Cruciate ligament surgery required

Nov 11, 2009
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Last years holidays got cancelled on account of aged fathers illness, and now one of our dogs requires cruciate ligament surgery after getting in to the hall in our new house and slipping on the cherrywood flooring. It’s not going to be cheap to repair her knee and the vet is confident that with good aftercare she can have a good quality of life and be active again. But our next trip we have cancelled, and Pembrokeshire in late August is being held at the moment.
However Springer spaniels are nut cases and don’t know the meaning of “ be careful”. Has anyone with a dog had such surgery and what was the dogs recovery like? My daughter had a similar problem some years ago but that was spilt drink on a dance floor. She made a good recovery albeit with NHS bearing the bill not Dad.
 
May 24, 2014
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Yes. The larger of our two bullmastiffs had the TPLO op at 18 months age. Thats where they change the angle of the bone to put less stress on ligament. Recovery was a good six months but he made a full recovery. Totally recommend a crate to keep confinement and we towel walked him outside for two months or so. Not sure about recovery times for just ligament repair. The bigger and heavier the dog, the slower the recovery. The springer will be totally different due to activity levels but will probably moderate himself.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thingy said:
Yes. The larger of our two bullmastiffs had the TPLO op at 18 months age. Thats where they change the angle of the bone to put less stress on ligament. Recovery was a good six months but he made a full recovery. Totally recommend a crate to keep confinement and we towel walked him outside for two months or so. Not sure about recovery times for just ligament repair. The bigger and heavier the dog, the slower the recovery. The springer will be totally different due to activity levels but will probably moderate himself.

Thank you that’s quite encouraging that such a large dog had a successful procedure. The one with the problem is 12 years old and discussion with the vet told me that unlike humans dogs ligaments degenerate with age such that a small event can lead to damage. Great only three more knees to worry about then!

For dogs over 15 kg most veterinary surgeons do not recommend attempting to repair the damaged/torn ligament and add a suture. The preferred approach is similar to how your dog was treated. IE cut a wedge out of the tibia, bend it about and fix it with metalwork. So the procedures being proposed are CCWO, or TTA, dependant on the vets review and/or findings during surgery.

So we are just awaiting now the recommendations and a date for surgery. The other partner in crime will be having her squirrel and rabbit hunting forays severely curtailed on the grounds of (financial) risk reduction.
 
May 24, 2014
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The one thing we had a problem with was one of the titanium, screws, which broke. This had to be reset which meant more anaesthetic. Typically it was the screw nearest the actual cut/break in the bone, and that delayed his healing for a long time. We found that adding condroitin and glucosamine to his diet helped massively.

For what its worth, this was one of the very first TPLO operations on large dogs in this country and both prognosis for recovery and practical advice were sketchy to say the least. Nowadays its a very common op and shouldnt cause anyone too much conccern.

The only long term effect we noticed was a slight stiffness on very cold days.
This is Oscar at 8 years old, a full 6.5 years after the op. The only noticeable thing is the scar on his left hind leg, the hair never grew back there. He also has a scar from hock to thigh but that covered by hair in time.

7e45e4cc-6acd-41f9-a302-c75381abce14.JPG
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thingy said:
The one thing we had a problem with was one of the titanium, screws, which broke. This had to be reset which meant more anaesthetic. Typically it was the screw nearest the actual cut/break in the bone, and that delayed his healing for a long time. We found that adding condroitin and glucosamine to his diet helped massively.

For what its worth, this was one of the very first TPLO operations on large dogs in this country and both prognosis for recovery and practical advice were sketchy to say the least. Nowadays its a very common op and shouldnt cause anyone too much conccern.

The only long term effect we noticed was a slight stiffness on very cold days.
This is Oscar at 8 years old, a full 6.5 years after the op. The only noticeable thing is the scar on his left hind leg, the hair never grew back there. He also has a scar from hock to thigh but that covered by hair in time.

7e45e4cc-6acd-41f9-a302-c75381abce14.JPG

He’s a grand looking dog. I bet you had your work cut out keeping him restrained during recovery as you can’t tel an 18 month old pooch to just relax and take it easy.
 
