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I have a 70lbs 5 year old Golden Retriever who had ECLS

surgery 3.5months ago. Since about...
i have a 70lbs 5 year old Golden Retriever who had ECLS surgery 3.5months ago. Since about the first week, she has had this popping noise coming from her leg. Took her to her surgeon, said it was air between the joint. It would get better soon. Well, 2 months later the popping is still there and she starts to limp. Between this time i have had her get X-rays and check ups. Every time surgeon said all looked well. Today he went in the leg to see if her meniscus was torn, and he said that the surgery failed and there is a bunch of inflammation in her knee indicating too much activity. he repaired it with another suture. I am at loss for words. I am not sure what to do. I know I will keep her calm and confined for 3 months straight. But, will she ever get back to normal with all the inflammation in her knee?? and how would we know if this surgery is successful if they couldn't see on the last X-rays that it failed?
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Also, since she had surgery today, the dr didn't prescribe antibiotics. I called and asked and they said they used an antibiotic ointment in the surgery so she shouldn't need one.. thoughts on this? thank you!
Answered in 15 minutes by:
1/19/2018
Dr B
Dr B, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2,512
Experience: DVM
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Hi this is Dr B. Thank you for your question! I am a DVM with 28 years experience. Please allow me a moment to review your question.

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I am certified in rehab and take care of ortho sx patients all the time....but I have never see the abbreviation of ECLS before...would you mind clarifying and then I can help you....

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
External Capsular Repair (ECLS):This is the oldest and traditional surgical correction for torn ACL in dogs. The joint is stabilized from outside the joint capsule. A special type of suture material acts as an artificial ligament to prevent joint instability.The surgery involves drilling two holes, one through the front of the tibia and one through the back of the femur, so an artificial ligament can be passed through them. Over the last decade, new materials and anchoring devices have been made available to make this surgery more successful than ever before.

gotcha....we call it extra capsular repair.....and where I practice we do not do this surgery on any dog over 50 pounds.....we do TPLO sx....

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I know all about the sx....we used to do it...just never saw it abbreviated ECLS before...

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It is not abbreviated like that in vet textbooks and articles.....

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
i found this out that the surgery doesn't do well with large dogs after the first surgery :(

so, how can I help you?

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did the surgeon not give you the option?

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we discuss TPLO with all our clients with dogs over 50 pounds...

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That is tibial plateau leveling osteotomy...

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What questions would you like answered?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Well for her very first surgery (3months ago) I knew nothing of TPLO, TTA etc so I put my trust in my vet and let him repair it. Finding out about a month ago that he did the ECLS. Today he went back in the knee because he believed that the meniscus was torn or folded. But he discovered that the suture failed.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
he repaired it again as the ECLS/
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
i am very worried that it will be another failure since she is obviously a large dog

Yeah, I was concerned that the meniscus might be torn with the popping noise.....

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Not necessarily.....

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Some of these dogs do fine with that repair....

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Has your vet talked to you about rehab?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
my question is I guess is it ok she had this type of surgery? and is it ok that she had this same surgery twice even though the first one failed.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
only short walks after 4-6 weeks of no activity

Yes, it is ok......but I would definitely see a rehab therapist especially since first sx failed.....

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Was your dog over active after first sx?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
also, the dr said there was a LOT of inflammation in the knee and this indicated too much activity and this is the reason the sx failed.

That is not necessarily true at all.....

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
isn't inflammation in the knee arthritis?

Anytime a ligament is torn there is automatically inflammation, and then sx creates more inflammation,

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has your vet talked with you about adequan???

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
i failed to mention she has been getting a shot of adequate once a month
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
she is also on Salmon Oil every day and Cosoquin hip and joint supplememnts

she needs adequan once weekly.....and you can get a generic adequan.....has your vet been giving the adequan?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Golden Paste (Turmeric)
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
my vet has been giving the adequan

intramuscular?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
she gets a shot in the muscle of her back leg

ok, first let's fix that...hold on....

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
ok sounds good
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
thank you and this is adequan?

