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Generally, if the dog weighs 45 pounds or Saucony Hiking Shoes

more, Smith encourages TPLO.

Bodie had the TPLO procedure done. I'll write more on post operative care and how we managed to pay for everything on the Mostly Dogs blog this week and in print Nov. 19. But the operation went well. In fact, it almost went too well, in that he desperately wanted to join our other dogs for walks within about three weeks, despite needing to be confined with limited activity for twice that length of time so the bone could heal. Now it's been nine weeks, and he's practically back to normal with just a slight gimp.

I was sitting under a juniper tree in the desert reading when our 95 pound dog Bodie approached, limping. I knew immediately it was an ACL injury by the way the lower part of his back right leg was dangling and he couldn't put pressure on it.

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The problem with doing extracapsular repair on big, active dogs is that sometimes it must be done two or three times.

Because of the cost, many dog owners will consider no treatment at all.

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The TPLO procedure is complicated, but the gist is that the tibia, or shin bone, is cut and partly rotated, making the need for the anterior ligament unnecessary. A metal plate held in place with screws is used to help the bone heal in the right position.

Why more knee injuries

This leads to more knee injuries because large dogs put more strain on their knees.

knee going out.

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"About half of these dogs will tear one knee and then just because of their size most are hard driving, hard running dogs many will also have a tear in the Reebok Classic Shoes For Men

Smith, who has been with Klaich Animal Hospital on South Virginia Street since 1975, gives a simple answer to the question of why dogs have more knee injuries these days: People have bigger dogs now.

How TPLO works

He was among the first dozen vets trained by the Oregon based Slocum Enterprises, which originally patented the surgical technique.

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The metal plate is what can make TPLO a better option for large dogs.

"With a lot of the dogs who had extracapsular repair, the dogs were too active and could overcome that means of stabilization," Smith said. "It simply doesn't hold up in certain dogs."

"The dogs' hearts are bigger than their brains," Smith said. "They like to play and roughhouse, but with the TPLO, we don't have to worry as much."

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Dogs are resilient and can seem to return to normal, or at least adjust to using three legs. The knee no longer functions like normal, though, and the abnormal forces put upon it will lead to a break down in cartilage.

´╗┐Surgery awaits when big dogs blow out knees

The ligament tears can be sudden, as can happen during a burst of athletic activity. With large dogs, the tears are often slow and chronic, a bit like the fraying of an old cotton rope, said Reno veterinarian William J. Smith. by nearly five to one."

other knee," Smith said, citing estimates of about 40 percent for the likelihood of the other Reebok Suede Black

"Twenty years ago in a large practice like ours, 75 percent of the dogs were small," he said. "The pendulum has swung 180 degrees. Now it's 75 percent larger dogs."

At this point, Smith said, degenerative joint disease or osteoartritis sets in and the joint loses normal functionality. This can be painful and cannot be repaired.

ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament, and it's one of the stabilizing ligaments in the knee. Human athletes are Saucony Camo prone to ACL injuries and so are dogs, especially big dogs.

Bodie's fate

There are basically two procedures to repair the torn knee ligament: extracapsular repair, which costs $1,300 to $1,500 and can be the preferred choice for dogs under 30 pounds, and tibial plateau leveling osteotomy or TPLO, which costs between $2,600 and $3,000 and is preferred for large dogs. Smith does about 100 TPLO procedures each year.

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