TPLO or Not?
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Thread: TPLO or Not?

  1. #1
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    DefaultTPLO or Not?

    Well we took Ralph, who is just past 2 yrs. old, in to have his right leg looked at last night. Our vet checked him over and concluded that his CCL was torn. Now we have to weigh our options and decide on a treatment plan. I am afraid of the TPLO option as it seems to be so invasive and certainly much more of a one shot deal than the traditional method. Our vet recommended the TPLO as he has had it done on both of his own labs knees with good results. Too complicate matters this same vet, who I have known for 25+ years, did the traditional surgery on both legs of a previous lab (Bert) and one of our cats as well with absolutely great results. I can see at lot of sleepless nights ahead trying to make a decision and then trying not to second guess that decision. Since we have Ralph's' brother George here as well we have to take that into account as they can be quite rough as labs can be. As well of the stairs, the deck, the basement, the snow, the ice, etc. etc.. Of course it has to be winter as this is Ralph's' favourite time, the idiot just loves to plow through the snow at warp speed!!!! Oh well, we will just have to block some areas off, build a ramp, dust off the crates and stop him from clearing the cats from the room at meal times. I am leaning towards the traditional method, with the use of a leg brace, a long period of controlled activity and physiotherapy. Fortunately I work from home so I will be able to spend all the time he will need with him. Arghh!!!! Labs gotta love them, they sure can make life interesting and your wallet just a little lighter! Opinions anyone? Thanks for listening.

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  3. #2
    tangelo53 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: TPLO or Not?

    i don't know too much about the traditional method. My ortho recommended TPLO for Abby because she was so young and TPLO is faster recovery to a younger dog. Abby is doing great...no regrets here! Good luck.

  4. #3
    jyurgo is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: TPLO or Not?

    What is TPLO?

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    Dani's Avatar
    Dani is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: TPLO or Not?

    Um, unless you have had the diagnosis confirmed by an orthopedic vet, I would not choose EITHER one. Even knowing the vet for as long as that. Sorry...I don't think anyone should jump into surgery.

    I was told that my dog had a CCL in need of repair as well, it didn't turn out to be the case. My boy had OCD in his hock. Completely different area, and completely different issue! I would really recommend a second opinion with a specialist.

    And to answer, I would definately go traditional if that is indeed the issue.
    Dani, Rider & Rookie
    SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
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  7. #5
    canUdigIt is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: TPLO or Not?

    I'd say second opinion and if needed a traditional repair as well. If there is a problem after the TPLO, what next?

  8. #6
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    imported_Nick is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: TPLO or Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by JYurgo
    What is TPLO?
    I don't know all the details, but this site seems to explain it pretty well.
    http://vetsurgerycentral.com/tplo.htm

    Have you spoken to a specialist? Ortho vets specialize in this stuff and consulting one may help your decision. Also, there are a few Yahoo Groups that I visited when I first found out Jes had hip dysplasia that may be helpful. They're not limited to dogs with hip dysplasia, there were quite a few that had cruciate injuries.
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodogs/
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/C...iveManagement/

    The last one is geared for people who try other methods aside from TPLO. In the end, it will be a decision you and your vet should decide as you all are the ones who know the situation the best.

  9. #7
    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
    Canyon Labradors is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: TPLO or Not?

    We had 2 TPLO's done on our boy. We had the multiple opinions, so I knew we were safe there. Our surgeon opted for the TPLO's due to Hudler's size and activity levels. His recovery was relatively fast and he was completely back to normal in 6 months. I wouldn't hesitate doing it for any of my other dogs if necessary. I don't like surgery, but if I need my dogs fixed, I want to go with a surgery that fixes them. I have heard stories where the traditional repair doesn't always hold, and then the dog still needs the TPLO, and is it fair to do 2 operations??

  10. #8
    lab13 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: TPLO or Not?

    My lab is going through the recovery stage of a TPLO at day 21.
    We choose this route vs the old way as she is so active.
    She is doing well and was probably putting weight on her foot within a couple of days.
    She is still on Medcam and doing physio with us at home.
    She is a very active dog and wants to get going and is finding this recovery a bit frustrating but tolerable.
    She has had some times outside when she ran or jumped in the snow this week but overall she is doing great, always on leash for a while longer and NO Stairs yet.
    The costs are more but I think the better choice.
    I know that if you do go the old way there is a chance that the dog can redo it again.
    Good luck with your decision. We did have to wait three weeks for our dog to have her surgery which meant that she was on Medcam then as well.

  11. #9
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    YellowJakesMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: TPLO or Not?

    Dani and Melissa, it's interesting you mention traditional instead of TPLO - I just went to a talk by Dr. Gail Smith a few weeks ago on whether veterinarians were doing enough research on TPLO and various surgical repairs before declaring them "better" than traditional methods. To date he has not been able to find any definitive study that dogs who had TPLOs done did any better than traditionally repaired dogs - this article explains it well I think:
    http://www.vet.upenn.edu/newsandeven...WallStreet.htm

    In light of that, I would probably go for a traditional repair if Jake ever needed one - touch wood!

    I second/third the advice about getting a second opinion as well - best of luck to you and your pup jdgrunt!

    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

  12. #10
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    DefaultRe: TPLO or Not?

    Thanks for all of the responses and for the links. After agonizing over this we have decided to go with the traditional method again. I can not get past how invasive and last chance TPLO is. If something goes wrong after the surgery with TPLO you really are out of options. Also the claims made for it seem a little questionable and not born out by actual fact. I have heard some horrible stories about TPLO complications as well. Bone cancer being one of them. What is sure is that it much, much more expensive. The traditional type seems to have the lower risk of serious side effect or failure when done by a competent surgeon. The same vet that did the traditional method on Bert (120lbs) at 5 and 11 years old will be doing it again. Bert lived to be just shy of 15 and was hiking with me in the bush until he was 13 and a half or so. As I have said I have known him for 25 years and his rep is really, really good. People from a much larger city come down to his hospital because of it. It sure is tough trying to make the right choices for our boys. Ralph's surgery is booked for next week on the 27th. It sure is going to break me up to bring him in and drop him off. Thanks again.

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