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Tightrope and OrthoPet Dog Knee Brace – Neva

Neva’s story – Tightrope and OrthoPet Brace

Neva is a 5-year old pointer mix. She lives to run, jump and play. During weekend runs at our open space dog park she puts in 10+ miles chasing rabbits to my measly four. She’s never had a health problem since the day I picked her up from the pound, at 8 weeks old and under 12 lbs. Slender by nature, she hit adulthood at 45 lbs and over the last couple years she’s crept up to 68 lbs – still svelte, but not skinny by any means.

In Aug 2010 we were playing ball in the yard and she hit a divet in the grass and twisted her knee. I knew something was wrong right away. She stopped, I ran to her and got her to lay down. She would not put any pressure on the foot and was clearly in pain. She hobbled on one leg, keeping the other high and managed to get inside to rest.

Some quick “Googling” and I found this site and many others – symptoms told me – I knew she’d torn her CCL before we even went to the vet a couple days later. Sure enough, the doc confirmed my suspicion and a week later solidified it with x-rays. (We waited a week before spending xray money to see if she would put more weight on it – perhaps it was just a strain.)

An important aside for anyone considering xrays – have them do the full pelvic as you will only then get to see what else may be at play. In Neva’s case, the news was not good. While only 5, she is showing signs of significant hip degeneration on the right (where the knee blew). The left hip and knee also showed some wear, and the doc said the chance for the left knee to blow was at 80% – which is a bit higher than the quoted 40- 50% for dogs in general.

The hardest part was knowing what to do because it was all starting to seem like a slippery financial slope. My husband and I argued about it for days. We love our dog but at what financial burden do we say “too much” and what are our choices if we do nothing and just let her heal? Nobody could give us a clear answer. User experiences like the ones on this site provided the most insight.

As far as prices, we priced everything. The prices I listed below were those provided by my vet and they save money by being a location where they don’t employ a full time orthopedic surgeon share a traveling ortho with 20 or so other vets in the area. This cuts costs and allows them to still offer specialist care w/o paying for fancy overhead – I think it saved us 1/3rd the cost of going to a hospital directly.

Here is what we ended up considering:

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For the hips:
Hip replacement – torture on a dog and HUGE expense. ($5k/ hip).
Hip stem cell therapy – supposedly 85% success rate – they simply take some stem cells from the dog’s chest area and place them in the hips and the hips improve magically. This has been used by horses for quite a while but is new to dogs $2250.
Manage hips with drugs – an 8 week regimen of Adequan shots for dog (you can do it yourself – they don’t even notice) plus daily Glocosomine tabs in food. Then continue the Adequan every month or so. Note on drugs – save over half the costs by buying them online – 800-petmeds.com or I found www.drsfostersmith.com to have good prices. $500+ annually.

We chose: Manage hips with drugs.

Nobody could tell us how bad the hips were and if they had always been this way. She did not appear to be hampered by it and we just weren’t ready to drop a bunch of dough on something we weren’t sure was going to really be a problem any more than any other dog we see at the dog park.

For the knees:
TPLO on right knee – the defacto standard and Cadillac of knee surgeries for dogs. Most vets love this – it works and it’s the #1 financially profitable dog surgery for vets in the nation! $2500 – $3500
TTA – also high price ,but seemed to hear it was a longer recovery. Not sure I really considered this one.
Tightrope Surgery on right leg – different approach, newer, less invasive, doc said she’d only had one fail in the time she’s seen it, less expensive at $1500 – $1900
OrthoPet Brace – on right knee and/or left knee to avoid surgery and let it heal naturally. $850 for one brace including all consults.
Conservative Management – I tried this for three weeks and she was not really improving.

We chose: Tightrope for blown knee and OrthoPet brace for the left knee for prevention of further tear during healing and long term.

Why did we choose the Tightrope repair surgery?

