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NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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Springer Spaniel recently injury left hind leg

Resolved Question:

Vet wants to do ligament surgery. Have heard the prognosis for surgery is poor. Dog is 6 years old. Vet also indicated hip displagia is starting in left hip. Dog is very active and runs a lot. Want to do the best thing for him but wouldn''t go the surgery route if it shortens the quantity or quality of his life. What insights can you provide?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  NancyH replied 9 years ago.
Is this a cruciate ligament injury?
Which surgery was the vet suggesting to use?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to NancyH's Post: I believe it was the cruciate. My wife was with the vet. I will phone her and see if she can expand further. Thanks
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Yes it is the cruciate ligament with menicus problems
Expert:  NancyH replied 9 years ago.
OK I'm going to go with that as its the most likely one anyhow :)
You would have a choice as to the type of surgery done and they vary in cost. Key is finding out which surgery your vet has the best success rate with. Or finding a specialist with a good success rate.
You can read about the problem and the surgeries here
TPLO vs Suture is an ongoing controversy in the vet world. Some claim they both work or fail at an equal rate some say the TPLO is better. There is a good series of articles on this here
For sure the TPLO is more expensive.
There is a new procedure called the TTA you can read about here and click on the button that says Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA)
For more info on the procedures read on this page
starting at
which says in part
"At the present time there is no surgical technique for management of the cruciate-deficient stifle that has been shown to be unequivocally superior. "
I have seen a lot of dogs do great after knee surgery. Some don't. The hip issue may be a complicating problem and often the other knee goes once you repair the first one.
I've found swim therapy helps dogs get back to normal once healing is completed.
Check here for some financial aid resources
and here for a credit program for health care
Hope this helps you!
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
After now dog has this surgery and again after the 3 month recovery period, will he be able to run again or just go by leash.
He is a springer

thank you
Expert:  NancyH replied 9 years ago.
The dogs I have had repaired use the leg for the rest of their lives like nothing was ever wrong.
Dogs that came to me that had never had the surgery ended up with pain and arthritis and loss of leg use etc.
I've been lucky as I've not had a repair fail. I do know that can happen.
So the best choice is to find out what the vet's success rate is on the surgery you choose.
I have had to do some rehab to get my dogs back to full use. I used warm water swimming to help them rebuild muscle while the warmth relaxed the tensed areas in the joint from the long lack of use.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Hi again
We do not have warm water swimming in our small town
Any other suggestions?
Also before I accept all your wonder answers, do you think if I ask the surgeon if he would splint his leg after or do they leave the knee open?
The vet in the next town said he will get hold of a surgeon to do the surgery but I didn't ask this question
thank you for your help
Expert:  NancyH replied 9 years ago.
They often leave the leg stitched up but the stitches open to the air for best healing.
Its nice and neat though the shaved leg may remind you of a large chicken leg!
Sometimes they bandage it up like this
Once its all healed up and the sutures removed if the joint is stiff you can try a warm damp compress to help ease stiffness and any pain to help get him mobile if you need to.
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