This is such a great board! Canít believe I didnít found it sooner. I have two black girls, Maggie Mae (6yrs old) and Sara Ann (2 yrs old). Maggie is my working dog. She is very well trained in and loves to: hunt, dock dive, and runs like the wind. I got Sara just to be a ďpetĒ. Sheís just a love bucket! I donít hunt her or dock dive her. Anyhow, long story short, about a month ago I brought Maggie in because of an on going limp on her left rear after play time at the park. The limp would'nt be noticable until after weíd get back and she lay around for an hour. When she would go to get up after the nap she would 3 leg it. This would last for about 24 hours. After lots of touching and feeling by the vet she stated that Maggie had a ďtorn knee ligamentĒ. Approx $3000.00-3500.00 for the surgery. Well, I just about broke down right theyíre. I just donít think I can afford that right now. Tomorrow (Monday 5/23) I have an appointment. Iím going to ask for positive diagnoses. I assume X raysÖwhatever it takes. Then, what Iím thinking is, if itís not completely torn, is there an alternative to surgery? So I guess the help Iím looking for isÖ..
Has anyone treated a knee ligament injury without surgery?
I can tell everyone here loves they're Labs as much as I do Any help would be great!
Good thougts coming.
Ernie has had a partial tear. He has bad hips so the vet suggested a few weeks crate rest to see how it went. He had 6 weeks rest, then slow build up again and been fine. Vet is very pleased with it.
My vet says if it tears completely surgery is the only option for him so I am careful with him.
Nope-my girl tore both her knees when she was 13 months old.
She had them repaired in back to back TPLO surgeries, 10 weeks apart.
She's perfect now.
Yoy can try conservative management, but the chances of it being successful in a big, active lab are very slim. Odds are, even if it is only a partial tear right now, it will tear completely at some point soon. It doesn't take much-a quick turn or a little jump onto/off furniture or steps. My girl tore both her knees playing in the snow.
Good luck...yes, it is expensive: $10,000 to repair both of my girl's knees, but considering she was only a year old-it needed to be done to give her the best quality of life.
Honestly, for an active girl like Maggie, surgery is her best option to return to a full, active life.
I'm sorry to hear about Maggie. My 8-year-old, Henry, has a small partial tear of this right CCL. We suspect that this is a result of an injury he had when he was about a year old. He has only come up lame twice (once after my younger boy body slammed him in play, and once after playing in deep snow), and responded well to crate-rest each time, much like Chris' Ernie.
He has never had a positive drawer-sign, even under sedation.
We saw an ortho vet in January, and he said that while the majority of partial tears do progress to full tears, there is a small percentage of those which don't. We're hopeful that Henry is in the minority because when he palpated Henry's "bad" knee, he said if he didn't know Henry's history and didn't palpate his good knee, he would have accepted Henry's "bad" knee as within normal, the tear is that small and he isn't a surgical candidate at this time.
So, I'm super careful about what Henry is allowed to do... he runs hard, plays hard and stops hard. As javasmom said, it doesn't take a much to tear it completely. We don't walk as far as we used to, and I try to swim him more, which he loves.
An x-ray won't show the tear itself, but will show any changes to the bone or to the joint capsule in the knee that can be a result of tear.
I think that if Henry's partial tear ever progresses to a full tear, the only option I would consider is surgery. I wouldn't even think twice about it. There are websites out there which suggest that a complete tear can be managed non-surgically but which a dog as big as a lab, and especially one as active as yours, I'd be very wary.
Do you have an ortho vet nearby that you can consult with?
Good luck with your appointment today, keep us updated!
Thanks everyone. Please keep them coming! I should also add that after that initial appointment and after going over the threds here I started giving her some supplements. I started with Petmeds Super Joint Enhancer with 500 mg glucosamine, 400 mg Chondrotin, and 100 mg MSM. Then I recently switched to GNC Ultra Mega Hip & Joint Health with 750 mg Glucosamine, 600 mg chondroitin and 500 mg MSM. Iím giving her 4 of those per day (and Sara is now getting 2 a day). Leaving for my appointment in an hour.
Maggie Mae and Sara Ann
The ideal amount of Gluc/Chond is 1500mg/1000 mg. MSM-100 mg is nowhere near enough.
My girl Java is on Hylasport canine (1500 mg Gluc/1000 mg Chond, Hylarunic Acid, MSM & Vit. C) you can see it here:PupSup Supplements for Dogs!, as well as 1000 mg Vit. C, Grizzly Salmon Oil (omega 3 & 6 is highly recommended for joint issues) Vit. E and 2000 mg MSM (bought from a feed store-horse MSM).
Also, I would recommend you join the Yahoo group Orthodogs...great site. It deals only with ortho issues in dogs (ACLs being the most common issue). Lots of personal experience and advice there.
Just so you know...giving the supplement to Sara is fine, but the supplements have no preventatice benefits. I have 2 labs-Java and Moka. Moka does not get any supplements other than MSM (a smaller dose than Java) and 500 mg of Vit. C. There really is no benefit to supplementing Sara if she doesn't have any issues...it won't prevent an injury.
Incidentally, x-rays won't show a tear..it will only show inflammation in the joint, which would just indicate an injury there. Make sure the vet does a drawer test/tibial thrust test...that will give you a definitive diagnosis of a tear if there is one.
Good luck with your appointment...let us know how it goes!!
Last edited by javasmom; 05-23-2011 at 01:09 PM.
Agreed. Also, bear in mind that sometimes you won't get a positive drawer test/tibial thrust test while the dog is awake since they tend to "protect" their knee. This is best done under sedation, if possible.Incidentally, x-rays won't show a tear..it will only show inflammation in the joint, which would just indicate an injury there. Make sure the vet does a drawer test/tibial thrust test...that will give you a definitive diagnosis of a tear if there is one.
Henry is on Dasuquin with MSM, but this is mostly for his arthritis, rather than his CCL.
Wow Guys thanks! Just got back. They kept her. They are going to sedate her for the x ray. I don't recall hearing the words "drawer test/tibial thrust" though. I'll ask about that when I pick her up in about 4 hours. And I did know that x rays would not show soft tissue and did ask about that and the vet did say it would show inflammation and any abnormalities that would indicate an injury in the area. Also checking hips. She also did more touchy feely and said she had much more then normal movement in the knee.
As for the supplements, since I give her 4 per day she actually gets 3000 mg glucosamine (from shell fish), 2400 mg chondroitin (from bovine cartilage), and 2000 mg MSM per day.
Thanks again and Iíll keep you updated. I have to say, I think this posting is as much for me as it is my Maggie. Itís nice to share
P.S. They also said they can down load the x rays to disc to give to me for a second opinion.
Last edited by BlkLabLuv; 05-23-2011 at 03:43 PM.
Maggie Mae and Sara Ann
Prayers for Maggie...keep us posted
Ok, I just got back from the Vets office and after going over the X ray and the other test she recommended the TPLO. I did ask if she did the ďdrawer test/tibial test. She did do the drawer but not the tibial. Tomorrow she will have a Cost and detail of the surgery. It is approx. $3500.00. That does include any meds needed post opt but not the follow up x rays and exams. Does that sound about right?? Anyway, the next step is to schedule a consultation with the surgeon. ($150.00). I will probably do that later this week or next. It looks like Iím just gonna have to make this happen. Someone referred me to creditcare.com. Itís a loan for stuff like this. Not sure what the rates are but Iím gonna check in with my credit union on a personal loan as well.
Maggie Mae and Sara Ann