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Recovering from TPLO Surgery

Updated on April 2, 2015

My dog Biscuit has recently underwent surgery to repair his torn ACL Joint.

With this event fresh in my mind, I am creating this lens to help others who are probably scouring the net for information like I did. I want to focus on recovery and not so much on the surgery itself.

Getting financially prepared.

One of the first things people inquire about is the cost of surgery. From my research, I have seen prices ranging from $1,400 to $8,000 +. We paid $1,600 for the surgery itself. This does not including the $300 initial vet visit when we were diagnosed, the consultation with the surgeon, and the two follow up visits. So we are looking at about $2,300 all together. I can't prove it, but I am pretty sure my wife was willing to sell one of my kidneys to pay for it!

Things to consider.

To prepare for biscuits recovery we started by eliminating anything that might cause him to make a sudden movement or jump. Unhooking the doorbell was number one priority for us. We also alerted family and friends because he tends to get a little wild when they visit us. If you have slick floors, I would recommend placing nonskid floor mats. Your dog will need to be confined for a long time and for this we used a Petmate petporter aka. our coffee table. If your dog is prone to licking, you may also need an ecollar. He will have open season on his incision, so make sure you get a collar that is long enough.

There is no way! - Eight weeks of confinement , My dog will drive me crazy.

When we found out from our surgeon that biscuit will need to be crated for eight weeks with the occasional potty break, my first thought was are you nuts! Biscuit is a high strung , high energy, frisbee playing fool. He will stand in his crate and bark night and day until we let him out. As it turns out I was wrong. Dogs adapt very well to their new situation and Biscuit has been a champ. However, we do let him lay down on his dog bed while we are beside him. He is always on a short leash and is never lose. Some dogs with calm personalities may be ok without a leash, but for us better safe than sorry.

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What to expect.

My wife took about ten days off of work to take care of biscuit after his surgery. This is probably not practical for most, but if you can be there the first couple of days I would recommend it. Biscuit was given Tramadol, which is a pain reliever. We had some Rimadyl, for pain and inflammation, that the vet said we could give him after his Tramadol ran out. This seemed to help and we were very careful to give him the correct dosage at the proper times. Our regular vet also recommended Dasuquin, which is a joint health supplement. This should aid in the healing process. The day we brought biscuit home, his leg was quite swollen and bruised. The incision did not bleed very much, however he did have a lot of bleeding on his lower leg. A large sack of fluid formed which concerned us. This is the spot were the surgeon place a jig, which was necessary to keep the leg stable during surgery. We used peroxide and a clean towel to blot the wound. After a couple of days the fluid had either leaked out or was absorbed into his body.

The end is near!

Your dog will heal at his own pace. The first two weeks are the most critical, but there is no running or jumping allowed for the full 16 weeks. Use a belly band(a towel or sheet) for potty breaks and on slick floors. We used one for the first two weeks and it helped a lot. Staples come out after ten days, but make sure your vet removes them all. We had to go back again. Don't try to remove them yourself. They use a special tool and it usually is a free procedure. Your dog may not have much of an appetite after his surgery, also he may not have a regular bowel movement for a couple of days. This is caused by the pain medication and tranquilizers. A great tip is to feed your dog squash to help get things moving along. Don't be alarmed if your dog is not putting weight on his leg. He will start using it when he is ready. The hard part is when he thinks he is all better and you have to convince him otherwise. After your eight week checkup, your surgeon will give you a rehab program to follow. It will start with short 5 minute walks and build from there. By that time you will be well on your way to having your little buddy fully healthy.

Biscuits favorite things.

These are really great products. If you have yet to give your dog chewnola you should give it a try. Flippy flopper is by far the best frisbee and we have tried them all.

Great News! 100% Full Recovery

We are happy to report that our puppy has made a complete recovery. The x ray was perfect and our surgeon gave us the go ahead to resume full activities. One mistake I made was to jump right in and play some frisbee. We only did about 10 throws, however Biscuit only knows one speed which is full sprint. He started to tripod later that night and has been limping for a couple of days. Lesson learned, ease into whatever activity your dog enjoys. There was another problem that we had encountered towards the end of recovery. Biscuit started to lick around his incision, creating a sore. We debated on wether to take him to our vet, but fortunately my wife discovered a piece of suture sticking out of the wound. She was able to remove about a one inch piece. This was the culprit and there was no more licking. The whole experience was not as bad as we had imagined. Biscuit was a trooper and we are so happy to have him healthy.

Bad News! 50% of dogs who have had tplo surgery will need other leg done.

We are on the wrong side of the fence!

Poor old Biscuit has drawn the short straw again and I am running out of vital organs to pay for his surgery. As I write this, we are about six days into his recovery and so far it has been a breeze. Now I have read various things on the internet about how some people's dogs have been able to walk on their bad leg days after surgery. After witnessing Biscuit's first surgery, I would tell you that they were full of it. However, I am now a true believer. Biscuit was putting pressure on his leg as we walked out of the surgeons office. Now I am not saying that the first day he was putting his full weight on his bad leg, but he was obviously using it. The second day is when he began to fully use his leg. When he gets out of his crate he will hold it up for a couple of seconds and then he just starts walking on it. Now why can Biscuit walk on his leg days after surgery,when during his first surgery it took him a couple of weeks to start toe touching? Well I have a simple theory. Prior to his first surgery, Biscuits ligament was fully torn. It had lost a considerable amount of muscle mass since he wasn't able to walk on it, thus making his recovery that much harder. This time my wife had noticed that he was starting to favor his other leg so we scheduled a visit with the surgeon right away. This also saved us over $300 dollars since we avoided a visit to our normal vet. Now our surgeon gave us the option to wait to have Biscuits surgery since his leg was only partially torn. We decided not to wait and the doctor had mentioned that his recovery might be easier with more muscle mass. Well, it has been and anyone out there with a dog who has a partial torn ligament, you should be picking up the phone now.

Biscuit is finally fully recovered

We have had a considerably easier time of it with Biscuits second surgery. I guess we new what was coming and I think he did also. We were not as cautious this time . After the eight week check up we stopped using the leash around the house and only crated Biscuit at night. A few weeks after that he was sleeping in the bed with us . However, we didn't open the doggie door until he was fully recovered. Keeping him off the couch was always a problem and we finally gave up. His x rays showed proper healing and our surgeon was thrilled with his progress. The only problem we encountered was with licking the incision. Basically the suture had not dissolved and it was working its way out. Just like the last time, when my wife removed a small piece the licking went away. This must be a common problem so keep it in mind. Biscuit has not shown any sign of pain or stiffness during or after an activity. I even broke out the flippy flopper and he was fine afterwords. We walked every day after the eight week check up and he never had any problems. There was a lot of differences in the two recoveries that Biscuit went through. That is why you probably find conflicting points of view when you are researching tplo recovery. I believe that if you use the advise of your surgeon and any other information you have gathered. You will find what works for you and your dog and hopefully find a successful outcome.

Biscuit gets a new flippy flopper

This was shot eight months after biscuit's second surgery.

Money donated to the ASPCA

As of March 1 2012 We have donated $42.64

The ASPCA is such a great cause. If you frequently purchase items on amazon, consider first going to Biscuit's lens. Just click on something that is for sale and it will take you to Amazon where you can find what you are looking for. We will receive a portion of the sale and I am donating any money that is made to the ASPCA. Together we can help a lot of animals that may not be as lucky as our own.

Didn't find what you were looking for? This is the place to as questions, give advice, and interact with dog owners that are dealing with some of the same issues that you are.

Tplo Forum

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    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 3 years ago

      @anonymous: Returning home the same day is usual...not related to your dog's aggression. So sorry to hear your baby's issues, but she's young and should recover fully. What will be hard is keeping the pup calm and inactive...good luck.

    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 3 years ago

      I want to thank you for putting the link to my Dog Days of Summer lens on this site. I get at least half the traffic to that lens from your link. Thanks.

