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Cranial Cruciate Ligament Part 2 - Repair

There are three different surgical techniques commonly used to repair ruptured Cranial Cruciate Ligaments. The Extracapsular Repair, TPLO and TTA. Your veterinarian can advise you on which would be the best procedure for your pet.

Extracapsular Repair
In this procedure a strong nylon line is placed to hold the stifle in place. The suture will eventually break, but by that time the dog has formed scar tissue enough to hold the knee in place without the extra support of the line. During the surgery the knee joint is opened and inspected and the torn cruiciate ligament removed. After the procedure your dog will require at least 12 to 16 weeks of restricted exercise and rehabilitation. This procedure is typically considered in small to medium sized dogs or geriatric/older patients.

TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy)
In this procedure the biomechanics of the joint are changed. The knee joint is again opened and the damaged meniscus and cruciate ligament inspected and removed as needed. Then a section of the tibia bone is cut and rotated to change the angle of the joint and create greater stabilization. Special metal hardware is placed to hold everything in place. Typically these dogs are toe-touching by 10 days post surgery, but again restricted activity and rehabilitation exercises are required for12 to 16 weeks. Most patients are back to normal activity 6 months after surgery. This procedure is typically considered in young, very active and large breed dogs.

TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement)
Similar to the TPLO, in this surgery the tibial crest where the patellar ligament attaches is cut and repositioned using titanium implants and bone grafts to stabilize the new angle. The recovery is similar to that of the TPLO and it is also recommended for young, large and very active dogs. Which of these two surgeries is better? Whichever one your surgeon is more comfortable performing. Studies have shown that the results at one year post-operative seem to be the same regardless of which procedure is performed.
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How can a MUTT help

How can a MUTT help you solve your dogs behaviour issues and training mishaps??

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This is a brainstorming MUTT and it stands for:

Manage

Set them up for success right from the start. Puppy-proof your home and yard, this means putting shoes and belongings out of puppies-reach and providing acceptable chewing toys.

When it comes to behavioural issues, try your best to manage the situation. What can you change right now that might make a difference in a given situation? Chewing on precious belongings? Put them out of reach. Peeing in the house? Make sure they have frequent trips to the yard(especially after napping or keep them in a puppy enclosure (see http://www.dogstardaily.com/files/Housetraining_3.pdf for useful tips) Jumping up on guests? Keep on leash when guests arrive to more easily interrupt the behaviour. This way guests can be free to say 'hello' once your pup is calmly sitting next to you.

Underlying

Brainstorm! Think about what is causing the problem… and change it. What is the underlying issue? Does your dog get a nice long walk everyday? Many dog trainers and behaviourists say "the only good dog, is a tired dog!". Please keep in mind appropriate exercise depending on your dogs age. Puppies under the age of one year should not be going for long runs.

Dogs who are under-exercised tend to build up a lot of energy and need to release it! A good long walk can prevent boredom-induced bad behaviours. A well-exercised dog will spend most of their indoor-time resting peacefully. It may be worth your while to invest in a dog-walker.

Spaying the girls and neutering the boys can greatly reduce unwelome advances, unwanted aggression and potentially harmful wandering.

Training

Training will ideally have been started right from day one. However, this can be implemented at any point and as long as you are consistent, a dog of any age CAN and WILL learn.

If bad behaviours can be learned, they can be unlearned too! Through exercise, positive reinforcement, and seeking help where necessary, behaviours can be re-directed.

Please check the following websites,

for excellent reading tips and weekly trainer write-ups see www.dogstardaily.com;

for helpful, straight-forward training videos see www.dogmantics.com;

and for local training classes see www.campbellriverdogfanciers.com/.

Time

Perseverance, patience, and time will be necessary to accomplish any goals that you have for your dog. You will likely be surprised at how little time it can take to teach your pup SIT, DOWN, and STAY.

(see http://www.dogstardaily.com/files/Come-Sit-Down-Stay.pdf)

Unwanted behaviours and bad habits are learned over a period of time. Dogs will eventually discover that they can get away with certain things if they are lacking boundaries and rules. These developed issues need to be UNlearned. Try not to expect results overnight, but over time and with consistency, they can be redirected and resolved!

Need more help or suggestions? Please don't hesitate to call us!

Written By:

Laura McCredie

Photo credit: "Henry"