Actually, it was the 9th, come to think of it.
On the 9th day of Christmas
The Universe gave to me
A big fat raspberry.
The Universe is mean. Or the one I live in is anyway.
After my Down With Dexter Rant, I was feeling pretty good. I like that most of you were amused and got that it was a RANT (note I say “most” because some commenters ignored my very explicit instructions and told me that life was too short and/or that I should count my blessings etc. I ALREADY KNOW THAT! *stomps off in a huff*). I still wasn’t feeling good about Dexter, because he remains a total asshat in agility (and in a multitude of other areas of the spinning pizza that is his life). My absolutely favourite comment was this one:
“I feel you so much. I was in the same position as you are and I HATED getting advice, and I hated it even more when it was from people who successfully solved the situation.
So I’m just offering moral support. Or something.”
Yep. I too hate people who successfully solve problems that I am having myself. That’s why I rant instead :)
Anyhoo, I spent some more time (glaring at Dexter) thinking about what was going on with this nutjob of a dog, and what came to me was some information from a seminar that I attended with Brenda Aloff. She was talking about how, for example, when you almost get into a car accident and your heart pounds and your hands shake and your knees are weak from the adrenaline rush of fear and uncertainty. After about 20 minutes you stop feeling those effects and everything returns to normal. Except according to science, which is so smart, that’s not actually the case – it can take up to 72 hours for the post-traumatic effects of that to actually dissipate, before your systems all return to normal. She was outlining how reactive dogs who never get a chance to stay under threshold are always in their “hindbrain” and their systems don’t ever get the opportunity to return to a normal state.
But I think this applies to Dexter as well. Assuming he has a brain at all, that is. I think trials set Dexter very firmly in his hindbrain and because he is OVER THE TOP IN EVERYTHING OMG THAT HE DOES it takes him several weeks to return to a semi-functional state. Which is why he explodes into a thousand little evil Dexters at trial, takes jumps down with his face and stuff, and then for weeks afterward we are just playing catch-up to he can return to a quasi-normal state of mind. Cuz he was doing real well in class for a while (minus some frustrating sticky points that we can’t seem to move past) until “I” (AKA The Sadist, who is bossy) decided he should go to a trial. Then all hell broke loose again and we are back to where we were several months ago.
You know, in HELL.
But I gather that whilst I told all of YOU not to tell me to appreciate having an able-bodied (if otherwise “differently” abled moron) dog, I neglected to instruct my evil universe to follow those same rules. Because on Sunday, the f*cking universe chewed Piper up and spit her out again with a completely ruptured cruciate and said “take that, whiny.”
Dear doG in Heaven, canine appendages hate me and my bank account.
Poor Piper. She started tripodding on Sunday afternoon. She has tripodded before, but I just had a feeling this time, you know? So we trundled off to the vet on Tuesday and the Doc said “yep, that knee is toast. I am 1000% sure of it.” Now I hate him too. And everything else, including KITTENS AND RAINBOWS AND SMILES. And DEXTER, just because.
So I am asking you all for more advice. My vet wants to do a TPLO on Piper, pending x-rays to determine she is a candidate for this particular surgery. That’s $2900 worth of nice. Alternatively, and with some reluctance, he would consider doing a Tightrope repair, at a cool $2300. And cheerfully he did thus inform me that these prices do not include rehab, follow up, cold laser, swimming, cartrophen injections, senior bloodwork and a heart x-ray.
My bank account laughed and laughed at him for $4000 worth of minutes. I just sobbed.
I am not a particularly scientific person, which is why I am a lowly shelter worker and not a vet. I have some difficulty comprehending information that includes long strings of body parts that I can’t pronounce, but some initial research and verbal browbeating of smarter friends tells me that there is no real evidence that a TPLO is superior in the long run to a Tightrope or even an extracapsular fishing line repair. The latter would be about a third of the price, still a princely sum but a slightly more graspable one for this lowly shelter worker.
