Things to consider when your dog has TPLO surgery;
(These points will apply to most orthopedic surgeries)
*Your dog (I am going to refer to her as she but she could be male as well) is not allowed to make any sudden movements while the bones are still healing, and this can take up to 8 weeks.
- This means that inside the house she is in a crate unless she is under direct supervision and you can stop her running and jumping at all times.
- The surfaces your dog walks on should be non-slip to stop her from sliding, and you should consider putting down rugs over laminate or tiles during the recovery period.
- Your dog is not allowed to play with other dogs, so if you have 2 dogs that play together you will have to keep them separate during the recovery period.
- She is also not allowed to run to the door to meet the postman or jump up at visitors.
* Outside your dog should be on the lead at all times.
- If she is likely to pull, even only for the first few minutes or if she sees another dog, you will need to stop this. We can provide you with a special collar (canine bridle) to help with this.
- It is a good idea to get a collar fitted before the operation and get your dog in the habit of not pulling.
- Dogs do not like the canine bridle but will get used to it certainly if they wear it every time they go out.
*Stairs and jumping into the car are not allowed during recovery.
- If you have trouble lifting your dog in to the car or using the stairs in and out the house, there are ramps and harnesses that you can use to help you. Please speak to Mirjam at K9 –rehab for advice.
Faye using a harness after her TPLO operation
Nina using her ramp
*To prevent your pet from putting on weight, after surgery, when she is not allowed to exercise we advise you to cut her food by a half.
- You can use carrots and other vegetables to bulk out her food.
* In the first 2 weeks after surgery make sure that your dog does not lick the wound as this can cause any stitches to loosen and the wound to open up. You will be given a buster collar to prevent your dog from doing so.
- If there is any oozing from the wound or the wound site becomes redder please contact us.
-If there is a sudden cry or yelp during the recovery please contact us.
- If at any time your dog puts less weight on her leg than before please contact us.
- Your dog should improve during recovery. If at any time their mobility becomes less or they become more painful we would like to see them back.
* Do not forget to relieve boredom, teach your dog new tricks: Give a paw, to find a hidden treat under one of 3 bowls etc. Any trick that does not involve sudden movement and keeps your dog mentally stimulated.
- Also make sure the crate is, if possible, in an area where the majority of family life takes part.
* Canine rehabilitation (Physiotherapy)
Just as a human has physio after a major orthopedic operation you can do the same for your pet. At K9-rehab I can help with pain control on top of the medication you have been given. I can also give you exercises for your dog to prevent muscle loss and guide you through the healing process. So please phone/text or email me for advice before or after the operation or make an appointment with the nurses to see me.
The first week you can use icepacks or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel. Use this on the top and underneath the knee while your dog is lying down, for 5 minutes at the time, 3 to 4 times a day. This is very effective against inflammation and helps to reduce pain.
If you take your dog out for the toilet make sure she walks very slowly. The slower your dog walks the more likely she is to put more weight on the affected leg and this will speed up healing.
You can start with taking her out 4-5 times a day for a few minutes. She is not allowed to pull on the lead as this will put the wrong pressure on the knee.
All the advice above can seem very daunting but remember that 3 months of careful management will give the best chance of good healing and gives your dog many good years ahead.
Please contact the practice for further information about what to do to give your dog the best recovery possible.