Monday, April 15, 2024

Dog Cruciate Ligament Surgery Success Rate

The Cost Of Caring For Your Dog

Cruciate ligament disease in dogs – the consult

In dogs, an ACL procedure is typically performed, but costs vary greatly depending on the procedure. If you are uninsured, you may be able to get surgery covered if your insurance covers it. If you can afford it, surgery will significantly improve your dogs quality of life. If you cannot afford surgery, an animal CCL brace may be the best option for you.

A Senior Dog Ccl Tear

My black Labrador, Jet, was 10 years old when he tore his CCL. We opted for traditional / extra-capsular repair surgery, the option which was best recommended in our circumstances. Our vet, vet techs and surgeon were all very helpful during our experience, but there are some things that I wish other pet owners had shared with me before we started our journey.

Avoid Google. You are likely not trained as a veterinarian and anything you find online should be taken with a grain of salt. Its okay to ask your veterinarian questions, research options and even get second opinions, but dont trust a stranger on the internet to give you medical advice about a dog they have no history with.

Trust your vet. Its okay to be hesitant about surgeries, but dont confuse uncertainty or hesitation with mistrust in your vet.

On the same note, take part in postoperative therapy as well if it is offered to you. Jet continues to use the hydrotherapy machine at the Leesville Animal Hospital in Raleigh, NC even 8 months following his surgery. Certainly, you dont have to continue therapy for as long as Jet has, but if you can afford even a few weeks, DO IT. Jet has excelled through the use of hydrotherapy. Taking part in walking exercises was difficult for Jet after his surgery, but the buoyancy of the underwater treadmill took away most of that difficulty and allowed him to focus on rebuilding strength.

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How Much Does Cruciate Ligament Dog Surgery Cost

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Unfortunately, we dont know why dogs experience cranial cruciate ligament injuries so often, especially in certain breeds. We do know that it happens when the knee joint breaks down or, in some cases, completely ruptures. This can occur with a sudden movement, like when a dog is playing fetch and does a quick turn to catch the ball, or it can be a slow degeneration of the ligament over time. Read our article below to find out if your dog is at risk for a CCL tear and how much it could set you back.

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Surgery Is Not A Magic Solution For Big Or Dogs: Post Operative Care And Owner Involvement Is Crucial For Success

Whether you are the owner of a small or large dog, your active participation in the post operative care will ultimately determine the success rate of surgery.

While it is true that many small dogs can get away without surgery for their torn ACL, some will need to undergo surgery, and their post operative care is critical for recovery

How you, the owner, create the space for your large dog to recover from knee surgery, the extent to which you include alternative care practices, and maintain a strict regime of rest, means that the balance of their recovery rests squarely in your hands.

Does a dogs size impact the success rate of knee surgery? Yes, and no, on the operation table, all remains more or less equal. However small dogs, because they bear less weight will tend to recover with greater ease. An owner who is committed to their larger dogs recovery can count on an excellent success rate as well.

What Will Need To Be Done Before My Dog Can Have Surgery

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X-rays must be taken prior to surgery. If x-rays were taken at your regular veterinarian, the films may suffice for dogs having extra-capsular repairs. A special view is needed for dogs having a TPLO or TTA, so it will be necessary to have x-rays taken here. Prior to anesthesia, routine blood work will be performed.

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How Does The Damage Occur

Your dog will likely rupture the cranial cruciate ligament when they overextend or rotate its joint. Also, an obese dog stands a higher chance of having a damaged cranial cruciate ligament over time.

The ligament may degenerate and change negatively over time due to other biomechanical problems, obstructing proper mobility. Keep an eye on your dog closely and watch for any signs of cranial cruciate ligament damage.

Why Pet Caretakers Choose Dog Acl Surgery Alternatives

ACL surgery for dogs is invasive and can be expensive. Pet owners who are looking for a less invasive and more affordable treatment often turn to conservative approaches like orthopedic dog braces to stabilize the knee joint and/or joint health supplements.

The effectiveness of dog ACL surgery alternatives depends heavily on several variables including the severity of the tear, your dogs age, general health and activity levels, current medications, and more.

Talk to your vet about whether an alternative torn CCL treatment may work for your dog.

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Symptoms Of Dog Acl Injury

As I waited for his surgery date, I noticed Remy displaying even more signs that he required ACL surgery, including:

  • A slow, awkward, and uncomfortable posture when standing up and lying down.
  • Swinging his back legs under his body to reposition himself and lie down .
  • Hand-standing. It wasnt uncommon to see Remy float his back legs completely off the ground, putting all his weight on his front legs. Once I even saw him lift both legs 6 inches off of the ground.
  • A bulky body shape. Due to the unnatural way he was supporting his body weight, Remy acquired an odd shape, with a bulky front area and a thin hind area.
  • Holding his head and neck down. Remy would constantly walk with his head and neck hunched down to keep his weight distributed over his front legs.
  • Hed hesitate to jump up on the couch. I began to notice Remy would hesitate a lot before jumping up into the bed or couch and often move back and forth on his back legs prior to jumping up.
  • Making tippy tappy movements with his back legs. In situations that did require Remy to lift his head, such as looking up at me for a treat or as I prepared his dinner, his back legs would tap back and forth as he tried to put as little weight as possible on them. He would also do a little poop dance where his back legs would lift back and forth.

