Cost of Repairing a Torn ACL/CCL Injury in a Dogs Knee

Finding out that your dog has torn or ruptured its CCL (comparable to the ACL in humans) is some of the worst news that a dog owner can hear, and while the first thought that crosses our minds as dog owners is what do we need to do to make it better? The questions that comes right after that is usually, What is it going to cost to repair the torn ACL/CCL? The truth of the matter is that we’d all do anything to make sure that our dogs are safe and healthy, however, the fact of the matter is that most surgical procedures to treat a torn or ruptured CCL will typically range from $1,500 on the very low end, all the way up to as much as $5,000 on the high end of the spectrum.

The cost for the surgical procedure to repair the CCL will depend on a number of factors, including, but probably not limited to:

  • The type of surgery – there are 4 different types of CCL surgery.
  • The size of the dog – Depending on the size of the dog, some procedures may not be an option.
  • The location that you live in – For example, surgery in Idaho will probably be less than it would be in Southern California.
  • The severity of the injury – Depending on how much damage was actually done to the stifle joint.
  • The hidden cost – The follow-up visits. We usually don’t take these into consideration when evaluating the initial cost of surgery, but the follow-up visits definitely add up, and is something you should be clear on before committing to the surgery, especially if you have a limited budget.

All in all, when all is said and done, the average surgery cost will probably end up being somewhere around $2,500. I’ve gathered this figure through my personal experience, through talking with people (in person and via email) and through reading stories from other people online.

Comments

  1. Penny says

    Our 56 pound boxer tore her left leg ACL, completely, and could not walk. Repair cost $3,300. We live just outside Wash DC in the Virginia suberbs. That was exactly 8 weeks ago. Kept her inside all the time except for short 10 minute walks at the 4 week marker. Her leg is doing great, but, just last Sunday she tore the other knee, just slipping on the pool deck. She was not even running, just slipped trying to stand up. The knee bent sideways and she held it up immediately signaling a tear or partial tear. When reading all these articles, many of them say to almost expect for it to happen to the opposite leg. Like you, we went on vacation to the beach 3 weeks following the surgery and left her in a kennel/hospital. No steps whatsoever for a minimum of 8 weeks, so be prepared to carry him up and down steps. I don’t know what we will do now. She puts weight on that leg but has a slight limp. We may just keep her quiet, which we are doing anyway, and let it try and heal, even with arthritis. She is such a sweet and loving dog and has been a great patient. Good luck in whatever you decide.

    • Jess says

      Who did you use? We live in Kensington (just moved here) and need some help finding a great place for our yellow lab to get the TPLO!

      Thanks :)

  2. says

    Penny,

    Thanks for sharing your story, I’m sorry to hear that your dog injured the opposite leg. Please keep us informed on what you decide and whether you choose to go ahead with a second surgery on the other leg.

    Best of luck!

  3. Jay says

    Next week we are taking our 5 year old chocolate lab in for tplo surgery. My main concern is the weeks after the surgery. We have another yellow lab and they play alot. We also have stairs to get outside. To what extent do I have to prepare my house for her recovery? How inactive does she have to be? I was told up tp 12 weeks of inactivity!! How do we do that? If you could give me some advice on slowing her down for the next 3 months that would be great. You have also mentioned that the traditional surgery does well. Our dog is about 80lb. She is a big lab. Would tplo be the right surgery to go with?

    Thanks in advance

    • Lisa says

      We just had our weim have the TPLO surgery and we are on our 3 day recovery! All I can say is make sure you have someone home most of the time. I have our Weim in a HUGE metal crate in our bedroom when we leave otherwise she is just in our bedroom which is hardwood floors which I have had to lay huge rugs everywhere. I have to give pills every 3 hours all different ones for pain, anti inflam. anitbiotics, and tranq. to keep her calm. We have her sister so she always wants to play with her. Just been taking the other one for runs so she gets worn out, while the other one rests. It has been such a process I made a spreadsheet to make it easy what pills when, and also an icing schedule cause have to ice every 4-5 hours. Hope this helps good luck

  4. says

    Hi Jay –

    As far as the type of surgery, I’m not the one to give any final recommendation, but I have heard the TPLO is generally a better option for large dogs.

