I have an eleven-year-old Chow mix, male. He turned up lame on Monday and a trip to the vet and $300 later it seems he has a badly torn ligament in his right rear leg. No idea how it happened. He's pretty much a couch potato and only goes out into a fenced yard to do his business.
Anyway, he's on pain meds and bed rest for two weeks. If that doesn't work, the vet is talking surgery, in the range of $2,000. What's the prognosis for an old dog with such surgery? He's otherwise in good health.
Dick Evans
my 15 year old dog had to have her uterus out and she never really recovered from the surgery. i believe it was the unwise thing to do. she would have had a more peaceful (rather than painful) death without the surgery.
Also Mac had to lose three lbs before the surgery. He weighed 18 at his best weight and because I tend to feed too much he had to lose that before the surgery.

That's Bruno's problem. He's pretty sedate, so running and jumping isn't a problem, but at 75 pounds he's 15-20 pounds overweight.

Dick
I have an eleven-year-old Chow mix, male. He turned up lame on Monday and a trip to the vet and ... in the range of $2,000. What's the prognosis for an old dog with such surgery? He's otherwise in good health.[/nq]So much depends upon the individual dog. That your dog isn't normally active makes recovery easier (on him), but slowere because he's likely not in good condition. If he is thin his prognosis is better than if he is heavy. If he has a "take things asa they come" attitude he will do better than a worrier. I know several dogs that have had surgery at 13 and went on for another 3-4 years, yes even large dogs. But naturally surgery is harder on an older dog.

I would recommend two things (1) consult with a veterinary acupuncturist - sometimes you can get good pain control even if you can't repair the damage. (2) get a second opinion. This is not an insult to your current vet, and it doesn't mean you don't trust your vet. But any two people who can actually put hands on your dog are going to have a better basis for offering guidence than any dozen people writing on-line.

Diane Blackman
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I have an eleven-year-old Chow mix, male. He turned up lame on Monday and a trip to the vet and ... in the range of $2,000. What's the prognosis for an old dog with such surgery? He's otherwise in good health.

Update from the vet. On Monday she was referring to this as an injury, now she's calling it a disease: CrCL (cruciate ligament disease, cranial). The literature she gave me is not encouraging. It says that only 20% of dogs having surgery ever recover use of the leg and in 20% - 40% of the cases additional degenerative damage occurs within 18 months. I'm guessing those figures are based on dogs generally younger and in better shape than mine.
Unless I'm misreading something, he's not going to get better, expensive surgery is not likely to help, and he's going to get progressively worse.
Also, she recommended limiting his food to two cups per day to lose weight. I checked the scoop that I use to feed him and it is only one cup and I only give him one scoop per day, so the prospects for losing weight are not rosy either.
Dick