Nope. Once the ligament is torn, it isn't going to heal enough to restore normal function. And $3,000 is pretty reasonable for TPLO surgery for a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). We paid about $3,500 for our dog's surgery when she was over 8 years old, and that was almost 5 years ago. She made it to nearly 14 and wasn't really bothered by the leg in all those years aside from some expected arthritis. Unless you want a 3-legged crippled dog who is constantly in pain, you need to find a way to do the surgery. It really is amazing what that surgery can do for your dog. Ours was quite the athlete and we never imagined we would see her back on all fours much less leaping at the frisbee just as she did before the injury.
One thing you need to be aware of is that rehab is very important - just like it is for humans. If your veterinary surgeon offers physical therapy, then do it - particularly if they have water-oriented therapy. We were able to do it ourselves because we have a pool, and got our dog swimming every day for about 20 minutes. Her recovery was very fast and she was walking normally within 3 weeks. Arthritis is probably already setting in due to the original rupture, so be prepared to keep anti-inflammatory meds on board, probably for the rest of your dog's life. Tylenol will probably be sufficient for a long time, but as your dog ages it may need a prescription med like rimadyl or deramaxx.
Please let us know how it goes with the surgery! :-)
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