Knee Ligament and Knee Joint Repair Options for Labrador Retrievers

Whether you have a black lab, yellow lab or a chocolate lab, you will typically be looking at 1 of 2 knee repair procedures for larger dogs – TPLO or TTA surgery to repair the torn or ruptured cranial cruciate ligament in your dogs knee. The traditional technique (extracapsular technique) typically isn’t used in large breed dogs, such as Black Labrador Retrievers, Yellow Labrador Retrievers or Chocolate Labrador Retrievers due to the added stress on the joint from the extra weight of the dog.

Treating a torn CCL in Labrador RetrieversWhichever surgical option you choose to go with, make sure that as the dog owner, you do your due diligence to learn which option will be the best for your particular circumstances.

  • Read as much information as you can on each type of surgery, and try to talk with people who have had the same surgery. Compare your dogs activity level with the others.
  • Consult your veterinarian and make sure you fully understand the options available. Ask why (why not) he/she is recommending certain options and not others.
  • Be prepared to keep your dog confined. Activity levels need to be drastically cut down, and as we all know, Labrador Retrievers are generally very active dogs. Keeping the dog inactive will be crucial to the recovery process.

Image by OakleyOriginals.

Comments

  1. Connie says

    So, our black lab just starting limping one day, our primary care vet is sending us on to a surgeon. What happens if you don’t repair the anterior cranial cruciate ligament?

  2. tom russell says

    i have a 10 month old lab puppy with a torn ACL in her right rear leg…she is 63 lbs and growing..will these surgeries work on a lab pup 10 months old????

    • Jennifer says

      Hi Tom,

      I too have a 10 month old black lab pup. He has been just diagnosed with two ruptured ACL’s. I am curious as to whether you went ahead with surgery or used a conservative management approach. I am apprehensive to have surgery in a puppy so young and then to have both knees done. Thanks for you the feedback.

      Jennifer

      • says

        Hi Kenneth,
        No he does not have pain or very little. We discovered his knees when he was in to be Nuertered. Now he is as happy go lucky as before. I am trying a restrictive activity regiment. He is swming in the Ocean Bay twice a day and no balls, of retrieving activities unless from the water. Also no playing with other dogs that run hard and fast. He is currently only allowed to be out on a leash. I am hoping of giving him 8-12 weeks and we will see lots more strength. Slowly after this we will increase the activities. Hoping that he has built the scarring tissue he needs to stabilize his knee. I am worried to do surgery on a puppy not fully grown with the chance of complications. If the restrictive activity does not work we will need to consider this option. Right no he had no limping. I think the left went out a few weeks before his surgery and he was limping protecting his left knee. Now he does not limp. And the right we do not know when that could have occurred. We got him as a pup at 4 months old. Thanks for the response.
        Jennifer

  3. says

    Hi Tom,

    I’m no expert, but as far as I know, these are the most common procedures to repair torn ligaments in dog stifle joints. I’d recommend talking to your vet, and maybe even get a second opinion, but I’m assuming one of the surgeries you find on this site will be your only option. And since your dog is only 10 months old, the hardest part of the whole process will be keeping the dog confined for long periods of time.

    Best of luck, and I wish you and your dog a happy, healthy recovery.

  4. says

    Hi Connie,

    We have a friend who has a 3 year old yellow lab and they opted not to have the ligament repaired. The dog can no longer run and play, and in my opinion, has a very poor quality of life. It’s really sad to see a dog that used to be healthy and active turn into a “couch potato”.

    If you elect not to have the surgery, you should REALLY make sure you watch the dogs weight. The less weight they have on the joint the better.

  5. Mari says

    Anyone considering a metal implant should read this book by Jonathan Black:
    Biological Performance of Materials
    You can preview some pages – specifically pg. 265, section 13.5 where it discusses implants. (thank-you Andria & Silver for the ref.)

    Dr. Jack Miller, DVM in Charlotte, NC, did the “fishing line” type acl surgery on the hind leg of my 102# black lab in 02. It is now 4 yrs. later and my boy has had only success. In the proc., the Dr. did 2 lateral and 1 medial attachments for strength. I can’t imagine putting that metal in him. Also, Dr. Miller certifies hips for breeders on a regular basis. He has done many of these surgeries & I highly recommend him. Also, key is to get the weight down as mentioned earlier – really that is critical to any dog’s overall health.

    And before there were any surgeries for this condition, a dog would (should) have to rest his leg and slowly the scar tissue would form – just as it would on any surgery as well.

