Choosing Conservative Management Bracing Over Surgery for a CCL Injury. Making Informed Decisions As Pet Parents.
One of my worst nightmares of owning a large breed dog finally came true a couple years ago. Duck, my Great Dane mix, was diagnosed with a Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) injury.
We took Duck to our licensed veterinarian after noticing him “bunny hopping” or limping for several days. After performing a drawer test and radiographs, they confirmed that he had torn his CCL. The veterinarian was able to see some fluid buildup around the joint, but really knew by just examining and maneuvering his knee. They started him off with Rovera (Carprofen) and recommended surgery, but we wanted to wait and see if he would improve with conservative management. Duck was able to put some weight on the leg, but he was losing muscle mass and not improving how we had hoped.
After a few weeks, we decided to do a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO). Going into the surgery we knew that the recovery was going to be long and hard, but since Duck was young, we thought that it was our best option. The recovery was much more traumatic than we originally had thought, and he was unable to do the things he loved with our family for over three months. When Duck was diagnosed with a second CCL tear, we knew that we wanted to try everything possible before taking him in for another surgery.
My husband and I looked online for days before we found Balto USA. Balto USA was recommended to us on our Canine Cruciate Stories – A Conservative Management (CM) Support Group and where we found the Balto Jump – Knee Brace.
The Balto Jump has truly been the change we needed. After just a couple weeks of wearing the brace, we noticed that Duck was able to get back to doing the things he loved without having to put him through an extensive and expensive surgery and recovery. As he healed, we were able to remove the two aluminum splints from the brace and use it as a compression brace.
We are so grateful that the Balto USA and the Balto Jump exist. This brace has significantly improved not only Duck, but our entire family’s quality of life. We hope through sharing our experience, not once, but twice, that other pet parents can make informed decisions about their pet’s care.