    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 4 years ago

      We are facing this with our Dalmatian Sack in the next week. This lens was quite helpful, pointing out issues we hadn't anticipated and making suggestions for avoiding problems. Thank you so much!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      First let me say I hope everyone's babies Ive read about are doing better & continue to live happy and healthy lives. Our baby "Lady Mayhem" is a 13 month old 123lb Blue Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff) who recently started limping with no noticed injury. She was just diagnosed with both knees ruptured & in need of surgery. Mayhem has Fear related aggression issues which we are working to resolve & doesn't react well to strangers as it is but now she seems to have gotten worse with the leg problems & associated pain triggering her aggression to new levels. While at the surgeon she had the poor guy pinned in the corner as she let him know what she thought of his presence in the room & his diagnosis.. I actually never seen her so aggressive to be honest. He is suggesting the tightrope procedure due to her aggression & his fear that she will be to hard to properly subdue throughout her recover & the possible complications which we could face if she can't be kept calm. He also mentioned that she would need to go home with us that same day because keeping her at the office would be a problem I'm guessing? Is this normal? (side note: Im out of work right now and will be able to be home with Mayhem throughout her recovery) Don't get me wrong, Id rather have our baby home with us then laying scared & alone in pain in some strange place but I don't want her hurting herself or not getting the best surgery available for her size & breed in order to make life easier for the surgeon & his staff. Am I right to feel this way or not? We were charged almost $800. For the initial visit, the X-rays , sedation for X-rays. So I don't even want to think about going for a second opinion! The surgery will cost between $4000. To $5000. For each leg ( done separately ) & Id imagine they will make sure its as close to $5000. As possible if I had to guess! Which honestly I don't mind so long as she is treated with the love & care she deserves regardless of wether or not she's a scared baby that weighs more then the surgeon does & she gets safe & proper care from the doctors & his staff. I don't know about anyone else But I don't like whats been happening to Veterinarian field over the last decade or so, before yew know it there's going to be government reform on Pet Healthcare due to inflated Vet Bills. Id love any advice on procedure issue as well as anyone with similar breed, aggression prone dogs who've had such procedures.. Thanks

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I have a 7-year-old Goldendoodle here in Nashville that just tore his ACL. I am trying to find the right vet to do the surgery. How was your experience at Nashville Specialty Center and with Dr. Roach? Is Harley fully recovered now? I am trying to get all the information I can from different vets to make the best decision for Teddy as he is my baby. How much was the surgery? Any additional information would be so helpful!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Erica, thank you for your post. At this point I have not yet made my decision but would love to follow your boys progress. Good luck at your appt.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Ruth,

      My boy is 22 days post op from a double TPLO. These first weeks honestly have been hard. Doing both is not easy on him or me. I opted to do both because he is just 3 yrs old and was told that it takes 9-12 months for them to fuse on their own and that they 100% will end of with painfull arthritus very young. My dog is a very dramatic 85 lb baby so for the first week was terrible, second a little less terrible, now tollerable. Its hard on him bc he has no stability and hates being confined. I still use a sling when we go potty and he is still very restricted. I got a play yard and its in our living room so he is with the family, but in his own small space. Healing has been slow but steady. His L leg is healing a bit quicker than the R. We have 3 more weeks until the first set of xrays to actually show healing and I cant wait until I am told we are healing well.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi,

      We are 21 days into Major's double TPLO. I was told that they can go out to potty 3-5 times a day. This # changes based on what you observe from your dog. The first few weeks you need to be fairly strict. Its always better for her to be depressed for a few weeks than for you to have complications just after incuring all the costand stress of surgery. 10 min sounds like a long time to me so soon after surgery. If she has to be out that long I personally would limit her potty breaks and wait until your pretty sure she wants to do the potty dance. It may cut down on the time it takes to sniff out the " right spot" . LOL. Just remeber she will try and push it. Dogs are very stoic and hide pain well. Shewill be fine, these first few weeks are a bummer though.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My dog Bailey is a 127 pound Mastiff she is only a year and a half and we just had tplo surgery done on her leg. We have not crated her but she is in her own room with her bed and for the most part just lays on her bed but when we get home she always gets up to greet us and she keeps laying on her leg and a few times even rolled on it. Im so worried were not being strict enough shes always on a leash when we take her out to potty but sometimes were out there for ten minutes well she looks fo a spot to pee. I would love some feedback on not crating your dog and how many times can I take her out to potty? I hope this goes well. She seems to be doing good.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: OR has anyone let them go without surgery and had success once the bone fused?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a 2year old Heeler mix. Very active loves to run and jump. She has completely torn the acl in both hind legs. She is obviously sore, but doesn't act as if she is in pain. Given the opportunity she will still run and play. I restrict her activity, but if she gets too much exercise she will not use one leg or the other. I've heard these joints can fuse after a time (Been there done that with horses) and they will walk with a gimp, but do fine. Believe it or not does not concern me as much as having surgery. Has anyone on here ever done both knees at the same time? Regardless what the outcome was, I'm sure your story would be helpful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Cindy S. I found suggestions on the licking on the web. One that I remember is bitter apples spray. Good luck to both of you tomorrow.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I previously posted some concerns when my German Shepard had his TPLO surgery, well a few days ago we came home to find Max limping on one hind leg. We took him to the vet to confirm what we had expected - his other leg. Max is scheduled foe surgery this Wednesday. The first time Max had surgery I was able to be with him at home, its a different story this time around. Don't know what I'm going to do. Max tends to lick himself and the fear of his licking delaying or causing more issues. Don't have the extra money to take him to a Doggy daycare, I'm stressing out. Any suggestions?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: my thought would be that he is getting too much activity. If you've watched the surgery, it isn't only the bone tissue and the plates that are affected. They cut into the muscle and tissue that surrounds the tendon. We did our surgery (both legs) in Chicago (Buffalo Grove). I am only 3 days after pickin gher up from the second TPLO. She is having more trouble with tight sore quads than anything else. Little activity (use mental excersizes, games, treat dispensing toys, etc to keep him from getting bored), do the physical therapy work and massage that quad muscle after every PT session. Hope that helps!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi everyone. My 120lb Presa Canario, Mouse, just had TPLO surgery on his left rear leg 2 1/2 weeks ago. He"s still a pup (16 mos). I was so worried, because he's so used to doing so much, and i've read all about the long recovery time. I work from home and personal train, so he definitely gets a lot of my attention and play time with other dogs (which he loves). Being a Presa, i've heard they have a high tolerance to pain. Amazingly, he was walking really good on his operated leg, the day after surgery. May be because of his high tolerance to pain and because the leg was stable. The first week was great. It was actually really hard to keep him "quiet". He's very strong and i felt like all our leash training went out the door when i walked him for potty breaks in the yard. Very frustrating! We crated him and blocked off a small area in our kitchen, between the sink and the island, where he hung out most of the time. We have 3-4 steps out the back door, and a couple more to get into the yard, but he was very stable and did them great. I wasn't worried, he was on a tight leash. He was doing great. Then, one night my boyfriend came home and he got really excited and did a quick jog around the island in the kitchen. He still seemed fine that night and next morning. Then later that next day, he started crying out in pain when he got up and it would last a few steps and was hesitant to go up the stairs. The next day i took him to the emergency, since the screams got worse, and because his urgeon who did the operation was in Cleveland and we live in Chicago (my sister is a vet in cleveland and recommended this surgeon). All this time, he was still using the leg. Results showed that the hardware was still in place, everything looked great, but he had a seroma (fluid pocket), most likely happened from too much activity. They recommended warm compress and tramadol. I tried the drug for a day and hated how nervous he got on it. We had a week before we were scheduled to go to CA for a month and planned to take Mouse with us. So, the day before leaving, i went to a great surgery practice in Chicago (Buffalo Grove), just to make sure all was ok. Mouse was better, but still yelping when getting up. The surgeon took samples of the fluid and cultures to weigh out infection and also did more x-rays just to make sure. All was good. We get to CA and things are going well, then 2 days ago, he started crying out again after trying to get up. He's obviously in pain and i can't seem to find anything similar to this online anywhere. He's using the leg great and once outside, he seems fine. I'm still icing often and trying to limit our walks, but i wonder if it's the confinement and him getting stiff? This is so frustrating. The other questions, is he doing too much when we go out? I have him on a short leash and we are only out 10 mins, but the terrain is uneven grass and a walk uphill to get to flat grass. Do you think the hill climb is too much? I don't know where else to take him. It may even be his size and how he lays and moves while lying down that creates the pain. His seroma is still there, but isn't as swollen. It is actually 20 days out. Is this normal? Because everything i read, is either no crying out pain at all or limping and not using the leg. His surgeon said as long as he's still using the leg, he isn't concerned. But i don't like hearing his pain or fretting every time i go to get him up, knowing that he's going to scream. Any one had this issue? I noticed him getting worse this second time, soon after ending his anti-inflammatory. Not sure if that was the culprit, but he's back on another 10 day dose and i haven't seen much improvement. Friday we go for laser therapy and acupuncture. I hope this helps. All of this is really stressing me out and this time out here is supposed to be a vacation! Poor guy. I can't imagine going through all of this again on his other leg. Thanks for listening. Any thoughts or comment would be greatly appreciated.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hello,

      Sorry to hear about your dog. With Murphy, he tore the one acl in January, and then the 2nd one and the ccl on Oct. 19th (2 weeks after my mom passed away, very suddenly). He had the surgery and has been doing well since. The original tear on the left leg, and him walking on it, while losing weight, caused him to lose a lot of muscle mass. The new injury, on his right leg, was the worst of the two. We got the referral for the tplo one week before my mom passed. When he tore the 2nd acl and the ccl, the options were a doggie wheelchair, putting him down or the surgery. My vet, who is in the US (I live in Canada), was very understanding, knowing about my mom. He did the surgery and put in 3 new ligaments. The vet was to keep him for 2 weeks following surgery, but 3 days after surgery, the vet had to send him home, due to him trying to break out of the crate at the vet. He was crated at home. He was in the crate all the time, except to go outside. A friends husband built a ramp for my back stairs for him. Taking him out was a bit difficult, until I mastered it. We have 5 stairs coming in the front of the house and 5 to the backyard. When I brought him home, I had a friend help me bring him in. It was hard, but not as hard as I thought it was going to be. Murphy is walking well, but his legs are still weak. You can tell there was something wrong with his legs, but it's still early. He'll be 9 in May, so he's not young, but the only real thing wrong with him is that he had two bum knees. If you decide on surgery, is there anyone (family/friends) where he can stay? Even if the vet will keep him for a bit. The hardest is going up stairs, which they use their back legs for. It is a hard decision on what to do, and it's a personal decision. I was at the vet's office bawling the day he tore his 2nd acl and ccl. It was a week after my moms funeral, and I just couldn't lose my dog and my mom within 2 weeks. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Copper and anyone one else with wisdom....