I love my Pipesydoodle with all my heart. I would do anything within reason to ease her pain. However, any way you slice it I cannot come up with $4K. Even if I could scrape that together, I also cannot see blowing my whole wad on one dog when I have another senior and two 7 year olds to consider. I want to do the best thing for her within reason, whilst keeping in mind that my other dogs might need some of my money too.
If you’ve got some insight into these various surgeries and a course of action I should consider, I am all ears.
No, I’M all ears!
Shut up, Dexter.
And … AND to add insult to injury, mean ole universe threw in a second Malinois puppy for me to place. It’s the brother to this little
demonspawn cutiepatootie that scared the crap outta me a few weeks back.
Make my Grinchmas complete – come out and see us at Grinch Photos tomorrow at Elemental Canine in Cloverdale!
We’re raising money for rescues, but I’m taking a photographer’s fee and sticking in the “P’s Knees” account to start saving for her surgery, if I ever figure out which one to do.
For no reason at all, here is an adorable photo of Tweed with surprisingly muscular looking legs and a mass of curly girlie chest hair. He’s gender-confused.
Is it completely torn? If not: http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/13_2/features/Canine-Ligament-Injury-Options_16198-1.html they note its not nessecarily cheaper, but the costs are spread out so its not a giant painfull bite either.
dianne morey says
My offering of moral support or something. I just spent 3000+ on my best dog evers mouth. The estimate was half of that and I was competing at a trial and fielding calls from the suddenly panicky oral surgeon who suddenly found all sorts of unseen issues. In retrospect feel totally taken but her arguments for added costs verged on near death consequences. I have 4 dogs one of whom is 16.
So yes wtf does one do.
I also have an insane young performance dog who I struggle to get a handle on, on every level. Im taking a 4 year break from my sport of choice for him (herding) to revisit when I think he may be able to handle his ocd and arousal level with a more adult brain. Herding with him for a year ranged from total brilliance (from him) to total terror (for me).
Back in the day before the T-something surgeries became de rigeur, we had the option of a repair or TPLO, and for our ageing rescue GSD we opted for the repair. Our most awesome surgeon (I can give you his name if you wish) did a beautiful repair and we followed his eighteen week post surgery protocol to the letter and Jack had 90% knee function back. The repair surgery at that time (2004) was $2,500 for everything, plus three cartophen shots after. Or check out this great website (used for a current youthful GSD with the beginnings of an ACL injury):
Anyway, once the damage is done, no need to rush, check out all your options, they don’t have to be the most expensive ones!
I had a TPLO done on my BFF when he was 11 years old. I had high hopes to at least resume a normal quality of life and just off leash walk in a field. It was never that. Once he was healing decently from the TPLO, the meniscus flipped and he had to have a second surgery. That was so hard on him.
I chose the TPLO because the recovery time was supposedly shortest…but he never got good function back so it really wasn’t worth it to me. He used to hold his leg in a weird hyper-extension and I was never able to let him run again.
All of that being said, the TPLO is not all it is cracked up to be and dogs with the other repairs do just as well as…actually better than…my dog did.
I know we are only one case but you don’t have to do a TPLO if you can’t. There are other options. Good luck and hugs to Piper.
Robin Layton says
Don’t go directly to the TPLO. I read the Whole Dog Journal article too and it seems it is worth trying first.
A cruciate ligament injury AND another Malinois puppy? Are you on Santa’s naughty list? My last dog had both repaired and my current dog has been nursing a partial tear since he was about 13 weeks old. My experience with Monty (current dog) has convinced me that if conservative management is a viable option it’s worth a try – he has much more mobility than I remember Harley having post-surgery. I also give him Recovery SA and monthly cartraphen now he’s older. But if your vet says Piper’s knee is toast that doesn’t sound good. :(
I like where you’re going with your thoughts about Dexter’s brain and keeping him below threshold. Could you somehow adapt BAT work or something similar to help him learn to stay below threshold during agility and other activities?
PS – if I win the 30 million Lotto Max prize tonight I will totally give you the money. ;)
Dear doG in heavan. Your dogs blow out expensive body parts at an alarming rate!
