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Juju's torn cruciate in remaining leg
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Member Since:
2 December 2021
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20 May 2022 - 3:37 pm
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I have done a little bit of searching on the forums already. I knew you guys would be a great source of information.

It appears that my Juju has a torn cruciate. Two vets have confirmed this. They weren't able to get a great "drawer effect" from manipulating the joint, but based on the position of the femur in her x-rays and the inflammation in the joint, they are telling me it's a torn cruciate. She may also have a meniscus tear because her joint has been clicking periodically. 

I wanted to start my own thread on the topic because I know I will have tons of questions. 

My first big question is:  Has anyone gone the non-surgical route? Can this heal well without surgery? Or is surgery the best option? Our vet is saying that surgery gives the quickest return to function. Non-surgical would be many months of rest. Beyond that I don't know a lot about each option.

We did have a dog years ago who tore each cruciate separately and he had a failed tightrope then TPLO on the first knee, then TPLO on the second knee. Our other current dog tore his cruciate last year but his seems to have healed "enough" without surgery and he is getting around okay. So I am not exactly new to this injury. But Juju only has the one back leg. This feels very complicated and I don't know what to do. My vet said it would be a good idea to ask in this forum because she has never encountered a tripawd cruciate tear either. 

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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20 May 2022 - 8:14 pm
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Oh my gosh I'm sorry that you are faced with this situation! And what an honor that your vet told you to talk to the community about it. Wow, please give them our thanks.

Is Juju on any pain management right now? How is she getting around, and how are you helping her? 

Also, is either of the vets a boarded surgeon? Just curious. 

So I apologize for running so quickly but I need to go make dinner for the hungry pack. For now, please check out these posts about remaining leg surgery in Tripawds.  Let me know what you think, and I'll be back tomorrow with some more thoughts OK? 

Stay strong!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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20 May 2022 - 8:16 pm
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Bummer that sweet Juju has this"challenge".  You are doing a good job researching  options and asking good questions.

While I do not have experience  with the conservative  approach, I do have experience  with my front legger tripawd Frankie having the tight rope surgery thst did fail eve tually.  He had another cruciate surgery the TPLO on the other leg and, knocking on wood, still holding. 

I know it's not the same as having the aurgery on the remains g leg, but it is doable based on what we've seen here.

Here is a link that is chock full pd other links within  that you may find helpful, 

https://tripawd.....g-surgery/

How is Juju doing now?  On pain meds?  Needs assistance  walkkng?

The one thing I would recommend  would be an appointment  with a Rehab Specialist  asap.  I doubt that the diagnosis will change, but it is their specialty.  It would be a confirmation I would want though, since the manipulation  done by the two Vets is s little bit inconclusive? Also, they can advise on the conservative approach.  FWIW and in my unprofessional opinion, a conservative approach may be a possibility on a four legger, but a much harder prospect for a tripawd with his remaing leg being compromised. 

Jerry will be avle to do a search far better than I and see if a conservative  approach has been done here on remaining leg.

You will see in the link I gave you that surgery has been done on the remaining  leg, for different reasons,  but still requiring recovery, not using the leg at first, etc.

You know from all the"cruciate experience", recovery requires walking  assistance, pain meds ultimately evolving to toe touching, then a little more weight bearing,  etc, etc.  YourJuJu's situation would require all that double, but again, doable. 

Hang on for more feedback

Extra hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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20 May 2022 - 8:18 pm
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Haha....as isual the hournot takes me to typo, Jerry has already popped in with good stuff👍

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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23 May 2022 - 8:56 am
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Thanks for the replies. 
I think we are definitely leaning toward doing surgery. I know it will be hard, but I want her to have a good long-term outcome. She is only 5 years old and a little spitfire!

She is now on Carprofen and Gabapentin for pain and Adequan injections for joint support. 

She is still getting around some on her own as long as we don't let her overdo it. I have been carrying her up and down stairs and putting her on the furniture. She still tries to do some things on her own, but I am trying to not let her. We could do better. 

The main question I have right now is which surgery? Our vet says she isn't really a candidate for TPLO or TTA because of her size. She is 25 pounds. So she would get the extracapsular repair (I think this is the same as tightrope?). Is the extracapsular repair a stable enough procedure for a dog with only one back leg? I just want something that is going to last her lifetime. 

We learned a couple of other things from Juju's x-rays! Two of her vertebrae in her mid-back are fusing together, unfortunately. And what's really interesting is the remaining femur bone in her "amputated" leg comes to a point. It doesn't look like they actually cut the bone, but just left it how it was broken. My vet was wondering if that gives her some discomfort. 

