How long before my dog puts weight on the surgery leg?
It varies on how long it takes for a dog that has had TPLO surgery to begin to really put weight on the leg. It is very common for dogs to immediately post-surgery bear weight on the leg. This is because the dynamics of the joint have been altered and the instability between the femur and tibia has been corrected. One other common factor that can play a determining factor in how fast they use the leg, is what we refer to as the injury-to-surgery interval. Most of the time the longer the time that it is between the injury to surgery the longer it takes for the overall recovery.
My dog had surgery on one knee, what can I do to prevent him from injuring his other leg?
The most important thing that you can do make sure that you give your dog adequate time to heal and really concentrate on strengthening the surgery leg to bring it back to the same strength as the “good” leg. Remember you need to have patience and being conservative is never a bad thing. Secondly, it is incredible important to educate yourself and select the right joint supplement that is designed for both the immediate short term joint health, such as GlycanAid-HA, as well as the long term joint health.
It is always best to seek out a trained canine rehabilitation specialist to assist you in your dogs recovery.
My dog had TPLO surgery weeks ago and is still limping what should I do?
Of course, this depends on the severity of the limp. If you dog has a significant limp then you really need to call you veterinarian ASAP. If there is only a slight limp that this is not usually within the first few weeks. If you are unsure always check with your veterinary surgeon.
What should I look for in a supplement? What ingredients are important?
Being that their are so many supplements to choose from on the market, ie. those recommended by your veterinarian or those on the shelf at your local pet store, it can be really confusing which is the best for your dog. It is important to understand right off the bat there is a HUGE difference between many of these products. The reason being that the supplement industry is not regulated by the Food & Drug Adminstration (FDA). Most consumers think simply that all Glucosamines are the same. This is simply not the case. There is again a HUGE difference in quality of different glucosamines on the market, in addition to the sources of this common ingredient.
In addition, there is far more to balanced joint health than just glucosamine. Ingredients such as Chrondrotin, MSM, Cetyl-M, Manganese, Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid are also incredibly beneficial to joint health. Often times only some and not all of these ingredients are put into marketed products. TopDog Joint Performance Labs has created that one in one product.
Do I really need to give my dog joint supplements? Do they make a difference?
Of course the decision is entirely up to you, but there is no doubt that the right supplement can make a tremendous difference. Though many of the glycosaminoglycans ie. cartilage building blocks are produced by the body, during times of injury or in the case of chronic osteoarthritis the body can not produce enough of these ingredients, needed to repair damaged tissue. Therefore by supplementing these key ingredients you are making them readily available so that healthy tissue can be layed down. In addition, nature has supplied us with some incredible natural anti-inflammatories. Inflammation is incredibly damaging to the joint, therefore supplementing with these natural products can potentially aid in reducing this destructive process.
How often can I walk my dog after surgery? How far?
It is best to refer to your TopDog Home Rehabilitation Guide. Though all patients are different this day-by-day protocol is meant to serve as a conservative guideline for a safe and successful recovery.
Does my dog need pain medication? Anti-inflammatories?
Absolutely, pain management is one of the keys to a successful recovery. One thing to keep in mind though is just because you dog “FEELS” great and wants to do more, does not necessarily mean they are ready. Again refer to the TopDog Home Rehabilitation guide. If at any time that you think your dog is in pain, call your veterinarian immediately.
Should my dog be crated or confined and for how long?
You have to remember that rest is just as important as the therapy exercises themselves. Rest is the time during which healing and repair occur. Make sure that you establish a safe place for your dog to rest and recover. This should absolutely not be on your bed!
Are there any exercises I can do at home with my dog?
The TopDog Home Rehabilitation Guide is packed with information including exercises that you can do at home to strengthen your dogs surgery leg. As stated previously, it is also a great idea to seek the equipment and expertise of a trained canine rehabilitation expert.
Is it okay for my dog to jump on my couch or bed?
Do I need to walk my dog on a leash?
Absolutely. This is the only way that you are going to be able to have safe control over you dog outside of your home. Even if you have a fenced in back yard, do NOT take any chances. You never know when you do is going to decided to explode after a squirrel, or try to run up the porch stairs. You have invested so much into this surgery, don’t potentially compromise it by not having your dog on a short controlled leash.
Can my dog go up and down stairs?
This is not recommended for at least the first 5-6 weeks. I recommend though that you discuss this with your veterinary surgeon.
When can my dog resume its normal activity?
In the TopDog Home Rehabilitation Guide it is really not recommended to resume normal activity until 12 weeks post-surgery. Some dogs are ready sooner and others may take longer. In the grand scheme of things we do not believe that a dog after this surgery are truely 100% until at least 6 months. It takes a long time for the body to heal and rebuild the lost muscle due to lack of use.
Is okay for my dog to play with other dogs after surgery?
Again, having a conservative approach is always best. We do not recommend play with other dogs until your veterinary surgeon ok’s this kind of activity, which is usually not until at least 10-12 weeks. Speak with your surgeon.
How important is rehabilitation after surgery?
The is not doubt that rehabilitation is key to a successful recovery. If you do have access to a professional canine rehabilitation facility please make the effort to at least have an initial consultation with them.
Is it okay for my dog to go swimming?
Though swimming is great, non-concussive exercise beneficial for range of motion, muscle strengthening and cardiovascular health, you have to really be careful and so only be performed under the direction of a skilled professional. Careful attention has to be taken in how the dog gets in and out of the water, the temperature of the water and the duration of activity. Again seek professional advice.
Can my dog re-injure the knee that it had surgery on?
Absolutely! It is really important to understand that with the TPLO surgery adequate bone healing time has to be allowed for a 100% successful recovery. Being conservative is always your best bet. Your dog has their entire life ahead of them so don’t rush the recovery process and be careful.