How Are Acl Injuries In Dogs Treated

TPLO – The #1 way to fix your dogs ACL (cranial cruciate ligament) tear

If you suspect that your dog has an injured ACL it is important to have your vet diagnose and treat the condition.

If your dog’s ACL is torn or injured, the tibia slides forward in relation to the femur . This movement is known as a ‘positive drawer sign’ and results in knee instability which could cause damage to the cartilage and surrounding bones, or possibly lead to osteoarthritis.

Surgical treatments for ACL injuries in dogs include:

Extracapsular Lateral Suture Stabilization – ELSS / ECLS

This surgical treatment for a torn ACL in dogs works by counteracting ‘tibial thrust’ with a specifically placed suture.

Tibial thrust is caused by the transmission of weight up the tibia and across the knee, causing the tibia to thrust forward relative to the femur. The forward thrust movement occurs because the top of the tibia is sloped, and the dog’s injured ACL which is normally able to oppose the forward force, is no longer able to prevent this unwanted movement.

Extracapsular Lateral Suture Stabilization corrects tibia thrust by anchoring the tibia to the femur with a surgically placed suture. The suture pulls the joint tight and helps to stabilize the knee, preventing the front-to-back sliding of the femur and tibia while the ACL heals and the muscles surrounding the knee strengthen.

The suture must stay intact for 8-12 weeks for the ACL injury to heal. The suture will then begin to loosen or even break.

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy – TPLO

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How Much Is Knee Surgery For A Small Dog

There is no universal answer to this question, as the cost of knee surgery for a small dog will vary depending on the specific case and the veterinarian performing the procedure. However, as a general estimate, knee surgery for a small dog may cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.

Dr. Allen has performed ACL surgeries on dogs for over 30 years. Dr. Allen developed a new extracapsular technique in 2003 that used patients own tissue rather than foreign materials or devices. The clinic has already repaired a dog of 200 pounds or more. A plan is developed for overweight dogs to lose weight so that the other knee does not suffer from ACL rupture. Most of the time, physical therapy does not require rehabilitation and 90% of normal function returns within 6 weeks. Although there may be some discomfort after a few months of exercise, most people forget the leg that had surgery, which is inconvenient.

During The Tplo Surgery

During the surgery, the surgeon cuts the tibial plateau and repositions it in a 5 degree angle. The stifle will then be stable for the animal when bearing weight.

The surgeon performs the TPLO by cutting, rotating , and then repositioning the tibia. The bone graft is secured into place using a specially designed bone plate and screws.

The surgeon will also evaluate the meniscus. A torn meniscus can act as a source of constant irritation to the joint. The surgeon will remove any damaged parts of the meniscus. If the meniscus is not damaged, the surgeon performs a meniscal release. This helps prevent it from being damaged in the future.

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What Is Dog Acl Surgery

Dog ACL surgery or otherwise known as canine cruciate surgery is a very stressful and expensive endeavor for dog owners.

Veterinarians use ACL surgery to repair a torn cranial cruciate ligament in your dogs knee.

Nobody likes to see a beloved family member in pain! And, of course, you have questions.

The list of questions going through your mind may be infinite:

  • Is dog ACL surgery really necessary?
  • How much does it cost?
  • What is the success rate?
  • Are other options available aside from ACL surgery?
  • Which surgery should I choose?

Weve compiled some information to help you better understand the options available.

And ultimately, help you to make the best choice for your dog.

1. Prolotherapy May Be a Non-Surgical Option for Large Breed Dogs

There is some good news: Maybe you can bypass surgery at this time!

Yes, sometimes you can skip surgery and opt for prolotherapy instead.

Prolotherapy is also called:

A veterinarian injects an irritant solution into the injured tendon or ligaments during prolotherapy.

The prolotherapy injections stimulate the healing of the ligament tear and relieve pain.

Prolotherapy is excellent if your dogs cruciate ligament is partially torn.

However, your dog will need surgery if the ligament is completely torn.

2. You Can Choose Bone Cutting Surgery or the Fishing Line Technique

Believe it or not, you have options. There is more than one type of surgery for cruciate injuries.

Often, family veterinarians do not perform bone-cutting surgeries.

Post Operative Care For Small And Large Dogs

Cruciate Ligament Disease or Injury

Large dogs require longer recovery time, and they also require more exercise. This paradox is difficult for both owners and their large dogs after surgery. Learning to walk your dog post surgery is a process. While small dogs will often be more than happy to be cradled in the arms or lap of their owner post surgery, larger dogs do require continued walks and gentle exercise. It is much more difficult to ensure that your large dog rests after surgery and does not retain the recent injury.