    In terms of inactivity, we were also told 12 weeks. Our dog was 60lbs at the time of surgery and was obviously a bit overweight. We kept her in a pen and restricted her food, down to about 3/4 of what she was previously eating. She now weighs between 42-45lbs and that alone has drastically helped her mobility and recovery (in my opinion). Keeping her inactive was tough, especially considering that we had a 2 year old puppy who always wanted to play. We just kept her in a cage through the day and night and only took her out (on leash) to go to the bathroom. There were some days where she was really antsy and wanting to get out so we’d give her a sedative – we hated doing this, but it was for her own good.

    I hope this info helps, feel free to comment again if you have any other questions! And please let us know how your surgery goes!

    Best of luck!

    • Gordy Campbell says

      Great advice, How did your dog injure her left rear leg?

      My 3 1/2 year old yesterday was given a release command from the sitting position to retreive a training dummey…3-6 steps into the retreive she started screaming in pain and froze…Took her to the vet, she was givin a shot of steroid for inflamation and pain…still don’t know if it is the acl, a muscle or a disc…

      • Gordy Campbell says

        2 months later after resting her and limiting activity she has improved and I think that it must of been a muscle pull…might of been a light tear of the acl…she shows no sign of lameness..

  5. Jay says

    Thanks very much for the info. Never thought of putting her in a kennel. Feel bad about doing that, but like you said it is for her own good.

    Thanks again

  6. bert says

    i have an 8 year old boxer who has addisons and because of her prednisone gained alot of weight she weighs 110 pounds and the vet said she should only be around 60 however it was the reason she hurt her knee and im going to get the surgery but i guess im just worried will she recover good? i am just sick over this. mom going crazy with worry about what to do she cant walk either and i just want her 100% better is this possible?

    • says

      Hi Bert –

      From everything I’ve heard, overweight dogs tend to have knee problems far more frequently than “fit” dogs. Our dog lost about 30% of her body weight after surgery, due to the diet we put her on. From experience, I’d say that your dog will have a much better chance of fully recovering if its weight is kept down. If you think it’d help, I’d be willing to post some articles on weight management and weight loss for dogs. Let me know what you think.

      Best of luck!

  7. says

    No problem Jay – its always hard to cage up your dog (especially the active ones) but in the grand scheme of themes, its only for a short amount of time, and it is for their own good. Without doing that, the dog could reinjure its leg, or worse, injure the other.

    Thanks for commenting! I’ve been trying to get this blog out there a bit more and its nice to see that people are finding it!

  8. bert says

    hello, its bert again if you would post weight managment that i could try id be willing im up for any help she eats four cans of pedagree a day now two in morning and two in evening we did give her the pedagree weight managment but she would not eat it! thanks

  9. luke says

    hi my dog sam a 9 year old jack rustle terrier hurt his right knee the vet told me that he had torn his acl, what can i do to help his leg heel by its self. he was a little over weight but now he lost a lot and is not eating/drinking much how do i keep him eating/drinking.

  10. says

    Hi Luke –

    Sorry to hear about Sam. The fact of the matter is that a torn ligament WILL NOT heal by itself. That’s the reason I put this website up, to hopefully let users find cheaper/better options.

    From my best understanding, if the torn ligament goes untreated, the joint will remain unstable, and in the best case scenario, the dog will develop scar tissue around the joint that will “simulate” stability, however the ligament will never repair itself.

    Losing weight will definitely help your dog if you decide to not have surgery, but if your dog is just not eating/drinking anything, it could mean that he is in pain. You may want to go back to your vet and see if you can get any pain medication and or anti-inflammatory medications.

    I hope this info helps, best of luck to you and your dog!

  11. Lisa says

    I went to the vet xrays, pain meds, etc. $313.00. My black lab jaxon 87ibs. 6years old needs surgery (MRIT)he has cranial cruciate ligament rupture. How long can I wait???? Can I try to get his weight down and wait until spring???? Also and save the money for the surgery.

  12. says

    Hi Lisa –

    If your dog is overweight, reducing his weight will definitely help in terms of mobility, recovery and prevention. In terms of waiting, it’d be best to ask your vet. If the cost is preventing you from getting the surgery immediately, just make sure that you limit your dogs movement and activity as much as possible in the interim.

    Best of luck to you and Jaxon!