Not that it really helps YOU, but may I say that knowing that you don’t have unlimited funds, but chose to have multiple dogs anyhow really eases MY pain. I have, in the past, been made to feel lowly, inadequate and obviously unfit to own dogs because medical expenses have been out of my reach at times. And yet my dogs are happy, cared for, socialized, mentally stimulated and generally very healthy.
It is probably a good thing that good (expensive) fixes are out there for our dogs. But I feel that sometimes it puts us in a terrible position, one of feeling like we have to measure our love for our dogs in dollar signs.
Good luck with whatever option you chose, I have no experience in any particular direction. Anything that gives her no pain after it’s healed and mobility in the long run sounds like a good option to me.
Hugs to you and Piper!
Tweedle is, as always, adorable.
Your helldog photo cracks me up. Nicely done.
Oh no! Not Piper!
Due to having a dog with several orthopedic issues I’ve been following Conservative Management on Yahoo (http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/ConservativeManagement/) which is a group dedicated to non surgical options. You may be able to find something useful there!
I have actually been where you are (with Piper) so here is my experience:
1. Nickel blew his cruciate at age 11. It had probably been partially ruptured and one day it went boom. I was broke. I ended up borrowing money from a family member and having surgery done by a general vet (about the last one in our area who does knee surgeries). I originally went in for a figure 8 repair because it was cheaper, but the vet said that in his very extensive experience, I would get better results with a TPLO because (a) Nickel was on the top end of the weight range for a figure 8 repair (he is about 30-31 lb), and (b) he would give me a big discount on the TPLO. I ended up with the TPLO and Nickel’s knee is now sound with very little rehab. By “sound” I mean, he has quite bad arthritis because of his age and especially because of how long I had to wait between the injury and the surgery (3-4 months). He will be 14 in April and he’s a little wobbly in the rear; he still has less muscle on that side; but his leg works reasonably well. (And the other side has not ruptured, universe be thanked. He has somewhat straight knees.) 17.75″, 31 lb.
What I learned — that vet really preferred the TPLO. And, do it ASAP, because the delay is the killer.
2. Mellie has excellent knee structure but exploded her knee about 11 months ago in an accident. Because she was younger (6), an athlete, and much more active, I decided on the TPLO right away and had to raise money to get it done by an orthopedist with obsessively high standards. She actually had BOTH the TPLO and the figure 8 repair because of the extent of damage and luxation. She has also had much more systematic rehab for the same reasons. She has gone back to part time flyball racing and seems really solid, though we are still working on rehabbing adductor/abductor strength on that side, and I would like to raise money to get the plate out. Mellie is a bit lighter than Nickel, so still within the size range for a figure-8 repair. 18″, 28 lb.
What I learned: The TPLO worked great. The rehab helps a lot. It was expensive.
Cedi: She probably has either one or two partially ruptured knee ligaments. She is 13 as well, and has a lot of other problems that make it hard to evaluate her without extensive, intrusive diagnostics. These have been treated conservatively (pain and inflammation management, limited activity). She clearly is wobbly in the rear and the knees both hurt. If I had more money I’d at least get more diagnostics. But with her health problems, it’s not clear how long she will live, and between that and money, I am electing to do what I can for her conservatively. She is clearly in much worse shape with her partial untreated ruptures than are either of the two who were treated surgically. She is 18.25″, 33 lb.
I am not making any suggestions — just sharing my experience. These dogs are all roughly Piper’s size. I feel for you. Good luck.
My 20lb mutt had CCL surgery earlier this year. His other knee was the bad one and he blew out completely his good one. So the good one had surgery and the other is still the same as it was. We did the fishing line repair because he was on the small size for TPLO. I have heard good and bad for all surgeries. Kota’s knee is still loose, not as stable as the vet would have liked. Due to swimming and hill work, he has created scar tissue around it and it’s better now then a few weeks post surgery. Recovery was 8 weeks till he could be free in the house on his own and then we did 5 more months of swimming twice a week with hill work and on leash walks. The repaired knee is now the stronger knee as I see him standing more fully on that one than the other.
