After a few referrals for Dresden, almost all the doctors have said he needs TPLO surgery on both back legs. Cost for surgery, depending on area, has been estimated at $7,000 – $10,000. Some of these costs include his physical therapy, others do not. Even though we have a great dog insurance plan with PetPlan the upfront cost are just not within reach at this time. However, we’re still working diligently on conservative treatment and we’ve decided to go ahead with a custom Stifle Brace by GoHero. Dresden’s current vet from West Park Animal Hospital, Dr. Scott wasn’t keen on doing the casting for the brace as he hasn’t seen one that works on ACLs. Though he was opened minded and was willing to offer this service as an alternative to surgery depending on how Dresden took to the brace and X-Rays later to review the legs. Dr. Scott was also more than willing to allow me to transfer Dresden’s records to a fabulous doctor at Lakewood Animal Hospital, Dr. Konecny who has in fact done this brace before. However, since our hobgoblin is a hyper tyrant, he would need to be put under sedation which means another fellow would have to do Dresden’s cast. Interesting enough, those doctors were all currently out of town in Columbus attending a channel conference and convention, and guess who was in attendance? Go Hero. The only reason I even knew this was from a phone conversation with Dr. Ben Blecha, founder of Go Hero. He wanted to make sure I ordered my casting kit so that he could send it before attending the channel conference in Columbus – he didn’t want me to be stuck waiting a week for his return. When I told Dr. Konency over the phone that Go Hero was at the conference she seemed pretty excited stating that she would let her colleagues know so they could meet them and learn firsthand about their custom brace and casting procedure.
Long story short, Dresden is scheduled to go under and get his casting next week at Lakewood Animal Hospital.
$275.00 – For casting procedure (this includes office visit and exam, sedation, half day stay)
$834.00 – Casting mold stuff, and custom brace w/ shipping cost included (once brace is ready in 2 weeks)
I know that sounds like a lot of money for something that may not work at all, but I’m willing to try. I mean, look at this face…
I’ll continue to document Dresden’s adventure with videos and blog updates as the days go by.
Dresden has been recently diagnosed with a torn ACL on his left back leg. From the X-Rays it appears that the weight he has been putting on his right back leg to compensate for his lack of motion (and pain) in his left has exacerbated, and begun to tear, his right back leg as well . It has been recommended by our vet that he get a TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) surgery on both back legs. The surgery comes at a hefty price tag – $7,000+. Excluding the cost, there are also some pretty serious risks involved as well (per http://tiggerpoz.com/):
— Cracking and splintering of the bones where the metal plates are attached to bone with screws;
— Persistent infections in the bones;
— Failure of the patellar ligament due to increased stress on that ligament caused by altered joint geometry.
— Failure to heal of the saw-cut re-positioned bone segments.
— Damage to the joint’s meniscus following the ‘meniscus-release’ often done in association with TPLOs.
— Loosening of the metal plates caused by backing-out of the screws after surgery or failure of the screws’ attachment from crumbling bone or other causes.
— Tibial tuberosity fracturing;
— Spinal alignment problems resulting from the altered bone structure having changed stress vectors ;
— Increased cancer rates associated with the metal implants.
— Peroneal nerve damage
— Popliteal artery trauma
— And more.
Dresden is only 1.2 years old and his bone plates are still growing. While I am not opposed to surgery, I’m also not 100% sold on it either. Currently, we’re looking into more conservative approaches to his therapy until we can address a surgical procedure…
We started by creating a sleeping space for ourselves downstairs to limit Dresden’s desire to go upstairs and play with the cats. He’s also receiving Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM as a daily supplement and is currently taking 75 MG of Rimadyl 2x a day.
I’ve also been contacting all of our local vets in regards to getting him fitted and cast with a custom Stifle Knee Brace, by Hero. I haven’t heard back from any vets yet, but I only recently learned about this brace from a few days of research.
It’s been a very stressful exhausting last few days, but we’re making due for our little hobgoblin.