It’s a cold winter evening. My dogs go out for their last little romp before nestling snug in their beds.
Wally, the 11-year-old cocker spaniel, calmly walks up the two little steps to the deck, turns quickly to check on me, and turns his leg on the icy step.
A tiny yelp, barely audible in the quiet of the starlit night, and there goes his cruciate ligament.
Oops, there it is. A tiny yelp that could cost $3,000 to repair.
The most common orthopedic problem in our pet dogs is not broken bones or hip dysplasia. It’s the knee! Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), also known as the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), is all too common.
Knee injuries can be complicated to diagnose and to fix. There is controversy about when a dog needs surgery, and which surgical procedure is the best. When there’s controversy about how to solve a problem, like the best way to fix a dog knee, it usually means we don’t have all the answers, and this can frustrate owners. It frustrates me, too.
Add another factor to this mess: The cost. Surgery to repair a dog’s knee starts at expensive and can proceed to very expensive. Think anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000.
“Okay,” says the dedicated dog owner, “so I’ll cough up the bucks and then Chester’s knee will be fine, right? Oh, and what does he come home with? A cast or something? He’s good in about two weeks, right?”
Not so fast, Chester’s dad. Do you want the troublesome news or the bad news first? Chester’s knee has a good chance of being fine but it’s going to take a while. And no, the recovery is not a walk in the park, so to speak. Chester is going to be limited to very short walks in the park for several months.
Read more about Dog ACL injury at petful.com