  13. Julie says

    Hi

    I have a very active boxer and am looking for someone who has a active breed and has had a CCL surgery on their dog and some time has passed. I need to get him surgery and am leaning towards the TTA but would like to talk to someone who hasnt had it so recently so I can get some stories about dogs who have had it maybe a year ago and see where they are at with it. Thanks so much.

  14. Tony says

    I have a 95lb 8-year-old black lab with a torn ACL and just earlier today he tried to run and hurt his other hind leg. He now limps while holding up his newly injured paw while on one diagnosed with the torn ACL. The original price I got from my vet was $3300 for one knee which included the surgery, x-rays, and two sessions of some kind of rehab they do at their clinic in a pool? At the moment it is a little too pricey and I have begun looking into alternatives to my regular vet clinic and found out that the University of Wisconsin-Madison has a School of Veterinary Medicine where they sometimes do procedures such as the TPLO for a lower price than an actual clinic. I am not sure as to what qualifies a dog for the procedures but I will be making calls starting tomorrow and I will try to post any updates. In the mean time are there any over the counter “pain medications” that I can give my pup to at least let him go outside to do his business?

  15. says

    Hi Tony –

    Sorry to hear about your dog. I can’t imagine having to deal with 2 torn ACLs at the same time. I hope that you’re able to get some help from UW.

    As far as over the counter pain medications, I really don’t know of any offhand. I’ll see if I can ask around a bit and post a few options here for you.

    In the meantime, I’d just ice it (if your dog will let you), and keep it as restricted as possible in order not to do more damage to the knee.

    Best of luck

  16. says

    Hi Julie –

    We have a very active pitbull who had the traditional surgery. You can read all about her on this site. She has fully recovered and is still very active.

    I know the breed isn’t the same, but its similar. Boxers are much taller, so there may be some problems in trying to go the traditional surgery route on that breed.

    Best of luck to you, and hopefully some of our other readers will respond.

  17. bert says

    hello, its bert again. i just wanted 2 let every one know that i took my dog maggie 110 pound boxer in for the knee surgery and it did not go well 4 maggie due 2 what we think was her weight. it is very hard for me 2 understand but maggie lost her life that day(sept.16,2009) and i am very upset because i just think they could have worned me about that chance. not one day has went past that i have not cried, and i have 2 wonder if i should have let her go in 4 surgery?! i guess what my point is, is that please know the risk first because as much as i wanted 2 fix my dogs leg i would not have done it until she lost weight had i known! nothing like take ur dog in 4 a broke knee(i call it)and get a call that she has died. i dont wish this on anyone, although i dont blame anyone and am very glad u have this site so people can b prepared, thanks again 4 all the answers i did get and good luck 2 everyone, bert

  18. Shaunna says

    Hi my name is shaunna. I had just taken my dog to the vet a couple of weeks ago. I noticed that she was limping after i played ball with her. It would go away but recently she wouldnt stop limping. Well when i took her to the vet. They said she had a torn ligament in her knee and the best way to fix it is to have the surgury. But there are other treatmenat that will help too. I also had her thriod level checked because dogs with low thirod are more prown too tarn their ligiments. have any of you had your dogs thirod level checked. My dogs level was low so that was part of her cause of taring her ligeament and her weight problem. she is a blue heeler.

  19. Chuck says

    My dog Digger tore his ACL and possibly injured the other one. He is a big boy about 130 lbs. He is a Newfoundland. I can no way afford thousands of dollars. I will probably have to put him down. I don’t want to he is such a lovable big guy. Every time I walk him we get stopped by everyone wanting to pet him. He loves people and I wanted to take him to the Care Center. He is so gentle. I can’t bear to have him suffer though. I will try what I can to get him fixed though.

  20. says

    Hi Chuck –

    Sorry to hear about your dog Digger. I’ve got a friend who has had a couple of Newfoundlands and the are great dogs! Very people friendly and loveable.

    Look through this site on the conservative management section, and also try Googling that term as well. You might find some good surgery alternatives if you cannot afford the surgery.

    Best of luck.