  6. Kristen says

    Hello, My dog has been diagnosed with a torn anterior cranial cruciate ligament. She is only 4 years old and about 40 lbs. He wants to perform TPLO repair on her but i am worried from what i have been reading that alot of dogs form arthritis in the leg and their quality of live is diminished. Does anyone have any suggestions? Has anyone had this procdure done on their younger dog and had many good years of active life after it?

    Thanks!

  7. says

    Hi Kristen –

    I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner. I’d ask around a bit if I were you. Our dog was 60lbs at the time she tore her CCL (she was a bit overweight) and the doctor did the traditional surgery with the nylon cord. She is now 8 years old, weighs 45lbs, and most importantly is more mobile and more energetic than ever. She runs all over and plays with our 3 year old “puppy”.

    Best of luck to you and your dog.

  8. lo says

    To answer a question about what will happen if you do nothing for your dog that has a cruciate ligament tear, the dog will continue to limp, and not ever want or be able to put weight on it. Also, more importantly, the knee joint will rub on the lower joint as the knee joints slides laterally thus causing wearing away of the cartilage. That is how I understood the vet when this happened to my dog. We now are considering how we will pay for surgery.

  9. lo says

    I thank the person at this site for giving some idea of the costs involved in repairing a cruciate ligament tear. I am very depressed now,even more so than the sadness I felt when this terrible thing happened to my dog.

  10. says

    lo –

    Stay positive, with surgery and treatment, most dogs can get back to a comfortable lifestyle, and many can go back to being active when the surgery and recovery are paired with a good diet and weight management program.

    Think good thoughts!

  11. Patty Ingersoll says

    My 7yr old chocolate lab is a giant. He’s 160 lbs. Not overweight, just a massive dog. He’s had an issue with his right rear knee (Loose lateral ligaments)for a year and yesterday came up lame. Rushed him to the emergency vet, after X-rays, determined he had injured the left knee bearing all his weight on the other leg. His hips are great, his back is good, his muscles are strong. They didn’t know if it was a meniscus tear or ACC. Recommended that I take him to a surgery center. My concern is rehab. I cannot lift him if he has both knees done. Are there options for owners of giant dogs during surgical rehab?

  12. says

    Hi Patty –

    Sorry to hear about your dog, and that is a really great question. I never had even thought about the rehab procedure (1) for large dogs, and (2) for dogs that have both knees done at the same time.

    I’d like to think there are options, walking slings or dog wheelchairs or something that would allow them to get around a little bit, but I’m really not sure.

    I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you’ll revisit our site to share your story. I’m really curious to what the vet tells you.

    Take care.

  13. Joe says

    OK, my dog Sadie broke her ACL while on a great duck hunt last weekend. She retrieved my limit of birds althought she came up limping seriously halfway thru the hunt. She’s almost 8, has a history of being very stiff and sore after hunts, I give her rymidal, and she loves to hunt. From what I’ve been reading, it sounds like I need to do the surgery not only to get her back in health but to also improve her life and not degrade her cartilage any further or overstress her other leg. $3000 is the vets price for a TPLO. I guess I’m looking for some reassurance that is the right thing to do or not. Thanks,
    Joe

  14. says

    Hi Joe –

    That cost seems to be inline with typical CCL repair costs. If you’d like to hunt with your dog again, the surgery is almost a necessity, though at 8 years of age, how many years of hunting are left?

    Our dog used to get very sore and stiff after playing at the beach for a couple hours, we now limit her time at the beach as we rarely take her anymore. Hard, because she loves the beach, but its best for her.

  15. Megan says

    My 2 year old Lab has been limping around for nearly 3 weeks before we brought her to the vet. When there, the vet instantly suggested Surgery after taking x-rays of her knee( which doesn’t show anything)but suggested it MAY BE a ligament torn. but they’re weren’t 100% sure. so now after 2 weeks, she’s still limping around with no change. I am wondering exactely how long should we go before we even think about doing surgery???