Even when all is equal on the operation table, how well the owner participates in the post operative care of their dog, small or large, will have a significant impact on the overall recovery of the dog.

The reality is, that if you, the owner, are able to ensure an optimal post operative recovery , for your large dogs, then they are likely to experience the same success rate as their smaller counterparts.

Your large dog will need to be confined post surgery and for the first week only go outside for very short walks to use the bathroom. They cannot walk up or down stairs for the first week.

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Dog Cranial Cruciate Ligament Surgery: Why Would A Dog Need This Surgery

Cranial Cruciate Ligament damage is a rip or tear of one of the cruciate ligaments. It is usually the result of slow, subtle degeneration of the ligament that has been taking place from within rather than being the result of an injury to a previously healthy ligament.

The cruciate ligaments located within the knee in an X pattern that connects the femur to the tibia . The cranial cruciate ligaments function is to stabilize the tibia and keep it from sliding out of position, hyperextending, and twisting.

Because of this, many dogs that have damaged cruciate ligament in one knee will experience the same in the other knee.

Diagnosis of a damaged cranial cruciate ligament is determined by observation of the dogs gait, palpation of the dogs knee, and verification with x-rays. Hind leg lameness is the most common sign of a CCL rupture. The dog may also experience pain and swelling of the joint. Sometimes a crackling sound can be heard when the dog walks due to the bones rubbing together . There may also be a popping or snapping sound when walking if the knee cartilage has also been damaged.

Dog Cranial Cruciate Ligament Surgery: Are Certain Dog Breeds More at Risk?

Cranial cruciate rupture is possible in any breed of dog, but it is most commonly seen in:

Dog Cranial Cruciate Ligament Surgery: The Procedure Explained

Watch a Video of the Procedure

Watch Dog Cranial Cruciate Ligament Surgery

Powerful Tools to Help Your Dogs Cruciate Ligament Challenges

What Is The Cost

Depending on which surgery type you go with the cost can go upwards of $4500.00 US dollars. If you choose the extracapsular repair (the more traditional fishing-line approach the cost ranges from $900.00 to $2,500.00. The exact cost will depend on the area you live in, the skill and experience of the veterinarian, as well as the hospital in which the surgery is performed. Typically, the cost includes not only the surgery but also pre-surgical bloodwork, anesthesia, post-surgical care, and medications. Some hospitals may even include post-surgical physical therapy. RETURN TO TOP

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Immediate Surgery Is Required For A Better Outcome

It is important for you to attend to such signs of a ruptured ligament in time. This is because when one ligament is damaged, the dog will tend to put more pressure on the other leg.

Putting pressure on the other leg will eventually lead to another ruptured ligament. It is therefore worth noting that a dog with a damaged ACL on one leg will likely develop such a problem on the other leg at a later date.

Use Of Radiography Before Dog Acl Surgery

Cruciate Ligament Surgery in Dog. ACL in Dog.

Radiographs can also help us to confirm the diagnosis of a CCLR. At Veterinary Specialists of the Rockies, we have an in-house diagnostic imaging specialty department, which can help us to detect the kinds of joint changes that can follow a CCL injury. Changes can include excess fluid or effusion, arthritis, or the tibia bones forward movement relative to the femur bone. Radiographs are also helpful to your surgeon in ruling out other injuries.

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Extracapsular Or Lateral Suture Technique

A completely ruptured cruciate ligament in dogs weighing greater than 10 lbs ultimately requires surgery to regain the proper function of their knee. The most common technique used is the extracapsular technique . This procedure involves the installation of 2 surgical grade nylon bands around the knee to mimic the functions of an intact ACL. This procedure is very successful with success rates of greater than 90%.

The main advantage of this technique is that it is less invasive that the other procedures and is relatively quick and easy to perform. In addition, this procedure can be done without the need for special instruments, making it a more cost-effective option. The main disadvantage of this technique is that it is not very effective for large dogs . Additionally, if the procedure is not performed correctly, such as having the bands too loose, or too tight, can be problematic for the dog and contribute to complications.

A study that looked at data from multiple centers found that 94% of dogs who received the extracapsular ACL repair had good to excellent outcomes, with a 9% major complication rate. Complications included implant failure, infection, and meniscal tears.

Cost Of Acl Surgery For Dogs

Our prices for ACL surgery using MMP range from $2,200 – $3,300.

At many animal hospitals, to stabilise a torn ACL in dogs will generally cost between $4,000 – $7,000, and the MMP method is usually between $3,500 – $4,000. With an aim of providing ACL surgery at costs that more pet owners can afford, we offer MMP surgery at great prices. Though our margins are much less than what other hospitals can charge, they only perform 10 to 20 surgeries per year, whilst we perform more than 250 annually. Whilst out margins are thin, we are still able to make more than other hospitals in the area and provide marked savings for our clients. A second benefit is, because we undertake a lot of surgeries for torn ACLs in dogs, we are very good at them!

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