- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Bad knee?

April 4th, 2008, 10:00 AM
Anyone have experience with bad doggy knees? Kim and I are pretty convinced Jaida's having trouble with her knee, and not just soft tissue damage, she still limps A LOT considering her owie happened so long ago. We're working on getting her to see a specialist soon. I'm just trying to brace myself for possible diagnoses and costs if it comes down to a surgical repair. The xrays showed no breaks, no arthritis, but apparently the knee "clunks" when manipulated. Ideas?

Dr Lee
April 4th, 2008, 12:08 PM
My first thought, without any further information of course, would be a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament, or also know (more appropriately in veterinary medicine) as a torn CCL - cranial cruciate ligament). This is a common knee disorder which might not show up on radiographs (X-Rays) and lead to a 'clunk' with manipulation. The 'clunk' can also be associated with a meniscal tear which occurs with ACL tears commonly. This problem can be readily corrected through surgery, albeit an expensive one. I refer these out to orthopedic specialists, and my clients and friends who have had this surgery on their pet have been very pleased with the results.

There are many other causes of knee problems such as patellar luxations, cartilage diseases, inflammatory conditions, infectious causes, etc...

It sounds like seeing a specialist is the next best step. Good luck. :pawprint:

April 4th, 2008, 12:18 PM
Thanks Dr. Lee.

Sigh...the "expensive" part is what I'm worried about (any guestimates?), plus the recovery. She's already a three-legged dog (right forelimb amputee) and it's her right hind leg that's bothering her. I'm worried how she would pull through another big surgery, and how her recovery would be compromised due to the fact that she need to use that leg or fall on her face.

What is the long-term prognosis for these kinds of surgeries?

Are there alternatives? (Orthopaedic braces, etc.?)

April 4th, 2008, 12:23 PM
i'm sure this is a stupid question, but have you considered making her a temp prostectic for her front leg. a 2x2 rounded some at one end and padded at the other where the stump would rest should work, hmm have to figure our how to attach it. Never know she might like it. I'm only suggesting this for if and when she has the surgery.

April 4th, 2008, 12:27 PM
Not a stupid question at all, we'd actually looked into getting her a prosthesis right at the beginning, and she initially had surgery to remove only the bottom part of her arm (elbow down) so we could have her fitted for one. Unfortunately, there were complications and she had to have a second surgery to remove the rest of the arm, so there's nothing left there at all to attach a device to. Good idea though!

Dr Lee
April 4th, 2008, 12:28 PM
If she were to have an ACL surgery, assuming that this is what is needed, which we do not know yet; the prognosis is usually very good with a TPLO surgery. The cost is very dependent upon many factors including demographics but can be 1800 - 3300?

Most dogs can walk on the leg post op and recovery is usually very good. Most of my patients when I take out the sutures at ten days post op are running around on it. My clients say the hardest part was to try to keep them off of it!

If the ACL is torn, again assuming this is the problem, then no, no other good options are available. Typically the pets will start walking on them if they do not have surgery but marked osteoarthritic changes will occur and the possibility of the other side rupturing is closer to 90% rather than the 30% if the surgery is performed.

Again - I think waiting for the specialist to have an evaluation may be better than too much speculation - I know it is REALLY hard not to have your mind race over it again and again though! They are our kids after all!:pawprint:

Dr Lee
April 4th, 2008, 12:29 PM
I almost forgot - SHE IS BEAUTIFUL! Great smile!:D

April 4th, 2008, 12:34 PM
Yep, that's our gorgeous little train-wreck!

April 4th, 2008, 12:35 PM
Awww poor Jaida, :grouphug:, I just want to kiss her sweet nose :cloud9:

April 4th, 2008, 03:23 PM
Bendyfoot, you may remember last year that our lab (Chase) had TPLO surgery on his right leg in March and on his left leg in July. The surgeries were just under $3500 apiece. The right leg healed great and he had no problems. He got a nasty infection in the left leg and after two months on $$$ antibiotics they removed the plate once the bone was healed and that cost $500. The vet didn't check the meniscus at that time and he ended up having another surgery for that which cost $1000.

I met a girl in town last month walking a yellow lab that had the TPLO surgery done a couple of months prior. She went down to the States and had it done for $2500.

April 4th, 2008, 03:38 PM
Yeah, I was hoping you'd chime in with some info from Chase...thanks!

(I think I just choked at that 3500$ though...holy crap!)

Gad, I hope it's not a torn acl...

April 4th, 2008, 03:55 PM
You don't have to get the TPLO surgery done. You can get the regular one done which is cheaper.....I *think* around $2000. :shrug:

Did you discuss the difference between the two surgeries and what would be best for Jaida with your vet?

