View Full Version : Orthopedic Surgeon

Aug. 12, 2010, 04:24 PM
I am looking for the best orthopedic surgeon on Vancouver Island......I have a dog that has likely ruptured his cruciate ligament and will need surgery...diagnosis will be confirmed on Wed........just doing some research in advance.


Aug. 12, 2010, 05:47 PM
My chocolate has torn both cruciates...and I researched on line the type of treatment, etc

I opted for tplo surgery, which was US3800. Some docs can do TTA for about the same. I think both are good, with TTA less invasive.

It is a horrible surgery. Very painful, but my vet gave her lots of drugs. 2nd time was easier, since I knew some things.

1. set her up to be crated
2. get a round inflatable collar, vs the elizabethian...smartpak has it...I will link it.
3. Be prepared for at least 6 weeks of very low level activity...do what the pt and discharge papers tell you. Get pt if you can.
4. Once they do one knee, within 3 years they will have a 90% chance to do the other, so start saving.
5. Ask what the pt post discharge will be, and start practicing.

Our first surgery recovery was horrible, my pup tore her stitiches out like 5 times. Hated the e collar, did not like being on her side for pt, etc, etc. If I had been prepared, those things would not have been an issue.

Now, that is the creme da le creme of surgeries for that condition.

I opted for it, because the dog was only 1 when her first tear occurred, and she is a large, active dog. There are other surgeries, less expensive that would work well for a lighter dog or older or less active dog.

Do a search on TPLO surgery and TTA to see what information and what docs are certified to be able to do this.

Good luck. It really isn't 'horrible', but it is majorily a huge surgery and recovery. I don't know why they didn't prepare us more, but I think my dog was so bad, they changed some of their protocol...like getting people to do some things so the dog would be fine with some of the pt movements post op. (they did tell me my dog was their worse patient first surgery, and one of their best 2nd surgery)...I reinforced how important it is to 'tell' people what to expect.

Aug. 12, 2010, 05:50 PM

this collar was a lifesaver for my dog. She would wear it and sleep with it, etc. the ecollar got caught every time she'd go in and out of the crate, she'd freak out and start thrashing...those things are horrid.

this collar is wonderful, and there was very little adjustment for my dog to accept it.
I suppose I can use it again if we ever go boating!LOL

Aug. 12, 2010, 06:09 PM
My dog is 10 and while he is still pretty active he is incredibly obedient and quiet dog.........the problem will be keeping the puppy away from him...........thanks for the warning regarding the surgery and recovery.......that does not sound nice.


Aug. 13, 2010, 07:25 PM
I would think the vets would offer you all of the types to repair the cruciate.

The other, and it is less expensive, less invasive and a good option for an older or quieter dog can be done at the local vets. They tie the tendons or do something similar. It lasts for a few years.

I only opted for the tplo, since my dog is extremely active and she was young, at the start of her life. Otherwise, I most likely would have gone with the less invasive, but not ironclad or last forever tplo or taa.
good luck.

Aug. 19, 2010, 11:48 AM
I appreciate everyones in put.

It was confirmed yesterday by our regular vet that Calvin has in fact torn his cruciate ligament.....with out confirming with an xray he did not think the joint had much arthritis......when he did the slide test is was smooth not gritty.......I actually think this is an injury as it was sudden.

My vet gave me two options the filament surgery which he can do which would run me $1500.00 to $1800.00 or I can drive 2 hours south of us to a bigger center and have an orthopedic surgeon do a TPLO for $2500.00. For the price difference I am leaning towards the TPLO for several reasons ...I have a bigger dog, who while is older is very active and the success rate of the TPLO is much better.

My horse vet who is also a friend .....her husband is a small animal vet and he has given me the name of a surgeon that does a lot of cruciate ligament surgeries (the filament type) and has adviced me to seek his opinion as to what type of treatment Calvin needs........I am in the process of doing that now....just waiting for an appointment


Aug. 19, 2010, 11:56 AM
Nick Shaw in Victoria is trained in cruciate ligament repair and is a good vet. He was my equine vet when he first started out, but he does most of the surgeries now on dogs ( and also has an equine operating room).

Pricey, but then, all ortho surgery in animals is pricey.

He's a good person.

Zu Zu
Aug. 19, 2010, 11:58 AM
Jingles for your dog ~

Aug. 19, 2010, 12:39 PM
My 3 year old Lab had a TPLO on 3/20. Repeat X rays were taken 8 weeks later and showed complete healing where the bone was cut & rotated. We did not do any formal PT, just followed vet's instructions re: increasing length of walks, etc. Within the past month, my dog has returned to her normal high level of activity. The muscles in the leg atrophy quickly & take time to build back up!