  21. Angela says

    I have a 2 yr old boxer, Niko. In February he was limping. He was x-rayed and nothing was found. Stopped limping within a few weeks. He started limping again in November. Had him x-rayed again and my vet couldn’t see anything. He recommended having the x-rays read by a radiologist because he knew something WAS wrong. Both new and old x-rays were sent out. Turns out in February’s x-rays, there is inflammation around the ligament consistant with a torn ligament. A spur was also found on the top and bottom of his knee. Mild arthritis has set in. Also the torn ligament is a mild case. But he always limps or holds his leg up completely. But it doesn’t stop him from running 100 miles an hour in open areas. I have kept him housebound for 2 weeks now. He’s no better. We saw a surgeon last week and put him on anti-inflammatories and pain meds. The surgeon said to try for a few weeks to see if it is a flare up. If it doesn’t get better we will have to operate. He wants to replace, not repair, the ligament. Drill a hole in the bone and put something almost like fishing line to replace the ligament. Is this normal and should he repair the ligament if possible? I also have a Great Dane who he loves and plays rough with all the time. She is crated at night, but Niko never goes in a crate. How do I keep him confined? Also, I live in a raised ranch, which means, 1st floor there is a flight of stairs to go down to go out. Or he has to go done stairs to the basement to go out. Stairs everywhere!! I am very worried about how to proceed with him. I don’t want him in pain anymore, but want to make sure surgery is the answer. He was fine for so many months. Any advice or medical knowledge is greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • Nikolai says

      So sorry about Basil!!! I have a furry baby also..He just had anesthesia for a danetl cleaning and I was a nervous nelly. Can’t imagine having to deal with ACL surgery. They are your babies! I will keep him in my thoughts of good will. “Gizmo” and I wish him well!!!!AJ (The Quilting Pot)

  22. says

    Hi Angela –

    Unfortunately, x-rays do not show ligaments, they only show bones, that’s why humans have to have MRIs when they are suspected to have a torn ligament. In dogs, many vets will manipulate the joint in order to feel for “drawer movement” or instability.

    We had the extracapsular surgery that you mentioned above – the nylon/filiment that is put in place to stabilize the knee and act like the ligament would in a healthy knee.

    Here are some articles on diagnosing knee injuries:
    http://dogkneeligament.com/category/diagnosis/

    Here are some crates that we used and recommend: Crates & Pens

  23. mrs.jay says

    I have a 12 1/2 yrs. old Golden Retriever who has just been diagnosed
    with ccl. Is surgery really recommended for a dog that age? Will he be in good shape after surgery?

    • says

      Hi mrs.jay –

      Sorry to hear about your dog. From the few people I’ve talked to, I haven’t heard anybody recommend CCL surgery for a dog over 10 years of age. Typically, the reason for this is the fact that the dog is far less active after 10 years of age and putting the dog under for such an invasive surgery usually isn’t worth the risk as it may not improve the dogs quality of life that much. As with all posts on this blog, I’d recommend that you visit your veterinarian and have a discussion to determine the best course of action for your particular situation.

      Best of luck to you and your dog. Please follow up and let us know what you choose to do.

  24. mrs.jay says

    Thanks Kenneth for your quick response. My vet is the one recommending this surgery. However, they plan on running all blood tests, x-rays, etc. prior to doing surgery. If you don’t recommend surgery for a dog over 10 yrs. of age, is it fair to let him finish his days being lame as he is. It’s very hard to lift him to get him outside, and it’s very hard to see him limping around.

  25. Jen says

    I have a chow who is scheduled for ccl surgery on Monday. I believe I’ve found a very good vet who specializes in orthopedic surgery and has a great post-op plan with PT. I wanted to do the extra cap surgery, but the vet wants to do the TTA. My chow is 58 lbs, will be 10 in May, but is extremeley active. Do you think her weight is too high for the extra cap or would you not recommend surgery at all due to her age?

  26. Lynda says

    I have a 3 year old Lab, Max. He’s incredibly active as we live on a large farm with another 7 year old Lab. We just found out that Max has a partially torn CCL, he’s 100lbs (which is large for a Lab, yet he towers over the other lab who is a healthy 83lbs.)He is a little chunky but is in great shape, he’s very quick to get food even with his bad leg (he stole the Easter ham with 12 of us in the room). Since the ligament is only partial and he is still able to run full speed and play all day, he’s not whimpering or fussing over the leg that is injured, simply lifting it only at night, I’m wondering if surgery is the best option. It’s not about the money, I just don’t want to put him through a surgery at such a young age, and him have more problems down the road. I’ve read that he may develop arthritis (yet the test came back very clean and he’s good right now), or that the other leg had a good chance of tearing the CCL as well. Also, what about the mobility afterwards. Will he be the same old dog? Able to run up and greet me down the 1km driveway or play ball with the other dogs? I can keep him quiet at my parents house for as long as needed to have the leg heal without surgery. Any information is greatly appreciated.

