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Traditional Tightrope – Shelbie

Shelbie is 9 years old in February and a 50lb mix of Anatolian Shepherd and Lab so she has always been active and loves chasing her ball and Frisbee! At least she used to πŸ™

About 2 years back she had her left knee buckle and was extremely lame on it, of traditional tightropecourse immediately took her to the vet and find out that she has torn her cruciate ligament. In discussions with the vet, he was extremely confident in the tightrope procedure even though she is right at the weight limit for it. The confidence and price helped me make the decision, and I think it was the right one!

Took her about 6 months to get back to her normal self after the surgery and it was awesome to see her enjoying life again, as many of you know and probably have experienced, almost a year to the date of the left knee having issues she started to have the same problem on the right side.

We went to the same vet and coming off of the successful tightrope surgery on the left leg, thought it would be the right choice for the newly injured right leg. She started to improve slowly as we followed the same regimen as the last knee and was starting to finally get back to walking on her own outside and we were allowing her more freedom.

We went on a walk and when we got back she was limping a little, which is not uncommon based on exhausting the knee, but she never got any better and slowly started to go back to not using it and becoming extremely lame again.

traditional tightropeThe cost is so high, even for the cheaper surgery that we aren’t able to afford the surgery again, especially the one we have to do now which is the TPLO.

Unfortunately, it’s myself and girlfriend that are trying to manage this and our time allotment and income are holding us up right now.Β She is still a happy dog and we spoil her every chance we get but it’s heartbreaking to see her in pain with that leg not being used, not to mention putting the added pressure on the healed knee (which luckily is extremely strong now!)

I was wondering if anyone else has had a tightrope surgery fail like this as the vet couldn’t understand it either because the left knee healed wonderfully as expected.Β We are saving up to do the TPLO surgery but I’m just a little hesitant based on the failed tightrope surgery, time requirement, and the cost…I feel like a horrible doggy dad…

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6 Responses to Traditional Tightrope – Shelbie

  1. Erin January 10, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

    DO NOT feel like a horrible doggy Dad. The cost of these surgeries is astronomical, not to mention the rehab work and time it requires afterwards, all for no guarantee of success. I unfortunately don’t have much advice to give other than not to be too hard on yourself (which I know is difficult as you watch your pup limp). Best of luck to you. I do hope the veterinary community works towards making these surgeries more affordable for people who are just trying to do right by their dogs.

  2. Jan D January 10, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

    Our 8 year old Springer has had the tightrope procedure on on both of her legs.

    First one was on her right leg about 5 years ago. It healed quickly and she was back playing ball again after about 12 weeks.

    Aug 23rd she had the 2nd procedure on her left leg. Recovery was very slow this time so the Vet put her under and discovered that her knee had actually shifted and loosened everything. On Dec 30th – a second repair was done. All is good so far.

    After the 1st procedure on her right leg, we got Pet Insurance. There was one year exclusion on that leg; however, since this time, it was the other leg, almost all of the cost of the surgery and rehab was covered. Am waiting to hear how much of the cost for the Dec repair will be covered.

    Have vowed that I will never have another pet without insurance.

    Fortunately our rescue dog that joined us in July was young enough that we could get insurance for her.

  3. Leslie November 8, 2016 at 4:09 am #

    Our dog (80 lb American bulldog) had the TPLO on one leg and just had the excapsular (tightrope)on his other leg. So far, the leg that he had the TPLO on is doing great after one year. Too soon to tell on the other leg if it will be successful. I have every confidence if we can keep him quiet that it will be fine. Our vet in Jonesboro Illinois charges half for his TPLO’s. He’s an awesome highly ethical vet so no price gouging! We just recently moved about five hours away from him but made the drive to have the second leg done. So if interested I could share his info with you if you haven’t done anything yet. Good luck!

    • Jan Dale November 8, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

      Thanks, Leslie…. I neglected to provide an update…. see below

      After the surgery on the second leg this past December. She is absolutely back to her old self… running, play ball, etc.

      Lona was under heavy restrictions during her recovery period which was almost 5 months long. Our surgeon was adamant about keeping her restricted for this longer period…. no stairs, jumping on furniture, playing with other dogs…. swimming was the only exercise permitted after several weeks

      Lona did have rehab post surgery – both laser treatments and underwater treadmill. After rehab, we continued with swimming at the dog park.

      Gradually we progressed from very limited trips outside to mile long walks.

      All is good now.

      One final note… the December surgery and rehab costs were fully covered by our insurance

      • Cheryl Stitzer January 5, 2017 at 10:40 pm #

        Could you share what insurance you have? We have a Great Dane and are having to decide what to do. Considering her age and lifespan and the costs, it’s really difficult. Of we had some financial help, it might make the decision easier.

        • Jan January 6, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

          Hi Cheryl….

          We have Nationwide formerly VPI. They will not cover pre-existing conditions.

          Lona’s first surgery was done prior to our having insurance. We paid for it out of pocket.

          After her first injury, our Vet told us that there was a high probability that her other leg could also require a similar surgery due to genetics. When we heard that, we decided to get insurance. Everything was covered included rehab for the second leg

          I believe that there is an age restriction for starting the insurance. Once your pet is covered, you can continue your policy no matter how old but the premiums do increase each insurance year

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