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Old 04-12-2017, 03:19 PM
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Albertadiver Albertadiver is offline
 
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Question Dog advice - torn cruciate ligament - TPLO Sugery Update

Well my best bud has hurt his one knee. What we thought was maybe stiffness or early stages of arthritis, has now been 90% diagnosed with him blowing out his cruciate ligament.

The vet said it's like blowing your ACL, and is no longer stable. Duke heavily favors his other leg and we want the best for him of course.

We didn't get pet insurance and looks like surgery will be about 4K with a heavy recovery period of at least 6 weeks where he'll be grounded from running around and being a dog. (we consciously chose not to get pet insurance because so many companies find a way to get out of covering things)

He's about to turn 8 and very active for a lab.

The surgeon being recommended does most of her work out of Okotoks.

We do trust our vet out in Cochrane and he's a pretty level headed guy.

Anyone been through anything similar?

I've done a little bit of googling and here's a decent article.

http://www.topdoghealth.com/library/...steotomy-tplo/

Basically, he's at 50% usage of his leg now, and the vet expects if recovery and surgery go well he would be back up to 90%(ish).

It's going to be tough seeing him recover but think this is our best bet. We don't want him to blow out his other knee because he favours his one leg so much.

I know there's lots of Lab / Dog guys on this forum so comments are always appreciated.
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:47 PM
arg arg is offline
 
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I had this happen to my hunter partner 3 years ago and thought she was finished. Vet wanted to do the same surgery. I talked to 2 different people that I knew had it done and both said they wished they'd never gone that route so I went to the interweb. Come across a technique called Conservative Management and decided to give it a try. It wasn't much fun for either of us but it worked. It happened about this time of year and although she was walking pretty good by fall I didn't take her hunting that fall. She isn't a 100% but very close. She is back running and swimming like a had man. Takes come discipline but worth it in my mind.
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:57 PM
Jjolg123 Jjolg123 is online now
 
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I have a black lab X and she has gone through this on both knees. The first was operated on in okotoks and the worst part of that was all the meds which seem to have done a number on her system which we dealt with for some time. During that operation we were told so much weight will be pushed on her other leg that an injury to the other leg in the future has an increased chance. Low and behold a year later it did.

Not wanting to go thru the same issue with meds we went the natural path and just tried to immobilize and use the stomach assist to help her get around. THis method took longer for sure but looking at her now both legs seem just as strong.

SHe was 10 when the first surgery happened.
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Old 04-12-2017, 04:46 PM
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Edgewater Companion Animal Clinic in Fort Macleod does a new state of the art operation for this at half the price. Dogs are walking in a day or two. PM me for info.

Dodger.
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Old 04-12-2017, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by arg View Post
I had this happen to my hunter partner 3 years ago and thought she was finished. Vet wanted to do the same surgery. I talked to 2 different people that I knew had it done and both said they wished they'd never gone that route so I went to the interweb. Come across a technique called Conservative Management and decided to give it a try. It wasn't much fun for either of us but it worked. It happened about this time of year and although she was walking pretty good by fall I didn't take her hunting that fall. She isn't a 100% but very close. She is back running and swimming like a had man. Takes come discipline but worth it in my mind.
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Originally Posted by Jjolg123 View Post
I have a black lab X and she has gone through this on both knees. The first was operated on in okotoks and the worst part of that was all the meds which seem to have done a number on her system which we dealt with for some time. During that operation we were told so much weight will be pushed on her other leg that an injury to the other leg in the future has an increased chance. Low and behold a year later it did.

Not wanting to go thru the same issue with meds we went the natural path and just tried to immobilize and use the stomach assist to help her get around. THis method took longer for sure but looking at her now both legs seem just as strong.

SHe was 10 when the first surgery happened.
Appreciate the replies. We did talk to the vet about alternative therapies but he didn't recommend too strongly and felt surgery would be a better long term solution. I think if Duke were much older, we would probably look at that route a lot more strongly. If you have some more info on the specific methods you used I'd love to take a look at it. Trying to be open minded while getting the best long-term care for my bud.