      We have a 2 yr old 113lb baby that has both back legs out with torn ACL's. REad you above post and wondered how Murphy & you guys held up thru this process??? My vet mentioned putting him to sleep as it is alot for the dog as well as us getting him in and out. we have 2 flights of stairs my husband has to bring him up and down:(

      One vet wanted to do the fishline type and another vet said they think TPLO which is SO expensive!! Its sad!!

      Any advice would be welcomed!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I have had TPLO's done on both my Rotties. The latest one is on my smaller female. She has been around male dogs her whole life and she has always tried to pee like one of them with one leg lifted off the ground as she semi squats. Looks funny but since she has had her TPLO it has proved quite useful as it is that leg that she lifts in the air! I wouldn't worry too much about infection if she is on a good course of broad spectrum anitibiotics post surgery (both mine were on them for 10 days). The only issue I am having now after 4 weeks is trying to get her to put more weight on her leg - she seems to be getting too used to getting around on 3 1/2 legs!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi, my 3 year old staffy had her TPLO surgery a week ago. However, I'm so scared of her stitches getting wet when she goes to the toilet. I've tried putting her leg in a plastic bag, but the bag, no matter how secure I tie it, comes off. I've resorted to letting her go to the toilet without a bag covering her stitches. Do you have any advice as to how to keep it clean? I'm scared of infection developing in that area.

      Look forward to hearing from you :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Our dog just had Bilateral TPLO surgery done. She's one a year and a half old, and so far is making a great recovery (its day two and shes able to put a small amount of weight down on her back legs). Our surgeon rarely does bilateral TPLO's and strays patients away from doing it but theres no sense in putting a dog under anesthesia twice with the risks involved. We have stayed home with her for the first two days and will be with her for four full days before leaving her at home alone. So far she just sleeps and lays on the couch peacefully.

      The surgeon told us that if we did them one at a time the first leg would have delayed healing cause with partial tears in the opposite leg, the dog would try to bear all weight on the leg that just got surgery too soon.

      If you can stay away from doing both I would try, but our experience hasnt been too bad.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: If you read down you'll see some of our comments when our golden, Jazz had her TPLO. It was a challenge to deal with the post-op and recovery. I can't imagone what it would have been like if it had been both legs. I think a few people might have gone thru it, but I don't think we'd go that route.

      Whatever you decide, good luck.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Our 6 year old Golden Retriever has just been diagnosed with a torn ACL, The other knee doesn't look great but it is ok for now. We are debating doing both knees at the same time or waiting to see what happens with the second.

      We are torn between the philosophy of only treating what is actually there and waiting to see what and if something should develop. Or doing the surgery, the post op, the anesthetic once and then be over it. I am also afraid of the healing with 2 lame legs.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Surgery was done yesterday, after some complications. Due to his age, they do all of the pre-op blood work and EKG. During the EKG, they noticed a small blip. They did a chest xray, and saw something in his chest. They put him under and did a biopsy, and it turns out he has a fatty deposit in his chest. They went ahead with surgery, as this fatty deposit is not affecting him right now, it can be taken out later.

      My other concern is that we also have a 1 year old lab puppy. He was just neutered, also yesterday. When my other dog comes home, all toys will be put away, as he loves anything that squeaks or squawks. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: So sorry to hear about Murphy - I hope all goes well. I had to get a crate for Magic when she had to have the TPLO surgery a few years ago but instead I purchased a fence like thing at the pet store. It is much more flexible than the crate. There is no top on it nor is there a floor. It is metal fence like sections that are attached to one another and you can swivel them and move them where they are joined to make a different configuration instead of just a square. There is a little section that you open like a door and walk through. I believe they came in three different heights - I got the medium height for Magic (she's lab/shephard mix, about 70 lbs). I think it is about 3 to 4 feet high. I set it up in the living room and there is room in it for her bed, her food and water bowls and still a bit of room for her to stand up and move about a little. We can make it smaller in size to restrict the movement if needed just by folding one of the fence like sections back and not using it. I think I paid about $100 for it. We set it up in the living room so she was with us and I put a waterproof mattress cover on the floor (just in case her leg bleeds or seeps fluid so the carpet does not get messed up) with just a sheet or blanket over it then put the fencing on top. It worked great!!! We also have a crate (from a previous dog) but that is really cramped for her so we put that in the bedroom for her to sleep in. That was all she did in there, each morning when we get up we take her to the pen in the living room and she stays there until we go to bed. It worked out well for us and her - good thing too because we will be pulling it out of the attic tomorrow to bring her home from the vet after her second TPLO! I hope this helped and I wish you and Murphy well.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I sometimes think Magic is OCD - licking something all the time, when nobody is looking! HA HA HA She almost always has one of those little "lick spots" on her front paw. She had her surgery today, Doc said it went well but this leg was in worse shape than her first one, even though this tendon was not torn completely like the last one - arthritis in her knee! She's not quite 5 yet! Guess she'll be on joint meds like me to help with that. Doc also removed that "granulated cyst" that she created on her other hind leg ftrom licking at her past surgery a few years ago - she still licks that too when nobody is looking! We can't bring her home until tomorrow so I am keeping my fingers crossed that however he closed her incision she leaves it alone. We'll see . . . .

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Back again, with more bad news. Murphy, and 8.5 year old shepherd/husky/malamute mix tore his rear left acl at the end of January. The vet wanted him to lose weight before surgery was done. Bad news: today he tore his acl and mcl in his rear right leg. After a horrible day at the vet, the options given were surgery ASAP, a doggie wheelchair, or putting him to sleep. On top of this, we've recently had a death in the family. This could not have happened at a worse time. The poor dog cannot walk, and he is very frustrated. I made the decision today to do the surgery. The vet will be doing both legs at once. I don't remember the type of surgery, but it's not the tplo. He will be going into the first injured leg and cleaning it up and out, and then fix the new injury, which is the worst of the two. The surgery will be done on Monday, and the vet will be keeping him at the vet for a week or so after the surgery. He is a healthy dog, other than two bum knees he has. The vet has been fantastic about this and very understanding.

      I'm in the process of looking for someone to build a ramp for our back stairs (4 stairs), and to get a crate for him. Any suggestions about what kind of crate to get (ie. wire or plastic). We have a large wire crate for our other dog, but Murphy is too big for it. I'll be shopping for carpet remnants to cover our floors. Any suggestions of what else I should get to prepare for his homecoming and recovery?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Stacy! Sorry to hear Magic has to go for round 2. At least you know what you're in for. When Cassie had her TPLO, she had the internal stitches. Healed great. Didn't bother her a bit. She normally is a licker but didn't even have to use a cone on her after the first few days.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      For those of you who have been following this message board for a while you may remember my black lab Magic - she pulled her staples and/or stitches out of her leg after her TPLO surgery about 10 - 12 times! Went through three collars in an effort to keep her from licking/biring/pulling them. Finally ended up having her on Prozac for several months. Well, her leg recovered from the surgery, except that she has a large callus looking thing from her constant licking! And now we get to go to Round 2!!! I found out today she has torn her other leg and needs TPLO again! The vet remembered the stinker that she was and I asked if he might be able to glue her leg back instead ot stitch/staple. He said he may try that, with internal stitches, and see if it will hold. Will be getting her surgery scheduled in the next week or so . . . wish us well!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My 28 month old rescue dog (a blue heeler cross) will be having TPLO surgery for both knees. One knee he has completely torn the cruciate, the other is a partial tear. One factor in opting for the TPLO surgery, in our case, was the fact that his tibia (hope I'm getting this right) was at an extreme slope to start with. Normal dogs have a 20-30% incline, while my dog was somewhere between 33-36%. The TPLO surgery will correct this, as well as fixing his knee problem. From what I understand, TPLO is better for the larger dogs, but in our case, we are using it with our smaller dog (55 pounds). Not looking forward to having both knees done at once, but it's the better option for us! YIKES!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Carey, my surgeon and vet automatically ruled out that procedure for my 4 year old (also adopted) boxer mix Lilly who has now had two TPLO surgeries. While the âtightropeâ procedure can be a fix for some dogs, it does not work as well on larger dogs that are very muscular or active. Lilly is a very solid 80 pounds. My sister had the tightrope procedure done on her lab only to be followed months later by a TTA. The decision that I had to make was between the TTA and the TPLO procedure. All of my research showed the TTA being a less invasive procedure, but my surgeon was only willing to do the TPLO. Usually a surgeon will prefer one over the other and not both. My deciding factor was the experience of the surgeon; he has done thousands on TPLO surgeries and my vet maybe 50-100 TTA surgeries. I went with the surgeon since he seemed to be much more experienced in the TPLO procedure. It is almost like picking a doctor for myself. Good luck with your decision, I know how difficult it can be.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am really having trouble deciding on what type of surgery I should chose to fix my dogs torn ACL. The vet today insisted on two options: One he does which is considered the tightrope procedure where they drill two hole verses breaking the bone. The second option was to get the orthopedic surgeon in town to perform the TPLO. Bernie is 4 years old, I adopted him from a shelter 4 years ago. He has had health problems in the past like skin allergies and eutrophin where he needed surgery but this is much more risky. I know now is the time to do it because he is still young and there are no signs of arthritis or hip issues. He is 65 lbs of laziness but gets spunky when he plays with other dogs. How do I decide on the procedure? the cost is not an issue and from research the rehab alway various with different dogs. I just want to make the right decision and not be in this same boat again