  27. Anne says

    My Beagle — Daisy — just tore her ACL on Sunday and her surgery is scheduled for Monday. I am wondering how much PT she really needs to go to at the therapy center and how much I can do at home. I want to keep the costs down, but I want her to heal properly too.

  28. says

    Hi Anne –

    We did all of the “therapy” at home… Basically consisted of no activity, and slowly adding small/short walks back into her routine after 3 months. Once she was walking well, we got her into the pool to do some swimming.

  29. Meredith says

    I just brought my very big, but gentle, Golden home from the vet who suspects he has torn his CCL…I’ve been told to keep him at rest for one week and then recheck to see how he’s doing. He was sent home with Rimadyl and I’ve put an ice pack on his leg. He’s seven years old and lost his mate last summer to cancer. He has spent a lot more time inside which led to his weight gain and I’m guessing this injury? I feel responsible if this is the case. He may need surgery if drugs/rest don’t work. What else can I do for him in the meantime? Meredith

  30. Jane says

    Hi Ken –

    I’ve got a very active, happy golden mix (about 60 lbs) who appears to have a torn ACL on her left rear leg, according to her primary vet. Lily is limping, but when she sees a squirrel, she’s off like a rocket and appears to be oblivious to her malady! She’s in good health, isn’t overweight, but she has had a femoral head excision on her right leg, so I’m concerned about subjecting her to another surgery and the possibility of two lame legs in the future. I’d love to have a recommendation for a vet that is somewhat a known quantity. Did your dog have the surgery in Southern California? Or has anyone out there a good rec for a So Cal vet ortho? Thanks for your help — and thank you for this wonderful site.

  31. Lynda says

    Lynda, my dog is 5 – black lab – and the problem sounds exactly the same. We are considering surgery too. What did you decide? I too am on the fence but fear the arthritis…thanks – Laura

  32. Jane says

    Lynda,
    I will be taking my dog to a new vet for a second opinion later this week and will be happy to report back.

  33. Jane says

    Hi Lynda –

    We decided to go with extracapsular repair surgery and not the TPLO, which is more invasive and considerably more money; the vet who will perform this surgery has done so on a number of large dogs without any complications. It’s scary, though, as I am concerned about keep her quiet during the first few weeks post surgery. Has anyone else elected to go for this type of surgery with their dogs?

  34. Christine says

    We have a 7 year old yellow lab. She is the best! However she does have the hip problems that labs generally have and arthritis. She has never been a super active lab but will definitely run and play. She has limped for a while and we thought that this was due to the arthritis but on a recent visit to the vet, he said that she also has a torn ACL. He said this really needs to be fixed. I do not know much about the surgery other than the costs associated with it which would be very difficult to pay at the moment. She is slightly overweight but has really had not other major health issues other than an ear infection. I am looking for advice for this surgery. I want to know if it is worth it because of her age and the common problems that a lot of labs have. Again I do not know much about surgery, but I wanted to know if this will fix the problem or it is inevitable that the other leg will go as well costing more. I just want to know the options or opinions that others have if you have been in this situation as well. She is a member of our family and I want to do as much as I can and would not like to see her suffer.

  35. Sonya says

    Hey, My black lab just had knee surgery today and the only way we were able to afford it was a “Care Credit” Card. It is for pet expenses and human expenses also.

  36. says

    Hi Sonya, sorry to hear about your dog. Would you care to expand on the “Care Credit” card? I’ve never heard of that. It might be something that could be of value to our readers.

    Thank you

  37. Lyndsay says

    My husband and I have a 57lb doberman who is 7 years old and tore her ACL while jumping off the bed. Lexis qualified for the TTA surgery, and we spent approximately $3000 (which included the consult, an x-ray, the surgery, and all medications). We live in Oklahoma City. We are on day 2 after the surgery, and so far she is doing well, but her leg is extremely swollen. She does not like to be pinned up, so I did give her a sedative.