  16. Annie says

    Hi, I have a 50 lb. Lab/ mix. Back in September, she was limping after a walk. We brought her in the next day and the vet recommended conserv. management for a month. we didn’t let her do anything (go up stairs, cut her food back, run, ect.) After that, she seemed to get a little better. After consulting with the surgeon, he thought she might have a partial tear or stretched ACL and recommended surgery. 3 weeks later, we bring her in the day of surgery, the surgeon did some pre-tests, took x-rays and told us he didnt’ want to do the surgery because she was improving and stable. Well, in Feb. we slowly started to let her do more but I noticed some popping and clicking. I called the vet and she recommended bringing her in, but my husband thought she was still the same and didn’t want to. Well, this week, we noticed she must have done something, because she has a very slow walk/odd gait, she lays down more, she sits to the side, and will not go up the stairs at all! Did I mention I am also due with twin girls soon (I am 32 weeks)! I am so upset with this surgeon, I even asked him back in October when we were going to do the surgery if he could just do exploritory surgery to see what was for sure going on. I feel as though we missed our window of opportunity to help her and get her better. I have a feeling that she will have the fishing line surgery done. Can anyone who has had this, tell me how their dog did after the surgery, what to expect, what they did as far as pottying, and how much confinement, as well as rehab? I am beyond upset right now!!!

  17. Lea says

    Hi,

    I own a 4 yr old American Bulldog named Nixon. Nixon weighs 113 lbs. He isn’t overweight and is quite solid.

    We’ve recently noticed his back legs don’t really bend when he walks. He kind of “trots” versus walks. Sometimes, we’ll also hear his feet drag. Not often but enough for us to notice it.

    Our OB trainer suggested we give him OTC vitamins for joint/hip. Should I take him to the vet for a check-up or continue to watch him?

    Oh – he doesn’t seem to be in any pain. He bends his legs when he sits and lays down and will let me bend his legs. I get no response.

    Thanks,
    Lea

  18. says

    Hi Lea –

    You could definitely try some OTC vitamins/supplements. I’ve heard (and had) great results with those. However, consulting your veterinarian for a professional opinion would not hurt – you may want to start there.

    We’ve posted a couple articles about supplements that we’ve used and that our readers have recommended. Try this one: Supplements for Dogs with Knee & Hip Problems

    Best of luck, let us know what you end up doing!

  19. JBS says

    I have a 75 pound Sheppard lab cross. He recently began showing signs of lameness on his left rear leg, it was extremely bad after off leash exercise. I took him to the the vet and surgery was performed to re-build the knee. My vet used the “fishing line” method and noted it has been very successful in the past. It was not successful this time around. Five weeks after the surgery my dog would still not use his leg, and would cry when I would straighten and stretch it for him. I had to take him back to the vet after week five and pay for a second surgery to have the “fishing line” removed. It has bee almost 7 weeks since the initial surgery and my dog is now bearing weight on his leg. He had lost almost all muscle mass on the leg and it looks like it will be a slow recovery just to get him back to where he was before the surgery. The vet believes scar tissue may be built up enough to support the knee but I don’t feel confident. Does anyone else have a similar story? Is it not odd that I would be double charged for surgeries? Also I am now being told if the knee if still week I may want to try the TPLO surgery option. My dogs knee is going to look like chop suey by the time this is sorted out! It has been a total nightmare.
    J

    • says

      @JBS –

      Sorry to hear about your situation. I personally haven’t experienced this, but hopefully one of our users replies. If you’d like to write a post on our site (that may encourage more comments) I’d be more than happy to post it for you. Just reply to this comment and let me know if you’d like to do that. Otherwise, we can just wait for comments here.

      Best of luck.

    • mitch says

      Hi, My 110lb lab just blew his knee out at 5 weeks too. All he did was stand up and I heard it pop. Vet says that the “fishing lines” are only good for 80 lbs. I feel like he really didnt have a chance for a full recovery. He is isnt any better now than pre surgery. The Vet said they would knock 20% off the TPLO surgery. Just wondering how things turned out for you?
      -Mitch

      • says

        Hi Mitch –

        So the vet actually did the extracapsular (“fishing line”) repair on your dog? From everything I’ve heard, that is very uncommon and not recommended to do on dogs over 80 lbs, I’ve even heard it isn’t recommended for dogs over 60 lbs. I’d talk with the vet, I have a hard time believing that a vet would do a surgery that they were sure wouldnt’ take.

      • mitch says

        The vet did do the surgery. He said he put 2 lines in, and thinks one has broken and one might still be in tact. Do you know where I can find info that suggest that the surgery shouldn’t be done on dogs over 80lbs?

        Thanks
        -Mitch

      • Maximilian says

        Hi Mitch,

        Please read my posts below… We were VERY successful with the microfilament sx.

        I no of no “in stone” requirement that Vets must abide by to perform one sx proc. over another re: torn ACLs. The Vet assesses each dog as it presents, and considers the owner wishes as to what is best from a sx perspective….