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi there, I just came across this website because I took my dog to the vet today and my fear was confirmed that his ACL as torn in one of his hind legs. I adopted Bernie 3 years ago from the SPCA. He is a nova scotia retriever mix and is pushing 65 lbs. Since I have adopted him he has gone through two eye surgery's due to eutrophin and a skin allergy the vets and I have been trying to solve for years. During our appointment today it was initially about his allergies and we decided to have blood work done to be sent off. I just moved to Asheville, NC and needed to establish a vet so I also wanted him to feel his irritated leg. Automatically he knew exactly what it was and confirmed with x-rays. My problem is, like any dog owner, he is my whole world. I have had him for four years and he is around about 4 years old. I was 19 when I adopted him and am now a 22 year old college student and need some advice for anyone willing to listen. Considering he has had health issues in the past I am extremely nervous about surgery but I know there is no other option. This leads to the decision of an orthopedic surgeon performing TPLO or my ver performing the Tightrope CCl procedure. Both seem to have their pros and cons but I want to make the best decision possible. He has been on pain medication for two weeks with no exercise to see if it improved which it has not. He is 65 lbs but he has no arthritis and no hip problems, confirmed by the xrays today. Where I am located the TPLO is nearly 1000 dollars more expensive which I will manage if its the best decision. The tightrope ccl is said to be less evasive and more safe but they both involve bernie being under the same amount of time, they both have similar success rates, and similar recovery time. I am a college student but I am ready to put everything aside for Bernie's rehab. Any advice on how to make this decision? His other leg is perfectly healthy and I want to do the surgery before any arthritis or hip problems occur. I am also worries that if I chose the tightrope ccl, it is likely to possibly need another surgery or some kind of correction because it may possibly not be as sturdy as a metal plate. Any advice at this point would be so helpful, feeling extremely helpless

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Julia, that is interesting that you have 8-week x-rays. We are on our second TPLO surgery and Lilly's x-rays are scheduled around week 11 or 12 for our final blessing from the surgeon on the bone being healed. I really like the Top Dog Home Rehabilitation Guide that can be found on-line for free. I have followed this guide religiously for both of Lilly's surgeries as it was much better than what my surgeon provided. We are currently 7 weeks into recovery and Lilly gets three 30 minutes walks a day. She is still confined at home but the walking has greatly improved the muscle mass in her leg.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Frankie Daddy, not sure if you have had your referral appointment yet, but when my boxer mix Lilly had her first TPLO surgery they did x-rays to see if there was another issue (we thought it may have been her hips). The x-rays for her hips required her to be sedated and was very difficult on her. She was sick for a couple days afterwards. In her case the x-rays showed fluid build-up on both her knees and along with the movement in her knee they determined she need two TPLO surgeries. Your case may be different given it was an injury (Lilly's ligaments were deteriorating, no injury caused our concern just limping), my vet gave her an anti-inflamitory initially to see if it was a soft tissue injury that may heal with her activity being limited. Hope your appiointment goes well.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Just 10 weeks after Harrys surgery his bone is completely healed & the torn ligament is back in place. He is now able to resume all activities at his pace. It was quite a harrowing adventure that is now over. Hopefully it won't happen to his 2nd leg but if it does I'm better equipped to handle it.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Frankie Daddy, we have wood floors almost everywhere also. I bought some very inexpensive (read $12) 5x7 rug remnants and two really discounted long rug runners for our house. They aren't pretty and I would normally never have them but this keeps our 70 lb dog from slipping when we take him out or move him from room to room. I will either throw them away or find another use for them when he has recovered. We have kept our dog confined to one carpeted room almost the entire time. I bought pet gates (4) so I could close him off in different areas and he would still be able to see us. He spent most days in the family/TV room. It is about 24 x 18 and carpeted. I put pillows on the sofa so he wouldn't jump up on it. He spent his nights in the bedroom. The first 4 weeks we made him sleep on a dog bed flat on the floor then starting at 5 weeks we let him have his slightly elevated doggie bed with canvas cover. Someone usually lifts and carries him up and down the steps to the yard (9 steps) but we sometimes loop a long beach towel under his middle and hold while lifting just slightly to take the extra weight off his rear leg. I bought a special doggie sling but it didn't work as well as the thin beach towel. We have learned to do everything very slowly and keeping him on a short leash and talking to him as we go. We have only had 2-3 incidents where he managed to jump up on the living room sofa and when he was startled by a rabbit in the yard and wanted to give chase. Good hold on the leash at all times. They are very resilient and actually seem to want to cooperate. Good luck!

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      Dumpsterchicken 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Julia, Sounds like you are well on your way to a successful recovery. Way to go Harley!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      We are at the end of week #6 for our 70-lb - 6 year old, Goldendoodle's TPLO surgery. We are in middle Tennessee. Our doodle, Harley, was playing in the sprinkler on a very hot day near the end of June when he starting holding up his right rear leg. We thought perhaps he had been stung by a bee or had something in his paw. After taking him to our vet the next day we learned that he probably had a torn ACL. Our vet wanted to let him have 2-weeks to rest the leg to see if it would improve on it's own. It was not to be. After 2-weeks he was no better & it was suggested that we see a specialist as we probably would need to have surgery in order for him to recover.

      We were referred to Nashville Veterinary Specialists and Dr. Wesley Roach. Dr. Roach confirmed Harley's torn ACL and recommended the TPLO surgery as soon as possible. We scheduled it for that same week.

      The first few days after surgery were very hard on our whole family as we babied Harley and iced his leg and slept in the floor with him so he wouldn't panic. We have nine steps from our front porch to the yard, so potty time is carry time. My husband and son take times to carry him up and down and when no one has been around and I have potty duty, I have used a large beach towel slung under his belly so I can let him walk down and back up the steps while I lift with the towel to relieve the weight on his rear legs. We are used to just opening the back door and letting him run up and down the 2nd floor rear deck to the backyard. Harley actually seems to understand that he needs to let us help him. It is amazing how cooperative he has been. He has his best buddy who is also a goldendoodle but they haven't been allowed to hang out together because they might try to romp and we can't have that.

      We went back to the vet at 10 days post surgery to have the staples removed from the surgical site. Harley wore a cone for about a week to keep him from nibbling and licking the wound. He was pretty good about leaving it alone and I only put the cone on him when he was left alone or at night when we couldn't watch him closely. We also used heat alternating with ice to relieve swelling and help with the pain.

      Well, we just completed week number 6 of our 12 week recovery. Harley is putting weight on his rear leg and we are doing some short walks almost every day. We walk around in the yard and have ventured a short distance down the street and back. I keep the gentle leader head collar on him so he doesn't try to pull or jerk when he sees a rabbit or squirrel when outside. We are also letting him lounge with his doodle brother now when we are home and can watch them. We disconnected the doorbell as that causes great excitement and jumping and racing to the door.

      We go back to the specialist in two more weeks for our 8-week Xrays. I have my fingers crossed that everything will be in it's proper place and that we can start some longer walks and a little less confinement so he can build back some muscle around his hips and rear legs. He isn't used to being so lazy.