May 24, 2014
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He wasnt bad actually. He restarined himself most of the time, it was obviously very sore so he remained quite still. For the rest of his life he was as good as new. We lost him eventually to heat stroke hiking in Derbyshire. We had set off on a cool cloudy day intending to take just the younger dog, but he leapt into the car and wouldnt budge, which is a Bullmastiff trait. We set off and unfortunately the clouds cleared and it became a very hot day. We were caught in an area with very few trees, and he went down in minutes. With no help, and all our water used up on him, I carried him about two miles to the nearest river where we managed to cool him off. He seemed fine for a while but died in the car on the way to the vets.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Really sorry to hear that. It must have been very upsetting to you and your family. Why we have them I don't know, but I have had dogs since a child. I even bought my mum and dad a JR for their 25th wedding anniversary as the home seemed strange without dog. I had one at uni which came to lectures, and even early in my career I found myself walking the Captain's dog around the flight deck, but it wasn't allowed ashore. But we are now at the age where any replacements would have to be thought about very carefully as we cannot lumber our daughter with our left overs.
 
Jun 4, 2019
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Ours had surgery around 13 weeks ago today. That was TPLO on her right and it's likely she'll need to left before the end of the year as well. The vet described it to us as a routine op and off the 300 he'd done, none had failed. In terms of bed rest, we confined her to the kitchen all day and then the living room at night, given she's a newfoundland we didn't think a cage would work for her. After the 13 weeks, all her hair is back and to someone who didn't know she walks perfectly fine, she can be a bit stiff when getting up and is still on short walks of 5-10 minutes a day but is also having some hydrotherapy which has really started to build up her muscle mass. All in all a good outcome everyone would say.

Hopefully your outcome and everything is as good and that the little one makes a good recovery
 
Nov 11, 2009
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newfs said:
Ours had surgery around 13 weeks ago today. That was TPLO on her right and it's likely she'll need to left before the end of the year as well. The vet described it to us as a routine op and off the 300 he'd done, none had failed. In terms of bed rest, we confined her to the kitchen all day and then the living room at night, given she's a newfoundland we didn't think a cage would work for her. After the 13 weeks, all her hair is back and to someone who didn't know she walks perfectly fine, she can be a bit stiff when getting up and is still on short walks of 5-10 minutes a day but is also having some hydrotherapy which has really started to build up her muscle mass. All in all a good outcome everyone would say.

Hopefully your outcome and everything is as good and that the little one makes a good recovery

Thanks for the input, pleased to hear that your dog 'soperation has been a success. Mine is booked in for TTA next week, but my main concern is her energetic nature. Even today she was doing circuits of the kitchen and found chair to jump on to. So she will definitely be caged for her own good and I am buying some yoga non slip mats so that when i take her into the garden on a lead, she doesn't get paw-slip on the floor on the way out.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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Having read this topic I have to agree with the need for hydrotherapy following a cruciate ligament operation.

Over the years we have had three dogs in particular which had suffered with cruciate problems and had artificial ligaments fitted and in each case we took them for a course of hydrotherapy which was well worth the time and money as they can build strength and muscle in a weightless environment.

One of the dogs was a Great Dane, one was a Bullmastiff and one is Boston Terrier.
Sadly we no longer have the Dane or Bullmastiff as they passed away at 10 years old, which is good for the size of dogs.

The Boston Terrier is , along with her sister, now 9 and I expect her to go on to about 14 years .

The Dane in my avatar is the girl who had the operation.
 
May 24, 2014
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I think most people going through the TPLO scenario will be claiming on their pet insurance, because of the cost of the work. One of the problems you can expect to run into in the future is the insurers, many of whom wont cover the dogs other legs for the same operation in future, and in some cases any legs for any condition. They wriggle out of covering the legs by claiming that if the dog has had the injury once, he is prone to it. We challenged them successfully over this issue by using their own wording against them, the word being accident. By its very nature, an accident is completely random and unexpected, to use the clause they tried to use, it would have had to have been condition rather than accident. I daresay they have changed the smallprint now so beware. I should say that its 20 years now since Oscar had his done and procedures will have evolved somewhat by now.

The guys recommending hydrotherapy are spot on, as there can be some muscle wastage during recovery and hydro will not only help to alleviate that but assist in rebuidlding the muscle without danger of further injury.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Damian-Moderator said:
Having read this topic I have to agree with the need for hydrotherapy following a cruciate ligament operation.

Over the years we have had three dogs in particular which had suffered with cruciate problems and had artificial ligaments fitted and in each case we took them for a course of hydrotherapy which was well worth the time and money as they can build strength and muscle in a weightless environment.