TPLO seemed like giving a less than perfect dog a single bionic leg – and still suffering from the other bad leg. Giving the dog surgery on the other knee later is something we don’t want to do. So we opted to fix the bad knee now and hopefully pay now to mitigate the high chance of another knee injury later with a future brace. This kept it in the $3k range and gave her the best chance for high quality of life in our opinion. We could have just braced the right leg and hoped it healed, but we did not know if meniscus was damaged and if it was the brace would not help as the dog would not put weight on it. As it turned out the meniscus was fine but we didn’t know until we got inside for surgery. (BTW a meniscus-ectomy – or something like that – is $1500 alone – might as well do the tightrope!)

The results:

Its been 4 days since surgery (Sept 8, 2010). I read a lot of horror stories on here and other places about recovery. But we’ve had none of that. She came home that night, drugged up as a sailor on leave, but she was fine. We have Tapazol for the pain (the patch was overkill), as well as the Duramaxx she’s been on since the injury. She peed and pooped the next morning and continues to eat normally. She is already toe touching when I take her out to go. The brace will be ready next week so I’ll keep you posted on that!

The biggest problem is that dang cone to prevent licking. It makes her nervous and unable to relax. I know how important it is for her not to touch the stitches (which BTW are inside and will dissolve with time) and how fast she can unravel the work. But the cone has caused me to lose sleep. I tried putting shorts on her – she took them off. I’m considering some kids biking shorts next. The vet says none of this works. She is not actively going after it, but I’m worried the real itchiness hasn’t yet hit and will soon. I crate her when I’m gone but put her on the floor next to me while I’m home.

I’ll give an update on how the tightrope is working later, but so far, so good!

Update on Neva – 4 Weeks Post Op:

First, thanks for the note on collars I will DEFINITELY try one next time we have an issue! Luckily we passed that phase w/o incident. That was, however, the worst part!

Its been 4 weeks since surgery. Neva is very active now and the hardest thing is keeping her mellow. I work at home some days and put her in our bedroom when gone. We are walking the block for 15 minutes daily and she is putting plenty of weight on the leg. Vet says she is in 95th percentile which makes me a proud mama but really it was nothing i did – just good luck i think.

I try to massage her leg and she tolerates ice / heat which is recommended by the doc. The OrthoPet brace as helped her to get her gate in order for the “not so bad” leg but we only wear it when out and about. Day 1 of the brace i could tell her using it made her work both legs more which was good.

Right now I am so happy we did the surgery, and feel good about the Tightrope option. It was a quick recovery for her and no real heart wrenching pain.

Thanks for everyone’s story here and i will keep reading.

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42 Responses to Tightrope and OrthoPet Dog Knee Brace – Neva

  1. September 21, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    We too had the same problem with our dog after her tplo surgery. She seemed so relaxed when we were home and watching her(without the cone) but as soon as she was left alone with the cone she was a complete nervous nelly. I purchase several cones and found that the the no bite collar and the soft cone collar worked much better for our dog. She could see and eat with the no bite collar and could not get to her incision line and the soft cone could be folded down so she could eat and drink. The soft collar limited her vision but she seemed more comfortable with this one as she could sleep more. Good luck with Neva and her recovery…..they are certainly worth it.

  2. October 2, 2010 at 3:04 am #

    I read Neva’s story with great interest, for my 17-month-old chocolate Lab, Snickers, just had surgery for a ruptured cruciate ligament. In June, she had surgery for hip dysplasia, on the same leg!
    She is a rescue dog, seized by the Humane Society from a puppy mill. My vet feels her poor start in life is causing some of the problems she is experiencing now.

    Snickers’ surgeries were performed by an orthopedic surgeon. I noted your observation that surgery for hip dysplasia causes horrific pain for the dog. For anyone who may be forced to consider this procedure, I want to mention that this was not my experience.

    Snickers had a femoral head ostectomy, four months ago and came home after spending less than two days in hospital. She was experiencing some discomfort, but it was well managed with MetaCam. It was several weeks before she began to put weight on her leg and the surgeon was a little disappointed with her progress. Then, almost overnight, she began to recover in leaps and bounds. Within three months time, it was impossible to tell which leg had had the operation.

