Home FamilyPets Torn Cruciate Ligament in Dogs – Price, Procedure, Recovery

Torn Cruciate Ligament in Dogs – Price, Procedure, Recovery

by TerriAnn
Speckles Dog Torn CCL Ligament Post Surgery

A few months ago I wrote about the terrible scare we had with our dog, Speckles. Thanks to a very kind relative, we were able to bring her in for the surgery she so desperately needed. She stayed overnight and we picked her up the next day. It turns out that she had a torn cruciate ligament (CCL), a surprisingly common injury in dogs.

Speckles Dog Torn Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Post Surgery

Torn Cruciate Ligament Surgery – Price & Procedure

Based on what the doctor told us and my research, this is a short summary of the issue. This cruciate ligament (an ACL in humans) prevents the stifle (knee) joint from shifting back and forth (it should only bend). When the ligament is fully torn, surgery must be performed or the dog cannot use their leg much without severe pain and a whole slew of other problems will soon arise.

We were so mad at ourselves for not getting pet insurance before, despite our better judgement. It would have covered 90% of the costs! $4300 – yeouch! The $20/mo. for insurance would have been WELL worth it!

Speckles Dog Torn Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Post Surgery

After being brought into the exam room, Speckles was so ecstatic to see us and extremely anxious to get home. It was tough to get a good picture of her. Everything went well except for the sad, sad haircut she got. I really have no idea why they shaved her like that when it was just a surgery on her leg…

Speckles Dog Torn Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Post Surgery

Torn Cruciate Ligament Surgery – Recovery

For eight weeks she could have minimal exercise (meaning short walks just to go to the bathroom). This was the most crucial time and would set the stage for proper healing. With Speckles still being only two years old, she’s still very much a puppy. It was hard keeping her from being too busy or running around the house. The sedatives they gave us were WAY too powerful for her as 1/2 a pill knocked her out completely. The couple times did we need to calm her down, though, we only gave her only 1/4 of a pill which worked just fine.

Another problem that came up was that she was always cold. Using a small blanket, a piece of fleece, and several safety pins, I put a make-shift doggie snuggie on her. She wore that most of the time for the first couple weeks and even slept with it. It must have come off one night because I woke up to her at the foot of our bed shaking and crying. Poor sweetie 🙁

Eight weeks passed and we returned to the pet hospital for a new set of x-rays. The doctor gave us the thumbs up. She said we could increase her activity slowly with longer walks and she should be fully healed in four more weeks! Yay! Recently, we even saw her stand up on her hind legs for a treat – something we haven’t seen for a while, if ever!

Speckles Dog Torn Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Post Surgery

Pretty soon Speckles will be able to run, jump, and be a normal happy pup again. We can’t wait, especially my daughter. It’s been such a challenge for her not to rile Speckles up. They’ve become so close that it’s like watching sisters playing, hugging, and irritating each other.

We’re counting down the weeks to when we can all head to the ocean together for some crazy family fun! Well, not too much fun since we don’t want Speckles tearing the CCL in her other leg any time soon (there’s a high percentage that she will at some point though *sigh*). Whew, dogs are amazing but they sure can be expensive! This is especially true since she tore the other ligament soon after recovery from this surgery.

You may also like


Leilani February 25, 2013 - 7:43 am

Aww, poor Speckles. At least she’ll be back to normal soon. I know how it is when pets are sick. We spent over 2 grand when Bella was sick a couple years back. My husband and I both agreed that we would rather put ourselves further in debt than to risk losing our dog over something that could’ve been prevented.

TerriAnn van Gosliga March 11, 2013 - 7:18 pm

I hope your Bella has been well since-dogs really are special, aren’t they. After this incident, we decided to get pet insurance. That’s why I have that Trupanion ad on the side – it was really the best option when I compared insurance. Speckles is doing well but it’s hard for me to worry that she’s get hurt again…

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell February 25, 2013 - 1:40 pm

Kind relative indeed. That is such good news!

TerriAnn van Gosliga March 11, 2013 - 7:16 pm

It was my mom. Aww, moms are the best!

Courtney February 25, 2013 - 7:54 pm

So glad she’s recovering.. poor baby!