One of the dogs was a Great Dane, one was a Bullmastiff and one is Boston Terrier.
Sadly we no longer have the Dane or Bullmastiff as they passed away at 10 years old, which is good for the size of dogs.

The Boston Terrier is , along with her sister, now 9 and I expect her to go on to about 14 years .

The Dane in my avatar is the girl who had the operation.

Yes we are thinking of hydrotherapy, its something spaniels naturally take to, so perhaps a walk down to the River Avon might be on the cards with a long lead. :whistle:
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Izzie, the intelligent looking one in my avatar, has just come home after having the TTA procedure. I would post a picture but those with sensitive disposition may feel queasy! The specialist orthopaedic veterinary surgeon was pleased with the condition of the joint prior to implementing the changes to the knee.
As she’s 12 years old the advice is to take time for the recovery. She thought that Izzie would be back to normal given time. That’s worrying as what is normal for spaniels? Our late hydrotherapy is still scheduled for Freshwater East. Fingers crossed.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Clive, glad that the op went well and Izzie is back home to recover.
Now just a case of gently gently for quite a while, which is much easier said than done with your dogs ,,,,,,,,good luck with that !!!!
 
May 24, 2014
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We found it necessary to support Oscar from either side when going out to toilet. We used a large beach towel to support his weight, using it as a type of sling.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thingy said:
We found it necessary to support Oscar from either side when going out to toilet. We used a large beach towel to support his weight, using it as a type of sling.

Yes we are doing the same for Izzie. I stayed downstairs last night on an air bed in case she required anything doing. But her only request was for me to go upstairs as my snoring was disturbing her. :)
 
Mar 8, 2019
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So sorry thingy, must have been dreadful for you. Just got back from Spain /Portugal and going cross country at one point it hit 39°. We had to keep stopping and pouring water over our two German shepherd's. Thankfully all was fine. The transit stinks now however. :dry:
 
Oct 12, 2013
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WinnieSophie said:
.... We had to keep stopping and pouring water over our two German shepherd's. Thankfully all was fine. The transit stinks now however. :dry: ....

I can sympathize with you regarding the smell as when I was driving at work and torrential rain other night , the amount off people getting on the bus with with their wet dogs . . . :sick:
 
Jul 30, 2007
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Had our shih-tzus cruciate ligament done at 4 years.
The other one went 1 year later.
Hes now almost 14 years old and to look at him, you wouldnt know he had them done.
Good luck
 
Nov 11, 2009
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GeorgeandAde said:
Had our shih-tzus cruciate ligament done at 4 years.
The other one went 1 year later.
Hes now almost 14 years old and to look at him, you wouldnt know he had them done.
Good luck

Thanks. It’s going okay so far after 2.5 weeks. She’s accepted being restrained in the house on short lead or in a crate remarkably well. Hydrotherapy starts Monday next week. Surprising how many say when one goes the other can follow quickly. Between the dogs only three more cruciates to go. Crikey half the cost of a decent brand new van.
 
Jul 30, 2007
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I know what you mean about the cost.
Insurance paid for the first one but wouldnt cough up for the second.
Hes also had 3 separate cancerous lumps removed(I wont go into the total cost)but then....like your dog....hes our "little man" and a big part of the family.
The new van will just have to wait..lol
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Some 7 weeks after her surgery the old girl had her first walk out on a lead. For the period since her op she’s either been tethered to one of us, a chair or crated. Trips into the garden have been on a short lead too. All chairs access to stairs have been barricaded. So a 10 minute walk twice a day must seem an insult to an active dog. But the twice weekly hydro treadmill sessions have helped her recovery immeasurably in maintaining muscle tone.

So hopefully we go to Pembroke with her up to 30 minutes on the lead twice a day. But ideas on an envelope on how to keep her away from the natural resting place..... seats or beds in the van. :)
 
Aug 8, 2016
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Hi All
Having read this thread I would like to say how sorry I am for the loss of your dog. It is a stark reminder of how the British weather can suddenly alter. We live in the Peak District, Derbyshire and see on a daily basis the dogs who are walked in sudden hot weathers - we have put a bowl of dog drinking water outside our home roadside for all to use. However it is not just dogs - I understand how people love their walking holidays but please stop and think when the forecast is changeable - is your hobby really worth putting yourself and your pet in possible jeopardy? The amount of times the weather catching people unaware is phenomenal and the local mountain rescue is stretched beyond belief! Please keep visiting our area but let the hot weather change your habits because it can catch you unaware as this poor poster!
 

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