First time for everything - and today it was an cranial cruciate ligament tear in a 90-pound 5-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever.
She was the perfect candidate for the tear, and I had diagnosed her after seeing her for a mere 5 or 10 seconds in the lobby. She bounced towards me, completely non-weight bearing on her left hind leg. I asked her to sit for me like a good girl, and when she did she flipped that knee right out, refusing to put it where it belonged. Classic. I informed her that her daddy and I had a very expensive discussion to have, and invited him into the exam room.
She had all the right history, she was out hunting (her collar read "forever pheasants") on Friday, and she came up lame all of the sudden. She wanted to keep hunting. Dad kept her quiet for the weekend, but she just didn't spring back by this morning. Her knee was lax and swollen, but everything else about her looked great.
We took x-rays, I checked with my boss (the TPLO guy), and went in to deliver the damage to the poor owner. $200 for today's visit. ~$2000 to do the surgery here. ~$2800-3100 to do it at the U. He's gonna call me back to let me know where he wants to do the surgery - all he wants is for her to be able to hunt again.
I think they would both be devastated if she couldn't.