The vet isn't doing the surgery himself, so he has no benefit one way or another, and I think he's pretty balanced. Explained our options, long term effects etc. We noticed Duke was stiff for the past few months, but really didn't realize it was his knee. Because it's been a few months he's already lost some muscle at the knee in his bad leg.

There was one other surgery type mentioned, but for a dog of Duke's size he isn't eligible. Basically they drill the bone and wrap something like a fishing line to help keep the joint together. But because of his size, it wouldn't be viable. (90lbs)
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:10 PM
artie artie is offline
 
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Did you have him xrayed to determine if that is the problem or the only problem. My lab was diagnosed with jump down syndrome which working dogs tend to get. Basically arthritis in the front elbow and the x ray shows degeneration. Same thing they can go in and smooth the bone out but others have pointed out that if they do that they will destroy good cartilage. He suffers a lot from this jump down syndrome and at times i have thought I would have to carry him. Other times he takes off and chases a coyote like there is nothing wrong. I found he is better in the morning but stiffens up in the afternoon. Let us know how you make out.
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:17 PM
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Did you have him xrayed to determine if that is the problem or the only problem. My lab was diagnosed with jump down syndrome which working dogs tend to get. Basically arthritis in the front elbow and the x ray shows degeneration. Same thing they can go in and smooth the bone out but others have pointed out that if they do that they will destroy good cartilage. He suffers a lot from this jump down syndrome and at times i have thought I would have to carry him. Other times he takes off and chases a coyote like there is nothing wrong. I found he is better in the morning but stiffens up in the afternoon. Let us know how you make out.
Should have mentioned it's his rear leg.

Vet said he's 90% confident in his diagnosis, and would sedate and do an xray prior to proceeding with any surgeries. My wife was at the vet and wanted to speak with me before we put him under for the X-ray.

Duke loves everybody, but he has an innate sense of Vet offices . He's only been in for getting fixed, and annual checkups except for some stomach issues a little over a year ago. He must still remember the big snip I guess. When he's in the vet room he puts his nose to the door and whines.

Currently he still runs like the wind and has full energy to chase sticks and wants to play etc. He just favors the back leg, and has figured out how to run around without putting much weight on it.

Looks like our backpacking trips this summer are off the table because we always take duke. He'll be sitting comfy in the RV trailer instead I guess for this summer.

Appreciate the comments and PM's!
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:35 PM
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Default Poor pup.

My dog tore the same ligament and there was two options presented to us. One was surgery and the other was lots of kennel time and limit stair use. We went with forcing her to rest it and she went from not being able to put any weight on it what so ever to a full recovery in about four months. Take into account she is a younger dog.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:56 PM
silverdoctor silverdoctor is offline
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No offence, but never again will I take the advice of one single vet again. Before you consider anything, do get a proper X-ray, the dog hasn't been truly diagnosed yet and already surgery is the option.

You say your dog runs like the wind, but favours the back leg. Have you ever tried to stabilize the knee with bandaging and taping for a few days to see what happens? Try to keep the dog from running too much, let him swim his heart out.

I've got a screwed up knee, ACL and CCL issues, the knee tends to get "loose" for lack of a better term and I can feel it clicking. Need to bandage it for a few days but keep it moving. I just don't manage it properly, my own fault.

I'm thankful my pup is insured.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:04 PM
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No offence, but never again will I take the advice of one single vet again. Before you consider anything, do get a proper X-ray, the dog hasn't been truly diagnosed yet and already surgery is the option.

You say your dog runs like the wind, but favours the back leg. Have you ever tried to stabilize the knee with bandaging and taping for a few days to see what happens? Try to keep the dog from running too much, let him swim his heart out.

I've got a screwed up knee, ACL and CCL issues, the knee tends to get "loose" for lack of a better term and I can feel it clicking. Need to bandage it for a few days but keep it moving. I just don't manage it properly, my own fault.

I'm thankful my pup is insured.
Definitely getting the X-ray and a second opinion before proceeding with anything. Also looking into some alternate treatments. Want the best care for Duke, and if we can reduce expenses that is a bonus.