  38. says

    I am in the process of researching different options for our dog, Connor, who has a partially torn CCL.

    I noticed a couple of questions about Care Credit – it’s a credit card that many vets (and human doctors) take that allow you to pay back balances over a certain amount interest free within a limited time period. For example, if you charge over $500, you can pay it back within 3 months interest free. Over $1000, you have 6 months. If you go past that amount of time, interest does accrue as usual.

  39. Lynn says

    My 6 year old Beagle/Basset mix was just diagnosed with a torn ACL. I am opting for non-surgical management. I am treating him with Carprofen and rest as well a a weight loss diet. It is my understanding that these things heal very slowly BUT they do heal. Of course I have no problem keeping him quiet due to the Basset in him. walking to his food bowl is his most strenuous exercise.

  40. Sonya says

    Hi there everyone,
    My Dog Daisy went through TTA Surgery 3 Months ago and is doing WONDERFUL. We hated putting her in a crate all day, so we sedated her like every 8 hours or so just to keep her mellow. I did use the belly band to help support her hind end after her surgery and 4weeks after.
    Now we are waiting to pay off some of the Car Credit Card, so we can do the other leg.

  41. Kris says

    Sure! Dr. Barrett is a “free lance”,,,PUN intended HA….(pricey) ortho surgeon we found via our local vet, he did the surg. in our vets office, which is VCA Parkwood, Woodland Hills, CA. Dr. B. was doing several of these repairs each week, he travels around with his skills. So far our old 9.5 yr old girl is doing OK, surg. was about 3 yrs ago, maybe 3.5 yrs. This wk I did notice a bit of limping but I think she’s been wrestling with our 6 mo old rescue pup and she tried the pups doggy door, which has a slight drop to outside, most likely not a good thing for her. Best of luck to you and your fur person.

  42. Jay says

    Hello. A year ago we had our chocolate lab’s knees repaired. We chose the TLPO surgery. It cost us $3000.00. Our vet told us that there was a 50% chance that the other knee would go as well. Sure enough, almost a year to the date of the last surgery, the other knee went. We presently can’t afford to do another surgery. We know that the only way to fix it is surgery. I was searching the internet and found a product called Cosequin DS. There was such a rave about this, that we thought we’d give it a try. It is supposed to help with joint problems and builing of cartilage. When our dog’s second knee went, she put absolutely no weight on it and moped around. She has been on Cosequin for 2 1\2 weeks, and what a difference. She actually is putting weight on her leg and running around like she was a pup again. She is not stiff at all in the mornings or after she has been laying around for a long time. We know that this is not a permant solution, but it is the best we can do for her for now when funds aren’t available.

    • rain says

      Jay

      How old was your dog when you did the first surgery ? How was her weight ? We have a 9.75 year old golden female, 68 lbs, and we did the extra-capusular surgery May 2010 and the weekend she just did the other knee on March 2011. How is your girl doing ? We are opting out of surgery on the other knee as we are afraid of her age, and it was alot to put her through, she had a very difficult time with the first surgery and she only has 90% weight bearing use on the leg that we did surgery on. So, se would love to hear how your girl is doing… we need hope right now ! Thanks !

  43. Kris says

    My Vet mentioned the same thing…..he said something about making sure the med doesnt have something in it, I cannot remember the details, MM? or some initials….Im going to try what you’ve said for our old girl asap! Thanks!

    • Surya says

      Defiantly praying for you and Basil. We are in the prsecos of the healing part with my dog Brooklyn who dislocated her tendon and has now had 3 surgeries on both back legs. We defiantly feel for both you and Basil. And I agree, sewing is one of the best therapies out there.

  44. Lynn says

    Back in September, I wrote that my bassett/beagle had been diagnosed with a torn ACL.. We opted or meds and nonsurgical treatment. I’m happy to say that he is doing much better.. very little limping…. able to get up and down the stairs… I am so glad we didn’t jump into surgery.

