Dog ACL injury

SandyCreek

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2017
Messages
80
Location
?
Hey guys, had some unfortunate news with my bird dog. She has an ACL injury on one of her back legs. The way the vet explained it to me is there are a couple stabilization options for dogs and really only one for a working/field dog. She’s only 4-1/2 so we should have several good years ahead of us. Just curious if anyone on here has had any experience with something like this in a bird dog. Thanks in advance.
 

Scarier

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2022
Messages
12
Sorry to hear it. My in-laws have an older lab mix who has blown out ACLs three times (one hind leg twice). They didn't bother doing surgery the second and third times due to cost. The dog is still super playful, although he gets tired easily (after ~10 minutes of continuous fetching, although some of that is age) and is often sore the day after a hike or play session.

I'm not super familiar with the non-surgical interventions, but if you can get it at a reasonable price I wouldn't be afraid of surgery--especially if your bird dog is on the lighter end of the spectrum (my in-laws' dog is well over 100#). If it doesn't work out in the long run, it'll add a few more years of working life at least.

Hope that helps!
 

BBob

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
2,181
Location
Southern AZ
I’ve had TPLO surgeries done to both knees on a dog. The TPLO option reconfigures the joint and makes them better than the original design :) Expensive but once done they’ll never blow that knee again. Just like us recovery is a little slow but with the required PT mine came back just fine.
 

Patton

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
172
My 2.5 yr old lab is on week 4 of recovering from her ACL surgery. It was the TPLO. She is doing better than most dogs which the vet said she expected due to her age; toughest part currently is keeping her relaxed enough to not want to run around every where. I was told by several folks to expect a 50% chance she tears the other one in the next 2 years.
 

philson208

Junior Member
Joined
May 16, 2021
Messages
42
Location
Idaho
we have an 11-year-old chocolate lab that needed both knees rebuilt at age 4. I believe it was the same surgery as mentioned above (TPLO) It wasn't cheap, but it was strongly recommended by our vet based on how young he was. he recovered fine and is still running and jumping on his bionic knees @ 11 yrs.
 

BBob

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
2,181
Location
Southern AZ
I was told by several folks to expect a 50% chance she tears the other one in the next 2 years.
Same here. We did the first knee and in less than a year he blew the second one. Hard pill to swallow but he was worth it and that’s what emergency savings are for right? :)
 

Brewski

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
137
In dogs it's called a CCL and not ACL.

My 7.5 year old 30 pound cocker spaniel has had both knees TPLO surgeries at age 2 and 4. Cost was around $8k each in Cali Bay Area. He is 7.5 now. Compared to his 4 year old spaniel brother with no knee issues, he is about 15% slower at full run and gets tired hiking/walking after about three miles per day, but hard to tell if thats because surgeries or age or both. You couldn't tell the 7.5 year old has had knee surgeries just by looking, he acts and walks normal.

If my younger dog happens to tear his CCL, I wouldn't hesitate to get the TPLO surgery again. Surgery recovery was rough for the first two weeks but not too bad.
 

Go West Old Man

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
249
Location
Georgia
Hate it for you and your bird dog, but do the surgery if you can swing it. The recovery & many weeks of keeping them low activity is difficult and requires dedication and patience. You likely have lots of time and money invested in your dog , and the return on that is many great bird hunting trips ahead of you. More importantly, I’d bet that she is a much loved family member and not just a kennel working dog. Good luck.
 

PredatorSlayer

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
1,341
Hey guys, had some unfortunate news with my bird dog. She has an ACL injury on one of her back legs. The way the vet explained it to me is there are a couple stabilization options for dogs and really only one for a working/field dog. She’s only 4-1/2 so we should have several good years ahead of us. Just curious if anyone on here has had any experience with something like this in a bird dog. Thanks in advance.
What did they quote you on the price?
 

Haakon14

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
14
My GWP tore her CCL (Cranial Cruciate Ligament - the dog's version of the ACL) when she was approximately 5 years old. I decided to do surgery as she was entering her hunting prime and had a long period ahead of her for activity. We had a very successful outcome. Surgery was over the summer so I wasn't able to hunt her much that fall but did get her out shortly late in the season. By the next season she hunted great, with no issues. Her dock diving at the cabin did not seem to be impacted either! That being said, every dog and every surgery will be a bit different.

