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TPLO Surgery for my Staffy

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Karen Hibbert, Apr 18, 2017.


  1. Karen Hibbert

    Karen Hibbert PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, just would like some advice post surgery if anyone has had a dog that has had TPLO surgery.

    A long story short, My Staffy started limping badly 3 years ago now, to the point he could not walk, took him to vets and was told it was probably muscle strain (staffy was only 4 at the time very active and loved chasing his ball!) they done x-rays on his hips as they thought this might be the problem but nothing showed on the x-ray. Fast forward 3 years with constant visits to the vets nearly every 3 months for "muscle strain and pills" to last week when I had had enough and took him back to the vets as he could not put his paw on the floor and was walking really funny. (we had also moved house 2 months ago so our nearest vet was the same vets but at a different practice). Straight away during examining him they said his knees felt loose and sent him for x-rays.

    Turns out he has quite bad arthritis in the knee he was limping on and slight arthritis in the other knee and his ligaments are frayed from constant weight bearing (his knees are a funny shape or something). The Vets have referred him for TPLO surgery, after reading up about this surgery it seems quite scary to say the least and was wondering if anyone else had a dog that has had the surgery and how long it was before their dog could walk after the operation and any other advice they could give post op?

    We are being referred to another vet for this surgery but are due to go on holiday in 6 weeks, so if we have the surgery before the holiday I want to make sure he will be walking by at least 3-4 weeks otherwise I will postpone the surgery until after the holiday as at the moment we are managing the arthritis and limping with short 10 min walks on lead only.
     
  2. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    Yes, my Slovak Pointer bitch had this surgery around 3 years ago. There is no denying that it is a big invasive surgery, however the long term prognosis is usually excellent, with the dog usually gaining full mobility in the leg. As soon as the damage is done to the cruciate and the joint becomes unstable you'll start to see slight arthritic changes creeping in, so in your dogs case this is always going to be an issue as the bad arthritis is already there. So what I'm saying is post op if he has any lameless after his recovery this will be as a result of his arthritis rather than an unstable cruciate :)

    I think mine was weight baring on her operated leg around 1-2 days post op from what I remember. We did short walks daily as per the vets instructions as soon as she was weight baring. Off lead was around 20 weeks post op, but my dog is completely mad, for a normal steady dog you are usually ok to start very short off lead walks at around 12 weeks post op. But just follow your vets instructions, they all differ slightly in what is recommended regarding exercise and rehab post recovery.

    Your dog will still be on very short walks daily at 3 weeks post op, and will require VERY careful management for the first 6 weeks while the osteotomy (bone) heals. Your dog will have an x-ray at around 6 weeks post op which will confirm the bone is fully healed, and at that point usually daily exercise begins to increase. As for the holiday I would postpone until you return or cancel if possible if you want the op done ASAP.
     
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  3. rottiemum

    rottiemum PetForums VIP

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    I agree. My rottie girl had this last summer. She could walk when she came home (was in vets 4 days total).
    Very short walks for several weeks.
    Also had to wear the cone collar until the wound healed.
    I'd agree either postpone the surgery or the holiday. 6 weeks won't see it fully healed (the bones not the wound).
    We also got her a memory foam bed that helps her joints.
    Good luck. :)

    ETA: She's back to normal now and you'd never know she had the operation or that she's 9yo.
     
  4. Meezey

    Meezey Slave to the Black & Tans and the Trundle Bugs.

