Cruciate problem

Hello everyone,

I don't often reach out, but the one thing guaranteed to start me trawling the net is any medical problems with my two beautiful Labradors. You see our 5 1/2 year old has just been diagnosed with a possible ruptured cruciate. He developed a limp in his back left about 3 months ago. Just in the evenings after he had been led down for any length of time. I thought it was early arthritis, not uncommon in Labs, so didn't rush him to the vet, but the limp got worse, so following two consultations, it would seem it is a cruciate problem. Where we are at at the moment is our own vet has recommended we take the boy up to see an orthopedic vet in Poitiers because his own practice don't perform this op on big breeds.

What I am wondering is, have any of you dog lovers out there come across this problem? I am very undecided - should we go for the op or not? What about after the surgery, how would we keep him still for long periods other than toilet walks in the garden? What if it doesn't work? All of the 'what ifs' just crowd in. I'm sorry, I know I'm a bit of wimp, but like all of you I just want to do what's best for my dog.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this and please if you have any experience, tips or information you can share, it would very appreciated.

Thank you

Hi Pat,

I do not have experience of a dog with this but my sister does. I'm going to ask her and will get back to you



Many thanks Val, I'll check out the website.

Hi Pat

I had to do a bit of research because I hadn't come across this but I'm pasting an excerpt from a vet approved site which outlines the treatment and follow-up care:

"Dogs less than 33 lbs (15 kg) may be treated conservatively as outpatients; 65 percent improve or are normal within six months
Dogs greater than 33 lbs (15 kg) should be treated with stabilization surgery; only 20 percent improve or are normal within six months with conservative medical management
Following surgery, the use of ice packs and physical therapy (such as range-of-motion exercises, massage, and electrical muscle stimulation) are important for improvement
Weight control is an important component for decreasing stress on the stifle joint
Stabilization surgery is recommended for all dogs, as it speeds the rate of recovery, reduces joint degeneration, and enhances function

Your veterinarian may also prescribe medications for pain and inflammation if your pet's condition warrants them.

Living and Management

After the condition has been diagnosed and your pet has gone through the initial stage of treatment, management will depend on the particular method of treatment you and your veterinarian decided on. Most surgical techniques require two to four months of rehabilitation. A second surgery may be required in 10 to 15 percent of cases, because of subsequent damage to the meniscus (a crescent-shaped cartilage located between the femur and tibia in the stifle). Regardless of surgical technique, the success rate generally is better than 85 percent.

And I love these guys - they give a full list of do’s and dont’s following surgery: