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Ligament Rupture
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Ligament Rupture


I just found out Monday that my 3 year old Welsh Corgi has a cruciate ligament rupture.  She had jumped out of the car last week, something that she's done tons of times, and apparently landed the wrong way.

I have called around trying to get prices for this surgery.  What would happen if she didn't get the surgery? My dad thinks that we just need to give it some time to see if it heals up; but I don't think ligaments just heal on their own like that.  I know more than likely I am going to have to get her the surgery. I guess I'd also like to know what to expect after the surgery.

Thanks
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I used to work for a vet - for about 5 years.  Where I worked, that surgery cost about 1800.00.  Its an unbelievable sugery - ive seen it done.                                                  I have 3 dogs, and would try anything before that kind of surgery was done.  The after care consists of leash walks and cage rest - and absolutely no jumping, or running.        If your dog does have this surgery - insist on major main medication for him.                   What ever you decide - I wish you, and your dog the best of luck !     :)       Lisa
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My dog ruptured her rear anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) at 8 years of age, doing the same thing she had done for all those 8 years: running the fence line with the dog next door.  I was there when the injury happened and it scared the cr*ap out of me.  I've never heard a dog scream that way before or since.  

The injury occured on a weekend, and the ER vet told us she sprained her toes.  Yeah, right.  We gave her Deramaxx, which kept her from screaming, but she was still on 3 legs.  Our regular vet diagnosed her correctly, and said that if it was a sprain, it would improve in a couple weeks with rest.  It didn't get better.  Our vet referred us to Gulf Coast Veterinary Associates (GCVA) in Houston, where she had an MRI confirming complete rupture of her ACL.  

Chica had TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) surgery shortly after diagnosis, and recovered far better than we could have imagined.  TPLO surgery bypasses repairing the ligament, and fuses the joint together.  I know it's easy to think the dog will be even more crippled with this procedure, but the opposite is true.  This surgery was a true miracle for Chica.  She never limped again, and was back on 4 paws within a week.  She was in hospital for 2 days and had plenty of narcotic pain meds both as an inpatient and at home.

Physical therapy is imperative, and we were able to provide that at home with our pool.  TPLO surgery ran us $3,500.  It would have been more had we had to do physical therapy at the clinic.  Was it worth it?  You bet!  We lost Chica in January of this year, not due to orthopedic problems, but to renal failure.  TPLO surgery allowed her to regain her usual athletic prowess for much of her remaining 5 years.  

Here is an in-depth article about TPLO surgery:  http://vetsurgerycentral.com/tplo.htm
I can't tell you how valuable this surgery truly is.  I know it's more expensive than traditional ligament repairs, but the technique is far superior and your dog will recover much faster and regain much more of his previous ability.
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Thanks for all of the information.  The odd thing is, when she jumped out of the car she never yelped or cried.. and still hasn't.  When it first happened my boyfriend had her lay down so he could feel around her leg  because he had thought it was broken, he said she never made a peep.  Same was true when I looked at it later.

She's just her old super happy self hopping around on three legs.  My vet even gave me pain meds to give her to try to calm her down and let her rest.  Exact opposite happened and she just got more crazy bouncing off the walls. So when I'm not in the room I've been keeping her separated from my other corgi because they play rough with one another.

Around here I've been quoted $1300 for the surgery.  So I guess that's relatively cheap compared to other places.  My heart sank when I found out how much it would be, but I know it has to be done.
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My 12 year old lab mix had the surgery for a cruciate tear 8 days ago. The last thing I wanted to do was put her through surgery at her age, but hopping asround on three legs, she would likely tear the other one. It ran about 1400.  She is making progress, not bearing weight yet but doing some toe touching now and taking more chances.  Tomorrow her staples will be coming out.  Good luck with your Corgi.  The ligament won't repair itself.
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I took her to the specialist this morning.  It was $100 for the consultation; and it will run me about $1200-$1300 which apparently includes everything from the surgery, to the meds and post op appt's.  So that's a lot better than I thought it was going to be.  So she goes next week to get it done.  I feel a lot better about this now.
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Hooray!!!  Really glad to hear you're going ahead with the surgery.  What did the surgeon tell you about post-op care, or have you not gotten to that point yet?  
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Well Madison had her surgery last Thursday (28th); we were supposed to be able to pick her up between 4 and 5, but I guess the vet had a few emergency surgeries that day so she went in for surgery really late.  They were going to keep her overnight just to let the anesthesia wear off and what not; but he agreed to let me come pick her up.  After everything the surgery came out to 1260.00 so all things considered, I guess that's not so bad.  He went over the meds, she's on an antibiotic, a painkiller/anti-inflammatory, and another painkiller.