April 4th, 2008, 03:55 PM
Me too Bendyfoot,Jaida has had enough,poor girl:sad:and you too,that is some big $$$.
:pray:It's not too serious

April 7th, 2008, 09:12 AM
We don't even have a diagnosis yet! I'm just guessing about the problem...I'm convinced it's her knee, but DW thinks it's her hip...but both xrayed clear a few weeks ago, so who knows? I'm hoping to have an appt booked with the specialist by the end of today, I'll keep y'all posted.

April 7th, 2008, 11:39 AM
Good luck for beautiful Jaida. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

April 7th, 2008, 11:45 AM
Good luck Bendyfoot and Jaida :grouphug:

April 8th, 2008, 01:01 AM
:goodvibes: :fingerscr Bendyfoot & :grouphug: for gorgeous Jaida :lovestruck:

April 8th, 2008, 07:42 AM
:grouphug: lots of love comin ya'alls way!

April 8th, 2008, 11:18 AM
We've got a consult booked for the 23rd. The specialist had a look at her xrays, and wants more done of her hips before the appointment. No idea what to expect. Sigh.

April 8th, 2008, 01:02 PM
Try to think positive until then. :thumbs up

Good luck. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

April 8th, 2008, 03:47 PM
Bendyfoot,oh no,that means more surgery right?
Poor Jaida poor you,you'd think it would be enough losing her leg:sad:

April 9th, 2008, 09:08 AM
I hope it's not going to mean surgery, but realistically I think that's what we're getting into. I hope it's nothing too serious or invasive. I'm starting to research how to make wheelchairs for the recovery period...or if it's something we can't fix:sad: She loves going for walks and running around, if the vet said we had to limit her activity indefinitely it would be so unfair for her:sad:

April 9th, 2008, 10:31 AM
So sorry to hear about Jaida! I don't have any doggy experience, but when the vet thought Fagan had torn that ligament, it ended up being just a problem with his knee caps slipping out of place. On both sides because once he injured the first one (the one they thought was the ligament), all the added pressure to the other side caused the same thing. (I imagine this could be the case of a dog who has lost a front leg, leaning more on the back.) The vet said it was hard to tell the two injuries apart without actually going in and looking on a cat. So we did the wait and see. (She said he could lose the leg if they couldn't repair the ligament.) He is on Glucosamine and Chondritin, and has lost a considerable amount of weight to help with this, and although they do slip out after an akward jump, or mommy picking him up wrong:sad::o... he just lays still for about 10 minutes or so and they just pop right back in. And it doesn't seem to cause him any visible pain and certainly doesn't slow him down. The initial injury was sore and he did limp for quite some time and spend a week at the vets, but now seems to be something he can live with.

Anyhow I hope it's something like that for Jaida too and that she won't need more surgeries! For her, you and your pocketbook! :goodvibes::pray:

April 9th, 2008, 11:51 AM
I'm so sorry Bendyfoot :sad: let's hope it's not as bad as you think :goodvibes: :fingerscr :grouphug: poor Jaida , she (and her family) need a break.

April 16th, 2008, 12:16 PM
Jaida's getting her latest xrays today...I'm going to get our regular vet to have a look before we go see the specialist if possible...I can't imagine they look that different from the ones we did in March, but :shrug: Poor thing is soooo gimpy. But she still seems happy, so at least there's that.

By the way, I'm stalking Jan's HD thread, good info there, I figure it's gotta be either her hip or knee, so...

April 16th, 2008, 04:28 PM
Bendyfoot :pray:nothing drastic needs to be done to poor Jaida,she was such a happy girl and now she's in pain again,it's just not fair:sad:
:pray:for ok x-rays:fingerscr

April 17th, 2008, 12:17 PM
I only remember two phrases:

"significant hip dysplasia"


"surgical hip replacement"

We. Can't. Afford it.

This is the crapiest of craptacular news I think I've ever received. :sad:

April 17th, 2008, 12:21 PM
I'm sorry to hear the news, poor puppy. will your vet let you do a payment plan? Could you possibly have any worse luck.

April 17th, 2008, 01:14 PM
OH NO.....I am so sorry to hear the news. :grouphug:

I agree about the payment plan. In fact, a lot of vets are offering the Care Credit option now....

April 17th, 2008, 01:38 PM
On no Bendyfoot,that is just the worst news..OMG some people/dogs just get hit with the most awful news,don't know what to say,just too darn sad..
Poor Jaida,you and your family:sad:
Hopefully something can be worked out,Jaida sooo deserves to be happy,as do you.:pray: