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Matt Price



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Join date : 2010-01-22

PostSubject: Problem with cruciate ligament   Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:24 pm

Hi, We have a 2 and a half year old Bernard, who has developed a problem with his cruciate ligament. We have had two specialists look at this, and both have confirmed they can try and operate on this, but we are concerned that it may not rectify the long term problem, as he has hip dysplasia which may have contributed to the problem, and also cysts in his front paws which flares up now and again. We understand that the rehabilitation period will be critical, and substantial, but we are concerned that going through this may only delay other problems and be the beginning of many problems for our dog. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has gone through similar and hear their feedback on what they found
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BeBe

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PostSubject: Re: Problem with cruciate ligament   Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:07 pm

Hi Matt!

First of all I am so sorry to hear about your boy's problems.

My boy, Hannibal, was diagnosed at local level with a suspected left hind cruciate rupture last July and referred to The Grove at Fakenham. I was crawling up the walls with anxiety about this and did a fair amount of research into the various ways of operating/treating cruciate problems.

HOWEVER, once we got to The Grove, the superb Gordon Brown (!), found that his problem was a serious soft tissue problem with his left hind paw, for which he was duly operated and treated for a total of about 5 months.

On one of our very many frequent visits to Fakenham, we met a beautiful smooth Bernard of a similar age to yours who was there for his second cruciate operation. I have stayed in touch with his lovely owners and will see if I can ask them to contact you via this forum. They would be excellent for you to talk to because their experiences could be quite relevant to you, I think. They know all about the recovery period and management of that - this was something I was terribly concerned about myself. I think it fair to say that this dog has done well but the whole story is one for his owners to discuss really!

The rehab period even for Han was long and difficult for him because of the many restrictions he was subjected to (he was in bandages of six weeks) but we got through it - helped greatly in my case by the support of Cheri at Fairview. One of her suggestions was that we could get one of those heavy duty Play Dens - they have flexible panels which you can make into whatever shape suits your purposes - and we were able to create a small space outside our front door so that Han could at least lie outside, smell the air and watch the activities in the road - he would have gone insane without being able to do that. As it was, he did get quite depressed - but is now chasing squirrels like a lion in the jungle again!!

I have little personal experience of hip dysplacia in Bernards - met one a couple of weeks ago whose condition seemed to be being managed well - he was a delightful dog.

I'm pretty cynical about vets but have to say that I felt that I could really trust the guys at The Grove - both Gordon and his partner Simon Gilbert. A specialist you can trust is worth his weight in gold - clearly! For these guys, and those like them, cruciate operations are a matter of routine. They specialise in the TPLO procedure at Fakenham, to the best of my knowledge.

Where abouts are you based? Did you go to Fakenham for assessment?

There should also be others on the Forum who should be able to give you their opinions but, meanwhile, I'll try and put you in touch as above and hope that you'll let me know if you have any specific questions I could help with.

Take care
BeBe
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Dudbarn

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PostSubject: Re: Problem with cruciate ligament   Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:15 pm

Hi Matt,

We are the owners of the St Bernard BeBe referred to when they were visiting The Grove.

We have been through the whole scenario twice, but we are now very pleased with the result. With our boy it was all worth it - Its complicated to expalin on the forum but if you need to talk give me a ring on 01778 344043.

Regards,

Trudie
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Matt Price



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PostSubject: Re: Problem with cruciate ligament   Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:23 am

Thanks for the feedback, and offer of further advice.

We have him booked in for further x-rays tomorrow, to try and get some more information on the current good leg, as this may have a impact on the consideration for his long term health. Its good to hear positive responses on the operation, and this will certainly be a big part of our thoughts when we have to make a decision this week.

Many thanks
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BeBe

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PostSubject: Re: Problem with cruciate ligament   Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:53 pm

Hi Matt!

How did things go for you and your boy this week?

BeBe
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Matt Price



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PostSubject: Re: Problem with cruciate ligament   Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:55 am

Hi bebe

Unfortunately Brusier had to be put down earlier this week. The reasoning is that on further investigation into his other leg it was seen that it was extremely likely that the other leg would suffer the same problems very shortly, and a strong possibility that this would happen if further strain was put on the leg during the recovery period.

As we had watched him detoriate over the last few months, we took the difficult decision to have him put down, so that he didnt have t suffer any further.

I must admit this was one of the hardest decisions of my life.

Matt
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ourfairview
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PostSubject: Re: Problem with cruciate ligament   Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:25 pm

hi Matt

im so sorry you had to put your dog to sleep ,

im sure he is at peace and free from pain now

take care

cheri
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Vicki

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PostSubject: Re: Problem with cruciate ligament   Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:56 pm

oh no!

I'm so sorry

run free at the bridge with all our loved ones, until we meet again

thinking of you all
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mammutz

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PostSubject: Re: Problem with cruciate ligament   Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:05 pm

I`m so sorry.
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The Shire

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PostSubject: Re: Problem with cruciate ligament   Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:28 pm

Hi Matt,

sorry to hear about your boy being put to sleep, but I understand completely. We always knew that our eldest Bernard had problems with his back legs and always suspected his hips may be the cause, but as it turned out, it was actually his knees causing all the aggravation.

Burt's story rambles on for ages and I won't bore you with the details, but he has just had his second knee operated on last week, the first knee was done 4 months ago. Both operations have been TTA's (tibial tuberosity advancement) and both carried out by consultant orthoapedic surgeon Andrew Whittingham who is based in Derby but travels to various practices including ours in Nottingham. The results have been fantastic and we are delighted with both the long-term prognosis and the speed of recovery - Burt weight bears the following day after surgery, walks well (albeit a little slower than normal) and after 8 weeks you can hardly tell he has had anything done.

Sufficed to say that initially before the first operation we were very hesitant as we had been painted a very bleak picture about the recovery period and told that it could be very difficult to manage and I can't tell you how many times I took Burt to the vets expecting to drive home alone! Fortunately the reality of the recovery turned out to be very different and we are thrilled. However, I do think that the personality of the dog can strongly affect their recovery and also has a big influence on your decision to have the surgery or not. In our case Burt is so daft that if we don't tell him that he has a poorly leg and that he has had major surgery, then he is none the wiser! A Bernard with a different outlook who is more sensitive though may well become very depressed, especially if they have to be confined after the surgery. We have always taken a slightly more maverick approach to post-op care as we have seen a minor operation have a devastating effect on a dog purely because we stuck to the vet's advice of using things like a bucket collar or confining an animal that is not used to being kennelled. we now tailor the post-op routine to see what suits the dog as well as appeasing the vet!

Once again, my sincerest condolencies on loosing your boy, but it was obviously the right decision to make.

Take care

Ali
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ourfairview
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PostSubject: Re: Problem with cruciate ligament   Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:42 pm

ali
do you have a picture of the wound? would like to see what its like! glad he is ok

cheri
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PostSubject: Re: Problem with cruciate ligament   Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:04 pm

Hi Cheri,

afraid I don't have any photos but the stitch site is around 6 inches long and this time is on the inside of his leg (last one was on the curve), but really the worst thing is that they have to shave the fur off the leg from near the top all the way down to just below the ankle joint, with fur still on the foot and just above it, so Burt looks like a giant plucked turkey with a legwarmer on!!!!

Fortunately the fur grows back fairly quick on the leg below the knee and a bit more time then covers up the skin on the upper part of the leg.

When you look on the internet at some photos of dogs who have had knee surgery such as TTA, they often have compression bandages on or surgical stocking arrangements, we've never had this on Burt, don't think they can find anything suitable for something the size of a Bernard! On his first knee Burt did come home with some large, rectangular plaster pads that covered the stitches but he ripped those off and ate them. So I went out and bought some more and after he had eaten 6 plaster I gave up trying and just left the stitch site open to the air. Ths does not affect any possibility of infection as the dog is always dosed up on antibiotics post surgery for at least 10 days.

We do have a slight problem with fluid collecting again this time on the knee and ankle joint but that usually drains away naturally as the dog begins to exercise a little more (exercise is restricted for 2 weeks post-op, and then it can be gradually increased). Rubbing the joints also helps to dissipate the fluid - my god I sound like Florence Nightingale now!

Ali
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BeBe

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PostSubject: Re: Problem with cruciate ligament   Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:22 pm

Hi Matt,

I am very sad to hear your news.

What a heartbreaking decision to have to make.

Take care
BeBe
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