Osteoarthritis after cruciate ligament surgery - Franzi and Linda promote the dog's relaxation in the interview
Franzi leads the marketing team and is responsible for marketing strategies, campaign planning and employee organization: And part of the team in question is of course a very special young lady: Office Dog Linda. Today the two of them tell us how Linda's torn cruciate ligament changed her everyday life, what treatment steps followed and how the whole thing is related to her arthritis.
Alina : Hello, you two! Franzi – tell me: Who is sitting next to you and what makes the young lady special?
Franzi : This is my Dalmatian dog Linda - she came to us from animal welfare in the winter of 2018 when she was 16 months old. Unfortunately, she didn't have a rosy past: she was adopted by a family in Spain and abandoned.
Alina : Linda's osteoarthritis comes from an injury. How did the accident happen, what happened and, above all, how is this all related to osteoarthritis?
Franzi : It started with a limp - that can happen from time to time. After a rest period showed no improvement, I took Linda to the vet. Nothing could be found there: I was then sent home with medication and the suspicion of overexertion. However, after 3-4 weeks she started limping badly again. After the drawer test, a diagnostic method for detecting a torn cruciate ligament, was negative, we still had an X-ray test carried out - there was swelling in the knee area, which is why we were then referred to a surgeon who then took a closer look at Linda - and Ultimately it was a torn cruciate ligament. And to keep the whole thing short at this point: From there we went to the operating room within a few days.
Alina : Was the operation unavoidable? How did the whole thing go?
Franzi : After the diagnosis of “cruciate ligament tear” you always have the choice between the surgical and the conservative method. In order to avoid long-term consequences for Linda and to give her a better quality of life in the long term, we decided to surgically insert an implant. In the TTA method (see distinctions under II.), the front part of the shinbone is removed under general anesthesia and reattached with a spacer.
Alina : What are the costs of cruciate ligament surgery?
Franzi : The pure surgical costs were around 2,000 euros. If we take all the costs into account, from diagnosis to aftercare, including swimming therapy, we came to around 2,600 euros.
Alina : And how did Linda survive the operation and the anesthesia? How did you both feel after the procedure?
Franzi : Luckily everything went very well - Linda had an operation in the morning and we were able to pick her up again in the evening. She tolerated the anesthesia well - but the sight after the operation was devastating: her leg was shaved, she had a neck brace on, she was completely off track and barely recognizable. As a dog owner, you just have to keep reminding yourself that this is completely normal after such an operation and that this time will soon be over.
Alina : That probably wasn't easy for you to watch. How did you try to make Linda's time after the operation as pleasant as possible?
Franzi : My friend and I built a mesh box and made a nice cave out of it for her so that she can feel safe. It is also important to stay calm yourself and to suggest to her the security that she needs at the moment - even if things may look completely different inside.
Alina : What tips do you have for everyday life after cruciate ligament surgery?
Franzi : The swimming therapy was very good for Linda - that's a really big tip from me: perfect for joint-friendly and relaxing muscle building and general utilization after cruciate ligament surgery. Of course, we made her everyday life as movement-friendly as possible, for example by covering all wooden floors with painter's fleece for better grip and by lifting or carrying her even on small elevations.
Alina : As a dog owner, how do you know when it's time to let your pet run or jump for longer?
Franzi : Your doctor will give you an individually tailored exercise plan for your dog following the cruciate ligament operation. This contains all the necessary information from week to week about exercise duration and intensity. This information depends, among other things, on height, weight, age, previous history and type of procedure. In principle, however, it is said that dogs can move freely again in a controlled manner approximately six weeks after cruciate ligament surgery.
Alina : Let me know – did Linda recover well from the operation? How did you experience this time?
Franzi : In any case – fortunately Linda recovered very well. Nevertheless, this time was nerve-wracking and emotional. The process definitely does something to you.
Alina : I believe you immediately. Let me summarize: How is the whole thing related to Linda's osteoarthritis?
Franzi : Dogs that suffer a torn cruciate ligament are significantly more likely to develop osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, this was also confirmed in December last year: Linda was diagnosed with osteoarthritis.
Alina : In what time frame after the operation did the osteoarthritis develop?
Franzi : That one Cruciate ligament surgery took place in September 2021. After the six weeks of recovery and during the follow-up check, everything was great - but between the holidays in 2022, Linda started limping again. The examination then revealed that she had an acute joint effusion and the x-ray showed that osteoarthritis had also developed.
Alina : How have you supported Linda since her cruciate ligament surgery?
Franzi : After a cruciate ligament tear, people often talk about a “one-way street to arthrosis” - and what’s more, arthrosis doesn’t go away, but rather stagnates at best. In addition to careful handling, e.g. warming up, I recommend additional physiotherapy with exercises, massages or swimming therapy. I also support them with food: in the morning we have ours Premium salmon oil as well Green-lipped mussel powder on top and also our joint tablets every now and then “Joy of playing”.
Alina : Thank you so much for sharing your story with us today. I have one very, very important question for you: How many points does Linda have now?
Franzi : I've REALLY tried to count them several times. Once I even tried to mark the points - impossible. We will never know! (laughs)
Treatment after cruciate ligament rupture – surgical vs. conservative method
TTA: The term "Tibial Tuberosity Advancement" describes a change in the front area of the shinbone - the TTA operation in dogs is therefore a bone operation that is carried out under general anesthesia.
TPLO: A TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) is a surgical technique performed on dogs to treat a cruciate ligament injury in the knee. The surgery involves cutting and retwisting the tibial plateau to change the angle between the tibia and femur to correct the stability problem.
Lateral suturing: This technique involves applying stitches to support and stabilize the damaged cruciate ligament.
Extra-articular techniques: These techniques include procedures such as the use of screws, plates, or rods to support the damaged ACL.
Conservative method: The conservative method refers to the treatment of cruciate ligament injuries without surgical intervention. This method can be used in certain cases, such as older animals or minor injuries that do not involve complete rupture of the cruciate ligament. The conservative method often involves the use of pain medications, physical therapy, and weight control to reduce pain and inflammation and restore mobility to the affected leg. A brace or splint may also be used to support and stabilize the knee.
It is important to note that each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages and a suitable method depending on the Type and degree of injury as well as that Health status of your animal must be selected. A thorough inspection is ensured by an experienced veterinarian.
Recognize osteoarthritis early: symptoms and signs
There are some signs that you can use to identify possible joint problems in your dog - such as osteoarthritis - early on. This Symptoms include, among others:
- (Continued) protective posture
- Problems getting up after lying down for a long time
- Hobbling, limping and increased stumbling
- Reduced urge to move
- Stiff gait or altered walking (“robot gait”)
- Pain reaction (e.g. trembling, whimpering) when touched
In addition, there are many other indications that your loved one may be under Joint problems suffers, such as a hunched back or hesitation before climbing stairs or jumping in your trunk. The rule here is to keep your eyes open and keep an eye on physical signals - because you know your animal best.