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Your Dog’s TPLO: Postoperative Care

Dog's Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) Surgery Care

Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) rupture is a common problem in the canine family. It is similar to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in humans, which supports knee function. Dogs are most prone to sustaining traumatic injuries to their knees.

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) is the surgery performed to repair CCL in the canine. Your dog can resume regular running and jumping after the procedure. Unlike other surgeries, TPLO restores mobility to your dog’s knee without relying on the injured ligament for support.

After TPLO, you need to take great care to handle your dog. Post-operative care is as essential as the procedure itself. If you don’t look after your dog properly, the recovery may take longer. There can also be some serious complications.

This blog is a great help for you as we’ll discuss some important facts about TPLO along with a briefing on how you can provide the best post-operative care for your dog.

When Your Dog Needs TPLO

You might be thinking, how would you get to learn about CCL in your dog? Also, when does your dog need TPLO?

Well, if your dog has got a CCL injury, it will sit with one leg out to the side rather than both underneath. Normally, dogs don’t sit in this posture. So, this is one of the most superficial indications that TPLO surgery is necessary for your four-legged companion. But first, a proper diagnosis is a wise step to take.

Surgeon Monitoring Dog Before Surgery

Causes Of Dog’s CCL Rupture

Your dog can get CCL for several reasons, such as

  • Wrong training or over-exercise
  • Being overweight (obesity puts extra strain on the knee and ligaments)
  •  Age (Old age dogs have more chances of getting this traumatic injury than younger ones)
  •  Breed disposition (Usually, large breed dogs are more prone to this complication.)

So, handle your dog carefully to avoid CLL rupture, considering all the given factors.

Is TPLO the Best Option?

It is crucial to know the reliability of the procedure. The majority of surgeons consider TPLO the ideal surgical procedure for young, energetic, and large-breed dogs. Functional gains in these individuals are possible with this surgery. On the other hand, alternative operations may substantially influence the dog’s overall health.

Post-operative Complications and Care

As discussed already, the post-operative care of your dog’s TPLO is equally important to the surgery. There’s no gain in the procedure if you fail to take care of your pet.

So, properly follow your vet’s instructions and be gentle with your canine companion. It can help prevent complications that may lead to harm, affecting the dog’s overall health.

If you notice any of the following signs, you should get in touch with your veterinarian right away:

  • Infection or inflammation at the site of the wound
  • Appetite loss
  • Sensitivity to painkillers
  • Reluctant to put weight on the healing leg
  • Sickness, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Discomfort

Your vet will be able to evaluate early indications of difficulties and address them. If your vet is unavailable at the time, you can seek help from any experienced vet tech in your contact list.

How to Make Dog Walk After TPLO

Some of the dogs that have had TPLO may start walking within 24 hours. But, the majority can bear weight on the limb after two weeks.

Although TPLO recovery takes longer for the dogs to recuperate, it still takes less time than comparable operations. About six months following TPLO surgery, your dog should be able to resume full physical exercise.

It also depends on you how long your dog will take to start walking after the procedure. To make it faster, you have to go slower. You can make your dog walk earlier by

  • Preventing it from playing, jumping, and running right after the surgery.
  • Increasing the walking time by 5 minutes every 1-2 weeks.
  • Allowing it to walk for 20-30 minutes up to 4 times daily.
  • Making sure your dog tolerates walking without limping.

What To Do if TPLO Fails?

Results show that 90% of dogs with TPLO surgery recover from everyday life without any side effects. Therefore, TPLO is the preferred procedure to repair CCL in dogs.

However, some complications may arise during or right after the procedure. The procedural or aftereffects may range in severity from swelling and bruising to fracture and osteomyelitis.

In such cases, you must be very vigilant and contact your vet without delay. Avoid handling the complexity on your own, as you’re no surgeon. Also, it can create more problems for the dog.

Extreme Care at Home

Your dog can prevent re-injuring the limb if you follow the post-operative recommendations provided by your veterinarian. Nevertheless, bad luck might still happen. Unfortunately, there is no way to describe TPLO surgery to our canine pals. Therefore, you need to be very careful with it at home.

  • Don’t allow it to run or leap, even inside the house, until the knee has healed.
  • Ensure everyone in the home knows about your dog’s surgery, including visitors.
  • If your dog had a habit of leaping up on furniture before the surgery, don’t leave sofas or beds uncovered.
  • If you get to know that your dog has just jumped, be more careful and don’t allow it to do so again.
  • Find an enclosed place for the dog after the surgery.
  • Don’t let your dog gamble alone in the streets – Keep it at home.

Follow Post-Surgical Appointments

The TPLO surgery package also includes follow-up appointments to see how your pet is doing after the procedure. Make sure that

  • Bandage removal happens three to five days after surgery.
  • Suture removal happens after two weeks.
  • Post-op X-rays happen six weeks afterward.

Don’t miss any of these post-operative appointments to make the recovery quick and less complicated.

Get Medicine From Reliable Sources

Your vet will prescribe some medicine for your dog after the TPLO surgery. You will have to provide it for your dog according to the instructions. In order to avoid complications, make sure you get these health supplies from a reliable source.

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