TPLO Frequently Asked QuestionsWe've got answers below.
Can you work with my veterinarian?
Do we work directly with you or with our regular veterinarian?
What if I don’t have a veterinarian?
We are interested in finding out more and/or scheduling – now what?
What are your hours?
Is ACL or CCL surgery a time-sensitive procedure? What happens if I wait?
My dog has ruptured both ACL’s – can we do surgery on both legs at once?
We know that approximately half of all patients who tear one ACL will go on to tear the other, and it is not uncommon to examine patients that have ruptured both ligaments at the time of diagnosis. Performing surgery on both knees at once means your pet goes through one anesthetic episode, one surgery, one period of hospitalization, and one rehabilitation period. It is also more economical to perform both surgeries at once. However, it is known that increased duration of anesthesia time and surgical time can increase the risk of surgical complications, specifically infection. In addition, if surgery is performed on both limbs at once, then your pet literally doesn’t have a good leg to stand on in the immediate post-operative recovery. However, if surgery is performed on only one knee, and the other is affected by a cruciate tear, then once the surgical limb is feeling better than the injured limb (which may be only days following surgery), then more weight is born by the surgical limb, and thus there is more stress on that implant. With surgery done on both limbs at once, stress on the implants may be minimized assuming weight bearing is symmetrical.
Though older literature advised steering clear of performing bilateral TPLO’s, with recent advances in implant technology the most recent peer-reviewed literature on the subject has shown no difference in the complication rate when performing single session bilateral TPLO’s over staged TPLO’s.
Does my dog need x-rays before surgery?
Does my dog need blood work prior to surgery?
Can my dog eat and drink the day of surgery?
What do I need to bring to the hospital?
Should my pet’s activity be restricted prior to surgery?
My pet’s surgery is coming up soon and I still have questions. Should I just wait until the day of surgery to have these answered?
Where does my pet stay the night of surgery?
What happens if there are complications after surgery?
My dog hasn’t pooped since surgery – what’s going on?
Why won’t my dog eat since surgery?
My pet is vomiting after surgery – what should I do?
What do I do if my dog is in pain?
Does my dog really need to wear this ridiculous cone of shame?
How much activity should my pet have after surgery?
The first 4 weeks of recovery are most critical to your pet’s outcome. Your pet may go outside 3-5 times daily for 5 minutes at a time, on leash, for elimination purposes only.
After 4 weeks, if your pet is doing well, you may gradually start increasing the length of walks by 5 minutes/walk/week – in other words, week 5 your pet may go on ~10 minute walks on leash, week 6 ~15 minute walks, etc. By 8 weeks your pet can be up to two 20-30 minute walks per day, ALWAYS ON LEASH, with a couple shorter leash walks for elimination purposes.
These regular walks are critical for maintaining muscle mass and range of motion in the joint. In addition, weight bearing is beneficial for bone healing.
What sort of other rehabilitation should be performed after surgery?
If you would like to pursue professional rehabilitation or if your pet is not returning to the level of activity desired, rehab options include:
Should we ice or heat pack following surgery?
After 3-4 days, you may begin heat packing the incision site. You may use a heat pack purchased from a pharmacy for this purpose, or you can fill a tube sock with rice and then heat it in the microwave. Remember, if it is too hot for your skin, its too hot for your pet. Heating can be performed for 15 minutes at a time, 3-4 times a day. This helps to reduce swelling and can also be performed prior to passive range of motion therapy.
If at any time during the recovery your pet stops using the operated leg, or fails to begin using the leg within 2 weeks, please contact Dr. Might or your veterinarian.
"The surgery went smoothly, with Dr. Might calling me throughout the day with detailed updates. Within 48 hours, the bandages & pain were gone. Now he is moving around better than he was pre-TPLO!"
"It's Comforting to know that our pets can get specialty care at a familiar place and for a more affordable cost."
"Our 9-year-old Lab-Pit mix underwent TPLO surgery and she did not suffer at all. Whatever you are doing, keep it up! She is doing great!"