ACL/CCL surgery...costs, options...please help

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.


Big trouble- comes in small- packages
Purred: Fri Apr 27, '07 3:14pm PST 
Hi guys,
Well I have been diagnosed with a torn CCL (that's the kitty word for ACL), and have been limping for a few days now. What a terrible way to spend your second birthday. I was wondering if anyone else had this happen?? If so, did you have surgery? How much does it cost? My mom is very concerned. The vet gave me Metacam and prescribed "rest", but it says NOT FOR CATS on the label, so I really don't want to take it and I certainly don't want to rest. I am only two years old and want to run around and play!


Purred: Fri Apr 27, '07 3:24pm PST 
Poor Cosmo! I don't know any kitties that have torn ACLs, but mom actually has multiple ACL tears - she has actually one right now - she'll have surgery in June once she's done with all her schooling and mom knows a dog that has had the surgery 2x - mom has a cadaver ligament, but the dog she knows basicly had bungee cords put in - basicly b/c humans live alot longer than dogs. She doesn't know how much it costs, but the surgery is definately worth it - knee instablity is no fun!

I know rest is very hard when you just want to run around and play, but this type of injury if not taken care of will get worse - your knee will be come more and more unstable and any type of leg movement will be painful. And your knee needs to rest to recover from the original injury and to prevent further injury. Mom has to wear a brace most of the time, but I'm not sure how a kitty will handle that !

You should ask your vet about your questions - ask him why the bottle says "no cats" and how much the procedures are expected to be - he should be open with you about it.

Edited by author Fri Apr 27, '07 3:28pm PST


Abby Angel- at Rainbow- Bridge

Guardian- Angel
Purred: Sat Apr 28, '07 9:05am PST 
Purrs Cosmo. So sorry about the CCL. Please ask your mom to be cautious and ask your vet more questions about Metacam before using it. Only the injectable form of Metacam is approved for use on cats in the US, not the oral form, although that doesn't mean vets can't prescribe it and they do prescribe the oral form because it is helpful for pain relief for cats, but giving it orally has risks for cats that your mom should know about before giving it to you. Please read all of this article in the link and the other links:

Common uses of Metacam in Cats

Metacam is commonly used in cats for two cases: a) Metacam Solution for Injection (or simply "Metacam Injection") is used to provide post-operative relief of pain and inflammation for up to 24 hours following procedures such as dentistry, spaying and neutering. Vets often prescribe a few daily follow-up doses of Metacam Oral for continued pain relief, although this is not an FDA approved use.(b) Metacam Oral Suspension (or simply "Metacam Oral") is often prescribed to relieve arthritis pain in cats. Although this is also not an FDA approved use, it is known to be effective, albeit with some risk.

Low Safety Margin = Higher Risks

According to the manufacturer�s product sheet1, Metacam has a narrow margin of safety (also known as therapeutic index) in cats, meaning that there is very little difference between a safe, effective dose and a toxic dose. Repeated doses of Metacam Oral in cats have been known to result in death, as documented in the clinical tests3submitted to the FDA.The narrow safety margin in cats is reflected in the FDA�s Adverse Drug Experience (ADE) reports4for Metacam Oral, which summarize drug side effects reported by veterinarians. Of 842 reports for dogs, 19 cases of kidney failure and no deaths were reported. However in 320 cats, 105 cases of kidney failure, 48 deaths and 35 cases resulting in euthanasia have been reported. This clearly indicates that Metacam poses a much greater risk in cats than in dogs

http://www.persiancats.org/nss-folder/filefolder/MetacamRisk sInCats.pdf


http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.p lx?P=A&A=1752

http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/ivapm/professionals/ members/qow/Metacam.htm

http://www.felinecrf.org/causes_of_crf.ht m#toxins


Purred: Sat Apr 28, '07 9:19am PST 
My brother Elliot had a torn CCL in his back leg. He partially tore it and was put on Metacam and that seemed to help a lot. However it didn't heal and he ended up with it completely torn.

He had the CCL surgery and the surgery cost $500.00 (that included the CCL surgery along with teeth cleaning and all of the follow-up visits). He was in a cast for a week and was able to get around pretty good after the first day with the cast. He had pain medication and Metacam after the surgery for the first couple of days. He had to go back once after the cast was removed to put his stitches back in because he decided to remove the stitches himself.

He didn't completely heal because there was also some arthritis in his knee, but he isn't in any pain and only has a slight limp. He gets around pretty well and is able to run, play, and jump onto the furniture.

I would get the surgery soon, since the arthritis in Elliot's knee was probably caused by walking with the torn CCL. He had been to the vet a couple of times because of his limping, but by the time he was diagnosed with the torn CCL, he already had developed the arthritis from the bones rubbing against each other when he walked.


Lazy, Lazy, Lazy
Purred: Sat Apr 28, '07 9:29am PST 
Rocky, wow...$500 seems very inexpensive, especially with the added dental.

figure on spending, with pre-anesthetic bloodwork, surgical time, anesthesia, post op care, meds, etc. closer to $800-$1200 (depending on who performs the surgery and what part of the country you live in).

The use of Metacam in cats is hotly debated. Mom's practice does use the oral form of Metacam in cats. However, if you are worried about using this product, let your vet know. there are other alternatives and it's better you receive the pain meds than nothing at all.

I would agree that getting the surgery done sooner will save you pain and problems with that leg in the future. If you can't afford the surgery, look into getting some financial assistance here:


Hazel Lucy &- Purrsville- Cats

tiny gumdrop
Purred: Sat Apr 28, '07 9:39am PST 
I second what Hunter said, and here's the link:
Need Help With Vet Bills?