Talk to be about ruptured cruciate ligament(9 Posts)
Our lovely 9 year old lab bitch has just been to the vets and we have been told that she has ruptured the cruciate ligament. The vet was very good and drew me lots of pictures and talked me through the options and we have started with a conservative approach as the dog is barely lame and otherwise in good health and fit. She has had a glucosamine injection, with another lined up for next week and we have been advised to rest her (no walks, only gentle wanders round the garden and house) for 6 weeks. He will then re-assess and decide whether surgery is appropriate and which type.
I'm a bit stunned as I thought it was possibly arthritis or a pulled muscle but I would like to hear your experience of this injury, and how it panned out for your dogs....
My mums JRT x border did his quite badly last year , the vet wanted to operate, I wasn't keen because I know my mums capabilities ! In the end we had him on cage rest for about 6 weeks taking Tramadol for pain ( he is allergic to metacam) and since then he has been fine ,has the odd day when he is lame but mostly you wouldn't be able to tell . He is 13/14 and a bit overweight which we have also worked on .We did try a hydrotherapy session but he had a panic attack and hyperventilated so we gave up on that ( he is a bit pathetic) .
Our German shepherd x strained his at the beginning of last year and was anti inflammatorys and rest for a few weeks. Then in July he completely ruptured it by pivoting too quickly to fetch his ball.
He had to have an operation to insert a metal cage into his knee at the front to change the angle of the joint and so remove the need for the ligament at all. Being such a big dog, if they'd just replaced the ligament chances are he'd have done it again. We're still increasing his exercise now, the op was in September. He tires on it quickly, before he was walking 10miles with no problems. I'm very grateful for having such comprehensive pet insurance!!!
Cruciate ligament ruptures are actually fairly common in dogs any action where body stays still and foot twists or vice versa can cause the rupture.
Dogs under 15Kg bodyweight a large percentage of them the joint stabilises with total rest so just lead walking to garden nothing more (no stairs, no on and off furniture). In dogs over 15Kg bodyweight they are less likely to stabilise with conservative treatment as their weight continually puts joint under pressure so a greater number of these dogs end up having surgery.
There are a wide variety of surgeries out there TPLO, TTO, lateral fabella tie to name just a couple. Studies have been done comparing long term (arthritis) outcome of conservative versus surgery and there is no difference. The only benefit found of surgery is that they are fully fit quicker.
We had a lab with a total tear and he had the TTA op. I am glad that we did it straight away as recovery was about 3 months and I did not want to spend time on rest as he had a total tear and we were under the impression that it would not heal on its own. But he was weight bearing on it the day after the op. He was on cage rest and restricted exercise for about 3 months but is now as good as new. We were lucky in that Noel Fitzpatrick did the op and looked after our lab. He is now back at agility and loving life. The vet did say that he would have a high percentage of doing the other leg but 4 years old and fingers crossed still ok
I would definitely push for a referral to a specialist vet before the end of the 6 weeks - that is a long time for conservative treatment if it is a waste of time and the op is inevitable
my big dog had a tplo and after the rest and cast off she was fine. within a year the other leg went so we went for a similar op on that leg - don't remember the name.
arthritis is inevitable but you can manage it with rest, cartrophen jabs, pain meds and massage.
Thanks for the interesting replies - the vet said that as she isn't particularly lame (not lame at all this morning), nor the movement on the joint great that he felt a gentle approach might just do it rather than going straight to surgery. She's going back next week for a check up and second glucosamine jab so I'll ask more questions then.
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