I would second the not waiting if it’s completely ruptured. If it’s unstable and slipping past bone, that will be really painful and any scar tissue that builds between now and surgery will make surgery that much worse for recovery. You could invest in a custom brace and not do surgery at all (the brace would run in the high hundreds).
I can feel your finance woes though. When Kota’s was done, my mom and sister gave me money for him. That helped but all told it was probably close to $3500 in the surgery, repeat visits, swim therapy, etc. I’m really sorry you have to deal with it. :(
all boxers... for now. says
gah, canine appendages DO hate you. but why? you are so loving and kind to all canine body parts on all canines, this doesn’t make any sense at all.
mostly i’m only typing in this comment box to thank you for posting a photo of Tweed. i heart this dog, obviously based only on what i’ve read about him here on Wootube, but i love him nonetheless. and today, i needed to see his happy, wonderful smile.
general, overall happiness is hard to come by here in the US today, so thanks for the smile. and i’m sending loads of good canine appendages thought to you. my apologies that i don’t have a more useful form of payment for you. :)
Oh, WHY????? Piper??? The cost of care is a hard choice. But don’t make the mistake of listening to people who tell you to do what ever is possible. Cost is a reasonable consideration. Piper will tell you what she really needs.
I’ve actually heard a ton of good things about Tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA) which is not nearly as invasive as the TPLO and usually cheaper. Boundary Bay Vet Specialists in langley do that procedure.
I just returned from taking my Riley down to Washington State University Vet teaching hospital in Pullman WA for specialized surgery to remove a cyst pressing on his spine. The cost quoted was less than half of the rate in Vancouver (Canada West) and the standard of care was amazing. It’s a long drive (approx 8 hours from the north shore) but I wouldn’t hesitate to go there again. I also took my other dog rather than try to have her looked after and most of the hotels in the area are very dog friendly.
Awww…. I’m so sorry about Piper. No advice; I think this must be the one ortho issue I haven’t had to deal with yet, so no experience to offer. (Give it time). I think it’s time for me and my spouse to provide our semi-regular donation. (Where’s your PayPal button?).
On Dexter: I think you may be on the right track. I’ve got a VERY keen working-bred Border collie who was losing his brain on a regular basis when taken to a lesson on sheep. Recently his trainer decided to take it slow: down him, wait for signs he’s relaxing before sending him on an outrun or to drive. Let him work just a bit and then down him again until he’s relaxed. Not all the way: you have to look for subtle signs. Just that bit of relaxation has worked MIRACLES. His hearing is now back to normal (no more blowing us off); his pace is MUCH better; he’s stopping to think, “feeling” his sheep. I’m more relaxed because I don’t feel as if I’m trying to stop imminent train wrecks. It’s amazing how much we were ramping each other up. He’s even being less of a brat while waiting on the sidelines.
Seeing that my Holly is on Day 10 recovering from TTA surgery for a partially torn ACL and a slightly damaged meniscus, I’ll weigh in on poor Piper, and your poor bank account. I truly feel your pain…I have to sell my 4WD winter vehicle to pay for the surgery.
My best advice is to do lots of research all types of knee Sx’s…there are something like 200 types of surgeries to repair an ACL/knee. What I found in my research, and after consulting with a canine physical therapist that works with the rehabs on every knee surgery under the sun, the TPLO is the most invasive, but with it, the surgeon can fix joint abnormalities like bow-legged-ness that may have caused the ACL tear in the first place. Pretty much any dog can receive a TPLO, but some dogs do not have the joint angle necessary to perform a TTA. Most dogs do not need a TPLO if they are candidates for a TTA. The TTA and TPLO are THE BEST surgeries for an active, run and jump like the wind, sporting dog. Personally, if Piper is hard on her body, runs and jumps with vigor, and you consider her an athlete, I would not go with a Tightrope Sx. Small dogs, couch potatoes, dogs with low-drive, etc. are the better candidates for a Tightrope…they require less invasive measures to stabilize the joint and are less likely for the procedure to ultimately fail in the future.