TerriAnn van Gosliga March 11, 2013 - 7:15 pm

Thank you – it was so sad to see such a young pup, full of life with a limp leg 🙁

Lisa Ladrido February 26, 2013 - 8:42 am

I am glad she is getting better! That must have been an ordeal for all of you including her!

TerriAnn van Gosliga March 11, 2013 - 7:14 pm

Now we’re just so thankful my mom helped us. We like our pup so much and, with her new leg, she’s more loveable than ever.

Henrietta February 27, 2013 - 10:21 am

I’m so glad to hear that the surgery went well! She looks like such a sweetheart! That is some haircut she received!

TerriAnn van Gosliga March 11, 2013 - 7:11 pm

And it’s still growing back! She still has one patch that is practically bald though. Now I’m just nervous about letting her run and play freely in case the other leg goes…

trisha February 28, 2013 - 12:23 pm

aww, i hope she feels better soon!


TerriAnn van Gosliga March 11, 2013 - 7:07 pm

Thanks – she’s been quite spunky lately and running around like crazy 😛

Joanne February 28, 2013 - 1:17 pm

aaawwww!!!! I hope she feels better soon!!

TerriAnn van Gosliga March 11, 2013 - 7:07 pm

Thank you – it’s going very well!

Carolyn G February 28, 2013 - 1:42 pm

OMG!! Poor puppy. I hope he is better soon.

TerriAnn van Gosliga March 11, 2013 - 7:07 pm

Thank you. She’s doing much better!

Lorie Shewbridge March 1, 2013 - 12:02 pm

How absolutely fabulous that Speckles is doing so well.
I’m so happy that you were able to get the surgery he needed and that he is now able to be an active puppy once again.
I love puppy stories with a happy ending. <3

TerriAnn van Gosliga March 11, 2013 - 4:50 pm

Oh, she’s such a happy pup now. My daughter has been doting on her and appreciates her even more now. I hope she’ll be able to live out a long, happy life from here on out!

Rob March 1, 2013 - 12:37 pm

Blad to see she is getting better. We have two dogs with no insurance for them and I am now thinking maybe I need to look into it just in case.

TerriAnn van Gosliga March 11, 2013 - 4:49 pm

We really like Trupanion, and they just added Hip Dysplasia as part of the core package in most states (not mine,unfortunately). Feel free to click my affiliate link on the side bar there if you do decide to sign up 🙂

Ryan March 7, 2013 - 12:56 pm

Glad to hear Speckles is doing well! Just a comment about dogs being prone to tearing their CCL’s a second time/tearing the other CCL. There are companies that make ACL/CCL braces that can lessen that chance. I ordered one from WoundWear. It can be used as conservative management for healing their CCL but it can also act as a support for your dog’s leg. They can still be mobile, but by being more controlled they’re less likely to over-do-it and re-injure themselves. 🙂

TerriAnn van Gosliga March 11, 2013 - 3:25 pm

I’ll have to look into those – thanks for the suggestions and I wish you the best with your furry kid. Speckles is on the tail end of recovery but it’s hard not to worry about the other one. I find myself constantly keeping an eye on how she walks. It’s so difficult, though, because she’s EXTREMELY bow-legged 😛

Jeri March 18, 2013 - 7:32 pm

I am so happy Speckles is doing well!!! :o) I’m late to the comment party but so glad to see her up and about!!

Erillyn May 20, 2013 - 2:23 pm

I was looking for xray images for a presentation I am doing in class on torn CCl’s (i’m a vet tech) and first I wanted to let you know I am using the image with Speckles xray image. Of course I will credit (in APA style format) to your website!
Another thing I wanted to add to your comment page is about why they shaved her like that. The reason why they shaved her like that is to keep a sterile field. even though it was just on her knee, a whole ‘sock’ looking thing is placed around the leg to keep the surgical floor clean of, well, blood. Regardless the whole leg needs to be aseptically cleaned because the vet needs to move her knee around during the surgery and it is difficult to do that if only a small portion of the leg is free of hair.
Sorry if all of that was pointless and someone had already told ya! I just like being about to explain things 🙂 Glad to know Speckles is doing well too!

Comments are closed.