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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I posted here a few weeks ago about Bella having possible hip dysplasia and at the time she had gone in to have some xrays that came back all clear. Since then I have moved and due to all that stress and no internet (and swine flu!)have not been able to come and post an update and thank those who left messages.

Anyway, the limping after rest and exercise did not improve, she couldn't run when out on walks and had to be carried up the stairs. My vet felt it could just be muscle damage and her being a lab she was ignoring the pain and we had to rest her. Still nothing worked so my vet was stumped.In the end he referred us to the specialist centre near us for a consultation and MRI scan,

Bella's appointment was on tuesday. They were so attentive- even her examination lasted over half an hour! The vet at first though it may be a slipped disc but the neuorolgist ruled this out. However, there was obvious muscle wastage in her leg so they decided to do Xrays ad possibly take a fluid sample from her knee. If this showed no obvious problems then they would arrange an MRI.

We left her there with all the nurses fussing over her. The vet rang us back a couple of hours later to say there was a lot of excess fluid on her knee and he had drained a lot off which he had sent to the lab. When we picked her up she was so stoned all evening from the sedation! The vet showed us the xray and explained she had damage to her knee and it could be due to cruciate ligament damage which, if diagnosed would require surgery.

So, today he rang us back. Tests have shown it is a problem with her cruciate ligament and she will need surgery which she is booked in for next monday. He is not sure yet is it can be fixed via keyhole or if he will have to open her up and completely restabilise her knee. He feels that due to how extensive it is and her age it is less likey to be trauma caused and probably a degenatarive condition.

I admit i'm so worried at the moment. It's not even a condition I had heard of in labs before. Has anyone else's lab had the same? Was their surgery a sucess?
 

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Sorry to hear about Bella, although good news it's not HD.

I have no experience of cruciate ligament problems but I know Joanne (Tarimoor) has as one of her labs has had it done. hopefully she will see this, if not you could always send her a pm.

When Charlie went for his check up on Tuesday, there was a springer who had just had this done and lookd really well.

Which specialist do you go to?

Good luck for Monday.
 

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Hi,

Sorry to hear about Bella's leg.

Our 3 1/2 yr old German Shepherd had surgery for a snapped Crutiate ligament in April. He had strained it at the begining of April and was rested for 2 weeks then we took him to the beach were he chased a seagull and fell which resulted in him snapping it.

He op went fine and he was just kept in over night afterwards to make sure he was ok. They had to do open surgery as he had his ligament taken out ant the joints cleaned and 3 synthetic ligaments put back in. He was on house arrest for the first 6 wks and then started at 10 mins a day exercise and now can go a bit longer but only when he wants to :D .

He still has a limp but that hopefully with go with time. The vet said his other one may go eventually as he may compensate for the bad one.

Anything I can help with just ask

Paula
 

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I know someone with virtually exactly the same thing - dog went in for supposed ED problems and exam with specialist and ended up with cruciate surgery - hope all goes well for her from now on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone! It's good to know other dogs have recovered well from it. She's having the surgery at the Davies Medical centre outside Barton. Her surgeon sounded hopeful on the phone that we had caught it before it got too severe so fingers crossed!

We did get a telling off however about the lovely layer of excess fat that showed up on top of her spine on the xrays. trouble is she really doesn't eat more than her two feeds of Burns a day and a few gravy bones! She is 27.5 kg now so she has lost some weight but she is a small lab who only has to look at food and she puts on weight!

Can't even begin to think about leaving her at the surgery next sunday. I'm meant to be getting ready for my brother's suprise 18th birthday party i'm organising for tomorrow but not really in the mood now.
 

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My late Rosie ruptured her cruciate ligament when she was about 8 years old. We were not insured and the vet did the "cheap" version of the op which was a bit like holding it back together with fishing line. Rosie had completely torn hers.

If you are insured there is other surgery available called TPLO Surgery. You should ask your vet about this.

Rosie was on 3 legs for about 2 days after the op but soon put her leg to the floor. We were able to go on short walks within 3 weeks (around 100 yards) and at 6 weeks after the op we started to increase the length of the walks.

She recovered to almost 100% and would charge around like a lunatic!

In summary... it's a condition that is not as scary as you might imagine. Athletes, footballers etc do the same damage and get back to full health within 6 months.

Just make sure you get specialist treatment, especially if you are insured.

Good luck and don't worry too much! It's more of a short term issue.

:)
 

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Not had a lab with but Cindy ruptured hers a few years ago and had surgery on it, she`s been fine ever sionce although she`s not allowed to play ball any more because its the sudden jerking to get a missed one that can cause the problem.

