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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I just happened to see a similar thread and didn't want to hijack it so am posting my own.

I have a 6 year old Cocker mix who has had mobility issues. After a few trips to the vet and an X-ray, he was diagnosed with pretty bad arthritis in his right knee, a partial CCL tear in his right knee, mild arthritis in his back left ankle, and I suspect he may have some in his right front paw as well (but just minor, my suspicions are because he licks it from time to time). It should be noted that the vet didn't notice the CCL tear herself; the radiologist she sent the X-rays to did. So I believe it is very minor, or at least it was a couple of months ago.

My vet said that if he goes off that leg completely it would indicate that there is a full tear and we'll have to talk orthopedic vets and surgery. Right now, he's off it I'd say around 75-80% of the time and the rest he limps on it. To my (untrained) eye when he does walk on it it doesn't look good - it appears to me that his leg kind of goes at a slightly odd angle. It's especially obvious now that he has been shaved and you can really see his legs when he walks.

I was talking it through with my mom this weekend and she wondered if it would be better (and maybe more cost efficient?) to address it before it progresses to a full tear. I know either way this is probably going to hurt my wallet and really just want to do what's best for him.

Currently he takes Carprofen for the pain and they've mentioned the possibility of adequan (sp) injections. I think the carprofen helps slightly but since he's still off that leg so frequently I'm guessing he's still in a good deal of pain.

So for anyone who has been through this, what would/did you do?
 

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Hard to do the armchair diagnoses and treatment plan, but hopefully you trust your Vet, so if it were me, I would follow his or her advice. Frankly if it were my dog, I would take him to an orthopedic Vet for another opinion.
 

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Hi everyone, I wanted to update in case someone is doing a search and came to this thread.

Chisum was first evaluated due to his leg causing issues in early March, before we all shut down. In mid-May I called the vet (spoke to the vet tech) and told her that the Carprofen wasn't doing a whole lot for him and that he was still not using the leg most of the time, to which I was told that the Carprofen wouldn't really do anything to help his knee and would only help manage the pain and that the only real thing that would help him would be surgery (thanks, would have been nice if you had been clear about that two months ago).

So, two weeks ago Chisum had CCL surgery - we opted for the Tightrope procedure as it is stronger than lateral suture and at 30 lbs the surgeon said that TPLO would be overkill. After the surgery, the doctor told me that his CCL was 95% torn - just hanging on by a thread. He also has meniscus damage but they left that as is because felt it would be better than trying to repair.

So far, so good. We had our two week exam on Friday and the doctor says all feels like it's progressing nicely. Chisum will walk on the leg outside, but not inside yet and still won't put weight on it when he is standing still, but apparently that's pretty normal at this point. We have a host of physical therapy exercises we are doing and otherwise exercise is limited, everything is on leash, and no running or jumping is allowed. He's a bit frustrated with these restrictions so I think it will be a long 12 weeks in total but hopefully he will get function back and be able to run and jump like he used to again (or somewhere close).

It is very likely that his other CCL will tear as well, but hopefully with this leg getting better we can take some of the strain off of the left leg and put that off as long as possible.
 

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When my dog ruptured his first knee after being attacked by a cat on our walk, a vet recommended surgery or euthanasia. I chose not to do surgery. When he ruptured second knee a yr later after a magpie attack, a different vet recommended no surgery because hes never seen a dog heal so well and was confident he would heal fine on the second leg which he did. It takes months of very limited activity but they do heal without surgery in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Conservative management is a possibility, but I was concerned about the prospect of 8+ weeks of restricted exercise and management only to end up having to do the surgery anyway and have to do another 12+ weeks of restricted exercise on top of that, which is going to be a challenge for my boy. Age was also a factor in the decision - he's only 6 and a smaller breed mix so ideally will live to be 14 or more. If he were older and/or less active I'd have just gone for the management.
 
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