This will be a process and will research as best I can before we make any decisions.

Duke hasn't really changed his behaviour much and energy levels are good. Which is part of the reason why we didn't act any sooner than we did. Just thought he's a tall dog, and getting a little older, so thought he was stiff in the hips a bit and after a lot of exertion just thought he was sore as opposed to ligament damage.

Like you say, a second opinion is important.

Thx
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:11 PM
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I just went through this at Christmas. We went with the plenty of rest option and it took about a month before he could put any weight on it. I took him to the vet the next day and the doc said he figured it was a really bad strain as the slip or drawer test he did still felt tight so I didn't bother with X-rays. For those who have a GWP you know how difficult keeping a dog of this caliber still for even ten minutes can be. As of today you would never guess he was injured but his training is still very limited until I feel it's time to start again. We are slowly working up to it. Sorry to hear about your dog.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:14 PM
robson3954 robson3954 is offline
 
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My GSP had his shoulder done. Worth it. But if you think you have it bad with a lab and rest, try a3yo GSP on one month bed rest and 4 months on a leash!
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:28 PM
silverdoctor silverdoctor is offline
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Originally Posted by Albertadiver View Post
Definitely getting the X-ray and a second opinion before proceeding with anything. Also looking into some alternate treatments. Want the best care for Duke, and if we can reduce expenses that is a bonus.

This will be a process and will research as best I can before we make any decisions.

Duke hasn't really changed his behaviour much and energy levels are good. Which is part of the reason why we didn't act any sooner than we did. Just thought he's a tall dog, and getting a little older, so thought he was stiff in the hips a bit and after a lot of exertion just thought he was sore as opposed to ligament damage.

Like you say, a second opinion is important.

Thx
Are you giving glucosamine and chondroitin? If not, buy some raw chicken feet for him to eat. Highest natural source you can get. I've seen it work wonders on old dogs that were seized up.

Then try bandaging the leg for support. Don't tape the joint itself, just wrap the leg and tape above and below. Won't hurt to try while you're trying to figure stuff out. If there's any inflammation, get some anti-inflammatory meds from the vet.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by robson3954 View Post
My GSP had his shoulder done. Worth it. But if you think you have it bad with a lab and rest, try a3yo GSP on one month bed rest and 4 months on a leash!
Oh boy! I was just saying to my wife I'm glad Duke had mellowed a bit.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by silverdoctor View Post
Are you giving glucosamine and chondroitin? If not, buy some raw chicken feet for him to eat. Highest natural source you can get. I've seen it work wonders on old dogs that were seized up.

Then try bandaging the leg for support. Don't tape the joint itself, just wrap the leg and tape above and below. Won't hurt to try while you're trying to figure stuff out. If there's any inflammation, get some anti-inflammatory meds from the vet.
Yep we have had him on the Costco glucosamine for about two years now. Vet said because it's an 'old' injury and has basically stabilized that the antinflamitory meds wouldn't help much.

Lining up a Vet through a friend that has a good reputation for that second opinion.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:56 PM
silverdoctor silverdoctor is offline
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Yep we have had him on the Costco glucosamine for about two years now. Vet said because it's an 'old' injury and has basically stabilized that the antinflamitory meds wouldn't help much.

Lining up a Vet through a friend that has a good reputation for that second opinion.
Sorry to keep harping but that costco stuff is likely synthetic and likely won't contain chondroitin. I'd try natural cartilage personally, I won't give my dog synthetic anything. None of it is regulated and you really don't know what the source is.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:08 PM
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Diver, this is the website that was a lot of help to me in making the decision.

http://www.tiggerpoz.com

When the vet told us that there was better than a 50% chance of the other side going within a year I knew we needed a better alternative than surgery.

Fed her lots of glucosamine (still do) and got her thinned down quite a bit and life has been good.

