Cruciate Ligament Damage - best option?(11 Posts)
My lovely little jack Russell girl has torn / damaged her ACL in her back leg. She’s 9 years old and still very happy, playful and difficult to keep rested. Vet has given the option of either medical management or an operation to repair. She is insured so hopefully will be covered for the cost of this. Not sure if she’d be covered for the medical management of it as the bills may not come to enough each time as the excess is £75.
We don’t want her to be in pain long term so are thinking of the operation but not sure of the long term outcomes.
Any advice? She’s on yumove now as I’d read it was good for joints plus the vet has given her anti inflammatory medication and we need to return next week to decide.
Any advice please?
Your insurance excess will only be taken annually for her condition. So you could keep claiming for ongoing. However as a vet nurse I'd recommend going for the surgery. She's not an old dog and could have many years left. It's generally a really successful surgery and after a few weeks rest and gradually increasing exercise she will be So much better
My lovely Springer has had the op on both legs. we were all heartbroken that he'd hurt himself and couldn't imagine him being lame for the rest of his life. The op was the only option for us.
He's got substantial metalwork in his knee now, if I remember correctly they split the bone and put the metal into the gap (sorry for bad explanation). Then the bone grows around the metal and heals it? I think that's right?! Sorry to be vague.
He had to be sedated heavily for the first 48 hours I'd say, and the recovery period was very intense for everyone, as a bad move could mean it was all for nothing.
He was on lead walks for something like 10 mins per day for 2 weeks, 15 mins for 2 weeks and slowly built up. He wasn't allowed on the furniture, in fact he wasn't allowed to do much at all, just constant rest. Not an easy job at all. But honestly, watching him now, totally totally worth it.
In a small dog their is a chance you can heal a cruciate with strict rest and anti-inflammatories - this is probably what your vet will talk to you about and in a nine year old dog I would be tempted to give it a go.
Ddog had cruciate surgery last but he's a young 30kg dog and I really think it was the right decision, even though the recovery was painfully slow.
My 14 year old JR-cross damaged his cruciate ligament a couple of months ago. The vet didn't want to go down the surgery route at all although did say that in a bigger dog this would have been the standard option.
For a month he was on pain-killers/anti inflammatories and very short, very slow walkies. I think he has now recovered as much as he is ever going to, given his age, and he is dramatically better although still a bit limp-y on that leg. Can still run after a ball though (and the postman!). We've been back to the vets for ongoing medication, as it seems to be helping, and will keep him on it long-term.
Your insurance excess should be once per condition or once per year depending on who the policy is with, so you should be able to claim back the costs regardless of how they are spread over the visits.
We had a Border Terrier who ruptured his cruciate at a similar age and we decided to go for medical management at the time. If we were to be in that position again I would opt for surgery - he coped ok but lived for another 8 years and I feel his quality of life would have been better after a successful surgery.
Thanks all! DDog is still like a lunatic running around despite the limpy leg, she just belts along on 3 legs. She will walk on 4 legs if she's going slow but you can see that she's very ginger on it and when standing she just has her toes on the ground.
We go on holiday soon anyway so there'll be no operation for at least 6 weeks until we are home. I think we'll try the medication and rest route until then (rest will be the issue as she just will not sit down when she's wanting to play or chase the cat or follow me around the house).
Thanks for the advice about the insurance company too - it seems our vet will refer her on so I'm hoping they are the same as the insurance company approved ones or it'll cost us another £200 🙈
my beagle had both done over the years and both operations were really successful and she was back to her usual self pretty quickly
"I think we'll try the medication and rest route until then (rest will be the issue as she just will not sit down when she's wanting to play or chase the cat or follow me around the house)"
For a really successful non-surgical route, you should be thinking total rest. A cage in the house ... no weight-bearing play, chasing cat or following you.
Out of the house, should be carried into garden and on lead in a small area to pee and poo. Anything else outdoors should be non weight-bearing.
There are non weight-bearing ways you can entertain your dog both indoors and out, but it takes effort.
Then at the appropriate time, under orthopaedic guidance physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.
It's not easy, you have to be utterly diligent, but I have had good recoveries through both routes.
My mums JRT x border did his cruciate a few years ago , we opted for medical management as he has multiple health issues and isn’t a good candidate for anaesthetic . He was on pretty strict rest for a few weeks , was carried into the settee etc and it healed really well . Medical management is not the easy option as they do need to be kept confined and entertained if you want a good result .
Even if you have surgery rest is essential post op too.
The long term studies found no difference in long term outcome between methods of repair both surgery type ( so no one surgery is better than another) and conservative treatment.
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