Dealing with a torn cranial crucial ligament in your dog is never an easy thing, and when you add in the high cost of dog knee surgery, it can become a very stressful situation for both the dog and the dog owner. When you begin to research the type of surgeries available to treat the injury, you’ll find the following primary surgery types which can range anywhere from $750-$3,000 depending on the type of surgery, the size of the dog, etc. Common surgery types used to treat a torn cranial crucial ligament in a dogs knee:
Each of the above types of surgeries is great in its own application, however the size and weight of your dog may disqualify it from receiving one or more of the particular types of surgeries. For instance, a large dog, such as a Rottweiler probably will not be eligible to receive a Traditional knee surgery strictly due to its size and weight. Most vets will probably recommend TPLO or TTA surgery for a dog this size, and unfortunately, TPLO and TTA are two of the more costly surgery types due to the fact that they are more invasive and involve cutting of the bone in the knee joint to create a new angle of the knee joint in order to reduce the amount of stress on both the joint itself and the surrounding ligaments.
Cost Reducing Options
At the end of the day, if your dog needs surgery, there really isn’t a way around it, though I have heard of some dog owners who have just not had the ways or means to cover the cost of dog knee surgery so they simply chose to use conservative management as their way of “treating” the injury. The reason that I put “treating” in quotes is because choosing not to repair a torn knee ligament will leave the knee unstable and it will really reduce the dogs quality of life in most cases – especially if the dog is overweight. Should you elect to avoid the cost of surgery by going the conservative management route, here are some things that may help you:
- Limit the dogs activity
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many dog owners will just forget about the injury all together after time. The dog may seem to be better, but chances are the injury is still there and the dog has just found a way to cope with it. Make sure you restrict or limit the dogs activity after it suffers a torn cranial cruciate ligament.
- Manage the dogs diet
If the dog was overweight when the injury occurred, chances are the weight was a contributing factor in the torn/ruptured knee ligament in the first place. Putting the dog on a weight management diet can drastically improve the dogs quality of life (though many dogs will seem miserable when their food intake is limited) weight loss can definitely help improve mobility and recovery because the knee joint will have less force on it.
- Anti-Inflammatory medications
Though this may be an option, it’s not recommended in cases where the dog owner has elected not to get a knee surgery for the dog. Giving anti-inflammatory medication to a dog with an untreated torn knee ligament may give the dog the false sense that the knee is actually better and more stable than it actually is, causing the potential for more injury.
Though most wouldn’t consider not treating a torn knee ligament as a treatment option, it is in fact the only option for some people out there, strictly due to the cost. If you ever find yourself in this circumstance, you could always try to negotiate with your veterinarian – they may be able to work with you on the price.