    It was a huge disappointment when Snickers blew her knee, so soon after her hip surgery. She went lame on a Sunday morning and was hospitalized on Sunday night. She had surgery the next day and is now at home and doing well. No medication was required for pain, this time.

    I am aware that she is likely to have future problems with her other cruciate ligament and possibly with her other hip. I would not hesitate to repeat either of these surgeries again. There is a lengthy recuperative period that requires dedication but it is so worth it.

  3. October 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    I too faced a very similar situation with a 10 year old rott/mastiff mix. We went ahead with the implant repair-as opposed to the TPLO. Had a hard time justifying the expense for the TPLO. The recovery was horrendous, he is 125lbs and not easy to carry outside to do his business, not to mention has the mentality of a border collie. Had the surgery 6/14/10 and now we have been told that the implant has stretched and has lost most of its effectiveness. The surgeon of course recommended the TPLO to correct this, which I found insulting. Since they promoted the other surgery due to his age. I have been to rehab with him and now they do not recommend I continue on the hydro therapy (under water treadmill). I have tried accupuncture, laser therapy, bed rest, 3 pain medications and chiropractic care. At this time the only care he is receiving is chiropractic-as they see it as less likely to aggrevate the injury. Chiropractic has helped with his walk, as his other limbs and his back have had to acclimate to carrying the additional weight. I have searched for a brace, as the surgeon recommends scar tissue to stabilize the knee, but we can’t get him stable enough in 1 position without keeping him crated for the next 6 months.

    I have read good/bad things about the braces but am looking for anyone who may have had success using one (hopefully on a large dog) & what your experiences were with the manufacturer & what physical therapy you found helpful.

    We are starting to feel abandoned by our pet care providers, as they do not want him to do the physical therapy that was once recommended and they seem reluctant to assist me in the efforts to find a brace. As I stated to them, if it works great-if it doesn’t you can say I told you so!

    Any thoughts?
    Thanks in advance!

  4. October 29, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    Thank you for Neva’s story. My Jadie girl is having the same problem in the knee area but without the hip problem. I am so thrilled to hear of Neva’s good recovery. And you are so right about these vets and their ridiculous prices for surgeries. We do not have the money to spend on Jade. But now that I see that their are other options I do believe I will address to the orthopedic doctor. Keep up the good work Neva. Lettie Word

  5. November 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    This is a reply to Lori from Neva and Wendy.

    We have the OrthoPet brace for Neva’s less bad knee. I have never met more smart caring dog people than the ones at Orthopets (www.orthopets.com). They are FABULOUS. The vet there gave me more insights about my dog’s hips / legs than my vet X 10. They gave me a list of exercises and heavily promoted her to rehab. I am lucky they are in Colorado close to me so i can just go there in person. They do also ship braces nationwide. I can tell when Neva wears the brace she feels much more stable on that leg.

    The brace is NOT cheap – i think after all was said and done $800 or so. But it will last her life. It does rub a bit and I’m headed back there next week for them to adjust it. But she does not chew it and it doesn’t bother her. It was special made for her using a cast process.

    I recommend you call them at least to see what they say. I really was impressed with them. Best wishes for success!

    • February 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

      I have an 2- year old American Bulldog going into knee surgery tommorow- I wanted to ask around if anyone would be interested in selling me a brace for a lg. breed dog?

      • February 9, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

        Hi Connie,

        I do hope someone sees your comment and has a brace for sale! Your comment gives me an idea though – would it be helpful for everyone if I set up an area where people could put their used items (braces, harnesses, etc.) up for sale/trade to help one another out?

        • June 2, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

          orthodog has mesh velcro ones that would fit any size for 190$ orthopets has custom cast fittings for 900$ i have orthodog and he bears weight and does short sprints and walks no problem without he will not bear weight and hops. i am getting casted for orthpets mon.

      • February 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

        I wouldn’t do that if I were you without discussing it with your surgeon. It seems like it would be counterproductive.

        Also, most knee braces are custom made to fit a certain dog. Mine was made from a cast of my dog’s leg. I can’t imagine it would work on another dog.

        • February 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

          Thanks Barbara I will definitely discuss that with our surgeon- wasnt aware of them being custom made.

  6. November 8, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    Thank you so much for telling your story. We have a 5 yr. old Boxer who has a torn CCL. He also has hip displasia. Especially bad on the left where he blew out his knee. Have had one surgical consult and was completely taken back by the cost of just the CCL repair. We are going for a second opinion at Veterinary Hospital of Pennsylvania. We were only given two options at the previous surgeon’s office… the TPLO (which of course they highly recommended at $4800) or the standard repair (at $3000). I’m so glad to see that there are other options to explore. Thank you so much for sharing as it’s nice to know that we are not alone in feeling confused and like we are failing our pets for not being able to afford a very expensive procedure. I will be taking some of your suggestions to consult on Thursday.

  7. November 10, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    There has been quite a few problems with the tightrope surgery. One is infection. The tape used in the surgery has been a hiding place for bacteria that is hard to kill. The other is that the holes they drill in the bones for the tape become bigger and bigger. This doesn’t show up until 9 or 10 months after the surgery. Most people who have the problem end up having to do a TPLO. This is a relatively new procedure. Many vets who are doing it have not been doing it long enough to face this problem. Make sure your vet has a plan to address these two problems, which can be expensive to treat. An option that was not mentioned is the LSS or Extracapsular repair. It’s less expensive and has fewer complications.

  8. November 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    We have a Black lab that weighs 102 pounds. We just found out he has ACL injury and needs surgery. My Vet recommended a specialist to have either a TTA or TPLO performed. I called them, they quoted me $3500 and told me payment in full. I couldn’t believe how pricey this was. But, wanting the best for our baby- we figured we HAD to do it. Then I researched what they actually do during the surgery, complications, recovery and my heart just sank. I do NOT want to put my dog through this radically altering bone structure surgery!!! I have called the specialists with several questions the last few days, I have called my Vet back with my concerns only to be told Im being too dramatic and there are risks in everything. I called another Vet and although he was much more sensitive about my worries, he recommended the TPLO as well. I am at my wits end. I want to do what is best for our dog! My gut tells me to go with the Lateral tie/tightrope method rather than subjecting him to the other more invasive surgery. I read while dogs recover moderately well after TPLOs or TTAs, these successes do not change the fact that these procedures have much more risk of very serious complications and failure than the alternatives. This scares me to death!!!! Try telling a vet that… they don’t listen and might even insult you. (like mine did) I have read large breed dogs had a higher risk of failure with conventional stabilization surgery because the orthosuture used to stabilize the joints could not withstand the pressure from big active dogs. Now that has changed. (?) Advances in orthosuture materials in conventional stabilization is several times stronger and more resistant to breaking, stretching, abrasion than previously. I do realize no matter what surgery- post-op care is critical along with rehab. For us, it’s not about the money. I would pay any amount to fix our dog. It’s about less trama on him. Cutting through bones, attaching metal plates and screws(which could back out and fail) is not something I want to put him through. I know any surgery has risks and pain and recovery. I want to do the very best for our Dog as it seems all of you have done for your own “babies” I would love to here from you and any insight you might have for me. Im really struggling with all this. Thanks to all!

  9. January 29, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    Wow. My black lab weights appox 102 lbs and has severed his ACL too. Is it the breed? The vet wants to do the tightrope surgery, but I am really scared. It sounds like so many who had the tightrope turned around and had the TPLO. We can’t afford a 2nd surgery and we love our baby.
    I would like to know the percentages for recovery from each of the surgeries.

    • January 31, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

      Here is what i can tell you about Neva at 6 months after surgery with Tightrope. Really no problems and no complications. She still limps sometimes and can’t go more than a few miles running without it hurting a little, but i’m assuming that is probably the case with all the surgeries (plus she has bad hips). BUT she is running and happy! With Tightrope we had NO blood, no weird scary after effects and just a small incision.

      She is only 60 lbs and your dog is heavier so take that into consideration i suppose. I’m really glad we chose this option. i think the thing is to get a good doc – not necessarily the priciest but someone who does this all the time. In our case our vet has a “guy” who comes in – that meant no hefty payments for keeping the clinic lights on, only his services for the day. i checked him out via google and he is a known speaker at vet conferences etc so i felt comfortable he knew his stuff.

      I would NOT go for the brace for complete healing as i think it would just take too long. The brace in retrospect was maybe overkill but we still use it for the “good leg” to go running. Also Orthopets is on my nerves now cuz they nickel and dimed me for EVERYTHING. Anyway I’m a tightrope success story but even my vet said she was doing better than 90% of the cases she sees. i wish it was easier to tell you what to do. i know the heartbreak you are going through! We are in Colorado BTW if you are too i can give you the doc for tightrope.

      • March 9, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

        wendy, our 9 year old has a partial tear (5 different vets) we are now looking into surgery , could you recommend surgeon in colorado thanks jim

        • March 11, 2012 at 9:35 am #

          James, I took Neva to Pets Vet of Arvada 303-430-0919 petsvetofarvada.com/ and they don’t have a surgeon on staff but a man who has a traveling business doing this exact surgery who will come to them on call. I can’t recall his name. But this was significantly less expensive than paying for a fancy facility. The result has been great for Neva. She remains great after 1.5 years. I realize this approach may not be for everyone. There is also a very swanky place in Colo Springs where they do mainly TPLO. veterinaryspecialty.com/ I realize this is a very tough decision – I wish I could say I had the right answer for you. We have had good results with Tightrope for a full tear. OrthoPets also does a brace we use for her “good leg” to reduce possibility of her tearing that one too as we heard it was “weak.”Good luck to you

  10. January 31, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    I want to also clarify when my vet said that Neva was doing better than 90% of the dogs it was because she was standing equally on both legs, seemingly w/o problem in just 2 weeks. It was at that point I really had to slow her down – that was my biggest challenge, keeping her quiet. I say Tightrope is good because of its less invasive nature but you HAVE TO follow the doc’s rules and don’t let them jump about or you really can risk hurting them more. With the TPLO they dont “feel like” running about so that makes it easier to heal.

  11. February 1, 2011 at 6:10 am #

    @Michele… I posted in November about my boxer going for a second opinion at a teaching hospital. We decided, and it was recommended, to do the Tightrope on our 100 lb boxer who is 5 and VERY energetic! He had the surgery a week before Thanksgiving and walked — putting weight on it, the next day. He has done PHENOMINAL! I coudln’t have asked for a better surgeon. To back up a little, when we first saw the surgeon, he never asked us about what we could afford BEFORE offering us options. He flat out told us, he had a TPLO for his dog years ago and if he had to do it all over again, he would have gone with the Tightrope. This told me he was looking out for my dog not in it for the money. There is no information out there that says the TPLO has a higher success rate than the Tightrope. Therefore, he receommended the Tightrope as it’s less invasive and has fewer complications. I can tell you that the recovery is hard. Not that it requires a lot to do, but trying to keep a VERY ACTIVE dog still and quiet for 12 weeks is tough. Especially now, where he feels soooo much better (doesn’t look like a 15 yr old dog trying to get up and move around)… he just wants to play and run and jump. He will be completely off restrictions in March. I truly believe that the surgeons offer what they are comfortable doing (as to which type of surgery they recommend). Find one that will do the surgery YOU think is best. After all, it’s YOUR baby, not theirs. 😉 Good luck! Hope this helps!