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    Are you planning to take your dog on holiday 3 to 4 weeks after surgery? Honestly I think it's a bit to soon after surgery, the dog will still be on limited walks and 12 weeks post surgery is a crucial time for all cruciate surgery. My bitch has just had MMP surgery done and it's a "newer" surgery thats meant to have a faster recovery and less complications than other cruciate surgery's and they are meant to be walking form day one with this type of surgery, but 3 weeks in she's not allowed to do a lot of things, and is very restricted and critical time for her implant, I am terrified that she will damage the implant. She has an xray next week and if all is okay with the implant then we can up her exercise again, she's had 5 mins up to twenty times a day for days 1-5 and can go to 20 mins as many times a day days 4-14. All on lead and no off lead until after xrays, but that's because she's had MMP. She's also a 3 year old hyper bitch. I think TPLO is a lot more restrictive on exercise:
    TPLO recovery recommendations this can vary for vet to vet:
    0-2 weeks postoperatively: Activity level during the first 1 week should consist of almost NO exercise! Your dog cango for 5 minute slow walks 3-4 times a day to urinate and defecate. No running, jumping, rough-housing or twisting motions. Your dog should be confined to a small area or airline crate to prevent the running, jumping, or twisting motions. If needed, a sling under the belly can be used for added support when walking, especially on slippery surfaces. Once your dog is able to safely walk on surfaces with non-slippery surfaces such as grass, there is no need for the sling. The sling can also be used to take weight of the hind end if your dog is likely to get excited and tries to jump up.
    2-8 weeks postoperatively: You can very slowly (and under a controlled, supervised environment) begin to increase the activity level. Some dogs progress rapidly while others are slower to recover. Take your time and do not rush the healing process. Continue walking 5 minutes at a time, 3-4 times a day. Go slowly enough so that the leg is placed on the floor and weight is placed on it. Continue to prevent running, jumping, and playing. You may increase the walking time by 5 minutes every 1-2 weeks. By 8 weeks you may be walking as much as 20-30 minutes up to 4 times daily if your dog tolerates this without limping. You may also increase the amount of physical therapy exercises (as instructed by our physical therapy department during your first session), including sit and stand exercises, walking up and down hills, walking in circles, etc. If you notice that your dog has gotten more lame or painful, rest for a few days and return to the previous level of rehabilitation.
    8-16 weeks postoperatively: After bone healing is confirmed (usually at the 8 week recheck but sometimes 12 week recheck), you may slowly increase activity including some controlled off-leash activity, running and jumping over the next month. It is important to do this slowly. Ideally, you start out with longer lead walks, then start some off-leash activity after a longer walk (to exhaust your dog prior to the off-leash activity). The first off-leash period should be as little as 1 minute! Baby-steps are best to avoid complications. Your dog can be back to completely normal activity at 14-18 weeks after surgery. Again, this part of the recovery should not be rushed since the soft tissues (especially the patellar tendon) have to get used to their changed-function slowly. There are no strict numbers on how much activity is adequate for your dog, the most important part is to avoid multiple set-backs (increased limping).

    *edited because I made a right pigs ear of it lol
     
    #4 Meezey, Apr 18, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
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  5. Meezey

    Meezey Slave to the Black & Tans and the Trundle Bugs.

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    Just as an aside can I ask why your vet has chosen TPLO? Would they consider MMP?
     
  6. Karen Hibbert

    Karen Hibbert PetForums Newbie

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    No I dont plan to take the Dog on holiday!! He is booked into a Kennel and they are quite happy to follow the recommendation by the vet re exercise, they have had a few dog who have needed this while their owners were on holiday, so I am confident he will be looked after ok, they are a very small kennel and he has been going to them since he was a pup. He is a very active dog so the vet who referred him said that he could do a Ligament repair but because he is such an active athletic dog that we could be down this same road in a couple of years again as it is needed on both knees.
     
  7. Meezey

    Meezey Slave to the Black & Tans and the Trundle Bugs.

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    You do find in a lot of dogs once one goes the other goes irrespective of the type of surgery. There is much debate and research now in to if it's genetic, I think in a lot of cases it's due to over angulation which is down to breeding, but that's a whole different debate. I was thinking MMP more in the respect of the recovery time and less risk of complications.

    I would really struggle leaving a dog in kennels anyway so my response would be driven by my personal preference but I would be very reluctant to leave a dog 3/4 weeks post surgery in Kennels..
     
  8. Karen Hibbert

    Karen Hibbert PetForums Newbie

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    Meezey, I think I am going to wait until after the holiday or just cancel the holiday, I have been reading a few stories online from other owners and some have been horrific about TPLO, I might speak to the Vet about MMP, I am in 2 minds now what to do.
     
  9. Meezey

    Meezey Slave to the Black & Tans and the Trundle Bugs.

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    Have a chat with your vet, we asked our vet for MMP, they brought in another vet who does MMP as routine, it's newish but we could have it as our girl is fit and slim ( my friends dog was refused it as she is over weight the dog I mean lol ). It did work out more expensive than other procedures. , there are still risks involved in it but our girl was up and walking from day one, we do have to watch her like a hawk as she seemed to as little as a week after surgery forget she had it done... These are pictures a couple of a few days and then two weeks after surgery don't click on first ones if your are squeamish..
    20170326_200410.jpg 20170326_200433.jpg 20170407_083700.jpg 20170407_083751.jpg
     
  10. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    Don't leave the dog in kennels post-op regardless of how sensible they are, this is a big surgery where the aftercare is crucial in those first weeks.