  45. Sonya says

    My Lab Daisy is like a brand new dog, She had the surgery months ago and before the surgery she was really not able to climb stairs or run very well at all and got up very slow. She is running around and playing and she actually jumped up on our bed by herself the other day which was a surprise for us cause she had not been able to do that for a LONG Time.. Very Very Happy with the results!!!!

  46. Elizabeth says

    I have a 12 year old Beagle. He is going in for his drawer test when he gets his teeth cleaned in a few days. In the meantime the doctor put him on Rimadyl and Tramadol. Tramadol is a very cheap pain medication that can be used for short term treatment. Anyone know if Cosequin is a good medication to prevent this injury in my other beagle?

  47. Sarah says

    My dog Loki is a 7yr old very active Border Collie & tore his cruciate last week. The Doc talked about the different surgeries & the scary prices to get them. Keeping him down was nearly impossible and he was getting around pretty good on 3 legs. It went from bad to worse & I think he tore the other one too. We cannot afford any of the surgeries especially times 2. We can only give him the anti-inflammatory med & pain med as well as Cetyl. I am curious about the brace and wonder if anyone has first hand advice with using the brace.

  48. Dionne says

    Hi, my English Bulldog puppy hurt his back leg and his knee is popping in and out. They said that we have to give him two weeks of resting his leg or else it could end up pulling another tendon and require surgery. The problem is that he won’t stop running, jumping, etc. Do you think it is really mean to keep him in his crate basically all the time for the next week or so? I feel so bad doing that, but he just won’t stop using it. Today I had him in his pen all day while at work, then took him out, fed him, let him go to the bathroom and then put him back in. I feel bad. He has a cleft palate too so he can’t have rawhide or bully sticks or anything sharp to chew on while in his pen! I feel like a bad dog owner, but I know it is for his own good. Is there anything else I can do to keep him calm?

    • says

      Hi Dionne –

      If you’re looking for your dog to get better, then crating/penning him will be the best option. If you have to get surgery on the knee, you’ll be required to keep the dog caged for up to 3 months with very limited activity. It’s not “mean” to keep a dog in a cage when it is for their own good. It’s hard to do, because we all love our pets, but we do it for the good of the animal.

  49. Dionne says

    Thanks Kenneth — I feel a lot better now! The poor guy has a cleft palate too so sometimes I just feel like he’s had to go through so much!

  50. kim letwinch says

    I have a Chihuahua (Lucy) that has torn her ligament in her right leg and possibly the left the right is progressivly getting worse. She is now not putting any weight on it at all. I can’t afford to have her get the surgery due to the economy and losing everything and barely surviving with a family of 4. What other options can I do until I can save up enough money to have her get the surgery? Knee brace, meds, please advise. I hate to see her limping I just try to keep her comfortable as possible. She (Lucy) is not active for the most part (since I work all day) and maybe a little overweight she sleeps alot and gets her 2 little (about 1 cup of dry food) meals a day. But if I go for walks she is determined to go with me, even though I end up having to carry her. She doesn’t let her knee slow her down. Just so she can be with me she is happy.

  51. Dionne says

    Hi Kim, I am so sorry to hear about your little Lucy’s legs and your situation with the economy. My english bulldog, Busters, hurt his leg and because the muscle or ligament got stretched, his knee is popping out. The vet told us to keep him calm for 2 weeks. After that time it was still popping out. So the vet recommended another 6 weeks of recovery before considering surgery. I know it is hard, but we have kept him crated for the last 4 weeks, and he is doing much better. The vet told us that about 80% heal without surgery, if they are kept from using it too much. Maybe you should see your vet and ask him/her if it is possible for that particular injury to heal with rest. If it is, I think you should just keep her crated all the time, except to eat and pee, and hopefully it will heal. I know it is very hard, but it is for her own good. I feel really bad about Busters, but he is getting through it and his leg is starting to get better!

  52. Karen says

    I have a 4 year old lab mix, Blanche, who weighs 63 lbs. She is in great shape and a very active dog- loves swimming and running and chasing anything!! We have learned this week that she has a partially torn CCL and the vet is recommending the high end surgery (TLPO). Blanche as of now- is not walking on her own and will not eat or drink- has anyone else experienced this? Also, the vet says it is likely she will have problems in her other knee at some point- is this a given? It seems from other posts- it is pretty common…I also would be interested in hearing about “patients” after surgery- is the quality of life the same? As I mentioned- she is very active and I can’t bear to think that I would spend all this money for her to not be able to have that lifestyle back. Thank you in advance for the reponses!