  12. February 1, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    All I can say is:

    1.It’s only been three months

    2. There’s only one study that’s been done that indictes TR is equal to TPLO and it’s duration was only 6 months.

    3. That study was done at Missouri State, where Dr. Cook, where the inventor of the procedure teaches.

    4. Read what other people whose dogs have had the procedure are saying both on this site and others.

    5. They apparently don’t know what causes the enlarging and collapsing bone tunnels and don’t admit it’s a problem.

    6 If you choose TR, make sure the surgeon will include the follow up and corrections of any problems in the price of the surgery. The problems are infection in the tape (TPLO also has problems with infection) and the enlarging bone tunnels.

    bkay

  13. February 1, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    Mchelle,

    Find a surgeon who has success with the extracapsular repair which is also called LSS in big dogs. Get on the phone and keep calling. I live in a large city and had to go to a small town where a horse specialist did my dog’s surgery.

    barbara

  14. February 1, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    Everyone should be aware that they are deleting unfavorable comments about Tightrope.

    • February 1, 2011 at 9:48 am #

      Hi Barbara,

      I am the owner of the site and just want to clarify that no comments are being deleted. If you have something you’d like to say about the Tightrope it is more than welcome here on this site – I want to make sure everyone’s story is heard. If you’ve had an issue posting comments please let me know and I will look into it.

      Thanks,
      Mandie

    • February 1, 2011 at 10:08 am #

      Barbara,

      I believe the comment you posted and are referring to is located here – https://dogkneeinjury.com/tightrope-ccl-procedure/comment-page-2/#comment-27534

  15. February 1, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    Hmmm, so the owner of this website is deleting all the truthful, unfavorable stories about the Tightrope procedure? As someone whose dog suffered a serious complication as a result of the Tightrope, I find that disgusting. So people will continue to subject their dogs to the Tightrope with only the biased opinion of the vets who stand to gain something from this procedure. I hope the owner of this site can live with him or herself because the suffering of those dogs will be ON YOU for failing to allow an open & honest exchange of information so people could make an informed decision as to what procedure would best benefit their dog.

    • February 1, 2011 at 9:52 am #

      Hi Cindy,

      I just wanted to assure you that, as the owner of the site, no comments have been deleted. The only time comments are not published is if they are obvious spam, duplicate comments or not relevant to the site at all (i.e. an advertisement for a particular veterinary practice).

      This site has no agenda of withholding information, and the GOAL of the site is to allow everyone to have a voice and share their experience.

      As I said to Barbara above, if anyone is having an issue posting comments please let me know so I can look into the problem.

      Thanks,
      Mandie

    • February 1, 2011 at 10:10 am #

      The comment you posted and thought was deleted is actually on another page that talks about the Tightrope surgery. You may see the comment here – https://dogkneeinjury.com/tightrope-ccl-procedure/comment-page-2/#comment-27649

      I hope that clears things up!

  16. February 1, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Message to Barbara,
    Maybe your posts are being deleted because you are fear mongering. I am here to tell you Tightrope was GREAT for my dog. I have nothing to gain by it but helping other people out. I’m sorry if some of you had bad experiences – maybe it was your surgeon, maybe it was your dog, maybe you didn’t follow instructions to keep your dog quiet for many weeks following surgery. Everything has its risks.

    • February 1, 2011 at 9:49 am #

      Wendy, isn’t it just possible that people who have undergone the Tightrope & have actual firsthand experience with complications are being CENSORED? How on earth are the statistics regarding the complication rates to be believed if the numbers are being skewed & the actual complications aren’t being factored into the numbers? When I make a decision on surgery for my dog, I want all the FACTS, not just the whitewashed ones.

      • February 1, 2011 at 9:58 am #

        Cindy,

        All firsthand experiences are a welcome part of this site. The willingness of people, like Wendy, to share their story is what makes Dog Knee Injury the wonderful resource it has become.

        If you have an experience you’d like to share in the form of a post please contact me directly using the Contact button at the top of the site and I would be happy to share your story with everyone.

