My parents' dog is 9 years old (GSDx) and she ruptured her cruciate last night. Now my parents are weighing the options ... they were told there are two types of surgeries as well as amputation (which was not recommended but given as an option). I told them I'd ask here to see what types of surgeries were had (I know there are a few on the board here) and what successes there were. Pros and cons from the pet parent perspective ...
Java had back to back TPLOs at 13 months old.
Both surgeries were 100% successful and she is back to being a very, very active lab-running, hiking, swimming, wrestling, etc.
The pros of TPLO-it's a strong fix that is almost failproof, she is back to doing absolutely everything she did before.
The cons-the cost (all totaled-$10,000 for both legs), it's a very invasive surgery(it involves cutting the main weight bearing bone in the leg and plating it all back together again), and the plates get cold in the winter.
If Java had been 9 years old when she tore her knees I would most likely have gone with the traditional surgery-it's good for an older, less active dog that is in good shape. If the dog is overweight or very active-I probably wouldn't do traditional-it can be a delicate repair. If it fails you need another surgery. It's much more affordable too-usually $1000-$1500 and it's much, much less invasive.
For a very active dog-you can't beat TPLO.
For an older, less active dog-traditional is a good choice.
Another procedure being done with great results is TTA-similar to TPLO but the bone that is cut is not weight bearing. Not all dogs are candidates for TTA though-it depends on the angle of the knee, which the surgeon wouldn't know until they got in there.
I'd stay away from tightrope though.
Jasper tore his cruciate and had a TPLO. I considered leaving it at the time as he coped well, but after much research, deliberation and advice, I went ahead with the surgery and I am now so glad that I did as he is like a spring chicken now whereas if I hadn't opted for the surgery he would be permanently lame. His is in his 11th year !
Tell you parents to go with TPLO - so worth it !
I considered tightrope surgery but there is always the chance that it will fail and need repeat surgery as TPLO is a much more stable operation.
I agree with everyone. Rush had her surgery last December and we went with the lesser surgery. She isn't a real active dog, but we do walk everyday and it has healed beautifully. I recommend this 100% but it depends on the activity level of the dog and which surgery will accommodate the best. Keep us posted. I'd like to hear what happens.
I've done a TPLO and Tightrope, both with great results. If you're dealing with a young, active dog I would only suggest a TPLO but at this dogs age, I personally would do the traditional or tightrope.
Tessa had a TTO 8 weeks ago and doing well. My vet told me with a larger active dog TPLO, TTA or TTO is the best.
Here in N.Z. the 2 main ones are TTA or TTO. TTO is a cross between the TPLO and TTA.
ETA. I wasn't going to say this, but I am going to update on Tess and feel bad not telling the exact truth.
We have had a problem with Tess and she isn't doing as well as we hoped, but I would still do it again.
Last edited by kassabella; 11-02-2012 at 01:54 PM.
Raven had the regular/traditional surgery on both legs, one was done Sept 2011 and the other, just this summer Aug 2012. She is still healing from the second surgery so she is not supposed to be running or anything right now. She also has a lot of arthritis in both legs so she does limp around a bit. Otherwise, the surgery went well, we just have to keep her calm for like 12 weeks at least. She is now 8.5 yo.
I joined the orthodogs website and they have a lot of info on these surgeries. They also say that it takes a good 6+ months until they suggest the dog to be running again. Which since she tore the second one only 1 year after the first means she really hasn't been able to run/play for a while. I chose this surgery since it is less invasive and she really wasn't an active dog anyway. Since you said she walks alot with your parents, with this surgery that can start happening after 3 or so weeks to start building up the muscle again gradually. Good Luck with your decision.
How long did you crate? You say careful for 12 weeks, then can start walking after 3. Does that mean you started to build with slow walks, then back to sitting still or crate, or was she able to walk around the house as long as you were careful with no jumping or running for 12 weeks.
Thank you so much everyone. They are opting for the TPLO; we feel she is much too active (even at her senior age) to risk the lesser surgery. We find out Tuesday when her surgery date is. We are giving them a crate, she hasn't been crated for 8 years so lets hope she takes to it easily. I'm sure she will but there's always a chance she's going to hate it.