      Thanks to everyone who posts on this forum. You have been a priceless resource during an unknown situation. Less stress is very good. :o)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Oh gosh... we have wood floors... tried the sling... not looking promising :(

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I threw Mr. Frankie's toy and he jet out for it and yelped. We took him to the Vet and they did a drawer test and said they would need to refer him to go in for surgery. It may be a day to two before we can get the referral. I hope they do more extensive testing to see what really is the issue. It just happened today :(. He's an 83 lb Goldie/Border. He has a step or two he has to go down to potty. What can I expect for having to take him? Is it ok to not use a sling pre/post op?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: completely agree with Jennifer. I stressed out about how long it was taking and how uncomfortable our dog seemed to be. But, it is a long process and there are good and bad days, but eventually the good days outnumber the bad. Our 11 year old dog is doing wonderfully. Her x-rays, at 8 weeks, looked great but it was suggested that we keep her on a leash until 10 weeks. She is back to her normal activity and everything was worth it. Her muscle mass has come back, thanks to long walks,which she missed terribly. It's a long process but soooooo worth it.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hey Pam... I don't get email notices when someone replies, so sorry I missed your comment. Maddy is doing really well. We are so pleased. Her muscle mass is almost as good as it is in her 'good' leg. She's back to her daily 45 min. to 1 hour walks and is enjoying life. She's off the leash in the back yard, fenced in, and loves it. Being older she's not a rebel, but is enjoying the life she used to have, prior to the injury. Hope Cassie is doing well and is leash free!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Our dog had TPLO at the end of May. She was 11. We have stairs in our house but my husband carried her up and down the stairs at night/morning. Other than that she stayed on the 'main' floor. My husband build a ramp for her to be able to negotiate the steps from the front door to the yard. The worst part of the ordeal for her was the sling, I think. For two weeks we used it but I think it bothered her and she refused to 'squat' to pee. She would hold it for 15+ hours but would finally go when it became unbearable. After two weeks of that I asked our vet it we could discontinue use of that, when on stable ground, especially if she was just going outside to potty. We still had her on a leash, of course, and she was using her leg....but lightly. Once we did that she felt more comfortable going to the bathroom. Her recovery time was 10 weeks, but she was doing very well after about 4 weeks. Not perfect, at all, but good enough that I knew she was well on her way to full recovery. For an 11 year old dog she's done remarkably well. Great x-rays after 8 weeks. The extra two weeks were just a precaution. If you have to go back to work then I'd say be sure to kennel your dog. It may be difficult, but it's worth it in the long run. I was lucky enough to be home with our dog, but I watched her like a hawk. Those first 6 weeks after surgery are so important and if you can get through those, by keeping your pet from being too active, then I think he will have a great experience with this surgery.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hello, I do not have experience with delaying the surgery that long but my dog Lilly had two TPLO surgeries. I do not work weekends, so I scheduled her surgeries both on a Friday mornings. That way I picked her up from surgery on Saturday morning and I took Monday-Wednesday off of work with her. My surgeon said that I did not need to be home with her, but we had a tough first couple days each time with the pain patch (she never wanted to eat or drink water). We also have stairs that she needed to go down to go outside so we built a ramp for her to use out of plywood. Just be sure to get Murphy used to the ramp if you decide to use one so that he is not afraid of it after his surgery. Your other option would be to use something to support him around his belly while using the stairs (some people use towels but there are many options out there to purchase) but I know with my 80 pound dog this is very difficult to do since I am also short.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Copper,

      One week is a good time to stay home as long as you have somewhere good to confine him when you're gone. We used our walk in closet for Cassie with a baby gate. Worked great. We have a few stairs in and out of our place too. We used a HelpEmUp harness on Cassie or you could assist with even a towel under his belly. She isn't quite as big as Murphy but still is 80 lbs. You may be surprised how well he manages. I know we were with Cassie. Good luck to you and Murphy.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I posted a few months back about my Murphy. He's an 8.5 year old shepherd/husky/malamute mix. He tore his acl at the end of January. The vet wanted him to lose quite a bit of weight before surgery could be done. He's a big boy and has always been a big boy. We've got 13 more pounds to lose. My concern is that with the timeframe between the actual tear, and surgery, it may be about one year. Has anyone had experience with this length of delay? The estimate given by the vet was from $1600-$4000 US, depending on what they find once they get in there. The vet said to expect a 5 month recovery time. Once the surgery is done, how long should I expect to be home with him? Is one week normally ok? A big concern is that once the surgery is done, he has 4 stairs down and up to go outside. He is a proud dog and I know he won't go outside anywhere else than his normal spot. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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      8Bess8 4 years ago

      Almost 2 weeks into our second round of surgery/recovery. My Olive is doing great! I'll be home with her until the staples come out on Tuesday. I spend great parts of the day just lying on the floor with my arm around her. The first 2 weeks are so crucial to a good recovery...keeping our puppies comfortable and calm and safe. That's my only advise, that and being very strict with whatever rules your vet gives. Good luck to everyone and their puppies who are going through this!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @8Bess8: Moose just had first knee done 3 months ago today. Tomorrow he is scheduled for his other knee. The surgeon doesn't like to do them that close but he needs it since it is fully torn. He won't break the first one but the muscle hasn't had time to strengthen completely in the first leg. So, we'll let you know...or maybe you can let me know since the second knee has been done already. Dreading this but our prior lab had the exact same surgery in 2001 at the age of 8 and did great until he passed away at 12. Good luck!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Our ACD Milo was just diagnosed...we're waiting to hear from the surgeon as to a surgery date...reading this account of full recoveries is encouraging...I was a bit apprehensive after our appointment today to say the least.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Our lab Willow had it done about four years ago. True to predictions, she had to have the other one done a couple years later. Now she is bionic and she is amazing. She spins and jumps and out maneuvers her two year old brother, though she is older and heavier. It was the best four grand I've ever spent. Thanking my wife for her loving care and patience as she nursed Willow while she re-cuperated. I swear that Willow knows what we did for her, too. She loves to show off her mobility.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Sorry to hear of your misfortune. I am not a vet, but have had 2 Shepherd dogs with severe hip displacia and now an Aussie mix that completely tore her ccl. Myself I opted not to do the surgery and simply confined her for 8 weeks and put her on a supplement for joints and she is doing fine at this point. I am not a vet, but I can tell you from experience that Rimadyl messes with their kidneys and has long term side effects. I use a supplement called Acti-Flex K9. It's all natural and has everything you need in it. I use the same supplement in horse formula for my horses. I have had great success with it and would recommend looking into it for your dog and reviewing it with your vet.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @8Bess8: I guess we fall into the group of the unlucky ones...my dog Lilly who just turned 4 had her first TPLO in April and her second on July 27th; we are just past our first full week of recovery. She had completely torn the first knee and the surgeon said her second knee was just over 50%. She has been a trooper and remembered the rehab process very well from the first time. The second surgery seemed to be more difficult for her physically. She is not using her leg as quickly this time around and I feel it is because her second surgery took the only leg that she really depended on. I have not done anything different the second time around just completely following the rehabilitation guide. My main concern for Lilly was preventing arthritis. Our final x-rays after the first TPLO showed substantial arthritis that had already formed. While that knee was completely torn it was less than a month from the diagnosis to surgery. This time around when I saw the limping I moved more quickly and the knee was at 50% which is much better. I also keep Rimadyl on hand at all times now for when she may have bad days with the arthritis. It is not something that I give her every day on a regular basis but the surgeon recommended having it for when she is healed and I notice any limping or slowness in her movement.

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      8Bess8 5 years ago

      Thanks to everyone on this site. I've been checking it often since my 3 year old lab mix, Olive, had her first surgery 4 months ago. She has healed amazingly well, but she's scheduled to have the other leg done next week. Has anyone else had the surgeries so close together? Even though we've just gone through this, any advice is always helpful.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Cassie has been doing great but today after giving her a bath, she was rolling around on the carpet (as they do) and yelped. We think she may have caught her leg somehow. Did any of your TPLO veterans have episodes like this? She seems to be okay but she's always been stoic so hard to tell. We're almost to 12 weeks and not sure what to think. Any thoughts are appreciated.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks, Karen. My surgeon says my dog's iliopsoas muscle is bothering her (it's sort of like our groin muscle) and that's why she is still reluctant to use the leg properly. So I am applying heat packs and massaging the area. I guess I'm in for a longer recovery than I had hoped.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: WHOOHOO! Go Maddy!! That's awesome Karen. Cassie's vet is a conservative so we heard "she's right on track". LOL But we do have his okay to start flat walks and swim therapy to start building her muscle back up. I don't know about Maddy but Cassie is so ready to be off her leash. She's down right feisty some days. It feels so good that our more mature girls have done so well through this process. And I know I would do it again for her in a heartbeat.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      8 week check up and x-rays for our 11 year old Maddy. She got an A+. The vet even commented that the healing of her bones looked better than some younger dogs that she's seen. Hopefully we'll get back to normal soon. Still have to build up that muscle in her leg....