TPLO’s cut the weight bearing portion of the bone and put it back together. So recovery time for the bone to be fully healed is 8-12 weeks. TTA’s also cut the bone, but do so length-wise so they can bear weight on the joint immediately which helps prevent them bearing all their weight on their other leg for a shorter period of time during recovery.
Most surgeons only do one type of Sx or another…and they do that one type of Sx very well. I had to go 5.5 hrs away for a surgeon that does TTA’s, and does them well. I could have gone just 1.5 hrs for a TPLO, but in my Holly’s case, she didn’t NEED the weight bearing portion of her bone to be cut in order to fix and stabilize her knee joint. So, while I pay more in gas and time, I opted for the TTA.
I’ll also share what I’m paying for all this (I live in the US in western MT)…approximately $1950 USD, minus gas and time. That includes everything…pre-Sx x-rays, Sx, 1 week of post-Sx boarding, 2 physical therapy visits, and post-recovery x-rays.
With all that said, if Holly were a low or moderately active dog I would have opted for a non-surgical option….8 weeks total, complete and utter boring rest and 8-10 weeks of S.L.O.W.L.Y returning to activity. I also would have opted for a brace since she only had a partial tear and if her meniscus was not also damaged. But, each dog and each situation is different. Holly had been having groin muscle pulls and back spasms all year long and the PT and vet suggested her chronic problems were likely due to an unstable knee that she is compensating for. They were right, and despite all our best efforts, she finally blew the knee around Halloween. Fortunately a partial tear. Holly is also a freakin’ nut…she has no regard for her body and does EVERYTHING at a bat-out-of-hell speed. She’s an all or nothing kinda dog. So, given her medical history and her temperament, Sx was the best permanent option for trying to prevent more problems in the future.
Will it work? I don’t know, but I hope so :)
I wish you all the best with making a choice for you and Piper. Recovery from knee surgery is NOT quick nor easy. Paying for knee surgery is NOT quick nor easy! Happy to share all the weeks of research I did with you to help you shave some time.
well, with geriatric bipeds there’s a strong school of palliative care – pain manangement with meds,devices, non invasive therapies, etc….and an equally strong school of “‘we have the knowledge and insurance (Medicare for those over 65) pays for it” care. Docs want to do procedures and people don’t know how to say no to ‘the expert’. I think that mindset is in veterinary care here too. don’t know about Canada.
Claire dog is getting two different meds for back end pain (probably a combo of arthritis, spinal stenosis, some muscle atrophy in affected L hindquarter), and extra bedding (which she sometimes scorns for the cold cellar floor if she can get there!) to stay moving. I don’t even want to put her thru xray, she hates being restrained or held in any way, and with vision and hearing loss, just too scary. husband was out of work most of year, back to work now, so in theory could afford a workup at least, but just not what i want to put her thru. she’s 13, 57 lbs, so bigger than Piper…i’d go with comfort for now and see how she does, since you can’t just plunk down all that dough anyway. Being an only dog, she still goes to day care 5 days/week, and staff there take good care of her, and tell me she is still active and involved, and they rest her a bit more, for her own good.
I’d ask doc what would have been done before the surgery was possible, or if a dog absolutely had some medical issue (like a bleeding disorder or something) that meant created too much risk for surgery – what would vet do in that case? see if that is a place to start. and take good care of you and all your dogs – your photos and stories have given me so much pleasure this year!
No advice or information, but tons of sympathy to you and Piper.
Dexter doesn’t deserve sympathy.
Long time reader, first time commenter. Just wanted to say that I was in the exact same position (money-wise) when my dog tore her CCL 4 years ago. There was absolutely no way for me to afford a TPLO. The money was just not there, it wasn’t even an option. But my vet actually did not push me in that direction anyway. He recommended the extracapsular repair. He didn’t do the surgery, it was done by a surgeon who does mostly just knees. My dog was very carefully confined for 8 weeks and then we slowly increased her exercise until she was back to normal. She was walking normally by around 6 weeks after surgery, if I remember correctly, and I never see her limping on it now. The vet can’t even tell which knee it was and honestly I don’t remember. My dog can run, jump, play, basically do whatever she wants. She is a 100lb Newfoundland and just turned 7. She is pretty active, we do a lot of hiking and she also swims almost daily. So maybe she is a miracle story, I don’t know, but apparently it can work just fine for a very big dog. I think I paid about $1300 or so and that included everything (follow up visits also.)