        Both of my black lab mixes (> 100 lbs. each, Gus is 120 lbs.) had the lateral AND medial microfilament sx by Dr. Jack Miller, Charlotte, NC. He IS excellent and we have never had any subsequent probs. As advised, we had to get their wt. down before sx and keep it off…AND make sure they took it VERY VERY VERY easy during the healing period afterwards – about 8 wks. for us – and only going out for potty. We didn’t need to crate, but it’s an option. I chose this sx b/c of the later cancer risk that seems to develop within a couple of yrs. post TPLO sx. Perhaps you could inquire further of Dr. Miller…

        Your Vet could fix the one line that has broken with stronger line or add more lines for strength – at a reduced rate, hopefully. I’m assuming you’re following the post op “slow-down” period requirements to the letter. And it’s hard b/c they start to feel so much better so quickly and want to run!

        I wish you both well, Mitch.

  20. JBS says

    @ Kenneth
    I would appreciate if you could post it for me as I would like to see if others out there have in fact been through a similar scenario.
    As an update my dog continues to use his leg more and more each day. the vet wants to keep and eye on him as he wants to check for “movement” in the joint in a month or so. If he feels movement he said he may recommend another go at surgery.

    • says

      Hey JBS –

      I unfortunately don’t have too much to post in terms of the dual leg surgery. I’ll keep an eye/ear out and pass along any information that I do find.

  21. Reiff says

    I have a 19 month black lab that was hit by a car in the back legs. The vet has told be the ACL has been damaged (torn) he is around 98 pound no fat just a big dog. My heart is killing me after I have done the resurch of what they are going to do to him TPLO. I need to know if this has been successful for other and am I doing the right thing??

    • says

      Hi Reiff –

      I have definitely heard success stories from Lab owners who have had the TPLO surgery performed. One big thing that I have heard from most people is that weight management is a huge plus in returning the dog to normal activity, so even if your dog is just slightly overweight, it would be very important to return him to a proper healthy weight as determined by you and your veterinarian.

      I hope this helps and best of luck to you and your dog.

    • Maximilian says

      Hello group! Don’t lose hope!! Please let me tell you about my “boys'” and their torn acls.
      One is named Gus, a BIG rescued black lab mix about 140#’s and his brother is named Coal, 100#s. Both tore their acls at different times in their lives: Coal at about 2 yrs. old and Gus at about 6 yrs. old. Both had the same successful microfilament surgery from Dr. Jack Miller, Charlotte, NC, DVM – I HIGHLY recommend him. (I was not a fan of TPLO b/c of the later cancer possibility from this proc.)
      First, Coal was younger & already at a good wt. and handled the sx & recovery fine. Gus, we got his wt. down to 120# and have kept him there. Dr. Miller stays current on all ortho-type procs. and did a lateral and medial micro-filament sx on Gus b/c his acl tear was worse than Coal’s. Coal, as I recall, had just the lateral needed. For Gus, we also did accupuncture both before and after, as well as Traditional Chinese tendon/ligament herbs from our other DVM, Dr. Lisa Busko, as well as cold laser therapy and all with great success. Gus healed amazingly fast – in 4 days we could not even see the incision, only the stitches.

      Wt. must be kept down afterwards and we have done that for both boys. We have not had any problems at all – both joints are strong, they still run like rabbits and no arthritis (we also give Gluco/Chond/MSM) and neither has “blown-out” the other non sx leg’s acl, which they told us could happen. Lateral and medial microfilament sx worked well for us, and I hope this info will help others out there.(This sx usually costs less as well.)

  22. kelli says

    After reading all the Posts of dogs who have torm their ACL… I have to ask.. We have a 5 year old Bull Mastiff that has torn his. Surgery was told to do with no other options $3500.00. I have read alot about CM? does it work on BIG dogs? I love all my animals and will do the surgery however, I have some questions. Everyone talks about running around after…My dog never runs, has really never liked to run .Goes out to bathroom and comes in and sleeps and hangs with us. His weight is great about 130#. What happens if I dont do the surgery and just keep him on Metacom? He will limp forever? any other problems if I dont fix the knee? Has anyone used their vet for the syrgery instead of a ortho? Thanks bunches …

