Our wonderful Labrador (mix?) that we have, Ivy, has had a couple of issues with lameness over the past year. Mostly after heavy activity, and appearing later in the day after getting up from rest. Usually it was just a slight limp that would resolve in a day or so. This past November, after some time out in the yard she actually resorted to carrying her right hind leg for the evening and limping into the next day. We took her to the vet on Monday and after an xray (and dental cleaning since she was being put under anyway) they diagnosed a partial CCL tear in her knee. We got some pain meds (rimadyl and tramamdol as needed), added daily glucosamine and kept her activity to normal levels (no induced playtime running). This managed it pretty well but we felt she was not living a full life and knowing the surgery was inevitable, given the degenerative nature of the issue, we opted to schedule an consult with an orthopedic vet at the same time we were taking our other dog, Baby, down to her internal med vet appointment for Cushings disease.
So on Valentine's Day I carted both monsters down to St. Louis to Veterinary Specialty Services. They checked out Ivy, and opted to do a side shot xray of her right knee. She doesn't have much "play" or drawer sign in the joint, but they could see swelling and fluid in the xray and that along with her symptoms are indicative of a CCL tear. We discussed surgical options, they recommended the TPLO. With her larger bone size and heavy demands, that surgery would yield the strongest repair. It is an 8 week recovery period though which is quite intimidating. I tentatively scheduled her surgery for February 19th, 2013...the following Tuesday.
The Saturday before we made it the best day ever with some ball play in the backyard...Here's the video along with the after effects and her day after surgery at the hospital.