Went through it with my golden retriever mix last year and a beagle several years back-both went smoothly and recovery was uneventful. You will have to be very careful about keeping them quiet for a few weeks afterward, but at least for my guy, it was a 100% fix. It took several weeks, but he is now able ti run full tilt around the big field out back and you'd never know he had surgery. I used the orthopedic surgeon in my regular vets' practice.
Hmmmm well. I've worked at a small animal vet clinic off and on since college. We do a lot of cruciate repairs.
The recipe for success is having a good doc, keeping the dog QUIET after surgery (which can be hard) and managing the dog's weight longterm.
It is tough with the large breeds, they are just big by nature which puts more strain on the joint. Unfortunately a lot of dogs end up blowing out the opposite leg, even with the repair. Without the repair you can be sure the opposite leg will go too!
I'd either do the repair, or put the dog down, but that's just my opinion. I know some people who just leave the dog as is, but for a young canine, and a large one at that, it just isn't fair.
Nowadays there is TPLO and TTA and arthroscopy..... but the vet I work for is old school. (fishing line, anyone?!) He does a fabulous job and is known for his repairs, and often gets referrals from the bigger ortho clinic when they have clients that can't afford the more modern techniques. His repairs run about $1200-1800 but I know the larger clinic with the good equipment is more like 3-4k.
Good luck, I hope your pup is ok!!
We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.
For a dog that size, you want a TPLO or TTA. That's a bone repair changing the angle of the joint so a cruciate ligament isn't needed anymore for stability. The fishing line is not a good idea in a dog that big.
Gary Spodnick or Brian Trumpatori at VSH in Cary would be excellent choices. Also Mike Grafinger in Durham and Sonja Szymeczek at VCA Durant Road in North Raleigh.