  23. Maximilian says

    If by CM, you mean Conservative Management, we tried that for about 4 mos. before we did Gus’s sx including Acc. Puncture & TCM herbs first to see if we could avoid the sx altogether & also to get his wt. down to 120#s. But his limping never improved & when Dr. Jack Miller went in – it was pretty torn-up. NOTE: Dr. Miller is our regular Vet not a specific Ortho Vet. I would find a great Vet that definitely knows how to do the lateral AND medial microfilament sx (gives strength on both sides of the joint) for a large breed dog; the cost was 1/3 of what you noted so I am guessing your Vet is telling you to do TPLO/$3500. You could put your dog on Gluco/Chon/MSM and Phycox (for pain). Even a less active giant dog needs his mobility AND balance, esp. as he gets older and needs to get up/do his business-even walking/getting on the couch will become an increasingly painful endeavor & would probably be too heavy for you to carry him one day. Also, your dog will start to lose muscle mass so waiting too long is not good. Pain mgt. drugs, to me, are a great temporary solution, but over time, side effects may result in much worse situations – for Metacam, these side effects (as per VetInfo.com) can range from mild to severe, inc. kidney & liver disease. Best wishes!

  24. bridget says

    My rather small golden retriever has just been diagnosed with partial damage to cruciate ligament. She started limping behind several months ago, but then would get completely better, paticularly when it snowed and she couldnt go out. Recently though she started limping again and it looked to me as if she had put her hip out. Today she got neutered and at the same time full X rays and proper clinical assessment took place. The diagnosis is a partial tear- but the vet is hopeful as she is very small and by no means overweight that she may recover through a months complete rest. Now the question- how to stop her hurtling around like a mad thing? Obviously we will keep her in and only allow her out on a lead, but it aint going to be easy…..

    • says

      Hi Bridget –

      We went through the same concerns with our dog after the surgery. Though the leg was wrapped and bandaged, she still wanted to get out and go. We chose to use sedatives. It was hard to do, but it was the only way to get our dog to “chill out”. From what I recall, we only used them for about 2 weeks and then on occasion when we had company over.

  25. Isla's mom says

    Anyone have any advice for me? I have a female black lab, about 75 lbs., who tore her left knee three weeks after whelping last April. I raised her and had no issues prior to her pregnancy, and took great pains to feed her well when she was pregnant. Anyway, had to wean the pups and she had TPLO surgery on that leg in May. That leg has healed well and seems to give her no trouble. However, ten weeks or so after that surgery, she blew her OTHER knee and tore the meniscus. My vet recommended the fishing line surgery (which he called the “floaty Angelo” surgery, though I can find nothing searching this term), and I went ahead with that one. Well and good, slow rehab and used the HELPEMUP harness which was a Godsend (www.helpemup.com). Now it’s February and we are in the midst of a massive winter, over 300 inches now, and she’s been fairly idle but every other day or so she gets a mild walk in on flat ground, though once the snow is about 6 inches deep it troubles her. Every time she gets any exercise at all in the past couple of weeks she comes up dead lame on the fishing line leg. I give her Rimadyl and a warm bed, then a day of idleness and she improves but not 100%. She gets Glucosamine in her dog chow. She’s not a big eater but has gained weight from inactivity, which is not helping.

    What I’m wondering is if this fishing line surgery has failed somehow or if the combination of cold/idleness is troubling her. Has anyone dealt with a broken fishing line surgery? I am not even remotely ready to pay for a third surgery in less than a year… but wondering if I have to, would it make sense to do the TPLO on that leg as well or re-do the fishing line? Pretty discouraged myself but she’s a great gal, not a whiner, and is a mellow dog so is happy to take it easy most of the time.

    PS my spamblocker will tell you I didn’t get your emails, but once they land there I can retrieve them. Thanks!

  26. Isla's mom says

    I live up two flights of stairs and this helped my girl beyond measure with two separate surgeries. The sling-type harnesses just tipped her forward and slid around too much during the turn between flights of stairs. It also helped save my back getting her in and out of my truck.

  27. Flymomrn says

    We have a 2 year old yellow lab (Mom was a basset hound but she looks 100% lab) who began limping off and on about 2 months ago. She won’t put weight on her leg when she first starts moving after laying down, but puts weight on it more as the day goes by. She is still very active and can run great even without using the back left leg. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain, even when I have manipulated her leg to check her for injuries. She is in excellent physical condition (not sure what she weighs right now, last time she was weighed she was 66 pounds, but I think she is probably closer to 80 now but she looks to be a healthy wt for her size).
    The vet saw her yesterday and thinks she has a ruptured CCL and that she needs surgery. We are taking her back to the vet today so that he can sedate her and manipulate her leg more without hurting her and also take some x-rays. We can not afford surgery for her now, but don’t want her to develop worse problems if we don’t do the surgery.
    (As a side note…I learned to be very careful what you say to a kid who is concerned about their dog. I told my 9 year old son that the vet was going to put Tawny to sleep to examine her better, but he started sobbing as soon as he heard that the vet was “putting Tawny to sleep” as he thought I meant that she was going to die, not just be examined under anesthesia. Luckily, he heard me say x-ray and I was able to reassure him that his dog was not going to be “put to sleep” that way). The look on his face at the thought of losing his dog was heartbreaking.
    Since she is able to run and play without using that back left leg, how important is it that she have the surgery?