When he brought her out she was completely psychotic.  He tried to hand her to me, but I couldn't even hold her.  So he walked her out to the car, and let me get in and put her bed on my lap before he set her down.  She was making all sorts of crazy noises and started biting me; not hard or anything just crazy.  He said that she wasn't making those noises due to pain, it was more so that she was just stoned and tripping really bad. I guess she had morphine and some other stuff in her. The whole ride home she kept making messed up noises whenever she moved.  It was really sad.  The first night she cried and whimpered all night.  

I spent a lot of time with her this weekend, because she's super social and I know she can't take being kooked up for any extended period of time.  The first night she wouldn't walk at all, wouldn't even go to the bathroom. And she refused to drink unless it was out of someones hands. Diva.  She now is hopping around on 3 legs.  The vet said that we will get her stitches out in 12-14 days; and then we should start the water therapy stuff, but that it will still be another 4 weeks or so before she will really start putting weight on that leg again.

The only thing that's odd, besides her being a diva about the water situation; is that when I give her the painkiller, which is a 3 times a day dose, she hates it so much that she starts foaming at the mouth.  She didn't do it the first night, and has no problem with the other meds, it smells really bad, so my guess is it doesn't taste much better.  Other than that, I would say things are going pretty well. I'm glad I got it done.
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Dogs can exhibit some pretty frightening behavior due to anesthesia, but that's really all it is.  Some people do the same thing, so try not to worry about that part of it too much.  

How are you administering the pain pills?  If you are "pilling" her, you have to poke that pill way past the point where the tongue rises up against the soft palate.  With some practice, you'll get it done in less than one second and the dog never knows what just went down.  You won't hurt her with this technique.  I place my left hand over the muzzle with my thumb and first finger in the corner of the mouth where the lips meet.  That an easy place to pop open the jaws.  Use the right hand to quickly poke in the pill.  I'll usually gently hold the muzzle with both hands for a second until I see the dog swallow.

Narcotic pain meds are notorious for causing inappetance, nausea and even vomiting.  A pepcid either 15 minutes before, or with, the pain pill should help a lot with these issues.  Ask your vet about proper dosage.  Even a small Tums can help if you don't have pepcid or zantac.

I'm surprised they let you take her home in that condition.  My dog was an inpatient for 2 days, which was also why the bill was twice a large as yours.   Can you do the water therapy at home, or will you have to go back to the vet for that?  Seriously, it's the best physical therapy you can ask for, and rehab is just as important as the surgery itself.

I'm really gad to hear that she came through OK, but try not to be frightened at odd behavior.  Between post-op pain and the pain meds, she's not going to be herself for a while.  Take it easy on food for the next day or so as well.  Plain white rice with some canned white chicken is a good place to start.  And keep up with the hand watering.  I know it's a pain, but the more hydrated you can keep her, the faster she'll heal.  Don't you just love being a doggy nurse?    Keep us all posted on her progress.  :-)
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I have gotten pretty good at the pill popping with her.  The day that she injured her leg my boyfriend had just gotten home with her from the vet; she had a bowel infection and an eye infection.  so i got a jump start on medication dispensing practice.  She used to try to hide it in her cheek, but now i stick it as far back close her mouth, blow in her nose and rub her neck.  Lots of stuff for a quick swallow.
Yeah, the behavior when we first got her was crazy. My boyfriend looked pretty upset about it.  I kept assuring him it would be okay; I guess I was assuring myself as well.  They didn't really want to let me take her, but I had already taken off work that day and wasn't going to be able to the next; so he told me that if it was going to mess up my schedule really bad he would let me take her.  So we left immediately and picked her up.  I'm glad too because that would've been even more money that I was already having a hard time parting with.
I gave her canned food for a couple of days. She's back on regular food now and is going to the bathroom normal again.  She finally stopped doing the foaming thing when I give her the pain killer. Thank goodness.  My neighbor has a pool and I think we will be able to use it for the water therapy, which is good.
One thing that totally made my day today... when I got home from work I took her to the bathroom and came back inside with her and she was walking around and actually putting weight on that leg.  I was so happy.  Tomorrow will  be one week after surgery.  I am shocked that she is able to put weight on it so soon. It's not a lot, but you can tell she's really trying. She still limps in the grass, but it's still progress. So we are def. on a good road to recovery.
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Hooray!  Isn't that surgery just miraculous?  I couldn't believe how quickly Chica started using her leg after weeks of being a tripod dog.  What great news that you have access to a pool too!  You can't beat water therapy for rehab in humans or critters.  Taking the gravity pressure off just melts the pain away too.  Of course, it comes right back as soon as you get out of the water, but it's fabulous while you're in it.  Thanks for sharing the good news!  :-)
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