Pet Surgery

Discussion in 'Home, Auto, Hobby and Computer Tech' started by NVGator, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. NVGator

    NVGator Member
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    Do you or don't you? Simple question.

    This is Cowboy. We got him as a young 10 weeks old pup as a "rescue". We were told he was a Boxer/Lab mix which we were attracted to because we've had one previously.

    2374BB23-FAAE-46B2-B668-46FF11A333AF.jpg


    He's about 1 year and 10 months old at this point and a firecracker. Here's the problem. About 4-6 months ago we started noticing he was favoring his hind legs. What was a usual trip to the dog park or a hike turned into becoming lame and wiped out after 15 minutes of exercise. He isn't even 2 yet. What gives? We take him to daycare regularly and they also noticed he wasn't right. Based on the way he was sitting (off to one side) I though it was a hip issue, such as early onset hip dysplasia. We had XRays done and Doc said they look great. Recommended us to a Specialist.

    IMG_3387.jpg

    Come to find out the Ortho Doc took XRays and that he has partial Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Injuries in both knees. Otherwise known at partial ACL tears in both knees.

    So, the repair is to have Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery on both knees and there's a 95% recovery to full health prognosis.

    Cost is about $5,000 per knee. What would you do. I'm not creating a poll question for this thread as probably only 10 people will actually respond.
     
  2. OllieGator

    OllieGator Member....huh, huh, huh
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    Damn. Poor guy. With him being as young as he is, I would do the surgery. I'm a softy though with animals.
     
    • CDGator

      CDGator Well-Known Member
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      Very tough decision and I'm sorry NV that this is the solution. Is there any alternative or what if you did nothing? I love my pets but a potential $10,000 vet bill is too steep for me. That's a car for the kids or will help with college. Hope to never have to make that decision, especially with little kids in the house. It's a decision that only you and your wife can make. This sucks for this beautiful pup!
       
      #3 CDGator, Nov 13, 2020
      Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
      • Gatorbreath

        Gatorbreath The original "Breath" of the GCMB.
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        NV, the timing of your post is odd because I was just talking about this the other day.

        I have a pit mix that was also a rescue. A couple of years ago, we were in a dog park. Literally as I was mindlessly watching her on a casual trot with other dogs, she came up lame - right rear leg. She wasn't running fast or cutting, just a casual trot. She could bear no weight on it to walk - so she got by on 3 legs.

        I waited a couple of days before taking her to my vet. His exam showed how the healthy knee was stable and how the he could manipulate the damaged knee to sort of slide a bit. He said she had a partial tear of the CCL - not a complete tear. He said he was guessing but thought the tear might be 50%, if memory serves.

        He put surgical options out there - though I seem to recall the most expensive one being less than $3K. He said he could refer me to a great specialist for the surgery. But then he said if she were his dog, he'd wait and see how she heals on her own. He said I'd have to restrict her - no running, no dog parks and no rough play in the house - but that there was a decent chance she'd heal up. If not, surgery was always an option.

        It took almost a year of restrictive activity, but she did heal. For maybe a year after that, I could hear a clicking noise coming from her knee when she climbed stairs, but I don't even hear that anymore. I'd say she healed 100%. She does not favor that leg, no noise comes from it and she seems perfectly fine.

        He also recommended these:

        71mdyGVaMrL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

        It's kind of funny - for many years I had given my dogs a similar supplement I bought from Sam's Club - but he said these had more and better ingredients....

        I recall he was very specific. Had the tear been complete, then surgery was the only option. But if the tear was partial, there was a chance she could heal up and he'd spin the dice on that, especially if the dog wasn't in too much pain (which she wasn't - she was her happy self except hopping a bit then favoring the damaged leg).

        At the very least, I'd get a second opinion for both the call for surgery and the price. If the tears are partial and you can restrict his activity - no dog parks, running off-lead and crate when you're away - maybe he can heal on his own?
         
        #4 Gatorbreath, Nov 13, 2020
        Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
        • g8r.tom

          g8r.tom Well-Known Member
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          My now wife and I got a baby pitt bull many years ago. It was about 2/3 months old when it feel and damaged one of its back knees very badly. He needed surgery. It was expensive. We did it. The recovery was hard, on us mainly. He had a metal brace around the leg so he foot wouldn't touch the ground, but the brace did instead to support him. I say hard because how do you convince a 3/4 month old puppy to stop running and playing with the big dogs. We did our best, but he still played, and he recovered. About five years later he needed another surgery.

          He lived about 12 years and had a great life. Sometimes it bothered him some. Sometimes he limped a little, until there was a squirrel around, then it was off to the races. One night when I wasn't home an intruder came in the front door babbling about some nonsense and it scared my wife. When the pitt, about 8 then, sense her fear and came around the corner growling, the intruder left fast.

          I figured that was payback for the cost of the surgeries. Although all the years of fun we had with him were payback enough.

          He died of old age.

          You have to make your own decision based on your family situation, values and finances.

          We never regretted it.

          _________________________________________________________________

          That being said, a friend of mine had a similar situation. Dog hurt, needed expensive surgery. He did it. A year later the dog was hit by a car and died.
           
          • Gatordiddy

            Gatordiddy Engorged Member
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            This is probably one of those "hindsight is 20/20" type of things, but years ago after our Short Hair Pointer got into the Christmas cookies, she had to have a plasma transfusion (I had no idea they did those things for dogs), ... $1700 later she was ok again.
            Around the same time our Weimaraner got stomach bloat - $2700 of surgery.

