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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My personal dog tore his ACL:evil: on Friday. My vet recommended the TPLO surgery and it is approximately $4,000. Before I make this investment, I was wondering if anyone had this procedure done with their dog and what was the outcome.
 

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One of my dog's tore her ACL years ago and despite recommendations I didn't do the surgery. We did lots of slow walking and swimming and she built up the muscles around it and stabilized. Before she got hurt she was clocked at 22mph. After she revoveres she had slowed down to 20mph and couldn't quite jump 6' anymore. Other than that she never took a lame step again and she was an active free ranging farm dog. She chased horses and hunted rodents and roughhoused with the other dogs the same as she always had.

I didn't do the surgery because she didn't tolerate being crated and there was no way for me to keep her quiet for the 6wk recovery time that was recommended.

For reference she was a 65lb GSD mix.
 

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TPLO is one of the best surgical options of ACL tear. All the ones I have seen have worked really well and animal is back to normal athleticism 6-12 months post op.
Seen many owners opt for no repair for the dog to develop severe osteoarthritis within 3 months of ACL rupture, non steroidal anti inflammatories for the rest of their life. Statistic is also 70% of dogs that do one ACL will do the other if no repair is done.
I perform the TTA procedure which is similar and have done and assisted over 60 of them in the past 3 years. I have only seen 2 with post op complications that affect the return to excellent function. TPLO has very similar result and complication rate.
 

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I guess mine was the exception. No osteoarthritis, no ACL tear in other leg, no non steroidal drugs. Herbal supplements during her recovery and for about 1year after (she did not react well to Rimadyl or similar drugs). She was 6yo when she got injured and passed away 6 years later after having a stroke. The night before the stroke she ran her regular 2 miles with me, like she did every other night.
But she was very fit and slim before the injury, and I kept her just as fit and slim after she recovered. I expect that being as fit as she was supported her whole body during and after the injury. (and yes, it was a full ACL tear).
 

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Guess your dog had an amazing pain threshhold and you did well to keep her weight down and muscles strong. But as you said she was no longer as fast and could no longer jump 6' anymore.
Having been through 3 ACL reconstructions myself I can tell you and unrepaired ACL is shit and know the discomfort an animal goes through everytime it goes for a walk or run without that stability.
 

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My personal dog tore his ACL:evil: on Friday. My vet recommended the TPLO surgery and it is approximately $4,000. Before I make this investment, I was wondering if anyone had this procedure done with their dog and what was the outcome.
First, The thickness of the tear matters. If its full thickness. Your SOL. If it's partial. I wouldn't get the surgery. The ACL can still function if it's not full, and there dog will be no worse off, it may eventually full tear and then yes surgery is the way to go. That is if you want to continue an extremely active lifestyle. I have partial tear in my left leg, and have for 17 years. I had a very successfull kickboxing career with that tear, Graduated USCG helicopter rescue swimmer school and still serve and as an acitve helo swimmer today.... I am painless.. Also full tears in the ACL are not always painful. PT can do wonders, the body does not like redundancy, and what Jon was most likely feeling was other muscles and ligaments trying to compensate for the ACL, basically the compensatory muscles and ligaments were working opposite of thier intended purpose. PT can retrain those muscles and ligaments and you can be just fine in some cases. My sister in law has run hell, I don't know, over 20 marrathons in the last 15 years with a completely torn ACL and has been pain free....not saying Jon is lying at all.... because an ACL tear can produce severe pain. But not always.

My only other suggestion....if you live by a college withe veterinary program. You maybe be able to get the surgery for no more than the cost of supplies. I lived by the Michigan state and many sport dog people in the area often received quality care from thier by allowing vet student under the watch of a doctorate professor preform the surgery. Shop around. 4k sounds like your kind of getting taken for a ride. I have had some extensive surgery on my female.... and it was no where near 4k
 

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My nearly-twelve y/o GSD had it done 8 or 9 years ago. The other never blew and we went back to IPO for a considerable amount of time until I figured we were pushing our luck. He still moves well. Cost about $4,000 then as well. If you are on the East Coast USA, Hart at Bdford Hills AH. Worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for the info and suggestions. Hate that its so expensive but sounds worth it if you have a high drive dog. Hope to update with good news in the future.
 

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I know I may be chiming in a little late (so if you have already had surgery you can disregard).
My first GSD tore his acl at 1 1/2 yrs and it was a total not partial rip. He had the TPLO, and yes it was expensive( $2k is still better than your quote ) , and the recovery was long and rough trying to keep a young, high drive dog still- but it was 100% worth every penny and he never had any issues for the next 12 years until he passed.

Second acl injury on a different dog was only a partial tear, so surgery wasn't absolutely necessary and through physical therapy you can build up enough scar tissue in the stifle to support the joint. That and starting him on hyaluronic acid has kept him moving just fine with no further damage or problems with that knee.

Good luck and hope your dog heals up soon.
 
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