Good luck whichever way you choose.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:09 PM
dogs and feathers dogs and feathers is offline
 
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[QUOTE=Albertadiver;3515816]Appreciate the replies. We did talk to the vet about alternative therapies but he didn't recommend too strongly and felt surgery would be a better long term solution. I think if Duke were much older, we would probably look at that route a lot more strongly. If you have some more info on the specific methods you used I'd love to take a look at it. Trying to be open minded while getting the best long-term care for my bud.

The vet isn't doing the surgery himself, so he has no benefit one way or another, and I think he's pretty balanced. Explained our options, long term effects etc. We noticed Duke was stiff for the past few months, but really didn't realize it was his knee. Because it's been a few months he's already lost some muscle at the knee in his bad leg.

There was one other surgery type mentioned, but for a dog of Duke's size he isn't eligible. Basically they drill the bone and wrap something like a fishing line to help keep the joint together. But because of his size, it wouldn't be viable. (90lbs)[/QUOTE

i did the surgery on my Chocolate Lab when he was around 5-maybe 6. Pretty extensive-big cost, but worked well when he healed and had another 5 years on it hunting no issues-glad I did it at that age. Blew other knee out when he was 8 or 9 and did the drill and fishing line surgery (in Cochrane) on that one-held up till he was done but only a couple of hard hunting seasons on it and he was a lot slower. He was a big boy too-90 lbs and big and athletic linebacker.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:29 PM
Rdamours Rdamours is offline
 
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We had the acls done on our chessie a number of years ago. One leg a year apart but had insurance and it was about 3500 each time with 60 % covered.

I've heard its a fraction of that in Montana. Do a search on this forum and I thought it was 1200 or so for the same surgery.
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:16 AM
MathewsArcher MathewsArcher is offline
 
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Our lab had both ccl's done at ages 2 and 4. She is now 10 and still hunting hard and doing better than lots of dogs her age and shows no issues. Like others have mentioned start saving now for the second surgery as it is likely going to be required. We followed the top dog recovery process and it is very hard to keep your dog so inactive and if I recall it was more like 12 weeks with slow progressive increases in activity. Good luck and make sure you choose a surgeon you trust, we were very happy with ours although probably paid more than it would have cost elsewhere. If your looking for a recommendation feel free to pm me.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:39 AM
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So today's update, we were prepared to have X-rays and then proceed with TPLO surgery today after meeting with the surgeon and getting some more opinions and research.

The consensus is that one of the ligaments is partially torn, but not totally separated. We were going to confirm by putting him out and doing the xrays and joint manipulation.

In doing some blood-work, they found that Duke's platelets are very low. (I'm in a bit of a fog and can't remember the number the vet told me) With them being so low, there is no way Duke can have any surgery.

So, next step is more $$ for two more tests to find out what is going on with the platelets. They did a lip cut test and he clotted up properly and on time so it has everyone a little perplexed. We've been camping the past week so there's a chance he might have got into something like mouse poison or something like that. Otherwise he seems totally healthy and normal.

Or... there's a chance he could have something going on internally we didn't know about.

Last edited by Albertadiver; 05-08-2017 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:50 PM
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I hope you get what your after. I personally have zero trust in vets anymore as i went through a similar situation with our Boxer. She went got 3 second opinions who were al animate that her cruciate was done. we paid for the xrays and many other pain management plans unit the day she finally went in for the surgery...wife even took a bunch of time off work to help with the recovery. Phone rings a few hours after i dropped her off and the surgeons says her ligament is intact and still fine. They charged me for 70% of the surgery as a conciliation an hen recommended some steroids to help with whatever might have been wrong. Fast forward two years and our poor girl is so ill and so many things wrong with her we decide to wean her off the steroids....2 months later she 95% fine and acting like a puppy again.

This all took 4 1/2 yrs and just shy of $9000 in vet bills. Never again will i trust a vet.
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Old 05-08-2017, 05:46 PM
Sundog57 Sundog57 is offline
 
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Blown cruciates are not uncommon in field trial dogs.
The old standard was TPLO surgery. Many many dogs continued to have competitive careers after this procedure, mine included.
My dog was done in Florida and was USD 2300 all in including laser post op and therapy.
5 years ago and he's ready for another trial season.
As others mentioned you want someone who has done lots. The guy we used does about 300+ TPLOs a year. My vet in Canada couldn't see any difference in gait once the recovery period was done.