But right now her poor knee is what we need to work on. I did read through a couple of the articles on remaining leg surgery. I kept the tab open and will read more later today. 

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
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23 May 2022 - 10:44 am
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Hmm. You know I think it would ease your mind to Ask Dr. Pamand see what she thinks. She has tons of experience with this procedure and her own large breed Tripawd had it done before amputation.

Also, do check out Max's situation. He's a large old pup who is going through a TPLO recovery. Read the early posts of his mom trying to decide, and the convos she had with his ortho team about doing the surgery versus conservative management. 

If you do the surgery, it's so beneficial to work with a rehab team that can ensure she has a good recovery. 

Yeah I wonder about that sharp bone too. Ouch! 

Keep us posted OK? 

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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23 May 2022 - 11:49 am
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Can only share that front leg tripawd Frankie had the cruciate repair that was the "fishing line" type procedure (tink also called tightrope) on one of his remaining back legs.  At the time he was 70 lbs.  The Bet said he was right at the weight limit for that. The TPLO route, according to him, is especially  recommended  for larger dogs and Frankie was right on border line.  At the time it  was a least expensive  route and, unfortunately, finances had to be a consideration.  It did eventually  fail, but Im sure veing a tripawd aseed an extra layer to it wearing out.  

The "hardware" was taken out and lots of scar tissue had formed to sort of  help keep the leg functioning  somewhat.

Moving on....then had cruciate  surgery  done on the other remaining  vack leg and I was avle to go the TPLO route this time.  Knocking  on wood really hard non stop....... it's  held up well.  His regular  Bet did the " fishing line tight rope" thing and the Orthopedic  Surgeon  did theTPLO as that was his specialty as that does require an extra type of skill.

Anyway, yes, go to Ask A Vet and see what her professional opinion  is. It's  my understanding that "normally"  forJuJu's  weight, the fishing line would be fine, but being the one remaining  leg Dr Pam can add her expertise.

Extra hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Member Since:
2 December 2021
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1 June 2022 - 6:09 pm
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Sorry I haven't been very responsive. I feel incredibly guilty that I haven't done much to further Juju's situation and recovery since we found out about her cruciate tear! I had a death in the family that involved some travel last week and I am also trying to get ready to leave again for a planned 3 days away tomorrow. 

I did read your replies and have asked Dr. Pam a couple of questions and read some other threads. 

We have a consult on Monday with a vet who does TTA. The other surgeon possibilities are booked until August sometime. So I am still exploring surgery possibilities and trying to figure out which is best for her, but I would love to get it done sooner than later so she can get back into action. She is a wild thing.

My other main focus right now is researching carts/wheels/assistance for her. I feel like this is something that she may need intermittently throughout her life, but especially now. She is still hopping around, but she really shouldn't be putting so much stress on that knee. And when she gets surgery I don't know how to help her get around. 
I would love to get her or make her something that allows her to still use her one back leg, but just gives her some assistance and stability. Where do I start? Am I thinking about this in the right way or should I always let her get around on her own as much as possible?

Virginia




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1 June 2022 - 7:00 pm
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You need not apologize at all about updating. You have a lot on your plate and need to focus on doing whatever it takes to get through the day right now.

I'm sorry  you had a loss in your family.  You need some good days ahead and hopefuy they are starting.

I saw your ppst on Ask A Vet.  I know you'll get sooo feedback from her.

Also I'll ask a member to chime in on how to help in recovery and other suggestions on carts, how much to assist,   etc. Her name is Kathi and her Lab Murphy had total hip replacement on his remaining  leg

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2007
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2 June 2022 - 12:14 pm
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yclaray said

My other main focus right now is researching carts/wheels/assistance for her. I feel like this is something that she may need intermittently throughout her life, but especially now. She is still hopping around, but she really shouldn't be putting so much stress on that knee. And when she gets surgery I don't know how to help her get around. 

I would love to get her or make her something that allows her to still use her one back leg, but just gives her some assistance and stability. Where do I start? Am I thinking about this in the right way or should I always let her get around on her own as much as possible?

  

Great questions! And I saw your post to Dr. Pam too, glad you asked her, she's terrific.

So, the wheels is something that you really want a rehab therapist to help you with. You can see one even before surgery, or call the ortho vet clinic and ask if they work with one that they can refer you to.

More often than not a therapist will prescribe a stability brace before wheels, and prescribe exercises to help her stay strong and injury-free. They can also help you train her to use the device, and check on fit to ensure it won't cause abrasions or pressure sores. Do not buy anything until you talk to a therapist, since items like wheels and braces are non-returnable almost 100% of the time. We see lots of people lose a great deal of $$ on these items because their dog wouldn't use the wheels, or the brace didn't fit right, etc. Remember, Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit 🙂

As for helping her get around after surgery, consider a dog stroller , they're awesome for getting pups out into the world when their mobility is limited.

