Our 110 lb. 2 1/2 yr. old German Shepherd started limping in August, 2011.on his left rear leg. By August he was holding his leg up now and then, so we took him to our vet to be checked. After xrays and exams he was diagnosed with a torn ACL. Our vet told us to try and restrict him for a few weeks and see if this would help him. It did help him, but he is a very active dog and as soon as he started running around again he was back to limping and holding his leg up again.
Our vet told us to consider PTLO surgery so we started searching the internet for ACL surgery options. We found videos on You-Tube of the PTLO surgery and the recovery and was very put off by the whole thing, start to finish. So we kept on searching and reading every thing we could find. We came across the traditional Extracapsuler surgery but from what we read it was not highly recommended for dogs over 50 Lbs. So we kept on searching and we ran across this web sight Countryside Veterinary clinic that performed a newer version of the traditional Extracapsuler surgery. We emailed them and asked if they thought a 110 LB. dog would be a candidate for this surgery. We got back a very interesting answer from the vet that came up with this new technique. He said something like I could tell you yes and you could ask some other vets and they would probably tell you no. So I would suggest you talk to some pet owners that I have performed the surgery on their pets that weighed 100- 200LBS.
So we took him up on his offer and requested the telephone numbers of a few of his patients. OK I know what the first thing that comes to your head, the same thing that came to ours, these telephone numbers are probably his family or staff, but we were happy to see a couple of numbers that were in our area. We called the numbers and spoke with these people and were very happy with what they said about Dr. Allen and the success of the surgery. We figured if this did not work we could always have the PTLO .
We made an appointment for him to have the surgery. We are so happy we went with this surgery. The after care is so simple compared to the other surgeries. All you have to do is walk him on a leash and avoid stairs. Thats it, in 6 weeks he was completely healed. We waited till 8 weeks before we started playing ball in the house with him and by 15 weeks he was back to running around out side. Dr. Allen told us that around 60% of the pets that have ACL surgery need the surgery on the other leg within a year.
Almost a year to the day – Thor just had ACL surgery on his right leg on 11/2/12. His left leg where he had surgery last year is 100%. If you go on face book and go on Thor Lear page you can see his old video from last year and to new videos we put up this week, one picking up Thor from DR. Allens clinic and one 5 days after surgery.We will be putting up more videos each week of Thor’s recovery. The technique DR. Allen performs uses the tissue of the animal instead of putting foreign material into the knee. He cuts a strip of muscle above the knee and leaves it attached so it keeps getting a blood supply and wraps the knee. Just like the old procedure but now you have a permanent wrap that doesn’t dissolve. So between that and the buildup of scar tissue you have a stronger joint.,and by cutting the strip of muscle above the knee he then pulls the muscle together and sutures it and that tightens up around the knee too. This is the best I could explain it but you should get the idea.
We hope this will help some of you . Tom, Lisa & Thor
2 thoughts on “Extracapsular Repair for Large Dogs – Thor”
Hi! I am looking into surgery with Dr. Allen. I spoke with someone who said that with their technique most dogs won’t tear the opposite ACL. Judging by what you wrote, it seems like they told you something different? Can you elaborate? I have a dog with special needs, and I really won’t want to put her under a second time.
Also, did you use a hotel they recommended? I’m looking into pet-friendly hotels, but there aren’t a whole lot.
Anything else you think I should know?
Hi I stay at LaQuinta. They are all Pet Friendly.
I am a wreck over my pooch and his torn acls. I am not convinced that the surgery is the only way to go. It seems like the vets are really raking in the dough on these procedures. Not to mention the guilt trips! Before I had a chance to breathe, one vet had labs ordered, xrays with sedation and wanted my permission to have a vet that I Do NOT want near my dog, helping her. Money was tossed like candy. She knows I am disabled. Norman is my connection to life. So came the “he will not make it” story. I was mortified. I still am.
The next one whisked him away to examine him away from me. Came back with a story
of demise, and more money. The last one wanted to know what I was told before and said
what ever they said. Geez. My out of state vet said he would do it if it were his dog. ???His brother is the surgeon. I do believe that if I do not protect the opposite leg it will go like the other, complete tear.So, I am ordering braces today. Costly but not as much as surgery. Adding more nutrients, Lots of rest.
Any one else with full tears? Tell me you were conservative….and it worked out…