            After that - we got Pet insurance. And as long as the dog or cat doesn't have a pre-existing condition at the time of enrollment, then having the policy takes on the brunt of the surgical costs, minus the deductible. This came in very handy as the Weimy had two strokes.

            I know it's too late in this situation, but whatever you decide, it might be worth looking into in the future.
            My company even offers it thru our benefits program so you can take advantage of volume pricing and payroll deduction.

            something to consider...

            Good luck with that beautiful puppy!
             
            • ExecutiveGator

              ExecutiveGator Paragraphs are great tools. Use them.
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              If it wasn’t for kids and animals we’d all be millionaires.

              But, then, what would be the point of living?
               
              • crosscreekcooter

                crosscreekcooter Cunning Linguist
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                Sorry to hear about Cowboy's problems, he's turned into a fine looking hound. Peanut sits on the side of her hip like Cowboy but fortunately no orthopedic problems.
                Cowboy is young and tough and would easily weather repair surgery, consider calling a couple vet schools at local universities and get an estimate for surgery, it should certainly be less than making 5 or 6 payments on your vet's Mercedes. Ask the vet for a supply of Rimadyl, it's a great canine pain med.
                 
                • NVGator

                  NVGator Member
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                  It’s a tough decision for sure Ollie.
                   
                • NVGator

                  NVGator Member
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                  Kids certainly bring a huge dynamic into it, right?
                   
                • NVGator

                  NVGator Member
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                  We’ve had 2 dogs deal with Bloat. Both emergency surgery. A Boxer/Lab and a German Shepherd/Lab. Luckily we’ve saved both.
                   
                  • NVGator

                    NVGator Member
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                    Breath, that’s a lot and a lot to process. Thanks for passing on your experience.
                     
                  • Gator By Marriage

                    Gator By Marriage A convert to Gatorism
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                    Several years ago our lab, Onyx, had bloat and needed emergency surgery. There were some other complications and in the end we spent quite a bit on surgeries. Onyx lived another 3+ years, before dying last spring just shy of her 13th birthday.
                    Laying out huge coin on a pet is of course a personal matter and everyone’s financial situation is different, but if you can afford it I suspect you won’t regret it. After we paid all the bills for the surgeries, Mrs G noted that we could have taken a nice European vacation for that kind of money. In response I asked her which would she rather have, the dog or the trip? Fortunately, since the choice had already been made, she responded the dog.
                    Personally, I don’t regret the decision one bit and have never looked back.
                     
                    • Gatorbreath

                      Gatorbreath The original "Breath" of the GCMB.
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                      I apologize for prattling on so. Allow me to simplify:

                      Get a friggin second opinion. And get one NOT from a "specialist/surgeon", because surgeons always lean towards surgery. Get one from a well-regarded general vet. Ask questions about the tears. "Are they complete or partial?" If partial, "What percentage would you guess - 50%, 75%...?" "Is it possible he could heal without surgery?" You get the idea.

                      And then if surgery is the only answer, price shop them. I love my dog. And I love my girlfriend. But I have a hard time envisioning spending $10K for a medical procedure for either of them.

                      You're welcome. :lol:
                       
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                      • gingerlover

                        gingerlover Junior Member
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                        Sorry for chiming in a few days late. For us we have always said he would do what our animals needed as long as they would still live a happy life. Cowboy is still young and will recover well most likely and would add comfort to his life later on if fixed right. That being said those financial decisions are for your family to make.

                        Our beagle that past last may was almost that type of decision, but none of the surgeries or treatments were going to prolong his life or cause him less suffering so we just enjoyed our time, but he was 10 years old. If they had told us any of it would have bought us more than an extra six months if he even survived the surgery we would have done it.

                        It’s hard because most of our pet care come out of pocket, but they quickly become such a big part of the family that you hate to have to say no.
                         
                      • NVGator

                        NVGator Member
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                        I have a similar-retired Vet friend/golf buddy that has always focused on holistic medicine. I’m gonna reach out to him for an opinion. Wife is gung-ho on the ops. I’m not, yet.
                         
                        • Nalt

                          Nalt Well-Known Member
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                          Probably NOT the opinion you really wanted to hear but...it's a dog. Dogs are valuable pets. They are also expendable more so than many people would ever admit. If a Vet couldn't make it comfortable at a reasonable price then I would put it down.
                           
                          • Back Alley Gator

                            Back Alley Gator Well-Known Member
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                            We just had TPLO done on our 110 lb german shepherd three weeks ago. She's seven. When she was 2, she had the Tightrope procedure done on her other knee. The TPLO cost us 3400. The tightrope cost us 2500.
                             
                            • Back Alley Gator

                              Back Alley Gator Well-Known Member
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                              So...5k per knee is way too expensive. You will have about an 8 week recovery before they are allowed to run and play as normal. The first 4 weeks are the most difficult. Your dog is small so you should be able to find someone to do Tightrope on him. Its def cheaper. TPLO gets good write ups tho. But its more invasive.
                               
                              • NVGator

                                NVGator Member
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                                Thanks. How is she doing at week 3? Someone else suggested the tightrope procedure as they had it done on their golden retriever. Cowboy weighs about 70 pounds so while not 110 german shepherd, certainly not a small dog. Unfortunately, there's not a pool of vets in this town that do the TPLO procedure.
                                 

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