    • Anne says

      Hi! Our dog Coach is a yellow lab/part hound mix. She tore her ACL in one new while on a routine walk. It wasn’t bad, she didn’t put weight on it for a month and we did the conservative management for about 6 months. If finally tore all the way and she needed the surgery. Of course this all happened when I was 8 months pregnant with twins! So she had the surgery in April and it was tough to watch her recover. The first week was the worst, but after the second week she was so much better. My husband had to carry her around (up the stairs and put her on the couch). It took a full 6-8 weeks before she was totally fine. So glad I did it. BTW…the cost was around $900. Then in July, she tore the other one totally and we went through the whole process again. In the end, I am happy we followed through with the surgery. We had to really budget our money, especially with the twins, but I am thankful in the end. It’s been a year since the first surgery and Coach is doing awesome. She runs around in the backyard now and loves the warmer weather. We still hear a slight clicking sometimes, but the vet said that was okay. The is the best dog I have every had and I am so happy she had the surgery! Let me know if you have any questions!

    • Andi Back says

      I have this same question. My dog who is a 63lbs. Foxhound Coonhound mix has the same issue. He will run on it but after activity allows himself to limp. An orthopedic specialist said that he has anywhere from a 10 to 50% torn ACL and recommended surgery. I however cannot get the thought out of my head that there has to be some other option besides invasive painful surgery. Good Luck to you! If I find anything out I will be sure to post. I am really wondering if surgery is the best thing and if a partially torn ligament can heal itself without becoming horribly arthritic. I have read stories about restricting running and jumping and bracing the both knees, so the good one does not become torn and the other is supported.

  28. Andi Back says

    In Feb. of this year 2011, my dog began limping mostly after walking in deep snow and then resting for some time. I took him to the vet the vet put him on Deramax and told me to have him rest for 2 weeks if he was still limping to bring him in. He continued to limp but mostly after activity. After x-rays and a second opinion from a known specialist in the area who stretched his knee and looked at the xrays, I was told my dog has any where from a 10 to 50% torn ACL.

    My dog is a 7 year old 65 lbs. fox-hound coon-hound mix. Needless to say he loves to run, is in great shape, and loves to jum up trees. The specialist suggests TTA or Tibial Tuberosity Advancment surgery which is 3000.oo. While I dont really have the money I want what is best for my dog. My regular vet said that he has had some success with Fish-line surgery in larger dogs but the specialist does not suggest this as my dog is 65 lbs and active. Both also said that there is a 50% chance even though he has this surgery he will tear the ACL in his other leg.

    I have been researching and there is so many horror stories out there about all of these surgeries. I worry about arthritis building up and him loosing muscle mass if I do not proceed with the surgeries, but I also have read some awful things about the side effects of the surgeries.

    I have read success stories about conservative managment, which I am open to, but really want the best for my dog. Is it possible for a partially torn ACL ro repair itself with restricted activity. I really just want what is best for my dog so he can live a life that is of quality and so he can be back up on his feet and running again without limping 20 minutes after his activity. Thank You!!

    • Jenny says

      Hi Andi,

      I hope your dog is doing ok. My very healthy 60lb golden retriever mix had a partially torn ACL for over a year before he finally busted it all the way this past weekend. I do think it’s possible to maintain a partially torn ACL injury for at least a little while if you don’t let the dog jump, run or play hard with other dogs.

      I took him on 25-40 min walks every day and he didn’t seem to have any pain at all. It would flare up if he ran, but he could even go on some pretty strenuous hikes and was only just a little sore for a day or two after.

      The trick was keeping him on a leash so he couldn’t run. He got loose this past weekend and suddenly squealed and won’t put any weight on his leg at all now. : ( I know without a doubt that he’s the best dog I will ever have, and I want to do what is best for him.

      The local vet says the fishing line surgery should do the trick, but months before his ACL tore all the way, I took Rio to a specialist who says TPLO is the best option. Confusing… I am tempted to do the less invasive and less expensive fishing line surgery. I really hope it will work! Keep your fingers crossed for us!

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