Author Topic: Here we go for TPLO  (Read 15156 times)

jesday

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Here we go for TPLO
« on: January 03, 2009, 04:21:16 am »
I've been waiting until we got closer to the date to ask for TPLO experiences. Sophie goes in this Wednesday. I'm starting to freak. I think she blew the other leg a couple of days ago, and I honestly don't know which leg is worse. I'm worried about her recovery especially now with no good leg to stand on.

How did others fare with the experience? 

I can't even think about taking her in without getting choked up. :'( :'( She is my sensitive girl. She trusts me so much. How can I leave her there when she won't understand? :'( :'( :'(

And she is so young! This should not be happening to her!

I'm such a sap! :(

Viking Lady

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Re: Here we go for TPLO
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2009, 04:27:15 am »
I don't have the experience you asked for. But I'm crazy about you and your babies. I'm sorry to hear what's happening.

lins_saving_grace

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Re: Here we go for TPLO
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2009, 04:41:07 am »
ACL replacement or TPLO is a rough experience.  The pups are so resilient and tough through it.  their people are the ones who take it harder.
I've been through 4 ACL replacements now.  Although one at a time, I made it through and both Lady and Grace made it through with flying colors. 
I asked Grace's new vet about the difference between just ACL replacement and TPLO.  I had been told that TPLO more expensive, but gives your pup a faster recovery.  That was from the old vet.  So I had all 4 done as just the ACL replacement.  The new vet told me the same thing really, but added that TPLO reduces the chance of arthritis later in life. 
I still think that is up for debate depending on what vet you talk to.

I've noticed with my experience with this, that Grace used her good legs to hold her weight and, like humans, adapted well by learning to walk in a new way to get through the recovery.  with both legs being done, I'm sure she'll use her front legs to hold a lot of the weight.  Keeping Grace still was the hardest part, especially after the pain subsided and she thought it was time to start playing and jumping when she was still in the first 30 days.  They don't understand that the 30 days is for letting the leg develop scar tissue around the repair. 
I'm sure all dogs are different and you'll have different reactions to this surgery than I or anyone else here may have had, but let me tell you that you and your pup will be fine.  It's a long recovery, but you'll make it.  Once it's over, you'll be back to normal.

jesday

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Re: Here we go for TPLO
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2009, 05:29:44 am »
ACL replacement or TPLO is a rough experience.  The pups are so resilient and tough through it.  their people are the ones who take it harder.
I've been through 4 ACL replacements now.  Although one at a time, I made it through and both Lady and Grace made it through with flying colors. 
I asked Grace's new vet about the difference between just ACL replacement and TPLO.  I had been told that TPLO more expensive, but gives your pup a faster recovery.  That was from the old vet.  So I had all 4 done as just the ACL replacement.  The new vet told me the same thing really, but added that TPLO reduces the chance of arthritis later in life. 
I still think that is up for debate depending on what vet you talk to.

I've noticed with my experience with this, that Grace used her good legs to hold her weight and, like humans, adapted well by learning to walk in a new way to get through the recovery.  with both legs being done, I'm sure she'll use her front legs to hold a lot of the weight.  Keeping Grace still was the hardest part, especially after the pain subsided and she thought it was time to start playing and jumping when she was still in the first 30 days.  They don't understand that the 30 days is for letting the leg develop scar tissue around the repair. 
I'm sure all dogs are different and you'll have different reactions to this surgery than I or anyone else here may have had, but let me tell you that you and your pup will be fine.  It's a long recovery, but you'll make it.  Once it's over, you'll be back to normal.

Thanks Lin, I've been following Grace's recovery avidly. I've asked the surgeon several times about TPLO vs replacement. I'm sure he thinks I'm a bit senile if I can't remember what he told me. I'm just a triple check kind of gal. His biggest deciding factor is the size and weight of the dog. At over 125lbs the ACL replacements almost never last and surgeries need to be done again. This makes sense to me. A tendon that wasn't originally meant to be there now has to not only attach, but take the weight and tourk
of a dog this size.

I'm so glad Grace gets her couch back and you your bed! :D
   

jesday

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Re: Here we go for TPLO
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2009, 05:35:44 am »
Thanks all for your prayers and good wishes. I know we'll get through this. Hearing others experiences helps me mark off some of the million questions I have on my list.

But she's my BABY!

Okay, okay I'm fine.

Ignorance is bliss for my bubbers. It will be good to see her not have to struggle to move around.

But she's my BABY!

