Big Paws Only Dog Forums

BPO Medical Forum => Medical Conditions & Diseases => : krikyt July 27, 2008, 10:14:35 PM

: knee surgery help?!?
: krikyt July 27, 2008, 10:14:35 PM
Hey everyone, I'm sort of new here, I posted a couple of times back in January, but this is my first post since then.  My big guy Squid, the one on the left, is having problems (to say the least).  I've had him, and his brother and sister, since they were two weeks old, and ever sincce they started walking, I noticed Squid's back legs weren't quite right.  I took him to the vet a couple of times as he grew, they x-rayed him and said they looked ok and they couldn't really do anything until he was older anyways (growth plates I think is what they said).  Anyways, for the past two months they have been getting much worse. He limps all the time.  The vet says he needs surgery, I think she said knee replacements, but she says it costs $5000. Does anybody know of any organizations or anything that helps pay for this kind of thing? Besides the pain, he is getting more and more aggressive, first towards the other dogs but in the past week he has started with us humans.  Part of me feels bad for him because I know he is in pain, but I also have two kids in the house and I can't have a 185 lb aggressive dog with kids in the house.  I really don't know what to do. It will take me at least 4 months to come up with the money and the vet says that if i dont fix his knees soon his hips will be ruined also. Any suggestions?
: Re: knee surgery help?!?
: Fumble July 28, 2008, 07:28:49 AM
Could you work anything out with the vet's office manager?  sometimes you can have a payment plan.  Maybe if you can't get them to do something, you should shop around for another vet.  You could always try the vet schools too.  Here in MA i think Tufts Vet School helps out with discounted to have the students learn during the procedure.  That was one option i was thinking about when Fumble had his knee done.  Also 5000!  That's high!  Fumble's was 4000.  Still high, i know, but Wow!  I do agree that you want to get it done ASAP.  compensation with the hips and other knee could cause those to go with too much stress. 

Good luck!
: Re: knee surgery help?!?
: patrick July 28, 2008, 07:34:03 AM
Depends on what the problem is  It was my understanding that they don't do knee replacements in dogs yet  But there are other expensive surgeries like repair of CCl and subluxing patellas.  You can make the dog more comfortable by taking some weight off and glucosamine.  For immediate relief you could start with the Adequan injections- only about $40 apiece and once started they only get one shot a month.  If you can't afford the surgery get a second opinion for other ways to treat.
: Re: knee surgery help?!?
: krikyt July 28, 2008, 11:48:28 PM
Thank you guys so much!  I actually have called about 5 vets...the first one said they don't do payment plans, but refered me to the second, same thing....unfor tunately I can't prove stable income, my money comes from babysitting friends kids, which is not stable, and every penny goes to living expenses and feeding my pups. I'm about to start nursing school full time, so I can't get a steady job right now. But the vet school idea is great!  I will be calling them first thing in the morning.  Thanks!
Also, I think maybe I misunderstood the vet about actual knee replacements.  I asked her how successful the surgery was with a big dog, and she said it didn't used to work that well, but now they put all new hardware in there and it's very successful.  I guess I should have found out what exactly she meant. 
I guess you are right about the aggression, he has just gotten much more possessive and growly (and snappy) with "his" stuff, i.e. food, toys, trash, whatever he decides. He and Ben, the one in the middle, have actually gotten in a few fights.  I've read that sometimes this can happen at his age, 15 months, that he could be challenging for dominance, but the vet behavioral specialist said i needed to get his knees fixed before she could determine anything behavior-wise. 
Again, thank you for your suggestions, I appreciate it so much.
: Re: knee surgery help?!?
: Fumble July 29, 2008, 04:23:45 AM
did the vet say it was a TPLO???