Hi, I am new to this sight and thought maybe some may have some advice regarding my lab. I have a soon-to-be 7 yr. old chocolate labrador named Katie. Nearly 3 years ago Katie ruptured her left rear ACL and we opted to have the so-called "traditional" surgery on her. We actually drove her out of state to have the procedure done based on referrals to a particular vet who frequently performs both an intra-capsular repair along with the extra-capsular repair. She has done fairly well with that leg since, although it does have a measure of arthritis. But she generally uses it pretty normally though. Our regular vet had strongly recommended TPLO (which he doesn't do) and made it clear that he does not perform the traditional surgery on larger dogs. We consulted with an ortho specialist (referred to by my vet), who actually does TTA, at the time but opted not to go that route. Our vet had expressed STRONG disapproval after I had the traditional procedure done, and frankly I was very uncomfortable with his attitude.
Now, the reason I relay all of this information is that unfortunately, Katie has now ruptured her right rear leg's ACL and we are faced with another surgical decision. Again my vet is pressuring for TPLO, and I am not sure what is in her best interest. Not only is the surgery (TPLO or TTA) very expensive, but frankly it scares me and I don't know that the outcome is any better than traditional. Also, my Katie is a VERY mellow labrador, so I think that is a consideration.
Anyway, thanks for reading my very long-winded story. Any advice would be appreciated!
here is a thread where it was discussed a few months back. you can also find other threads by going to the top right hand corner and searching for CCL or TPLO. Good luck. My boy is about 8 months out from his TPLO and doing good.
Are you within driving distance of the UC-Davis CollVetMed Teaching Hospital? I'm VERY happy using the one at K-State.
Welcome to the University of California, Davis William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
Last edited by Bob Pr.; 05-30-2010 at 05:29 PM.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
I don't agree with vets pushing TPLOs (which I'm sure you'll see my posts about if you search as Sandy above suggested). There have been no studies that prove any difference in outcomes between traditional repairs and TPLOs, so honestly the only reason I can see for the pushing is money, as you know TPLOs just cost more. Also, in mature, adult dogs a cruciate tear is considered a result of degeneration (rather than traumatic like in a young dog) so chances are whether you had a TPLO, TTA, or traditional repair done on her first knee, the second was just a ticking time bomb to rupture as well. I wouldn't blame the second rupture on the choice you made for the first repair.
If a traditional repair has worked well for your girl so far, I see no reason not to try a traditional repair on her other knee - and maybe find a new vet
Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy
Thanks for the replies. I read through the previous thread and looked at some other old threads on the subject. I guess there is quite a controversy and some strong opinions on the matter! I am so confused because I really want to do the right thing for my girl. I guess since I drove my Katie up to Oregon from southern California for her previous surgery you could say I'm within driving distance to UC-Davis. My current thinking is that I will first locate a new vet that would be willing to work with me for all the follow up care here where I live, and then go get the same surgery Katie had done on the other knee by the same vet in Oregon. We really did like him and the job he did. I still struggle with the decision though.
I have another question. When my dog had her surgery, the vet performed both the extra-capsular method as well as the intra-capsular method. In searching the net, I haven't found any mention of using both of these techniques in the same surgery. From a layperson's standpoint, it almost seems like this provides double security for the knee when going with the traditional repair method. Does anyone have any thoughts about this? Thanks.
A friend of mine had traditional repairs done on her then 2 year old Pyr Mix, a BIG boy.
He lived to a ripe old age of 9 (he had other issues) and never took a mis-step after the repair.
'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
~ Michelle Held
Rhys, Ruby and Nola
I can't offer any advice...but I will say a prayer for your pup. Good luck and keep us posted
My 1 yr old chocolate girl Java tore both her ACLs. She had her first TPLO surgery 3-25-10 and will have her second TPLO this Thursday. Part of the reasoning for going with the TPLO surgery is that initially it is a stronger repair. The traditional surgery is less forgiving of oops moments, slips, etc. than the TPLO. Howevr, the outcome, after recovery is complete, is the same. The main difference is that after 8 weeks, once the bone has healed from the TPLO, the chance of failure is 0, while with the traditional repair failure can come as long as 5-6 months after the surgery. If your girl is not active then the traditional repair sounds like the way to go. Java is just way too active for the traditional repair to have been successful for her.