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Our dog just had her 8 week check up. All looks great, especially for an 11 year old. I asked about her foot turning out and the vet didn't seem concerned at all about it. She said it was normal with this type of surgery. We had the surgery done at Purdue University's Veterinary School. I think pretty highly of them and so I guess I'm not going to worry about the foot turning out. Hope this helps you too.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Julie, you are still very early in the healing process. I would not be concerned at all about this. A complete recovery can take up to six months. I also believe that the leg just feels different than the other leg. Lilly now has a different walk than she used to have and tends to bunny hop when she runs, I had never seen that before the surgery. Lilly is at 13 weeks with her TPLO and she no longer has any limping but it takes time for the muscle in the leg to build back up. That is the importance of following the TPLO rehabilitation guide to strengthen the leg again. Depending on how long you had the injury before surgery that can depend on how much muscle was lost in the leg. Good luck!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for the reply Pam, it is now obvious that it is for sure her non-TPLO leg. She actually has no limping on her TPLO leg and walked on it since the day after the surgery. I think that my vet is for the surgery because on her initial x-rays there was fluid and inflamation of both knees, one was just worse than the other. He did not believe that her injury was caused by physical activity but instead a deterioration of the ligaments. We are scheduled for surgery this coming Friday as I want to prevent as much arthritis as I can on the second knee. The first knee was a completely torn and now has considerable arthritis that we saw on our follow-up x-rays. Good luck with Cassie also, there are no easy decisions to be made.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi, we are 5 weeks out. I was concern that he is still limping when he gets up from sleeping and when he lays down he seems to be uncomfortable and shift around to get comfortable. It seems to be more uncomfortable in the evening.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi, we are 3 and a half months post surgery. All going fairly well except today after 20-30 mins of an off lead park run she ins na bit sore tonight is that normal? Is it just the muscles that are sore? I am worried a little bit because she hasnt been like this before. Any help would be great.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for your reply, things with Max have gotten a little better, however now I'm having the problem of him not wanting to eat. He'll nibble on a few pieces of dog food, but he just doesn't eat what he was eating before. I went out and bought wet dog food, but that did not make a difference.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Do some research into conservative management. It depends on the extent of the tear--if the tear is under 50% or so dogs can apparently do well on a program of conservative management. Oregon State University Vet School is doing a study about this. If the dog is a high-drive athlete, however, it may not be the best choice. Remember, when you ask a surgeon whether or not surgery is necessary, they tend to say yes because their job is to do surgery...

      Good luck!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I am so sorry about the setback. I know Jazz is well passed 16 weeks post surgery and we still don't let her run full out. Just too stressful & worrisome. I hope there's no damage just a little soreness.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: The first days are the worst - Jazz, our golden hated the collar too so we took it off and when we slept it was on the floor next to her with her leash in one of our hands so when she moved it woke us up. We survivved until the staples came out and they she left it alone. Don't give up, it will get better.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I joined this site a few months back when my dog completely tore her ccl and I was told she needed TPLO surgery. Because this surgery is very invasive and beyond what I consider a reasonable expense I have been holding off on doing it. I am still considering the surgery maybe at some point, but for now after putting my dog on restriction from running for a couple months, adding some joint supplements to her diet and simply watching how much I let her do, she has been doing fine. If I let her over due it, she will get sore and if she really goes overboard, she will hold her leg up again and not use it, but after a day or two of rest she is back to herself again. I am not convinced at this point that even with surgery things would be any different. Hopefully I don't end up regretting the decision to hold off on surgery, but like I said for now the rest and supplements seem to have done the trick.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Our year old lab had TPLO surgery the end of March her 8 week check up and X-rays were great. Vet said that everything was where it was supposed to be. We have been just letting her out to go potty and nothing else but today she took off in the yard a slipped on wet grass. She is holding it up when she walks but toe touching when she is standing. Got some Prevacox from the vet before they closed today and put her in her crate to rest. I'm just so concerned that she tore something else and all that money and time we put in the surgery is gone. Anyone have some advice for the weekend. I'm going to call the surgeon Monday, thanks.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Dumpsterchicken: Thanks Jason, this is day 2 and it's getting to me already. I couldn't sleep knowing that Max, my dog, would lick his incision. Max seems so uncomfortable with the ecollar that I eventually give in and take it off. His good for a few minutes, then he's back licking his incision. I have lots of patience but this is driving me crazy. I'm hoping things will get better SOON, again that's for your response.

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      Dumpsterchicken 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hey Cindy, We had to leave the ecollar on for at least ten days with Biscuit. He wouldn't quit but after the stitches came out it got a lot better. We had to modify the collar a couple of times because he could still get at his wound. The collar itself would rub his incision when he tried to lick, causing it to bleed. Sure don't miss going through that. Good luck Jason

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi everyone, this forum has been quite an insight as to what to expect, however I do have a question about using the ecollar. Max was released to come home today, I haven't left his side due to the fact that he likes to lick and was told that the licking can delay the healing process. Max did well for a few hours, however I see him licking his foot and moving to the incision. My question, do I leave the ecollar on all day and night or leave it on for periods of time. I'm afraid that if I leave him alone he' ll lick nonstop. And all I need is another expense. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Jennifer. Sorry to hear that Lilly is having issues. Is she definitely limping on the non-TPLO leg?? Reading everyone's accounts, there is still stiffness and soreness for quite awhile after surgery. We are somewhat in the same boat with Cassie in that there was damage to her left knee as well as a complete rupture in her right (the TPLO knee). We may very well have to do something eventually with that knee as well (knock on wood). However, I wouldn't rush into TPLO again without being absolutely sure. I'm surprised your vet is pushing that way without taking new films of her knee or checking her in any way. But bottom line, you need to do what your heart tells you is best for you and Lilly.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      My dog Lilly (Boxer mix) is now 11 weeks past her first TPLO surgery in April. She had her x-rays and was cleared to be off leash 2 weeks ago. The limping has started again, and I can tell in my heart that we are in for TPLO number 2. The limping is starting the same as before, after she has been laying down for any amount of time. I called the surgeon and he said that he has no question in his mind that is not her other knee. He is not requiring x-rays or a pre-surgery consultaion prior to the surgery. I am a little nervous going straight to the surgery without verifying the injury. When we had the first TPLO done on the right knee there was also fluid on the left knee, and at the time the surgeon was willing to operate on both knees at once but never gave us any clear direction (which was what I was looking for at my appointment). Would anyone else be willing to skip the pre-surgery consultation ($150)? I had x-rays done at my regular vet the first time, but the consultation itself only consisted of the surgeon feeling the movement in her knee...

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Dogs can do remarkably well walking on three legs. I have known a few tripods (leg amputated) and they seem quite happy. They just can't have as much activity. Perhaps it depends on the dog's size though...

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I am so sorry to hear that. I hope you vet can do something after doing some research., How heartbreaking for you :( Sounds like you did everything you could do though. What a tough situation.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Our dog's foot turns out a bit, but only when she's standing. She's 6 weeks post op and walks quite well but still has quite a bit less muscle mass in her 'bad' leg. I'm going to keep an eye on her foot and see if it improves. We go for our vet visit and x-rays at 8 weeks and I'll ask the surgeon about it and get back to you with the answer I get. I hope I remember :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      My 4 year old Labernese had a TPLO done in March. I knew shortly after the surgery that Roxy wasn't doing as well as expected and we went to a physiotherapy centre and even did physio for 3 weeks. Now at 14 weeks and she was experiencing severe lamness, so we went back to the vet. She couldn't believe that Roxy had ruptured her second ligament in her leg and has never seen this before.She doesn't even know how to repair the injury@ Wow, She is doing some research over the weekend and will get back to me tomorrow, I can hear her bone clicking when she is walkin and I have no hope of her being able to fix this injury. Does anyne know of a dog that has torn both cruciate ligament in the same leg? I think that something just went wrong with the surgery as she has not injured herself in any other way. So upset and sad as I will have to put my dog down....

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: BTW: Abby is a 10 year old Beagle.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hello All ! So good to see the forum on TPLO. Our Dog Abby is having TPLO Tuesday only 6 months after having surgury on the same knee but they used fish wire the first time and we were told that is either broken or stretched. The first time around Abby was in SO much pain and we just were torn up about it. My husband and I both vowed we would never put Abby through surgury again unless it was life threatening; while this isn't life threatening it is bad for her hips and other leg without doing this surgury. We are overly concerned about the pain.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      How many of you have had to have the implants removed? (well - not actually you, but your dog?!!) Our Saint has been worrying at and licking at a spot on his right knee (his second TPLO of last September.) It has never really gone away - after treatment with antibiotics, after this and that...it doesn't seem to bother him in terms of his activity level, but he just keeps at it. So, the surgeon says the metal should come out.