    • says

      Hi Karen –

      I don’t know if it is common, but I have heard of dogs becoming depressed and or losing appetite due to the loss of use of a leg and/or pain. I’d take the dog into the vet and describe all the symptoms to your veterinarian to see what they’d suggest.

      As far as having problems in the 2nd knee, it’s not uncommon. Just like dogs with hip dysplasia, we often see both hips deteriorate. With the knee, it is usually caused by a couple of factors – 1) the size of the dog, maintaining a healthy weight can drastically reduce the chance of one or both knees having this problem, and 2) the dogs genetics, angle of the knee, etc. Some dogs are just more prone to knee problems.

      Since your dog is only 4, I would personally recommend the surgery because she has a lot of years left. Our dog had the surgery when she was 6 or 7 and she’s still getting around fine 3 years later. Still energetic, still runs and plays. She has a little hitch in her step from time to time, but I can’t imagine what her life would have been like without the surgery.

      As with anything, consult your vet and maybe get a 2nd opinion before you go forward with the surgery.

      Take care, and best of luck.

      • Andi says

        so sorry to hear about Basil it is so frustrating not to be able to exialpn to them that help is on the way.Your pinks are awesome. I will be thinking about you this week and sending good wishes to you and Basil.

  53. rain says

    We have a 9.75 year old golden female, 68 lbs, and we did the extra-capusular surgery May 2010 and the weekend she just did the other knee on March 20, 2011. We are opting out of surgery on the other knee as we are afraid of her age, and it was alot to put her through, she had a very difficult time with the first surgery and she only has 90% weight bearing use on the leg that we did surgery on. So, se would love to hear if any one else has the same issue — we need hope right now ! Thanks !

  54. Gordy Campbell says

    My cousin has a black lab the same age that had one repaired about the same time as your golden…sound like about the same results 85-90% and still has a slight limp…Mabel went through 8 weeks of water tank therapy after the surgery as well..
    My 3 1/2 year old black lab Martha yesterday was given a release command from the sitting position to retreive a training dummey…3-6 steps into the retreive she started screaming in pain and froze…Took her to the vet, she was givin a shot of steroid for inflamation and pain…still don’t know if it is the acl, a muscle or a disc… She was about 5 pounds overweight however she and I have been working out everyday for 2 weeks..and than this happens…I am so depressed..after the Easter holiday I will take her in for x-rays,..

  55. Kathleen says

    Ok everyone I have a 8 yr old shepherd mix who tore her cruciate last week. Same boat as everyone else. We do not have the 2500 or 3300 they are saying it will cost. I did some further searching online and found something called prolotherapy (or proliferation therapy) that can be a viable alternative to surgery. While no guarantees (same as surgery) the first office visit will be $125 (including the office visit charge AND the injection) and then in 4 to 6 weeks she goes back for another injection (the dog is sedated not anesthesized) and that will cost $100. This does not repair the cruciate but they have had a lot of success with it. I am in Illinois, but there are vets all over who do this. Here is the link to my vet’s prolotherapy info page. I will update after Wednesday to let you all know how it works. At that price I’m going to proactively do her right leg too.

    http://cac60565.vetinzip.com/veterinary-advice/prolotherapy-pet-pain-treatment/

  56. B. Sheridan says

    Our large lab/shepherd cross also has a torn ACL in his back right knee. We have surgery booked for next week, and we were told the surgery is called “Modified Singleton Paatsama”, so named after the vets who created the procedure. The good news is that with this surgery, our dog don’t have to be crated and instead they recommend controled movement starting the day after the surgery. I haven’t been able to find out much info on this type of surgery. Would you be able explain it? Thank you.

  57. Jessica says

    Kathleen, just wondering how your pup is? My lab shepherd mix just tore hers and I have opted to do the prolotherapy at the same vet office. If you could let me know how it went and what I can maybe expect that would be great!

  58. Jamie says

    I just adopted a 3 year old lab and both of her knees have torn CCL. The rescue group is going to cover her surgerys. They would like to do both at the same time. Has anyone out there had both knees done at the same time and if so what should I expect. Thanks

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