CCL tear - what to do next?

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog Health Questions' started by tanyaden, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. tanyaden

    tanyaden New Member

    Hi all,

    I have a question regarding partial CCL tear.

    We have a 4-yr old Berner girl who tore her CCL in May. It was a partial tear so we decided to try conservative management. It went pretty well (she stopped limping almost right away, and we were building muscles up until yesterday).

    Yesterday we let Maya play in the backyard (she did it before), and she came home fine. But after about an hour of rest she couldn't get up. She barely touched the ground, and it was clear she doesn't want to move. Same leg :-(

    I don't know what happened, she didn't run or jump, and she definitely came back from the backyard without limping.

    Anyway, we have vet's appointment in 3 days, and I'm afraid it's time to consider surgery. I'm debating between traditional fish line and a tightrope. Our vet doesn't do tightrope, meaning I would need to find a vet who can do it in our area (Montreal, Canada).

    For 80-lbs dog the tightrope might be better, but the risk of infection seems to be higher. Plus - I don't know if there's a certified vet who can perform it here.

    We give Maya a lot of supplements: glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM, fish oil plus vit E, lipped mussels, quercetin with bromelain. Plus for the last month we did laser therapy twice a week. Stopped it recently, maybe it's time to start doing it again...

    What can you suggest in our case? Would it make sense to continue with conservative management, or it's better to do a surgery? If surgery, which one? I'm so scared of TPLO, it's better to leave it as the last resource. Maybe custom brace plus stem cells treatment is better option? Do you have any other suggestions?

    I love my dog dearly, and I want her to live good doggy life. Walking on leash all the time and not being able to run free is not what I want for her, but I'm not sure if the surgery is the best option.

    All your thoughts and suggestions are really appreciated!

    Thank you very much,

    Update: Maya seems to be better this morning, but still limping.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  2. BernerMom2

    BernerMom2 New Member

    We are having the same issue with our 3 year old. He tore his a few weeks ago and so far, are just trying to manage it with medication and rest. Did your vet give any advice on how to manage it? My guy loves to sleep on the couch but I'm not sure if we should be letting him jump up. We also haven't been taking him on walks yet. I feel so bad that he is limping around like he is! The vet said we would talk surgery if it doesn't improve within the next few weeks. I'd really like to not have to go that route!

  3. tanyaden

    tanyaden New Member

    We ended up with the surgery yesterday. CM worked fine, and by October Maya didn't limp at all and was walking fine (on leash only). But the vet told us that we can let Maya run if she wears a brace. WRONG!!! The brace helps to stabilize the knee but in no way it protects the knee if running or jumping.

    Long story short - we had TPLO yesterday, and I'm glad we did. For the last couple of weeks Maya couldn't walk at all, and she was very depressed. We have a long recovery ahead of us, but for us surgery was the only option after everything else failed.

    Read Dog ACL Injury-- Is Surgery Really Needed?, it has lots of valuable info. CM is very long process, but if you see any positive result after few weeks - go for it. Surgery is really a last resource, and it's never too late to do it.

    And no jumping of any sort, sorry...

    Good luck to you!
  4. BernerMom2

    BernerMom2 New Member

    Thank you for the information! We haven't seen a specialist yet, but it's probably in our future. Do you mind me asking how much the surgery cost? That is one of our concerns, however, we do have pet insurance, but I'm not sure how much it would cover.
  5. tanyaden

    tanyaden New Member

    Please don't rush with TPLO. It might work fine or might give you a lot of complications. It's never easy to decide what's the best for this particular dog.

    Discuss pros and cons of traditional "fishing line" surgery with your vet. Usually it's not recommended for large dogs, but I know some berners who had it and are just fine. Or the newer variety called "tightrope". Both of them are much less invasive and have lower rate of complications comparing to TPLO. Unfortunately none of it was good for our girl...

    Our TPLO was $4200 in Montreal (Canada). We probably could find it a bit cheaper, but the surgeon was really good, and the clinic is 24/7 and just 20 min from us, very convenient. As far as I know there are some funds that help dog owners. One of our friends paid just half of it, another half was paid by a fund (I don't know the details but might ask).

    But I think you should be ok money-wise if you have pet insurance.

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