives her some practice before the bed opens up to her tomorrow. I am sure she welcomes having back the bog long couch for sleeping and lounging. The main thing you watch for now is more muscular rather than bone. Because of all the recovery you have to make sure that no muscle strains occur from jumping. But that is just more regular long term exercise as opposed to bone recovery. Of course taking into account all the times she has been rearing up on her back legs, dragging us down the street on walks or maniacally barking on rear legs while on a walk, maybe the couch jump is not all that big a deal :).
Hi! I am Binky and this has been my story of my TPLO recovery. I want to thank everyone that has taken this journey with me and all the caring notes and toys I received during my recovery. It has been a long road, but thanks to doctors, like Dr. Hoefle at the LVVRC, I am able to move no and enjoy the carefree life that I had prior to my injury! Also, most thanks to my family for all the walks, love, hugs, food, bones, late night outside needs, leashes, and home furniture arranging. I cant wait to ride in my new car next week!!!!!

Thank you everyone for reading...... 8/15/2006
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Our GSD, Binky, went through a TPLO in 2006.
How old was Binky when you had the surgery done?

Do you know what caused the injury?

The photo where it shows Binkys shave leg is interesting. It makes them look like a male lion.

How nice of Binky to open up the feather bed as a celebration. Only a dog could show such love. :)

I haven't had a chance to read the recovery log, thanks for posting it.
 

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How old was Binky when you had the surgery done?

Do you know what caused the injury?

The photo where it shows Binkys shave leg is interesting. It makes them look like a male lion.

How nice of Binky to open up the feather bed as a celebration. Only a dog could show such love. :)

I haven't had a chance to read the recovery log, thanks for posting it.
The Binkmiester was 6 years and 4 months old at the time of surgery.

We think the final straw for her was trying to run up a berm in the backyard after a cat :) But we think it could have been aggravated during some her walks when she had a habit of jumping up and down like a bunny when she got excited.

the feather duvet was nothing short of hilarious and with all those months of recovery and being penned up, who could blame her!

I thought the shaved leg was interesting! Check out this contortion job she did while cleaning herself with the cast on! Along with some other pictures of her working on comfortable positions. The bed was actually ours that we put on the floor in the X Pen to make it easier to care for her at night. Course during the day she claimed it for herself!





 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Check out this contortion job she did while cleaning herself with the cast on! Along with some other pictures of her working on comfortable positions. The bed was actually ours that we put on the floor in the X Pen to make it easier to care for her at night. Course during the day she claimed it for herself!
Great story.

Only a true dog lover would put their bed on the floor, then sleep with the dog to make sure its comfortable at nightime. Sounds like Binkys in good hands.

A couple of the photos looks like Binky has a white sock on her foot. Is there a story behind that? How about Binkys name. Is there a story behind it? :)

What percentage do you estimate Binkys knee stability has returned after the surgery? Does Binkys knee show any sense of weakness, hesitation, wobble in the injured leg years after surgery?

I feel like my dog has been permanently disabled but I'm thankful I still have him. For the last 4 years, we used to do things and go places everyday. Now he's like a race car with one wheel system totally broken. He looks great on the outside, but he can only go a couple hundred feet 5-6 times per day and he's not going around the track. He's retired due to a disabling injury.

Maybe a dog with an injured leg is a perfect life for a dog. No more of those annoying long walks. Just short walks which means more time for the dog to sleep.

Did Binky die at the age of 10?
 

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Great story.

Only a true dog lover would put their bed on the floor, then sleep with the dog to make sure its comfortable at nightime. Sounds like Binkys in good hands.

A couple of the photos looks like Binky has a white sock on her foot. Is there a story behind that? How about Binkys name. Is there a story behind it? :)

What percentage do you estimate Binkys knee stability has returned after the surgery? Does Binkys knee show any sense of weakness, hesitation, wobble in the injured leg years after surgery?

I feel like my dog has been permanently disabled but I'm thankful I still have him. For the last 4 years, we used to do things and go places everyday. Now he's like a race car with one wheel system totally broken. He looks great on the outside, but he can only go a couple hundred feet 5-6 times per day and he's not going around the track. He's retired due to a disabling injury.

Maybe a dog with an injured leg is a perfect life for a dog. No more of those annoying long walks. Just short walks which means more time for the dog to sleep.

Did Binky die at the age of 10?
thw white sock was to keep her bandages clean since it seemed to drag everywhere :)

As for her name, for some reason I always wanted to call my dog Binky, my GSD, and so she was. She was my little soulmate.

Her knee returned to 100% plus as she aged it offered stability for her hip dysplasia where she would limp less on the leg that was repaired so for us it was actually a positive.

She took slower shorter walks as she got older but that was more for her hips.

We had her put to sleep 4 weeks shy of her 10th birthday. she was diagnosed with anal sac adenocarcinoma with a tumor too large to even take out. Because her anal area skin was so thin, just the swelling was tearing open her skin. So rather than subject her to more medical procedures and open wounds that she would have trouble healing from (immune system issues) we decided that keeping her those extra week sor months would have been for us and not her.

So on my darkest day, she passed away with her head cradled in my arms as I whispered into her ears and stroked her head.
 
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