I don’t know you personally, but I follow your blog because I love dogs and photography…..anyway, I have no advice on the surgeries but I want to offer my sympathy. Choices for older dogs are tough, throw in costly surgeries, etc. and it’s dang near impossible to make a decision with out feeling bad about it on some level. Got an oldie of my own right now, and we just had our 3rd vet visit in 3 weeks and one of those was emergency on Thanksgiving morning (2am)….I feel your pain…..
Janice in GA says
No advice or experience with knee surgery in dogs, though I’ve had ACL repair on MY knee. Just sorry you’re having to deal with this, and much mojo for you and Piper and all the rest of the crew.
So if the other Malinois is the brother of the previous one, that means the breeder wouldn’t take THAT one back either, eh? Way to stand behind the dogs your breed, asshole breeder. :(
Oh no. Poor Piper. My girl partially (probably not fully, but I didn’t scope so don’t know for sure) tore both CCLs last year, but we’ve been able to get by with prolotherapy thus far. I dread that someday she will completely tear one, or tear a meniscus (which is PAINFUL). She is rapidly running out of functional joints in her hind end, and is only 5.
Anyways, I would never, ever do a TPLO on any dog I owned; don’t think I’d recommend it for many other people’s dogs either. I’ve seen so many go so very wrong; I know the statistics claim this doesn’t happen, but I’ve only been doing what I do for not even 2 years, and have seen infections, plate or screw failures, pathologic fractures, and dogs that for whatever reason refuse to use the leg and end up with awful muscle atrophy. Unfortunately, we don’t have any evidence (last time I checked) that the outcome of any procedure is superior to any of the others. Whichever you choose, the dog will end up with arthritis in the knee. Why we don’t do grafting of ligaments or synthetic replacements I do not know, especially since dogs were used as one of the models to develop ACL repair in humans! Instead, we cut a giant chunk out of their tibia and rotate and plate it? Seriously?
Anyways, Piper is a little dog. Much less concern about using good old-fashioned lateral suture. But they should still scope her to check for meniscal tears (remember, super painful).
Check out the vet teaching facility at WSU in Pullman, Washington. I have friends whose dog needed surgery and got great care there at a vastly lower cost than here. Might be worth a look.
Oh no! What rotten luck!
Everyone will have a different experience, different procedures, different outcomes. By all means, read what you can and talk to people to understand the options. If I were in your shoes, I would find a (board certified!) orthopedic vet I trust and talk to him about the best options for Piper – your dog, your dog’s conformation, your dogs activity level, your finances. If he is worth his salt he should be able to talk to you frankly about the likely outcomes of each option relative to Piper’s particular situation.
Also of consideration is this: http://www.carecredit.com/ I recall when I worked as a vet assistant that this enabled many people to pay for emergency procedures that they would not have otherwise been able to afford. It acts like a credit card but it approved for specific procedures, and I believe you can avoid paying interest usually, so it’s kindof like a family loan.
Oy vey woman! I hope the Universe starts giving you a break!
my nieghbors were told last summer the only option was knee surger for their boxer – both knees – $5000 each, and 8 weeks kennel recovery for each (as they advised doing it seperately). While they hemmed and hawwed, and couldn’t decide what to do, (they have college educations to be saving for at the same time….) several months of serious bedrest and very LOW action passed, and the boxers knees are FINE. They haven’t really run him hard or anything, but he seems in no pain for regular daily activity. Sometimes, it doesn’t pay to jump to hastily into serious surgery…
Derek Anderson says
Another long time reader, first time commenter. My little Emma had extra-capsular repair 6 years ago; the TPLO looked terribly invasive, and didn’t have as long of a history, so we opted for the conservative treatment, and are really glad we did. Emma still limps, but on the other knee, which has some advancing arthritis problem. She is now coming up on 11 years old. She is a lighter dog at 30 lbs, but is a border-jack, and that energy is probably what blew the knee. That said, the surgery has held up, and although she is older, slower (and fatter) now, I would do the same surgery again.
