At Abbotts Way Veterinary Clinic we perform most surgical procedures. We are well equipped and have a dedicated surgical suite with full facilties. We perform a wide range of orthopaedic surgery including complicated fracture repair, triple pelvic osteotomy, cruciate surgery, OCD shoulder surgery, elbow dysplasia surgery, and luxating patella surgery.
We are now able to offer a procedure for levelling the tibial plateau which is indicated in most cruciate ruptures in medium to large breed dogs. We also undertake major soft tissue surgery on the chest and abdomen as well as removing large skin cancers where grafts and flaps may be involved. We also perform radiography for Hip and Elbow scores for the NZVA scheme.
Dr. Toomey is a member (by examination) of the Surgery Chapter of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists. He has 35 years of surgical experience which started in a Surgical Referral Practice in London. He has worked in Winnipeg, Canada in a small animal clinic and while there performed surgery on 2 Grizzly Bears for the Winnipeg Zoo. He was involved in the setting up of an Elbow Dysplasia testing program for NZ Bernese Mountain Dogs in 1990 and maintains a major interest in the breed.
In people it is often referred to as the ACL. In dogs we call it the Cranial Cruciate Ligament or CrCL. In people, rupture of the cruciate ligament is almost always caused by trauma. It is a common sporting injury. Rupture of the cruciate ligament in cats is often the result of significant trauma to the knee (stifle) joint and there is commonly concurrent injury to the menisci (cartilages) and the lateral and medial collateral ligaments.
In dogs we also see traumatic rupture but it is much more common for the cruciate ligament to slowly weaken over a period of time and to finally snap with very little force having been applied to it. As a result of research and work done by Barclay Slocum we now know that in the dog the slope of the tibial plateau is greater than desired. This causes stress on the cruciate ligament which weakens the ligament over a period of time. Slocum designed a surgical procedure to level the tibial plateau to 6 degrees. Many dogs have tibial slopes of 15 to 30 degrees and some have slopes of up to 45 degrees.
Further work done in Europe has suggested that the patellar ligament also needs to be at 90 degrees to the tibial plateau (in addition to having a slope of about 6 degrees). Dr. Warwick Bruce, a specialist surgeon working out of Sydney has combined both methods and designed a procedure called Triple Tibial Osteotomy.
Five years ago, David travelled to Brisbane to assist with one of these procedures. The specialist doing the procedure was Dr. Geoff Robins B.Vet.Med, FACVSc. Since then he has performed over fifty of these surgeries at Abbotts Way with excellent results.
For younger large breed dogs we feel that some form (there are at least 4 versions) of tibial plateau levelling is the procedure of choice. For smaller dogs and for older dogs with advanced osteoarthritis we may still advise the extracapsular repair that we have been doing for many years. The advantages of tibial plateau levelling are a much better functional knee joint and less osteoarthritis develops than after the extracapsular repair.
If you have any questions regarding cruciate ligament surgery in the dog then please contact Dr David Toomey , firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out our Facebook Page to see photos of Milo the chocolate labrador having her TTO surgery.