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idratherbefishing

Any advice on a torn CCL in a Lab?

13 posts in this topic

My 3 yr old lab tore her CCL Ligament the other day. The vet has recommended surgery. Does anyone have and experience in this injury? does it even pay to have the surgery done? do they recover 100%? This really sucks, I was looking forward to a great fall of pheasant hunting! thanks

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Our lab cross tore something in her knee a few years ago, I'm not sure what ligament it was but she wouldn't walk or put any weight on it. When we took her to the vet they gave us two options: 1. Do surgery and replace the ligament (expensive) or 2. Do surgery and put in basically 100lb test fishing line to serve the same function as the ligament. We did option 2 since she wasn't a hunter anyway, she would occasionally retrieve game, she would usually find the pheasant but she may not pick it up and bring it to you. She was basically with for a walk in the field. She gets around really well now, I don't think she would hunt a lot with it even if she was a hunter, but she is able to run around the yard with the other dog chasing balls and dummies and swim with it. She walks a little bow-legged if you look at her from behind. Also in the winter she has seemed to pack on a few extra pounds and has a little more pain in it with the extra weight but nothing major, she just limps a little bit so we cut back the food to get her weight back down. Also the vet told us her other knee is loose and at some point that one may go too.

As for your dog I don't know it is up to you, I think she would be able to hunt in fall of 2008 some but probably not as much as normal. I don't think I would even try to take her out this fall no matter how much she wants to go.

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There are a few options for surgery with TPLO probably being one of the more recommended surgeries for this injury...and the one that has better success rates from what I have heard. With that being said it is not cheap, but would give your dog the best chance at returning to full (or close to) athletic capacity. I believe it's the best surgery in regards to arthritis in the future.

Following this surgery the rehab is critical to getting the dog active again and ensuring the leg heals properly. Also....not to scare you but there is a chance that once one leg goes the other will follow and require surgery. I have read anywhere from 30%-40%+ once one leg goes.

There are is a lot of information out there on these surgeries. I would be happy to get you some more information on this. I have not had to do this surgery but have had my dog through elbow surgery last summer and possibly ankle surgery this fall. frown.gif

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Thought I would also post this info on a study done by a ver at the U of MN. An acquaintance of mine looked over the study and said the results were positive so that he would recommend fish oils. I can give you more info on this also if you want. Your vet (or one here) might be able to add their thoughts....but I personally believe in the proper supplements. You may want to start looking into a good Glucosamine supplement also.

To make this easier to understand, "AA","MMP" and "uPA" are the bad guys and "TIMP" is the good guy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fish oil decreases matrix metalloproteinases in knee synovia of dogs with inflammatory joint disease.Hansen RA, Harris MA, Pluhar GE, Motta T, Brevard S, Ogilvie GK, Fettman MJ, Allen KG.

Department of Health Promotion and Human Performance, Weber State University, Ogden, UT 84408, USA.

This study was designed to determine whether dietary fish oil affects the expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), tissue inhibitors of MMP-2 (TIMP-2) and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) in synovial fluid from dogs with spontaneously occurring stifle (knee) instability in a single hind limb resulting from acute cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injury. Two groups of 12 dogs were fed diets from 1 week prior to surgery on the affected knee to 56 days post-surgery. The fish oil and control diets provided 90 and 4.5 mg, respectively, of combined eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)/kg body weight per day. Plasma and synovial fluid, from both surgical and nonsurgical knee joints, were obtained at start of the diet (-7), surgery day (0) and 7, 14, 28 and 56 days post-surgery. Plasma total EPA and DHA were significantly increased, and plasma total arachidonic acid (AA) was significantly decreased by the fish oil diet. In synovial fluid from the nonsurgical knee, fish oil treatment significantly decreased proMMP-2 expression at Days 7 and 14, and proMMP-9 expression at Day 56, and uPA activity at 28 days and significantly increased TIMP-2 expression at Days 7 and 28. There were no differences in MMP expression or activity, TIMP-2 expression and uPA activity in the surgical joint synovial fluid at any time throughout the study. These results suggest that dietary fish oil may exert beneficial effects on synovial fluid MMP and TIMP-2 equilibrium in the uninjured stifle of dogs with unilateral CCL injury.

PMID: 17531456 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Thanks for the info. I have ruled out the $1500 TPLO surgery and might go for the other cheaper option. I just wonder if the cheap surgery would do anything more than just leaving it. I am sure she wont be able to hunt like she used to. Does anyone have any positive results from surgery?