The above product is a sterile glycosaminoglycan (generic adequan) and you can buy it and learn how to give yourself and give once weekly and it can be given under the skin...many vets don't know that....

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
ok awesome to hear.

Your dog can get 1 ml under the skin once weekly and this would help alot more with that joint......

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
how would i know if this surgery has failed again? because the X-rays didn't show anything and they tested her knee to see if it was stable and it was. so is there a way of knowing?

Your vet should have IMO picked that up on palpation.....

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is your dog on NSAIDS?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
right now she is on galliprant

ok, that is actually very good....so that is fine...does she seem comfortable?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
also, they didn't rx her antibiotics. i called back and they aid it wasn't necessary at the moment because he put antibiotic ointment in the surgery site.

That is a vet to vet opinion.....but I disagree respectfully ***** ***** a second sx...

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
right nw she is sleeping soundly in her kennel. I just feel terrible for her that she has to go through another 6months of this

what city are you in or near?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
i will request some antibiotics tomorrow.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I live near Mobile, AL

I think you should have a consult with DVM rehab DR.....are you willing?

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Dogs recover much quicker with proper rehab....

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I would ask for cephalexin or clavamox for antibiotics....7 day should suffice...

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
i am willing!
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
i am willing to get all the help for my girl that her and i both can get.
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That page will help you find a rehab therapist....

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Can I help you further?

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any other questions?

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Please rate me 5 star for my prompt and helpful service. A bonus is not required but much appreciated! Thank you very much! DRB

I sincerely ***** ***** I have helped you, and that I have earned my 5 star rating today! Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). We can continue here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know.

Please remember my answers do not replace or supersede the advice of your veterinarian as my answers do not create a valid client patient relationship as I am unable to examine your pet. Thank you very much! DrB

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
thank you so much for all of your help. i really do appreciate it! I do have a question. Do you think that she would be able to walk normally again? Also, how will i know if she is in pain?

Yes, with rehab I believe she can have a normal life....

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but don't wait too long to get a consult......

Dr B
Dr B, Veterinarian
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
how long should i wait since she had surgery today?

If she eats well, does not cower and does her normal stuff and sleeps well then her pain is probably managed well...did they give her anything besides galliprant?

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Call rehab place and get their opinion...we start pain control and manual therapy right away...

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I start laser and ice for first few days right away...

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Can I answer any other questions?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
i will do all that asap. no she is only on Galliprant.

I would ask for tramadol also at least for first 5 days.......we do both with all post op ortho cases...

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I will definitely call them tomorrow asking for tramadol and cephalexin. Thank you so much. if i have more questions on this issue may i come back and ask?

yes, I check my computer every night and this question will stay open for several days.....

A bonus is not required but much appreciated! DRB

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Hello Dr. B. Thank you again for all of your help. Today, Sadie seems to be in better spirits. I picked up her pain and antibiotics at the vet. So, in order for this surgery to be a success, she just needs to be crated and try not to walk on it as much as possible and go to rehab? I am scared to let her do anything as i dont want this surgery to fail again.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
also, tonight she was toe touching but still limping terribly, but still a good sign?

You need to see the rehab specialist and they can help ensure this will be a success....DRB

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Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Sadie. How is everything going?
Dr B
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Hello Dr. B!
So far so good. She only spends about 3-5 mins outside on a leash when she goes potty (about 4/5 times a day). I just have a question, are there symptoms that the surgery has failed? With the last surgery I just noticed a light limp.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Oh and a popping noise as well with her last surgery.

The sx usually does not fail unless there is too much activity or the wrong type of activity...that is why I recommended rehab so you can be sure that she gets the right type of activity. With proper follow up with rehab Doc they will be able to palpate her leg and know if sx has failed. The surgeon should be able to do this as well. It is not hard to figure this out by a vet. Hope that helps. DRB

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Ok sounds good. Thank you! I’m overly paranoid about this. Since the first surgery failed and that this surgery isn’t meant for big dogs.

you are welcome....

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Hello again Dr. B. Tonight I felt and heard Sadie’s knee pop. Is this a bad sign?
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