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Cruciate Surgery


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A puppy buyer has just phoned and their 10 month old Stafford has a (probable) torn cruciate. They are going back to the vet tomorrow for x-rays and will know more then.

I've never had this problem 1st hand but told them what I could from what others have told me over the years, but some of their questions I want to get back to them with more advice (not saying their vet won't give them the best advice :) )

Main questions at the moment would be...

Will the x-rays give a good diagnosis or is there something else/better they could opt for?

Is there an option other than surgery worth investigating if the damage is not too severe? - And can you tell how severe the damage is by x-rays/scans?

Their vet has indicated they're looking at around $1500 for the op - is this about right? (she's 13-14kg)

Any specially useful re-hab suggestions? I did emphasis the absolute importance of correct rehab and that the long-term outcome was largely in their own hands with this one.

Any suggestions of a good vet in Brisbane for the op? They are going to grill their own vet about their confidence to do the best job, or ask for a referral but suggestions most welcome!

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I would highly recommend Jason Beck at QVS he is excellent.

I would think $1500 might be a bit light on it cost me about 3 times tht for my bullmastiff.

Make sure the dog is crate trained would be my biggest suggestion for rehab as it is usually 6-8 weeks of on lead only exercise which includes toileting.

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An x-ray won't show a torn ligament, but it could rule out other problems (fracture, etc).

Cost of surgery depends on what surgery they have done and where. My dog had a TPLO done at a specialist and it cost several thousand. But a De Angeles suture done at the local vet might cost $1000ish. And there is another technique that comes in somewhere between.

Also remember that these techniques are 'delaying arthritis' as the specialist told me, so get the dog on joint supplements now. Mine is on Sasha's blend and glucosamine tablets.

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One of my girls had an injury to a back leg. Rushed her to local vet (my normal vet had already closed for the day) - he took an xray and straight away started talking an operation and back then quoted me around $3000.

I saw my own vet the next day who referred me to the specialists at Chermside Vet Clinic. They were really good there. She had a slight tear in the cruciate and fractured toes in the foot.

At the time my bitch was possibly pregnant so they splinted the leg and said we'll wait till we find out if she was or not before we take the next step.

Well yes she was....so the specialist said it will make no difference if she needed an operation and to just kept her crated and walked on lead for toilet. The leg was splinted. (Poor girl trying to pee with a bellyful and a leg she couldnt bend).

Anyway...the splint cut her hock open and so the vet put a few staples in the hock and said we'd leave the splint off until after the bubs.

Fast forward....pups born and raised....back to specialist to find out the next step. They watched her move, looked at the leg etc etc and said nope, she wont need the operation now but may always have a limp. Luckily for me I have since had her back in the show ring, and to this day she has never limped on it at all.

I am so glad that I did seek a second opinion and spent the money to go to a specialist.

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