Thoughts/opinions on ACL surgery

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Postby dlynne1123 » January 11th, 2009, 3:08 pm

Ok, we do ACL surgeries, the traditional one for about 1500 (in Maine) and our vet, although not certified has done hundreds of these surgeries. We have referral clinics around that could go into 3000. It all depends on how comfortable you are with the surgeon and what their experience really is. Even if they are certified, if they haven't done many you want to ask lots of questions.

As for the types of surgeries we do traditional unless the dog is exceptionally sized, anything over 100lbs we recommend a TPLO b/c of how sturdy it is. Then if there are any other issues, you may not know until you get in there (damanged meniscus, etc. )this sometimes needs to be repaired to, but for us it is usually included in the estimate we give.

Sometimes there are only partial tears that can mend themselves with lots of monthes of restricted exercise, walking, water therapy, etc.

Keep in mind, if its a true ACL, its not so much a 'pain' limp as an unsturdy appendage. If you weren't sure your leg was always gonna be where you wanted it, would you use it all the time, or only when you weren't thinking about it (drive)? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure its achy but its not sharp consistent pain. The real pain comes from a flipped meniscus from the joint being loose. And if one side isn't repaired and it is truly ruptured, keep weight down, b/c they can ruin the other leg due to overuse!
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Postby Marinepits » January 11th, 2009, 3:11 pm

You could always apply for a new credit card that has 0% interest for a period of time, then pay it off before that time ends. Some credit cards also offer those checks that have a small fee to use, but they carry very low interest until the balance is paid off.

Given that I have five dogs and two birds, I have one credit card that is dedicated to them and their care. Thankfully, it's usually not carrying a balance, but it's good to know that it's there in case I have unexpected emergencies to cover.

Also, since his leg is manageable with pain meds, maybe put the surgery off for a bit until you can save up some cash.
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Postby dlynne1123 » January 11th, 2009, 3:16 pm

BullyLady wrote:Does Xander play any sports? Are you concerned about him competing?

Here in town many of the GP-type veterinarians will do ACL repairs, but we also have a veterinary orthopedic surgeon as well. Obviously the board certified surgeon charges more, so this is a question that I heard a bazillion times when I was working in the clinics. The answer that our vets always gave was that they could do the repair and they could do it well, as far as your average pet/housedog was concerned, but that if you were wanting your dog to do any sort of high-level competition or sports that you would be better off paying extra and having the surgeon do it.

I don't have any personal experience, this is just what I heard repeatedly while working with vets. :|

I tech for a traveling board certified surgeon, for TPLO and any other additional procedures, in the cruciate repair, your animal will never be a true athelete regardless of your choice of surgery. The goal for him is to stabilize the joint and keep the animal from developing extrordinary arthritis too soon. We did a hunting dog, and unfortunately explained to them, even after surgery, certain exercises will still need to be monitored. Again, if one side has already ruptured, chances are the other could go also. Many high drive sports aren't recommended post ACL repairs. At all....
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Panser on a Roll - APBT (American Bully?)
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 11th, 2009, 3:47 pm

Marinepits wrote:You could always apply for a new credit card that has 0% interest for a period of time, then pay it off before that time ends. Some credit cards also offer those checks that have a small fee to use, but they carry very low interest until the balance is paid off.

Given that I have five dogs and two birds, I have one credit card that is dedicated to them and their care. Thankfully, it's usually not carrying a balance, but it's good to know that it's there in case I have unexpected emergencies to cover.

Also, since his leg is manageable with pain meds, maybe put the surgery off for a bit until you can save up some cash.


I've thought about that too. I don't have credit cards, and have no debt (just house payments)...so it's a big leap for me. :shock:

For those wondering why I have 4 dogs (Sawyer is John's now... :dance: )...and no $$$, (because I'd wonder too). I used to be married...for years and years to a guy making six figures...we had a bigger house, three cars (one BMW, one Porsche and my Aztek), and I could buy anything I want. Sudden divorce...suddenly had to support myself...and the animals. :rolleyes2: Luckily he gave my the car and the house in the divorce...which is the only reason I have a new house (smaller payments, smaller house) and my old car still. John's on disability, so the little $$ he makes goes towards utilities, etc. Not trying to get sympathy, just trying to explain the situation a bit more!
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Postby mnp13 » January 11th, 2009, 5:51 pm

Care Credit has 0% interest for the first 3, 6 or 9 months of any bill, depending on how much it is. When I put Riggs' $800 on it last summer I had 6 months to pay before there were any interest charges.

It would seem that you've had a while to prepare for the expense, and it's not a rush at this point, so you're probably in good shape to get ready for the actual expense.
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Postby fenella » January 11th, 2009, 5:54 pm

Poor Xanderoo. :love3: You didn't slobber on me like Sawyer does! :drool:
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