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My puppy is only 13 months old. He is a Lab/Terrier Mix and is about 65lbs. The vet recommended surgery and gave me two options. One involves implanting some sort of synthetic ligament to stabilize the joint. The other option involves plates and screws. They said that they generally do the 1st option for dogs that are under 80 lbs. Being that my dog is still a puppy I'm not too sure how much bigger he is going to get. I am hoping the people of DogForum.com can give me their experiences with this type of injury. Is surgery necessary? Is one option better than the other? Thanks in advance for all your input!
 

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I saw on another thread that you have pet insurance. With that in mind, I would consider doing a consult with an orthopedic specialist, particularly since your pup may not be done growing. I would see what their recommendation is, and go from there. The weight range for recommending the extracapsular repair seems to vary from vet to vet and usually activity level is also a factor, so it can't hurt to get another opinion from someone who specializes in that type of injury/surgery.

This article explains a bit about each of the current common repair techniques:
http://csu-cvmbs.colostate.edu/Documents/orthopaedics-cruciate-ligament.pdf
 

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Have you consulted with another vet? It seems risky to be implanting metal rods and discs in a puppy that hasn't even finished growing yet. And then to think that those metal pieces are going to be implanted for 10+ years? The idea makes me uncomfortable.

My dog tore her ACL last year (she was 10 years old and weighs about 70 lbs). We didn't want to put her through surgery for her own mental wellbeing and our vet had told us about the conservative treatment alternatives that often work. How serious is your tear? Maybe you could try the conservative treatment before resorting to surgery.

We found an Ortocanis dog knee brace online that helped stabilize the knee while she was recovering. While it provides moderate support, it didn't bother our dog and after a year of use it's still in great condition. Obviously throughout the process we had to keep our dog as immobile as possible which may be harder for a puppy.. but in the end I think it was really worth it.

Just another alternative for you to consider..
 
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