Okay, okay, I'm fine.....  :(

Offline seaherons

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Re: Here we go for TPLO
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2009, 07:24:11 am »
Just curious - where are you having the TPLO surgery done? Did the vet discuss any other options?  How old is Sophie?

Offline sc.trojans

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Re: Here we go for TPLO
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2009, 08:44:00 am »
Just curious - where are you having the TPLO surgery done? Did the vet discuss any other options?  How old is Sophie?

Just to second Seaherons here - have you thoroughly researched all of your ACL options including getting a second and third opinion?  Vets always have a preference based on their specialty (understandable) for the procedure they do - but may not always be in your dog's best interest. Surgeons here where I am will tell you "absolutely TPLO" while others will say "Never TPLO - only TTA" etc.

I always encourage people to thoroughly weigh the risks and benefits of TPLO vs. TTA vs. Traditional repair.

I know many surgeons say big/giant dogs shouldn't have traditional but I have seen it work many times - I believe it is less about size and weight and more about activity.  Activity level and specific actions/behaviors should drive the decision to rule the traditional procedure out.  The sedate, older giant dog who goes for long walks, but no twisty/turny play or hard stops is a good candidate for traditional repair.  Otherwise, the more invasive procedures may be necessary.  TTA is still an osteotomy (severe bone cutting) but of a lesser bone, and therefore less invasive.  The recovery of TTA is shorter than a TPLO - outcomes are still hard to come by however since TTA hasn't been around as long as the TPLO.

Personally,  a TPLO would be my last choice out of all of the options and a last resort - most invasive, most leg altering in changing the entire angulation (affecting the other side and overall balance of the dog), and longest/hardest recovery.  With that said, there are dogs that required a TPLO when nothing else worked and it was successful in the end. 

So just be sure you are comfortable with this procedure for YOUR dog - you know your dog best and can make the best determination and it should be about her and only her.

You may want to join Orthodogs on Yahoo - they have scores of studies on all of the procedures - outcomes to date, and lots of people with experience with all of them.  They can help with rehab following the procedure, games to play during restriction and complications that can arise.

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodogs/?yguid=106528238

Also, take a look at a fellow Berner owner's site that gives great guidance on getting through a TPLO and great games to play following surgery:

http://www.lauriebryce.com/tplo/

And last, if I can emphasize one thing:  it is the criticality of therapy following surgery.  I have just been helping three people in my area following TTA surgery on their dogs;  one did surgery with no therapy following and her dog has completely atrophied and lost function of the leg.  The other is doing therapy at home with use of exercise balls purchased and a DVD and seeing good results, and the third is seeing optimal results with full return to function by going to therapy and using underwater treadmill and range of motion exercises specifically tailored to the dog.  No matter what the degree you use - whether home use through DVDs or going to rehab, anything helps and is critical to returning to function.  Please don't ignore this step and think you're done with surgery.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: January 03, 2009, 08:48:46 am by sc.trojans »
SC Trojans
with Gracie and Skylar

lins_saving_grace

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Re: Here we go for TPLO
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2009, 09:40:06 am »
i might have to second the thought about second opinions.  I learned the hard way to not always believe the vet.  i changed vets this fall because I knew Grace's left leg was torn in July and the dog nazi wouldn't call it.  I'm sorry, but he doesn't know her and I do.  I went to a vet up the road from me and she doesn't deal with large dog orthapedic issues, but is willing to see her for health issues like ear infections and shots. She nailed the ear infection Great Lakes couldn't and wanted to operate on to flush it out.   Then I went to the animal hospital I'm at now.  He relaxed Grace enough to find that the ACL was torn.  I may be on the vet black list now as being the most compulsive and needy dog owner in Grand Rapids, but I found a vet my dog loves and got the answers I needed to help her. 
But, sc.trojans is right.  this is something you need to really think about.  The recovery after surgery is the worst.  4 months of rebuilding the leg muscle and the confidence your dog will loose in the leg.  you'll see the leg shrink almost from lack of use.  Massage is a good idea and short walks that lead to longer walks in moderation will be good therapy. 
It isn't as bad as it sounds, but it is a lot of work.  Talk to someone in your area with a lot of experience with big dogs.  some vets may think they know your breed because they've seen a few over their career, but they are no experts.  Call a local breeder or your breeder and ask what they think.

jesday

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Re: Here we go for TPLO
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2009, 10:59:41 am »
Thank you all for your concern. I have been researching torn ACL's for the past two months since Sophie started having problems. Syrus was our original worry with his recurring gimpy front leg. We just found out he has elbow dysplasia when Sophie started holding her rear leg up and not putting much weight on it. For those of you familiar, doing what they call the dresser drawer manipulation indicates a torn ACL. Her drawer was definitely sliding.