You do have to be careful during recovery; we purchased a 4'x4' exercise pen & set it up in the living room. She mostly stayed in that for the first 8 weeks although we would allow her in the living room only while we could watch her.

Big things to consider: During the first 8 weeks, no running, climbing on the couch, etc. No stairs. If you have steps to get in or out of the house, use a sling under his hind end. All potty breaks must be on a leash. We were allowed to start 5 minute walks at the 4 week mark.

If your dog will have to walk on a surface that is not carpeted, go to WalMart and buy some cheap rubber backed throw rugs. Those were a lifesaver for us.

Also, someone mentioned the inflatable collar. Many dogs (mine included) can get around it. It really works on dogs that have short necks :) If you don't want the standard "cone" E-collar, search the web for a Bite-Not collar (or use this link: http://www.bitenot.com/ . I haven't known a dog to get around that - we used them exclusively at the referral clinic I worked at!

Also, there is a great Yahoo group called Orthodogs. Lots of info there as well as files with post-surgical care tips, etc. Most of the discussion centers around torn cruciates. Here's a link: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodogs/

There are some members of the group from Canada; you could contact them and see if anyone has experience with the surgeon you're considering.

Hope this helped, feel free to PM!


Aug. 19, 2010, 01:19 PM
The surgeon I am seeing comes highly recommended by another vet/friend but only for the filament type surgery......but he is known for his expertise in helping to determine which type of surgery is best suited for my dog. The TPLO surgery must be done in Victoria by the orthopedic surgeon which also comes highly recommended by this vet/friend. Will give you and update after my appointment.

That is a pretty neat collar .....I have saved it to my favorites.


Aug. 20, 2010, 04:55 PM
Our 85# extremely athletic/active german shorthair blew his ligament when he was 5 years old. TPLO was very new then, and I really wrestled with trying something that sounded so drastic. But given his weight and activity levels, it was that or realize that other surgeries might not work and he would either lose his leg or be euthanized. Bad choices, so we did the TPLO.

He is now 15.5 years old, and the TPLO leg never gave him a bit of trouble thereafter. His other back leg remained sound. He was as active as if his knee injury never happened (he hunted hard, galloped along with us on horseback over rough terrain, hiked everywhere, etc). It was a miracle result for him.

It was a long recovery, and it did require that I restrict his movements greatly. I had a crate (even though he'd been crate trained, he hated it post-tplo). After a week two "jump up onto the couch" issue that almost resulted in blowing the good results we had with the surgery, I doubled down and got restrictive. He was either in the crate, a small pen if I was nearby, or at my feet if I was at home working. Period. For probably 8 weeks, as I recall. He went outside only to do business, on a leash. I mean, this was my boy's only shot and what was half a year or so of restriction and rehab if he could have a long active life?

After 8 weeks, I rehabbed him as slowly as I could, like another poster said, with 5 minute walks, slowly and continually increasing the amount of time and difficulty level. I took another 5-6 months of slow increases until he was back at pre-surgery levels. At the same time, dh had knee surgery, and so did a young 10 month old filly - so in a way, everyone was on a slow rehab (except me!). The filly stayed sound (she is 14 now, and her knee injury was also so bad that she was slated for euthanization), and my dh is still sound as well.

All I remember from that time is handwalking a filly who was so unhappy at being stall bound after surgery that she kept trying to walk on her hind legs (yeah, the hind leg that had been repaired), listening to my dog whining, tearing off his plastic cone and pretty much banging in his crate until he finally realized it was the new normal), and being so tired that on his first day home from knee surgery, I just handed my dh an empty Tropicana juice jar and said if you have to pee and I'm out rehabbing the horse or dog, just use this until I can handwalk you into the bathroom:)

My tplo dog's hips are having some issues (and some new nerve issues), but he still goes on walks daily, where he sometimes can still outrun us for awhile even though he is wobbly going. While everything else is falling apart, both of his hind knees are still in great shape. He has lived a turbo-active life after he shredded his cruciate ligament, and looking back, I am so glad we did it and spent all that time being careful during his rehab.

Good luck with your decision and hope you get great results.

Aug. 20, 2010, 09:54 PM
Just got back from seeing the vet that my friend recommended and we have no option other than surgery.....This vet is doing the new CCL or TightRope surgery...the recovery is slightly shorter the the TPLO at about 3 months........this vet was certified this past Dec and has already done 60 with great success rate......so Calvin is scheduled for surgery on Sept 23.