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Old 02-15-2015, 12:21 PM
kjhman kjhman is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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Default Should I go through with TPLO surgery?

I've really been trying to find a good answer as to what I should do when it comes to my dog. I have a 3 year old American Bulldog. About 70 pounds. Such a friendly, happy, and loving dog.

Back last year we started noticing that she was having a lot of difficulty walking around after sitting or laying down for a while. After a few vet visits, we found that that she has partially torn her ACL ligaments in her back legs. The back left being worse than the back right. The Vet I took her to, immediately recommended the TPLO surgery. After reading what it involved, i thought it would be better to get a 2nd opinion. She was moving around normally and it didn't appear that she had any sort of problem out in public. I took her to a very highly rated vet in my area. The vet checked out the X rays that were done and checked out her physical condition and thought that the surgery was probably not the best route to go down, but said i should reconsider if she gets worse.

Fast forward 8 months and everything is great... She's moving around excellent... she's going on walks.... she's playing with my other dog and all seems well until thanksgiving.... Someone left my back door open and she bolted out the back door into my Acre backyard. As soon as I saw her bolt out... i knew I was in trouble. I run out into the backyard and she slowed down so i could catch her and walk her back to the house.. she seemed to be in a little bit of discomfort. Sure enough, the next morning was like a living nightmare. She refused to walk. She didn't want to put any weight on her back legs. It was quite the project to try to help her outside to go to the bathroom. I ended up having to wrap a towel around her lower stomach and hold it up as a brace while she basically walked 90% on her front legs.

Day after day... week after week she's bouncing back more and more. So here we are halfway through February about 10 weeks after the thanksgiving incident and I'd say she's basically back to normal again. moving quickly around the house... Standing up on all 4's to eat food (which she used to want to sit down to take weight off her back legs). Playing tug of war with my older dog, and enjoying short walks up and down my street. I can really only notice a hint here and there of an issue. She certainly doesn't seem to be in any pain. Just when she gets up after sitting or laying down for a while, i can see where she might be in a little discomfort.

I am sitting here trying to figure out what to do. I've read big advocates on both sides. People that claim TPLO is a miracle surgery, and others saying its completely unnecessary and would never put their dogs through it. I'm mostly worried that she won't be able to live life to 100% without the surgery. I can't take her for much of a walk before she seems eager to go back and lay down. Also, I don't want to make my dog restricted to a leash her whole life. Not being able to go to the dog park and run around with other dogs outside without damaging her ligaments even more.

As i'm writing this, i'm looking over at my dog... she's standing up playing with my older dog and looks to be enjoying herself and quite happy. So, I'm really at a crossroads here. I really don't want to put my dog through surgery if its not the best for her. Money isn't a factor. Not that I'm loaded or anything... far from it. I'd just do/pay whatever was necessary for her.

It would be nice to hear from some people that were maybe in a similar situation that I'm in now. What did you end up doing? Any sort of advice or recommendations would be so incredibly helpful. Thank you very much for your time reading this.

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Old 02-16-2015, 09:48 AM
Barb04's Avatar
Barb04 Barb04 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 27,363

I've been through TPLO, TTA, and suture surgery. All I can say is I'm glad I did all 3 and happy with the results.
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