There are a few different methods for repairing the CCL and which one used will depend on the veterinarian as well as the dog. Some vets prefer different methods over others and some techniques are only appropriate for certain dogs based on size, structure, injury, etc. ECLS - Extracapsular Later Suture is the traditional technique, with a 'new' version of this procedure being referred to as the TightRope preocedure. I've seen many dogs over the years with ECLS repair do fine, but there are better ways these days especially for a hunting dog. The two newer approaches are TPLO - Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy and TTA - Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (including a new version of the TTA called the MMP - Modified Maquet Procedure). Either of these two approaches would be preferred for a canine athlete or hunting dog. I strongly recommend that you have your veterinarian provide you an explanation of the pluses and minuses of each procedure as well as why he/she is recommending one over the other. If they only offer one procedure at your clinic and it doesn't match your expectations, you may want to consider going to a specialist location such as a vet school's teaching hospital at a university or a veterinary orthopedics center.

My dog had the TTA done and as I said it was very successful. She is now 12 years old and hunted well up through last season including multiple day hunts as well as the 1/2 day or day hunt. She's likely retired this year due to other issues but I was glad I got the additional 7 strong years hunting with a great friend, including seeing my son shoot his first pheasant over her last year.
 
OP
SandyCreek

SandyCreek

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2017
Messages
80
Location
?
Thanks for the replies guys. We’re going to get it fixed just was hoping to hear some outcomes from people with experience. Definitely going to go with the tlpo she deserves a shot at getting back to hunting and training so I owe her that at least. It was the craziest damn thing. Came home from work and she could hardly walk beat I can figure is she jumped onto the couch or bed funny during the day or had a boxing match with a ghost.
 

Gwchem

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2021
Messages
75
My two year old pit mix tore both. TPLO fixed it, for about $4k each. Now she's 12 and we just got back from a half hour family walk. It was expensive, for sure, but it worked for her.
 

Gwchem

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2021
Messages
75
Oh yeah, if they didn't already tell you, start saving for the second surgery. It's highly likely the other knee will blow out.
 

MTPipeliner

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Messages
209
15ish years ago I had my labs done, but not the TPLO, just the traditional tied together method, it was significantly cheaper. She did pretty good but never had as much stamina as before. I gave her dasaquin supplements after the surgery and it did wonders for her, when I would run out she would get pretty stoved up after a hard day when she was older.
 

Broomd

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
3,875
Location
North Idaho
My 2.5 yr old lab is on week 4 of recovering from her ACL surgery. It was the TPLO. She is doing better than most dogs which the vet said she expected due to her age; toughest part currently is keeping her relaxed enough to not want to run around every where. I was told by several folks to expect a 50% chance she tears the other one in the next 2 years.
Yep, our small terrier tore the other one soon after the first. It was a $log.
 

JohnB

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Aug 28, 2019
Messages
279
My dog is getting both knees done on Friday. She's a 7.5 year old lab rottie mix. After the first knee we tried babying her rather than springing for the repair immediately and she still managed to blow the second about 6 months later. After some debate between my wife and I we decided to go forth with the surgery. It's a chunk of money but I'm really ******* excited to be able to take my dog for a walk again after the last year of inactivity on her part.
 
Last edited:

willtim

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
230
I had a chessie tear both ACL's. TPLO on both. She was hell on ducks.
 

Yooper

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
305
Location
Upper Michigan
At that age I'd go TPLO for sure. If she was at the end of her hunting career I'd go with a less costly repair, but she's got some great years ahead of her yet. My last lab had a TPLO at approximately the same age then tore the other leg when she was nine and we opted for a less expensive procedure.
 

Braaap

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
299
Location
NV
I had a pitbull that had the first tplo done at age 5 and then the second knee at age 6. Vet warned me with the first there was a very high likelihood of the second knee blowing out and about 1 year after the first knee surgery she needed the second. Both were highly successful and worth the money. Dog lived to 13.5 without any issues from the surgery.
 
Top