Last year I noticed my german shepherd limping, shes a spazz and thought she tore a muscle but off to the vet we went. He performed the drawer test and yup she tore her ccl on her right leg.
We went conservative at first and tried a brace and pain med for 4 months and she was doing much better.
Fast forward to April of this year and the dreaded limp was back and another visit to the vet. This time it was both knees that were lost and surgery was really the only option at this point. I did a ton of research, did I really want to put my dog thru this!??! There are not a lot of vets who do these surgeries near me and 1 I found wanted $7000 PER KNEE! Holy… we don’t have that kind of money…. is surgery really our only option?
Well, Chino decided to chase a rabbit one morning and completely ruptured her left ccl.
So surgery it is. I called at least 5 other vets and found 1.. 1 vet who would do the tta surgery, now some people swear by tplo for larger dogs but honestly knowing she will need both done that prob wasn’t in the future for us.
We decided to meet with the specialist, she ruptured her ccl on Monday he saw her on wend and surgery was that Thurs. He spent a lot of time with us and I felt 100% comfortable going with the tta surgery. He uses titanium screws and plate so chances of rejection are slim to none. 🤞
After a big ccl surgery like this they like to keep the dog for a week which was a relief for us, yes keep her please let her heal with the professionals for a week, however, after 3 days Chino went on a hunger strike so we picked her up Sunday instead of Tuesday.
That still gave us time to get her area ready and build a doggie ramp since she couldn’t use the stairs off the front porch. Instead of a cage, I went with a large x pen, there’s no top it’s more open and shes generally more relaxed (she does not do good in a cage at all) and it’s big enough that I can lay in there with her if she gets anxious.
Her first week home she got her cone off and licked her staples alllll night long, I woke up to a blood bath and damn near had a heart attack. No staples were loose or missing but she got her wound open a little so we applied a wrap and gauze and lots and lots of patience. It took 2 days to finally heal back up (we had to put a harness back on and tie her cone to that or Houdini would have gotten it off again).
The initial 2 weeks I relied pretty heavily on pain meds I couldn’t stand to see her in pain, and we invested in 2.. I call them easy ups.. but its just a handicap support harness that goes around her waist so we could take most the weight off her back legs…. I highly recommend getting one! I can’t speak highly enough about having one.
We are a little over 3 weeks out now, she’s still walking with a little limp but she is more active outside and can walk a lot longer (were only up to 15 min walk 2x a day BUT her right leg is still torn so I’m not pushing her too much)
We use an NSAID as needed, really only on “bad” days where she seems a little stiff.
Overall I don’t regret doing the tta surgery to repair her ccl, she will go back in 6 weeks to have the other leg done then she will be able to run, play and in the long run, it will be worth it.