      Sigh. Poor dog - hate to go back for more surgery! The vet assures us it isn't a big deal - 2 week recovery, and that it happens in about 1 in a 100 cases. Here's hoping it goes well, and that this is the end of visiting the surgeon!!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Has anyone had a problem with their dog's foot turning out after surgery? We are 10 weeks post-TPLO. My 40-pound lab mix did hydrotherapy twice a week during weeks 3 through 9, now we're doing more walking and other exercises. She limps quite a bit and holds her leg up when she gets up from resting. I've noticed her foot turning out about 30 degrees ever since about week 3. I'm worried that it's putting stress on her whole leg and hip. I suspect it was set wrong, although of course the surgeon isn't going to tell me that.

      At first the "physical therapist" (I later learned she is a vet tech with no PT training) said the leg would turn in when she gained some muscle. Later she said she just didn't know why the foot turned out.

      Sorry if this is the second posting. I didn't see my first post online so thought I would try again. Thanks for any information you can give!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Maddy is doing very well also! We don't go back until 8 weeks but at 6 weeks post op she seems to be fully healed. Still keeping her on a leash when outside and somewhat confined indoors. She does the stairs well and seems to put full weight on her leg. She even starts to trot when on her walks and doesn't lift her leg to do so. Could not be happier with the results given her age. I can't wait to take her to the vet in two weeks and hear "full recovery". Happy that your Cassie is healed and back to enjoying life!!!!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks Marci!

      I actually have her follow up today (day 13) to get her staples out. She still isn't using her leg a lot. She will stand on it, use it to stand up, turn around in her crate or bed, but not walk on it. She still finds hopping on three legs the quickest way to go. I have an appointment for a rehab evaluation on Thursday.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Karen thank you for the a vice re Bo. He is pooing fine now and recovering well. Martin

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great videos thank you from Watford England

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: hi, i have a wiemaraner. he had surgery in January for a torn acl. we gave him clomicalm during the recovery period because he will destroy the home if he's not exercised enough. it goes quickly!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Karen! So glad to hear that both our older gals are doing well. We are so pleased with our results too.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi Everyone! My four year old female Viszla had TPLO last Wednesday 6/20. For 48 hours she would not eat, drink or pee. We finally had a break through yesterday and today when a good friend of ours came over and fed her baby food, got her to drink and pee. Sometimes a change in face is good since I have been the bad one restricting her and taking her to the vet and force feeding her pain pills. Today which is Day 3 post up she started the swelling at her ankle. Not too bad. I think it is because she refuses the ice and ROM excercises we are suppose to be doing with her. She tore her cruciate 2 weeks before surgery and I think it makes it tougher. She has not put any weight on the leg since her injury. The surgeon wants us to call on Monday if she still is not putting weight on it. If you know Viszlas, I have no idea how we will keep her happy with at least 8 weeks of no activity.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I really appreciate this site! I wanted to let anyone interested the route we ended up going with Bucket. Two vets had recommended TPLO, but we were so totally opposed to 10 weeks of re-hab. We looked into everything; stem cell therapy, pain patches, chiro, pain patches/kinesiology tape/splint.... we ended up going with a TTA surgery. The recovery period was estimated to be at 2-3 weeks

      ( MUCH better than 10!!) the surgeon highly recommended it over TPLO; less invasive, & doesn't affect weight-bearing, as TPLO does. And it was about $400 less. the surgery was 7 days ago, & he is doing awesome. It is a challenge to keep him somewhat restrained! I hate the kennell, we only use it when no one can be home with him. And after the 3rd night, when he ended up jumping up onto our bed to sleep!!! - we kennell him at night too now. we go back tonight for follow-up. I would suggest if the TTA is an option for you, definitely look into it. And his CCL was totally blown in case you wonder the extent of his injury. I hope this helps someone decide ;-)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      4 week x-rays looked really good. WHOOHOO!! 4 down - 4 to go before we start building her back up. If you haven't had a chance to see the post surgery films, it is well worth your time. I understand so much more after seeing them. Although we did our research, talked the to surgeon extensively, we still didn't totally "get" that Cassie has a broken leg that needs to heal as a result of the surgery. Weird huh? Picture is worth a thousand words. It was a good reality check for us since she is doing so well getting around and using the leg.

      So 4 more weeks of leash walking, harness wearing and confinement when we're out of the house. We're halfway there. How are all your lovely fur heads doing? Wishing you all the best.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      We're at the 4 week mark with out Maddy. Things are going very well. We take two 20 minute walks each day and she is walking well...only slowing down as we return home from the walks, so 20 minutes seems to be a good time at this point. This surgery is fantastic and I'm so pleased with the results so far. The first couple/few weeks are sometimes difficult but if you take it slowly, following the instructions of the surgeon, I think most everyone will not regret the decision of TPLO surgery.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks so much Pam, lovely to hear from you! I can't believe how much everyone's input is making me feel so much better about this whole thing! Yes, I am quite watchful of Ella, she is quite an intelligent yet "tough" dog and would grit her teeth through any pain she may feel. Unlike our 'sookie-la-la" Bernese Roxy! LOL! Thankyou for making me feel better about not crating her, she pretty much is spending most of the time indoors lying quietly on her bed. I just think she would feel as though she is being punished if I suddenly started to crate her, when Roxy is free to roam. Thankyou so much for taking the time to reply, it's much appreciated and I wish you and your beautiful Cassie and 4 yr old all the best for a long, happy and pain-free future! Best regards, Barb, Ella and Roxy!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Barb! We haven't crated Cassie indoors either although we do have her corralled by herself when we leave the house. She is 11 yrs old but still active and we have 4 yr old who like your Bernese still thinks she's a puppy. We've had a few issues where they both wanted to play which is why we have a "safe house" for Cassie a.k.a. our walk in closet. As long as you're being watchful I think you are fine not crating Ella especially if she isn't used to it. I would be careful unclipping her outdoors as she starts to feel better though. I know Cassie at 3 weeks post-op is just waiting for the next bird to chase if we gave her half a chance. Good luck to you and your fur heads.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Karen, thanks so much for your reply! Ella is not an overly active dog (unless she spots a rabbbit or hare that simply HAS to be chased) and I fully understand your concern about her "taking off" when she's free to do her business. I'm very conscious of this and only let her off in our yard and stay as close to her as I can till she goes and then she is immediately clipped back on. Trying to leave her on lead to go was just becoming frustrating for all concerned! I appreciate the time you took to reply and wish your beautiful girl all the best for a full and speedy recovery. Good luck with getting to visit us in Oz, we'd love to have you visit, NZ is great but Australia's better! Just kidding! All the best!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks so much for your reply Kathy! Wow! Both knees done at the same time! Amazing, don't know how you've both coped! It must have been a really looooooooooong 9 wks! I can imagine how eager you and Molly must be to be able to run again with no restrictions! The very best of luck for your follow-up xray, I've no doubt she will come up trumps! Thanks again, so nice to correspond with people going through the same things! Have fun!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Barb, we did not crate our dog but she is 11 years old and not "puppy" active. We did block her off in rooms though, using an exercise pen. Those things are great for controlling them without tight restrictions. She seemed to have some potty issues but I think it was due to the sling that we were using to support her hind quarters. I asked the vet if we could discontinue using it as she was using her leg regularly and as soon as we removed the sling she started pottying more often. But, we kept her on a leash. My only concern about letting them roam freely to do their business would be that they might see someone/something and take off running. Our vet said that that kind of use, before the bones heal, is not good for them. I guess I'd say best to keep them quiet for the 6-8 weeks so that they can get back to normal activity asap. PS Been to NZ but not gotten over to Australia yet. Beautiful part of the world!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Barb,

      Best of luck to you and Ella. We are just two days away from the 9 week post surgery x ray to determine if our Molly (90 lb lab/wolfhound mix) is completely healed. We created a large pen in our family room for her. (I posted about it here back at the beginning of our 'journey'. We were told strictly by our vet that any more than that was too much 'exercise'. I have been vigilant about no stairs, no hills etc. Just in the last two weeks, I've allowed her to go on walks that mean traveling down our fairly steep driveway. She had both knees done at the same time (TTA). Though she's been such a trooper, I would not want to go through this again! We can' wait to just open the door and let her run free again!