So I have been ensconced in the wonderful world of web trying to learn all I can.

Both my regular vet and the vet surgeon recommend the TPLO. But as a double check I called the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, one of the best in the country, and actually spoke with one of the professors. Before giving the name of either of my vets I described symptoms, breed, weight and age of Sophie (16-months) He highly recommended the TPLO over traditional mainly because of her age. Breed and weight were secondary. He said a dog her age should not be in this bad of shape unless there was inherent bone mis-alignment to begin with. He told me once recovery was complete (assuming I follow strict protocol) she would be better than before, no chance of a re-tear in the future, and less susceptible to arthritis as with traditional repairs. He also mentioned recovery time was shorter. (we're still talking months)

He proceeded to recommend a surgeon for me. He said he's been trying to recruit him to come on staff at the hospital for years. Dr Lawrence. You guessed it, turns out to be the guy I've been working with.

So basically, I feel confident this is the way to go. I'm just not looking forward to the surgery itself and afraid of doing something wrong for her recovery as that is unanimously agreed upon that following recovery procedure to the letter is the most important part for final outcome.

I am still interested in anyone who has done the TPLO. I have to admit, I can be easily swayed. The only thing I know for sure is I have to do something for my girl.

Thanks again. 

   

lins_saving_grace

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Re: Here we go for TPLO
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2009, 11:07:38 am »
I know the regular replacement has a chance of a re-tear, but you'd be surprised how sturdy the replacement is. 
Sounds like you've really done your homework and have made a very educated decision.  If you have the money for 2 TPLO's, go for it.  I think both procedures have their draw backs.

jesday

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Re: Here we go for TPLO
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2009, 01:41:52 pm »
Yeah, I guess I'll have to put a lei around Sophie's neck because she costs us our Hawaiian vacation. ;)

Viking Lady

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Re: Here we go for TPLO
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2009, 01:48:16 pm »
Heh! I remember right after my sister and brother in law got married he had to go to his best friend's wedding in Hawaii to be the best man. They always said that He went on their honeymoon to Hawaii because they couldn't afford one after that.

Offline CrazyLoveRosie

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Re: Here we go for TPLO
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2009, 02:30:59 pm »
Rosie had TPLO surgery back in September 2007 on her back right leg. They say recovery should take about 8-10 weeks from TPLO, but our experience was longer, perhaps due to the Newf size/weight. It was certainly very tough for us and Rosie during recovery... she had to be confined for at least a couple months in our living room, we had to assist her with a sling when she'd take potty breaks to reduce the weight she put on her healing leg, and she couldn't take any walks for a long time. Looking back, it seemed like a lot of work at the time, but it was all worth it; to try to get our Rosie back to health.

We did have a complication arise about 6 months after her TPLO. She'd pretty much recovered back to her normal self, when we noticed a bump starting to grow on the inside of her leg. They found that the bone plate installed during the TPLO had gotten infected and needed to be removed. The good news was that the plate had done its job and her bone had healed such that it no longer needed the assistance from the bone plate. However, she still had to go under the knife again to have it removed. We're told this is not normally the case... that bone plates put in during TPLO are usually left alone post-TPLO (unless they get infected).

If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message. We'd be glad to share our experiences.
Rosie - Newfoundland

jesday

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Re: Here we go for TPLO
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2009, 04:51:09 am »
Heh! I remember right after my sister and brother in law got married he had to go to his best friend's wedding in Hawaii to be the best man. They always said that He went on their honeymoon to Hawaii because they couldn't afford one after that.
My husband had to go on a business trip to Cincinnati where my sister lived the day after we got married. We always say he spent our honeymoon with my sister. ;D

jesday

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Re: Here we go for TPLO
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2009, 04:54:00 am »
Hi El, it must be so hard to be going though this...my heart just goes out to you.   On the other hand, Sophie is so lucky to have a momma like you, who picked the best vet, the best procedure, all of which will allow her to have a wonderful summer once she heals and the chance at a new, pain-free life.  The road will be hard, but sweet in the end!

I think that the hydrotherapy will be a great idea, especially since it's the winter months, and long, slow walks might be out for a while for you!  Also, I'd look into buying a sling so that you can help her move around/go potty. 

I'm totally thinking about you this week.  Big, huge hugs to you both!

Thanks Liz, I'm sure all my "how will shes" will work out once I get her home. How is Winston doing with his ED?