        • February 1, 2011 at 10:38 am #

          Admin, I would like to publicly apologize to you. I see now that the story of my experience with the Tightrope & subsequent failure is in fact posted & hasn’t been deleted. I want to thank you for providing a place where ALL surgical experiences can be shared — the good & the bad. It is so imporant that people make an informed decision, with all the facts at hand. So THANK YOU!

  17. February 1, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Please tell me everything you know about tightrope surgery. Its not too late for my dog.

  18. February 1, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    I don’t have first hand experience with TR. I have read many of the published studies regarding all types of knee surgery and I have been reading posts regarding knee injury on dog forums for the last two years.

    Two persons posted this last week and their posts have disappeared as has mine that was detailed and informed. Both had had bone tunnel problems. One had spent $2300 for the TR surgery and $2800 to have it removed. Her post is gone as is the other.

    Maybe this site has some technical difficulties.

  19. February 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    I found the other two posts I was speaking of. The only missing post is mine. I was not aware that there were two conversations going on about tightrope. How I ended up on this one, I have no idea.

    I apologize to all concerned and especially to the owner of this site.

    It was my mistake. As I said, the “missing” posts are definitely there, it’s just another conversation on this site.

    Again, I apologize.

    barbara

  20. May 24, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    I’m having trouble keeping my Lab Zoie down to rest so, her bone will continue to heal. She has a loose plate and 3 screws so, until it heals she is kept in my office all day and she only goes out to relieve herself and sleep on her bed in our room at night. I’m looking for some kind of brace to maybe keep her off of it for awhile but, still let her walk to go outside to relieve herself. At this point I’m alittle upset because we are at week 11 and she still has to be on a leash and kept quite…she is 4 years old and this is so hard to do. I really don’t want to keep her druged up to keep her down. But, at this point I don’t kno what else to do.
    any advice for this issue.

  21. May 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    What do you mean she has a loose plate and 3 screws? If she has loose screws, why don’t they fix it?

    Barbara

  22. May 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Does Zoie bear weight on her leg at all? Ever? It would be better if she did. To relieve the stress off the other leg. How heavy is she? Keeping her weight down would be good too.

  23. November 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    Just a follow up note four years post Tightrope surgery, as i found this site again and read the post again – my dog Neva never had any further complications from the Tightrope surgery and continued to run and play until her last breath. She died about 6 months ago from something completely unrelated (not really sure what to be honest – perhaps heart attack) but her leg was good for runs up to 5 miles consistently until the very end, with some minor limping every so often if we really pushed it. She was just 9 when she died, so i’m not sure we gave it the full, “test” but her hips never really bothered her and her “other leg” never gave out like the doctors said it likely would. I did keep her on Glucosamine but i stopped the Adequan shots after about a year. As far as making the call on tightrope vs TPLO is seems like maybe the key for me was living in an area (Denver) where a doctor who had been doing the tighrope for a good long while was practicing and had proven success. Also I just had the good fortune of a solid experienced vet who is not a showpiece vet but a simple animal lover, to back me up. Its hard to make the financial decision when you know your loved one is in pain and they can’t tell you about it. But many vets really take you to the cleaners on this sort of thing so do shop around if you are worried about costs. The OrthoPet people (leg brace) for example charged not only $800 for their brace, but I spent another $300 + just in office visits to for simple adjustments to the brace to prevent it from rubbing Neva’s shin – and checkups. These are things I think should be covered! I quickly dumped them from my speed dial. Good luck to all of you!

    • November 24, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

      Thanks very much for sharing this experience with the Tightrope procedure. Of the different surgical options, it has always seemed to make the most sense. Your comments about choosing the right surgeon are spot on. My athletic (but injured) Basenji and I are grateful to you!

  24. November 10, 2015 at 11:41 pm #

    great idea 🙂 here we built a kind of a litter to help our Valente (a 13y.o lab) going uatpsirs (where is my studio and my bedroom).. he is having trouble with his back legs 🙁

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