I’ll also second the part about getting it done soon. Long waits cause additional damage, and can wreck the miniscus.
Also, once they get this surgery, keeping the weight off becomes a challenge, as it is tempting to give treats and coddle during the recovery.
Finally, consider the recovery period; our dog was 90% just three months after the surgery, and was able to walk after two. The TPLO has a long recovery time, and when you have an older dog, 3 months in bed is a lot of dog years. We worry about our dog’s other knee blowing and having her never recover, so the faster recovery time surgery would win again.
Do you suppose there might be a movie bit for Dexter? Devil Dog! I can’t help it. I love his photos. Well, I love all of your photos.
So sorry about Piper. Worse than having to make the “what to do” decisions …..I hate when the vet/friend/whatever tries to make me feel guilty about not doing enough/doing to much. Hang in there.
a couple of things re: surgical repairs…start saving because she will most likely blow her other knee while recovering from the surgery. it places so much extra stress on the good knee to compensate for the injured one…this has happened to me quite a few times so far.
the point of the surgery is to prevent arthritis from affecting the joint down the road…and quite honestly, i am not convinced that with senior dogs, this really prevents arthritis at all…they may already have the start of it if they are highly active dogs anyway and this may be what precipitates the injury in the first place.
in any case…when we actually do the repair..we do the old fashioned cheapo..about $1800, rest them and let them heal. but more and more for the senior dogs…we are NOT doing the surguries at all. we use the anti-inflmmatoiries, cartrophen and pain meds..rest them for a couple of months and let them heal on their own. it is pretty muuch the exact same recovery time as with the actual surgery and a lot less stressful on them.
now our dogs are not into agility..but they do like to run around on the farm. so i guess in the end, it is a personal decision based on what best meets pipers needs. but i am just putting out there that not all injured kness have to have surgery…sometimes it is ok to not.
No advice on leg issues. But, I was looking for the tip jar. I would be happy to toss $10 Piper’s way to help with the surgery and maybe others would be willing to do so as well. Every little bit would help. I would love to help out because A) you help out so many dogs and other critters between your “lowly” work at the shelter and with the rescue; B) I love to read your blog and hear about your canine family and consider my gift as a payment for the smile that you always bring to my face (in fact, I often return to re-read favorite entries when I am feeling low) and C) I know how much it sucks to have to feel like you can’t provide the very best for your dog because of the pesky money issue. Please let us help.
Fritz has had 2 knee surgeries (one on each knee) both extracapsular fishing line repair, both when he was a very active hard on his joints young boxer boy. He has lots of arthritis in one joint because the surgery was delayed because..we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him, he was running on that leg! Both repairs have held. If I had to do it now, I would still consider the same surgery but now hydrotherapy is avialable and I would have taken advantage of that. He had cartrophen shots, accupunture, chiro, metacam and anything else I could think of.
What does the vet think about a custom brace?
No experience to offer (thank DoG), just well wishes. On the other hand, if you need advice about fixing dogs who regularly tear holes in their skin due to overenthusiastic barreling through brush, I have plenty. I guess I should be happy that my 10 year old dog still prefers to injure herself in this manner…
I am coming in late to say that we opted for a traditional fishing-line repair for our 11-year-old BC-mix. This was several years ago; our vet now says he doesn’t perform this surgery anymore. Too bad because we got fantastic results. The first week of recovery was hard. She was in a lot of pain and we really questioned whether we had done the right thing putting her through the surgery. But once the pain subsided she ended up with full use of her knee for another four active years. The cost was 1200 which seemed like a lot at the time. If you can find a good veterinary surgeon who will still do this surgery I recommend it.