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Current Replies for Finding Help for Surgery Cost-Surgery Alternatives
9/25/2008 8:24:35 AM
Posts: 112
I got a call last night from a lady who's dog needs TPLO surgery. They had paid to have the first knee done, which had been very hard financially on them. But now the other knee has torn. They were told at the time of surgery this would probably happen, but they thought they would have longer times between surgeries to be able to save up for the 2nd surgery. She was very sadly willing to place the dog in order to help her, but I know this dog is in a very loving home and happy. It would be a shame to split them up.

Are there foundations out there that she could apply to for a grant? Any other ideas?

The second part of my question is specific to the TPLO surgery. They are being told that the cheaper surgery in which they basically stabalize the knee with strong surgical sutures probably wouldn't work because this dog is 90lbs. I have personally known several very active, large dogs have this surgery done with success. And it's only several hundred dollars (which this person can afford) vs. thousands. Anyone have experience with this surgery?

Looking forward to your comments and ideas! Thanks
9/25/2008 6:15:35 PM
Posts: 25
There is a credit service called "Care Credit" which offers loans for medical services including veterinary care.

Also, many specialty vets will offer a payment plan, such as 90 days. Although that is not a lot of time, it does give an option to finding the funding. I had a dog require orthopedic surgery last year and the vet suggested "Care Credit" but also offer me the 90 day payment plan.

I also found this on the net, The American Animal Health Assoc. offers grants

If you do a search for "emergency veterinary funds" you may find other sources.

Good luck to them,

Andrea Erickson
Kivalina....Quality Siberian Huskies and Polish Lowland Sheepdogs
Kivalina Website Design

You don't need eyes to see ... you need vision
9/25/2008 6:22:58 PM
Posts: 97 (or org) has emergency funds and if a Golden Retriever they have emrgency funds available. Although the dog may be in pain the surgery is not an emergency so time can be bought with restricted activites, weight loss and Adequan shots.
9/26/2008 10:44:03 AM
Posts: 112
Thanks for the suggestions. I did talk to this couple about CareCredit and they have credit issues from previous marriages so they don't qualify. But, I will pass along the other ideas. I was considering doing an eBay thing for them. Any ideas here? I haven't come up with anything that might interest dog people in general. I know about anyone can say the need money so I would want to do it in a way that it could be verified as legit. Has anyone done that and could pass along your knowledge? Any other ideas? I was thinking about trying to organize a dog community garage sale but it may be too late in the year to get that done. Keep the ideas coming! Thanks!
9/28/2008 6:15:59 AM
Posts: 1904
I have a list of options, but it is specific to Colorado.

One suggestion do have, is for whatever state they are in, find the local and post in the PETS section seeking information on low cost options or organizations that help with payments.

DO NOT post about the specific surgery and that they are seeking help with payments or the posting will be flagged off. It is viewed as begging for money and not allowed.

I found the list i have for Colorado, on Craigslist, as someone had posted it in response to such a request.

Dunno...but it might help!

Serena Galloway
IGCA rescue Colorado

No Part of this msg may be forwarded without the author's permission
9/28/2008 12:50:10 PM
Posts: 112
Thanks you guys. I will let you know what ends up happening. I talked to my vet and she even mentioned amputation as opposed to euthanizing the dog as a last resort option. She said that she has several large dogs with three legs in her practice and they do well. However, there is the concern with the other leg already weakened (perhaps) because of the TPLO surgery. I know that sounds extreme but better than putting the dog to sleep. Again, give me your thoughts! I am going to call the owners on Tuesday evening and discuss the options available. I like the Craig's list idea too...I will look into that also!
10/4/2008 6:03:25 AM
Posts: 137
Just a note.. the other less expensive surgery IS A OPTION..
TPLO is a great procedure.. and in some cases may be the best option.. but lots of dogs have had extra capusular method before the TPLO was developed..
so have them ask..the surgon..
if they did the other procedure and it did not work as well if they could not do the TPLO later??

Or because the other knee has had a TPLO perhaps the less expensive extra capsular method would perhaps provide enough stablization and good use of leg?

GEEZE this fustrates the crap out of me. I work at a vet and the lack of other options.. is crazy.. if they cannot afford the TPLO then they need to be offered other options..I love my pets.. and yes try to budget.. but you are talking about one option costing $2000+ and one under $1500.. so I don't think the owner is being cheep in wanting other most cases.. granted they may not be as ideal.. but a owner does have the choice and can take the resposiblity to decide what they can do pros and cons if both procedures.. .. and make the final decision as to what is best.. or what they can afford..

No offence if they are thinking about AMPUTATION.. then WHY NOT TRY the other procedure????? it is their choice...

Lots of dogs have had the extra capsular method and yes are doing fine..some it has not worked.. and caused more problems..
it is not perfect... but some surgical repair Vs waiting till the leg becomes so cronic that no surgery is going to return the leg to function should be what the vets should be considering.. Vs only offering the newest and best out there.. some times just because you can do something does not mean that it is the only option...

The big thing with cruciates.. reguardless of surgical method used.. is the longer one waits the less likely there will be a positive outcome.. it seems and they should talk to the vet about this.. that doing some surgery early on has more of a chance for positive outome.. vs waiting to save up.. or try medical treatment and waiting...

Just my 2 cents worth..
10/8/2008 11:26:23 AM
Posts: 112
Thanks for your two cents and everyone elses! I agree, I have been a bit frustrated with their vet. I don't think he's very "up" on things. He knows what he knows and that's it. He wanted me to send him proof of the early spay/neuters being a risk factor for torn CCLs etc... I did it but I thought that he should be doing the research himself! But, I would do anything to help this pup.

The owners are considering the cheaper surgery now. I hope they decide to do that, and soon! They are kicking around the idea of making a fund raiser just for Sybil. Maybe like a t-shirt sale with her picture on it etc. I will keep you all posted!