There are a couple of newer techniques out there but you would want to be very sure about them before signing on.
There are also a number of companies who make custom cruciate stifle braces for dogs. For an eight year old, if I wasn't running a trial dog that's the route I would take.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:28 PM
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Send me a pm. X-rays will not show acl rupture. Being in doggie games and having gone thru this myself can help direct and get u the info you need to make an informed decision.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:58 PM
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Send me a pm. X-rays will not show acl rupture.
Yes, the surgeon said that as well. Pm sent. Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:00 PM
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Well, here's the latest update.

Went to the Animal Hospital near Wholesale Sports and had more tests done and met with and internal specialist. They wanted to do blood platelets, chemistry, and do an ultrasound and Xray. We proceeded with blood and chemistry, and said no to the xray and ultrasound unless the chemistry came back funny. We want the best care for our Lab, but I have to be conscious of what we're spending before I have to remortgage the house!

The blood test was a duplicate of the first one, and it turned out that his platelets were ok, they were just clumping on the first test at the surgeons, which made it appear that his count was low. Chemistry came back good. In other words, turns out he's healthy except for his joint issue.

Tomorrow should have the Pathologist confirm the results of the second round of tests and Duke's booked in back at the okotoks hospital for Xrays and potential TPLO surgery next Tuesday.

A lot of stress, worry, and $1300.00+ in tests and consultations, and we're no further ahead to address the original leg issue.

The internal specialist and surgeon seem very knowledgeable and we feel like we can trust them, and they've been very open and gave lots of options, but I'm going to make some calls and respond to some PM's before next Tuesday's visit.

I've been googling like crazy and there are all sorts of things on the net, so taking everything with a grain of salt.

Starting to make me wish that I bought Pet insurance! Although, I'm sure they'd find some reason to decline coverage.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:06 PM
silverdoctor silverdoctor is offline
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Dr. Google, some fun huh?

Good luck getting pet insurance now. My dog has been insured since he was a pup, I was lucky that I could carry on the policy. $30 a month, I'll still have to pay $700 deductible but considering what you're looking at $$$ wise to get this done...

Good luck, hope all goes well with the pup.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:10 PM
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Dr. Google, some fun huh?

Good luck getting pet insurance now. My dog has been insured since he was a pup, I was lucky that I could carry on the policy. $30 a month, I'll still have to pay $700 deductible but considering what you're looking at $$$ wise to get this done...

Good luck, hope all goes well with the pup.
Thx - we debated getting insurance when Duke was a pup and we were looking at around $50.00 a month.

Fast forward 90 months, and we'll have paid about 2k less than what this batch will cost. Other than this issue Duke has hardly been to the vet except for shots and an annual. Not a good gambler.....
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:18 PM
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My lab had this happen when he was 7 , had the surgery , then blew it open a month later , don't know where you boys are getting the big numbers from for this surgery , but it cost me $500 bucks to sew up this ligament twice.
Dr Torence was the vet on 16th ave N.E Calgary , and this was in 2007.
l believe hes retired now.

My Dog was 90% after that , had a slight limp , but was fine , never put the dog to sleep over this , they recover just fine
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:41 PM
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My lab had this happen when he was 7 , had the surgery , then blew it open a month later , don't know where you boys are getting the big numbers from for this surgery , but it cost me $500 bucks to sew up this ligament twice.
Dr Torence was the vet on 16th ave N.E Calgary , and this was in 2007.
l believe hes retired now.

My Dog was 90% after that , had a slight limp , but was fine , never put the dog to sleep over this , they recover just fine
We loved Dr. Torrence as well, and yes he's retired. Now our primary Vet is in Cochrane. The old guy there recently retired too.

Sounds like your describing the 'fishing line' method. We looked into that but Duke is huge for a lab at 95lbs (he's not overweight just a big tall lab) and all the Vets we've talked to say he's too heavy for that type. I wish he was though!
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