    You can find horror stories online about EVERY type of surgery, including minor run of the mill ones. That is because you are more likely to find stories of things going wrong rather than things going right, same as everything in life. Some of the 'horror' stories you read are directly related to poor management post surgery and nothing to do with the procedure itself. So, don't torture yourself. No surgery is without risk but as every orthopaedic vet that performs this procedure will tell you, this op has an extremely high success rate with excellent long term prognosis.

    My bitch is very high energy and sailed through the TPLO without a single issue, I could not be happier with the results.
     
  11. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    My rottie bitch had TPLO surgery to both legs at the same time when she was 13 months old. We had experience of looking after a dog following this operation as our previous rottie also had it done. We used a pen to keep her off the furniture and separated from our other two boisterous dogs but I had her out of the pen with me as much as possible. She was in the vets for two nights post op and was actually walking better than we expected. We followed the vet's guidelines on management to the letter although as others have said they do vary. She was on lead trips to the garden for toilet purposes only for 3 weeks then 2 - 3 10 min lead road walks per day for the next two weeks which increased by 5 mins every week. She made a very good recovery from this surgery. The type of surgery offers tends to depend on the specialist and what method they are happiest using.
     
  12. Karen Hibbert

    Karen Hibbert PetForums Newbie

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    Hi All, Update

    My staffy had the surgery last Friday and post op is doing well, on lead for garden trips, but he is up and about with no problem, he is not weight bearing on the leg yet, but is nearly there, can I just ask the owners who have had this surgery, I know it varies but when did your dogs manage to put their leg continuously on the floor?, as mine seems to do this most of the time, but then will raise the leg slightly, normally first thing in the morning and last thing at night when I think he is a bit tired, he does have slight arthritis, but I can tell he is getting up better from his bed already than he use to pre surgery.
     
  13. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    Its very early days yet, when you say he is not weight bearing on the leg is he using it but toe pointing or holding the leg up? One of mine was still toe pointing when we went for the 6 week check up whereas Indie my current girl who had both done at the same time didn't toe point at all as you would expect with it being both legs. Our vet always says as long as they are making gradual improvement and not going backwards which it sounds like your boy is. However if he is actually holding the leg up and not putting it to the ground I would have a chat with the orthopaedic vet.
     
  14. Karen Hibbert

    Karen Hibbert PetForums Newbie

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    Hi rottiepointerhouse, Its hard to explain, he will use the leg fine when walking to garden or when walking around the room, but every now and then, ever so slightly not put his paw firmly on the ground, but he is not holding it up like he was on day2 post surgery, I just dont know if he is going backwards or he just doesn't want to actually weight bear it completely yet.

    The Instruction from the vet was once he is weight bearing, if he starts to go backwards, then contact them.
     
  15. Karen Hibbert

    Karen Hibbert PetForums Newbie

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    It's also so hard explaining to the dog to lay down and rest! My staffy is so active he thinks every time I put the lead on him we are going for a walk as he goes to the front door!
     
  16. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    That sounds pretty normal to me for his stage post op, as long as he is using it and you see a gradual improvement - he is day 6 post op (if I'm reading correctly) and is using it more that he was on day 2 post op so that is an improvement. Can you confirm which type of operation he had - was it the TPLO?
     
  17. Karen Hibbert

    Karen Hibbert PetForums Newbie

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    It was the TPLO surgery and he is using it much better at day 6 than day 2.
     
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  18. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    Sounds good. I know its hard not to worry after such major surgery especially when you have to keep them so steady. What sort of post op management have you got? crate or pen rest or free in a room as long as not on the furniture/stairs?
     
  19. Karen Hibbert

    Karen Hibbert PetForums Newbie

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    I was expecting to use a crate or play pen and had purchased both!, but vet said restricted to 2 rooms with no jumping on furniture, up stairs etc, so he can roam free, which I think is better for him as he is already bored and a crate would had made him go stir crazy. I am like a hawk eye on him anyway, he is in the kitchen and conservatory mainly but comes into lounge in the evening with us. I think I just worry to much.
     
  20. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    Sounds very similar to our management but I chose to use a pen for times when I couldn't be in the room with her to keep her separated from our other two dogs. You are bound to worry, we all do, it comes with the territory. I know it seems like a long haul but it will pass quicker than you think. When do you start road walking for 10 mins at a time? Ours was at 3 weeks.
     
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