And please do not feel guilty about being away. You have our deepest condolences for your loss, I'm so sorry! 

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2 December 2021
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16 June 2022 - 8:42 pm
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Juju had TTA surgery on her knee on Tuesday. We have a long road ahead. Currently she has a big stiff bandage, almost like a cast, on her leg. She is having a lot of trouble getting around, especially going potty. She just kind of scoots her butt around with the cast in the air. 

I contacted a rehab facility and they are booked 6-8 weeks out. Is it even worth it at that point?

I have a lot of worries, but I am just trying to take it one day at a time. I hope this road ends with her running as much as she wants to without pain.

I have a few things that I am borrowing from friends to get her out for some enrichment. Today we tried out a bike trailer and I think she will really like it. I just walked the bike slowly to get her used to it today. Plus she is still slightly loopy from surgery. Saturday I am borrowing a stroller and hopefully we can got for a long walk that day. 

The Rainbow Bridge


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16 June 2022 - 11:47 pm
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Oooh yay surgery is over! That's a big hurdle behind you. The cast thing sounds a lot like the one Max the lab wore too, did you see his ccl recovery story? I'll put a link up in the am if not.

Yes rehab is still worth it! Did your vet send you home with any instructions for at home therapy?

I like the bike stroller idea just go slow if she's never ridden in anything like that. Treat her up and make it fun!

Keep us posted!

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2 December 2021
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18 June 2022 - 4:37 pm
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Thanks, I made our first rehab appointment. End of August is the first they had. I knew the answer as soon as I asked it. Of course it's still worth it. She won't be 100% by then and I'm sure she can use some assistance even if she is doing well. Our surgeon said no rehab is needed and gave us nothing but how to restrict her. I have a background in canine massage so I know better. I should probably dust off my skills and work on Juju a bit after the wound heals. 

Juju started wearing the cone today since she got her bandage off this morning. Unfortunately, our other dog is being a jerk. Any change in his environment makes him insecure and he growls and snarls. So I guess we will mostly keep them separate for now. I don't want him practicing this behavior. I hate that we have another stressful thing now on top of Juju's condition. I can't wait until that cone comes off. She is miserable and now we have to separate dogs, too. 

I tried her in the stroller today and she hated it. Really wanted to jump out. So I won't be doing that again. I think the enclosed bike trailer might be okay as long as I don't do too much too soon. I will try it again. I just want her to have some adventures because her world has gotten smaller recently.

Livermore, CA




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18 June 2022 - 9:03 pm
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Don't give up on the stroller yet- it may just take her some time to get used to it.  I've had 4 dogs in a stroller over the years and 2 took to it right away without any introduction, 1 needed a solid introduction and one put up a fuss for a couple of months.

My first Tripawd Maggie had always tried to jump out of anything I put her in before her amp.  After her amp I got a stroller for her- it was sort of a crate on wheels (way back in 2006 there were not too many options). I just left the crate part open on the floor and let her explore- then lots of treats when she got in on her own.  Then I put it back on the wheels and did the same thing.  Then just pushed her around the house with lots of treats.  After that she was hooked.

My second Pug Tani was a different story.  She was very feisty and determined to do everything her own way.  She had all 4 legs but had a couple challenges which made her mobility a challenge.  By the time she needed a ride I had a different stroller- more like a kids jogging stroller.  Although I spent some time just having her sit in it, as soon as we hit the road she was barking and trying to jump out.  I went with the 'reward what you want' training method and gave her treats when she was quiet and not trying to jump.  It took a couple months of work but she eventually loved her ride.  I should mention that Tani had a brain injury so it took her longer than most to learn anything... 3 months to learn to shake hands!  So I would think that Juju could learn faster.

I find the stroller invaluable with a 7 year old Tripawd and a 16 year old Pug!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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19 June 2022 - 6:27 pm
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Thanks, Karen. I think the problem was that it was a stroller for kids. I thought it might work because it lays flat for a little more space and Juju isn't huge. I think she would get used to something more enclosed. I just can't risk her jumping out of it right now. 

Speaking of which!... How on earth do I keep her from jumping on the furniture! I set up a crate in my room so she isn't jumping off my bed during the night. But she's only day 5 post-op and she just jumped on the couch. I thought we had a little more time. She seems to think she is 100% fine and wants to run and jump like normal. That's good in some ways, but also YIKES.

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