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Well....if you do nothing and leave it I would assume you would be resorting to the "conservative management" approach, or just not doing anything at all?

Doing nothing at all might leave you with a dog lame in both legs.....but I guess I don't know for sure? Doesn't sound like a good life for the dog...especially if the other leg goes. I am not in your position and obviously it's up to each person what they best course of action is and what they are able to do. Maybe a vet here can chime in.

Might be worth getting a second opinion from another vet or two on your options.

There are many out there that have gone the "conservative" route" and say it has been successful (not doing surgery and letting nature do it's thing). I have not looked into it too much so I can't offer to much advice. I have read that the dog must be kept inactive for a long time to have this possibly work. Not giving the dog one chance at jumping/running or doing anything the could possibly reinjure the joint. You may start to see signs of it getting better around 6-8 weeks....but that is long from any point to let the dog get very active. You could reaseach that more if interested but I don't know anyone who has done this.

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I am leaning towards getting the $650 surgery and hoping for the best. Any other advice?

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We went with the TPLO surgery 4 yrs. ago this coming Jan. and as 311Hemi mentioned we had to do both legs. We went this route mainly because of less long term effects in the years to come. Recovery period sucks! We've hunted the last 3 years with no problems. As for the cost 1500.00 is a bargain compared to what we had to pay here (Denver)

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I think $1500 is a good price compared to what we would pay in the Twin Cities.

I would also ask your vet what their success rate has been with either surgery and how many they (or whoever is doing it) has performed. I would want an someone experienced in a procedure such as this.

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I have a 10 year old lab which tore both acl's, if you can get the tplo for that price i would recommend it. I live in the twin cities, and it cost 2200-2500 for the tplo. We chose to go with the fishing line fix, and so far so good.

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My lab is scheduled for the "fish line fix" surgery next Tuesday. Hopefully all goes well. I talked with several vets that said that the TPLO surgery hasn't been proven to be that much better than other methods to justify all the cost involved, so i'll take my chances. They even said it is possible that my dog could be back hunting before the end of this pheasant season. I don't want to push it, but that would be great! There are a ton of birds down here in southwest mn and it should be a banner year. Thanks for all the input.

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My Yellow Lab had the TPLO surgery when she was 3yrs.

(now 7 yrs.) Six weeks after wards she was running like there was never a problem (although that time period is not recommended or the norm) Inver Grove Animal Hosp. did mine and it was very expensive but in my opinion, not all vets are the same. Just my opinion.

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I have a 1 ½ year old black Lab female that I brought into the vet today. I was duck hunting with her on Saturday, and on Sunday it appeared like she was limping a bit at home. Kinda like myself after a hard weekend of hunting..>Stiff and sore, but the more I move around the better I feel. Same thing with her, the first steps or so, limping slightly, then she seemed to be fine. There was one instance were she lifted her leg and hobbled on 3 legs for a couple steps. I examined her leg very closely, looking for anything...Comparing it to the other and nothing stood out. I was thinking it had to be something along the line of a pulled muscle or something internal, because she wasn't laying there licking her leg as if something was wrong.

Now Monday night rolls around, and she appeared to fine when I seen her that evening. She was running around outside, and I even played an exhausting game of catch with her and everything appeared to be fine. Well later that night, after she had been laying down for a while, she was hobbling on 3 legs leg considerably more and more, when she got up. So being I'm farily new to the whole dog ownership world, I called the clinic and left a message in hopes I could get into an open slot right away Tues A.M. Upon that visit the vet said my 'puppy' could either have a very slight tear or maybe just twisted her knee, to a moderate degree. The knee isn't swelled up, which I thought was kinda strange. But I'm not a vet so I can't say to much anyway. But in a nut shell, nothing can be done with it, rest is the best medicine. But I do have to comment that this is a good post with some very good information...At least, information that I was looking for. I'm certain you guys are the same way, as soon as your hunting partner gets an injury, the worst case always pops into the head and you have to be aware of your choices ahead of time....Hoping for just a sprain and nothing tore...Being she is just a pup and has a nice bright future ahead of her.

As for this week, I was advised to keep activity to a minimal...Just brief walks, and absolutely no running, twisting, jumping and especially HUNTING! The season was literally done for me anyway, but it's going to be a tough task to keep a 1 ½ yr old and not to mention a 5 yr old daughter wanting to play with her puppy.

I just thought I would share.

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