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Surgery or rest for CCL tear.

Species: Dog
Breed: butterfly
Age: 2-5 years
Dear Dr. Marie,
My dog often limping recently and i've brought her to see a vet in those two days. He said her tendon of the right back leg is broken. We're now giving her some pills about diminish inflammation and joint. The vet said we could arrange a surgery for her or just do a conservative treatment. I don't know which is is better for her and will my dog recover better if we choose the surgery?
Thank you!
Shirley


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is a tough question to answer without knowing exactly what injury Ting Ting has.

I am assuming, however, that what you are asking about is a torn cranial cruciate ligament. This is the ligament in the knee of the dog and is the same thing as an ACL tear.

In small dogs we will often give people the choice of surgery vs rest to repair a torn acl. (For large dogs, rest just doesn't work well.)

However, given the choice, in my opinion, surgery is almost always the best option. We know that some small dogs who don't have surgery will end up making enough scar tissue to have a relatively normal joint. But, not all dogs do. These days with the surgical techniques we have, Ting Ting would have a much better chance at a full recovery with having surgery.

When I have a case like this, usually what I do is put the dog on some anti-inflammatory medication for a few weeks and gauge the response. Sometimes what we think is a CCL tear is just a partial tear and if a dog is mostly back to normal in a few weeks then there is no need for surgery. But, if there has not been much improvement then surgery is the best bet.

I hope all goes well!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.