      Best to you all!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi everyone, just wanted to agree with Pam about this site I stumbled across being soooooooooo incredibly helpful, we are also post-operative. Thankyou especially to Jason and Biscuit. Our red cattle dog Ella, had tplo surgery last Wednesday and I was incredibly nervous about coping with her during her recovery time, particularly as we also have a Bernese Mountain dog X, who at 6 still thinks she's a puppy. Ella started using her leg pretty much straight away, which concerns me a bit as I'm afraid she's over doing it. She also won't do her business on lead so I have been unclipping her to let her sniff around to make her go. Fortunately she hasn't seemed to be suffering from poo issues but is only going once a day. She has taken advantage of being loose a couple of times and had a little "play around", till she was ticked off. I have not crated her at all, she has been walking around the house a little bit but I won't let her outside on her own and, obviously, am keeping an eye on her inside, keeping bedroom doors shut etc. Am I doing the wrong thing by not crating? I already feel that she thinks she is being punished by having to wear the 'bucket' on her head. I find this all so stressful, having another dog I think makes the situation harder to deal with. I am praying like mad that she won't need the other leg done too. It is so nice to read about all you lovely people who obviously love their dogs so much! Good luck to all of you,and to your beautiful furry friends! PS We are in Australia.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love this group and it has been soooooo helpful while we were making our decisions and now that we're post operative. (Thank you Jason and Biscuit!!). Three weeks in and we're doing well. One thing that has made our life much easier was recommended by our surgeon. I thought I would pass it along. Its a special harness that is meant to be worn 24/7. What is great about this one is that there is support under the hips with a handle to help support Cassie instead of using a towel or something similar when she goes out, on stairs, etc. as well as a handle between her shoulder blades. So supporting my 70 lbs girl has been a breeze even for 5'3" little me. It hasn't chafed and she hasn't minded wearing it a bit (which was a big worry for us) Here is the link if you're interested www.helpemup.com. It wasn't the cheapest but we're sold on it.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Maddy is doing really well too! Once she passed the two week mark she seemed to make progress daily, or at least the 'bad' days seemed to be behind her. Her squatting is getting better, she too throws the leg out to the side but she uses it to 'kick it up' after doing her business so it must be feeling better. Her gait is smooth but a 15-20 minute walk does pretty much use all of her energy (she used to take 1+ hour walks---we'll get there again :) ). She doesn't sit square yet but I'm not going to worry any longer. I think it'll all come back in time. So glad both our senior doggies are doing so well and we could give them their quality of life back!

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        anonymous 4 years ago

        My 16 month old yellow lab is 7 weeks post operative TPLO - she is doing extremely well and received an excellent report from her surgeon yesterday. Bone re-growth is excellent, and she is very happy with her weight bearing on the surgical leg. He would like to take her hardware out on the 26th (10 weeks post op)...and then two more weeks of leash walks which are now about 30-45 minutes 3-4 times a day while the stitches heal from the hardware removal surgery. Has anyone else had their dog's TPLO Hardware removed? She is not experiencing any pain, limping, infection, etc. I was told that because she is so young and the bone is healed, there is no reason for her to carry this hardware and its weight her entire life. If she was an older dog, as long as it was not causing any problems, he would leave it in....but she's not even 1 1/2 years old yet :(

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        anonymous 4 years ago

        My Pyrenees/Boxer mix had tplo on Monday. It's been a rough couple of days and he's tolerating the e-collar fairly well. His appetite has started to come back a little. He is not interested in going outside to relieve himself, which worries me a little. For the most part he's content to just lay around and rest, but a couple of times today he's panicked when he tried to shift to a new position. Not sure how much I should worry about those things. I've appreciated reading through the comments here because they're helping me keep my eye on the long term.

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        Dumpsterchicken 5 years ago

        @anonymous: Hey Megan, Even though I am a die hard Ku fan, I think K-state would be a great place to have a surgery done. We actually were deciding between them and Abilene vet clinic. One thing we did was bring Biscuit's crate so he felt more comfortable on the trip home. After the surgery, Holly will be very lethargic so she may sleep the whole way home. Good Luck, Jason and Biscuit

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        anonymous 5 years ago

        My 3 year old Boxer Holly is going to have a TPLO done this Thursday July 12th, we live near Kansas City and are taking her the 2 hours to Manhattan, Kansas to the K-State Veterinary part of the University for a slightly lower price tag and great reviews!! The thought of leaving her there is making me sick and the long drive back home making her lay still is even more sickening!! Poor thing doesn't know when shes hurt!! I've even thought about taking her little chihuahua sister with me to pick her up so then she has someone to lay with and may actually relax on the car ride home!! Wish us luck!! 8 weeks recovery here me come!

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        anonymous 5 years ago

        My dog Harry had the surgery Thurs & is doing pretty good. I really appreciated your insite. It gives me a good idea of what to expect. Now I know he'll get thru the coming weeks just fine. Not to sure about me tho. lol

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        Dumpsterchicken 5 years ago

        @anonymous: Good luck Kathy, hope all goes well. Jason

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        anonymous 5 years ago

        My Lab/Wolfhound mix is scheduled for tplo surgery to both knees at the same time next Tuesday. Thanks for all the info Jason, Biscuit, and others! I am opting for more of a doggie pen than a crate, since my 90 lb Molly is not used to being confined. She is also my shadow, as others have indicated, so being out of sight for long periods will be difficult. And the stairs, we have lots of stairs. I may be sleeping in the ground floor family room for a few weeks.:)

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        anonymous 5 years ago

        @siw: my dobie almost walked out of surgery the next day and was putting weight on his leg straight away and for the next wee and a half he was still using his leg ok not full weight he was putting most of his weight on his good leg but one night he suddenly started to limp badly on his bad leg would hardly put it to the floor. he was still on his meds but i just kept him as calm and did as least amount of walking as poss ( walking i mean toilet trips not walkies) and he was fine after about a week he started to put it to the floor again. i just think he may have had a twinge or something. or tho now 6 months later he is limping again as ive said in earlier posts still got to give it 5 more days b4 i go back to vets if it dont settle

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        anonymous 5 years ago

        looking for recommendationsin VA that are cost effective for CCL surgery

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        Dumpsterchicken 5 years ago

        @siw: If you have been giving him pain meds and have stoped, then he may be holding it up due to pain. I think it is more normal to have him not put weight on it but it is always good to get a vets opinion to help ease your mind. Good luck jason

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        siw 5 years ago

        my 4 yr old german shepherd had cruciate ligament surgery 2 weeks ago today and has recovered really well .he had his stitches out yesterday and the vet was really pleased that max was putting weight on the leg.However this morning he can put any weight on it at all and is holding it right up...am very worried as ive not seen him do this before surgery or after.going back to the vets this afternoon.Anyone else had this problem and any idea what it could be please

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        Dumpsterchicken 5 years ago

        @anonymous: Julia, thank you for your comments. My hope with posting the video of Biscuit getting a new frisbee, was for people to see how well an older dog with two reconstructed knees can run, jump and play. I hope it gave you solace and wish you luck with his recovery. I also hope you didn't have to sell to many camels to pay for it :) Yours, Jason and Biscuit

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        anonymous 5 years ago

        Thank you for sharing your story. It warmed my heart to see the video of Biscuit charging around after a frisbee. I brought my dog home from tplo surgery this morning and he looks so very pitiful. He is a very large breed and is 12 years old, so this surgery was rather high risk for him. I look forward to seeing him run again one day. (Btw, I live in the Middle East and I think you have to sell two vital organs to afford a good surgeon over here.)

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        anonymous 5 years ago

        Our Austrailian Shepherd/Blue Healer (we think, we got him from a shelter) is now through week 3 of his recovery from double TPLO surgeries. We are in Oregon and the surgery cost $6120, plus almost $1000 in x-rays, drugs, and exams and follow ups before and after. He is doing great-- but he HATED the e-collar he left the vet's office with! We went to Petco and bought a soft blow-up collar by "ProCollar" that cost $36 but is SO much better than the hard white plastic one he hated! The ProCollar looks a lot like a travel pillow you'd wear on an airplane that has slots inside to attach his regular collar so it can't be pulled over his head. Because it is lower profile, he can see what is going on around him and rests his head on it when he is sleeping. MUCH better! He is able to reach his feet to lick, but not his knees. TRY IT! One question we have is-- Charley appears to have two bumps on the outside of one of his legs. I asked the vet about it and he said it could be the point of the screws, but it wouldn't come through the skin and cause any problems. But the bumps are bigger than they were on his last check up four days ago. Is it possible the bone is growing around the screws? Just not sure why they would be there. Any help would be appreciated. Oh and the surgery cost a lot of money, but it has been worth every penny to see him pain-free and happy again.

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        anonymous 7 years ago

        Thanks for a great story and video! My 4 year old Boxer just had TPLO; we are on the 3rd week of recovery!

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        Dumpsterchicken 7 years ago

        @anonymous: Thanks for the great tip Nikki. I will add it to my lense and maybe we can help some other pups with the same problem.

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        anonymous 7 years ago

        Great post. Glad Biscuit made a full recovery. My Lab had the surgery done. Just a little suggestion; the pain meds and the tranquilizers tend to bind them. My vet suggested feed her squash to help the process along. It worked.

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        Dumpsterchicken 7 years ago

        Thanks Dave, Biscuit is healing very quickly and we will have plenty of videos if we can just catch him in the act.[in reply to TShirtFrank]

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        TShirtFrank 7 years ago

        I hope Biscuit gets better soon, you have to make more videos of your dog they are hilarious!