I was told the same as Paula, the other ligament can go, but I was told not because of compensating for the damaged one but because if ones gone the other is more likely to follow.
 

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Hershey completed snapped his cruciate at age 5, he had that repaired took a bit of rest and lots of cuddles and kisses but it has worked well, then when he was aged 8 he ruptured his other one.
This was also repaired and at 10 he still loons around like a complete nutter and he does not limp at all, even on long walks which he doesnt get very often any more as he is an old man now and he wears himself out quickly..

Good luck with the op and I hope Bella recovers quickly.
 

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is that barton as in bedfordshire? or wrong park of the country???

Coal had a knee operation when he was 18 months old but that was due to a luxating patella not a cruciate problem.
 

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One of mine had it done three years ago. She had the carbon fibre implant type rather than TPLO. A year later she was back to doing agility. Six months after that she was back to competition speed.

As usual, in the early days the hardest thing was keeping her from bum tucking and 'going off on one' because she felt better :) .

Good luck, I'm sure Bella will sail through it.
 

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Indie did indeed have a cruciate problem, as Wendy posted. She ruptured the anterior cruciate in her left knee, and also had a problem with one of the meniscus pads about 12 months after the initial surgery, and had to have another operation to correct that. She is pretty much sound again on that leg, and still loves to hooly around, although I always keep an eye on her and give her a structured exercise routine.

With Indie it was just bad luck, she twisted and partly tore the cruciate, and then when out in the garden under supervision managed to completely rupture it with an awkward movement. Her leg was dangling like it was broken.

What the vet did was replace the ligament structure with an acrylic cable, which over time the body rejects and grows it's own cells around the cable, forming a replacement structure, although not a ligament it performs the same function to a degree and holds the knee stable.

Indie needed six weeks solid crate rest after the initial surgery, that was the hardest part. After that it was a case of slowly building her exercise levels back up again. But she is accident prone, out of the two of mine it's always her that manages to knock or bruise something, including the other people/dogs she manages to bump into!!

Good luck for Monday, let us know how you get on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi all,

We dropped Bella off at three this afternoon, she is booked in for surgery in the morning. She wasn't keen to go with the nurse and made me want to cry but I know it's for the best whenever I think about her being able to be a normal dog again and not limp everywhere. (Although she was fine last weekend when she had a great time playing on a bouncy castle of all things!) Enid isn't impressed, keeps looking at us as if to say 'Where have you taken her?'

Had to laugh at the nurse, we bought enough feed to last today and tomorrow and she was amazed at how little Burns you need to feed them. Also feel very proud that she is having her surgery at the same place as the Queen's dogs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just a quick update, got a phonecall from the surgeon and the operation is over. He told me that it was quite a small tear and that is why he couldn't feel it from the out side but he carried out the TPLO as the joint was fairly unstable. Will ring later on to find out how she is.

Off out soon to buy her a new bed and some bits to spoil her when she gets home. Just wondering if I need to get her crate out or will she be ok if I confine her to the front room? There is a stairgate to keep her off the stairs but I worry if I put her in the crate if it will stress her (& Enid) out.
 

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I had Indie crated for six weeks, I also had a sling to help her out into the garden to go to the toilet.

It isn't nice seeing them crated, and they do give you the big sad eyes that tug on your heart strings, but it is the best thing for them and I'm sure your vet will advise this. When allowed out of the crate, Indie was always on lead all the time, and Tau was kept away from her as much as possible because she's simply too giddy for her own good, let alone her big sis following surgery!!!
 

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Glad to hear she is through the op and had TPLO as I believe that is the best way to "fix" cruciate and weak joints.

Rosie had no crate rest at all. It wasn't even suggested by our vet after her torn cruciate ligament was repaired.

When she came home she couldn't put her paw to the ground and the leg/joint looked swollen and the incision quite scary but that is par for the course so don't be alarmed.

We used to take Rosie out in the garden to toilet and it's amazing how she managed on 3 legs (and she was a heavy girl too).

Within a couple of days she was starting to put her paw to the ground and we were taking here on very short walks (like 20 yards) within a few days.

Of course, follow the advice of your vet but that was our experience.

Good luck with everything and keep us posted. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the replies. Hopefully they will go through everything tomorrow so we will know exactly what is ahead of us. Think I will get the crate out for the first few days and see how she gets on. I highly doubt Enid will try and disturb her much, it is usually Bella who starts all the play in our house!

The thought of keeping her still for 6 weeks, well, I feel stressed even thinking about it! With her daily bum runs and her hobby of putting her football on your head if you ignore her for too long I can see how much fun is in store!

Trying to decide whether or not to buy her the mega expensive memory foam dog bed I have had my eye on. Expensive, but I think I can justify it now!
 
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