Author Topic: CCL surgery for Mugs~  (Read 1472 times)

AandWBoxers

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CCL surgery for Mugs~
« on: August 02, 2014, 10:37:41 PM »
Hi~
My Mugs (5.8 yr old) has been diagnosed with CCL.  She's been limping for about a year, and started a little whimpering last week, trying to get comfy for bed.

I've read through a few threads in here about this and, of course, seem to get more questions than answers!

How does a specialist make this diagnosis and surgery better for dogs than a general vet?

Why give supplements for years if it doesn't really make the problem go away??

How much more does a specialist usually charge for these surgeries vs a regular vet??

Our vet is going to charge around $1500 - is that about normal??

My husband was against the surgery, also, and wanted me to look into this forum and others to get more answers.  I hope you guys will be able to help us out!

Thank you very much!

Wendy
Mocha, CGC 4/26/04  :sombrero:    Mugs 9/27/08  :devilish:    Axel 7/21/10  :puppy:
Max, CGC, TP 5/3/03 - 8/27/09  :angel:

BoxerWB

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Re: CCL surgery for Mugs~
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2014, 12:02:23 PM »
I'm sorry your pup has this injury, it is definitely no fun.  I'll respond to your questions given my experience:

A specialist is just that - someone with specialized knowledge. I'd expect that if your vet says it is a CCL tear, they are probably right, so the specialist wouldn't be diagnosing whether or not they had it, just the severity and best course of treatment. A general vet could be very good at them, or could not be. You might ask the general vet's success rate. I know that my general vet told me he could do the surgery more cheaply, but the specialist had about an 85% rate of full recovery with the other 15% having some limits and/or occasional lameness but still good quality of life.

Supplements are not a cure,  they are support. Just like people who take multivitamins or probiotics. They help your body function when it may not be getting the support elsewhere. I gave Xena generic Cosequin DS for most of her life to help keep the joint lubricated.  Joints with that sort of injury develop arthritis much faster than others. At the end we moved up to Adequan injections (more potent than oral supplements) and the difference was obvious and well worth the price.

I don't know how much "more" a specialist charges, but when Xena's was done over 10 years ago, we paid $1,500 at the specialist and that was the lowest price I'd ever heard (for a specialist). The local veterinary college wanted double that. I think my general vet offered $500 but was honest that his success rate was quite a bit lower than the specialist. Price also depends on method - the vet I used practiced a method that isn't very commonly done, but requires no foreign bodies (plates, screws, etc) so the approach was different and (I believe) simpler than the more common TPLO approach.

If your dog truly has a CCL tear (or worse, complete rupture), I would not skip surgery. Imagine a human living with a busted knee. You wouldn't ask them to walk around unassisted the rest of the life, would you? I know some folks have tried conservative management (braces, restricted activity, etc) but the success rate is usually lower because any goofs ups - unauthorized running, jumping etc - usually mean they need surgery anyways.

No matter what your choice, I highly recommend a canine PT. Especially since this has been going on a year, it is probable that your pup has a lot of atrophy in that leg (try measuring both thighs - the thigh on the injured leg is likely to be several inches smaller around). Many PTs will do one or two office visits and send you home with massages and exercises to do on their own, so their cost is not a long, ongoing expense. Xena struggled with atrophy for about a year after her surgery. By then, my ortho vet had hired a PT and it only took a couple visits to bring the thigh on her injured from 4" skinnier to nearly matching. I was able to revisit the exercises and massages throughout her life whenever I noticed her getting tight or sore. Worth 10x the price of our 2-3 office visits.
Julia
Delta 03/12
Dash 07/06
Shady 07/05
In my heart: Xena 03/10/03 - 02/16/12

AandWBoxers

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Re: CCL surgery for Mugs~
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2014, 04:12:31 PM »
Julia,
Thank you for all your information.  I really appreciate you taking the time to write that all out. 
I will be taking your advice and looking into a specialist in my area and asking about success rates and getting Mugs into PT. 
Thanks again!! 

Wendy
Mocha, CGC 4/26/04  :sombrero:    Mugs 9/27/08  :devilish:    Axel 7/21/10  :puppy:
Max, CGC, TP 5/3/03 - 8/27/09  :angel:

BoxerWB

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Re: CCL surgery for Mugs~
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2014, 04:28:18 PM »
Happy to help! Hope someone else with experience stops by to give you their perspective too. Situations like this are rough, there is no one "right" answer.
Julia
Delta 03/12
Dash 07/06
Shady 07/05
In my heart: Xena 03/10/03 - 02/16/12

Christina

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Re: CCL surgery for Mugs~
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2014, 10:27:20 PM »
I commented on the other post, Julia said everything I did. The $1500 from your vet depends on the type of surgery, for Star's TPLO surgery with a specialist 5 years ago, I paid $2500. That included all of his follow up xrays and checkups.

If the knee is unstable, I would go for surgery, the longer you wait, the more likely arthritis will form in the joint from the instability. It took over a year for Star to get his diagnosis, as a result off that, he has horrible arthritis in both knees. The success rate of the surgeon depends on things like that as well. I would as about types and frequency of complications, they do happen with any surgery, how the surgeon handles them is important.

I hope you get it figured out for Mugs



Christina
Little Ann 2/14/96-4/6/10
Boomer 1996- 4/25/14
Lucky 4/24/04-8/27/14

Eilene

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Re: CCL surgery for Mugs~
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2014, 02:08:41 PM »
Hopign the surgery is a success
Eilene
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Forever in my heart Amber,Bailey,Chicklet,Tequila

Boxermom,K

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Re: CCL surgery for Mugs~
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2014, 07:11:16 AM »
Since the knee has become a chronic condition I would definitely consider surgery. I would ask your vet about their experience with this type of surgery and success rates vs a canine/small animal orthopedic (if there is one in your area).
When my Bubba boy had his TPLO surgery done (10-11 years ago) it cost $3,000 (that included follow up care exams/x-rays).
After surgery, physical therapy can really help them regain strength and movement in the knee.
Wishing the best for Mugs.

Bubba 12/30/00 - 10/29/07
Kristi
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whitepupzoe

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Re: CCL surgery for Mugs~
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2014, 08:36:09 AM »
Ditto everyone else...I did comment in the other thread.  :)
Kristin ~ Mom to Abby & George


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