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Physical Therapy for Dogs with Torn ACL

The following is a question posed by a Dog Knee Injury reader:

My dog is a 5 yr old West Highland White Terrier. She seems to be doing very well 4 wks after her surgery, and I trust the vet, but they glossed over canine rehab.

15 years ago another vet was very insistent and specific about my previous Westie’s acl rehab therapy? I don’t understand… Why is what was thern considered so important, even cutting-edge, now ignored?

What is your experience with canine physical therapy following surgery?

Did your veterinarian recommend physical therapy after CCL repair surgery?

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6 Responses to Physical Therapy for Dogs with Torn ACL

  1. Jana Rade September 30, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Well, I don’t want to say anything bad about your present surgeon. It is a fact that the TPLO is somewhat more forgiving for the post-op recovery than the traditional surgery which you had done 15 years ago.

    HOWEVER Physical therapy IS CRUCIAL to success of any surgery! From early Passive Motion Exercises and massages to functional strength exercises and so on.

    Glossing over the rehab IS NOT a good plan. I am glad you’re questioning this.

    Do ask your surgeon for a comprehensive post-op plan and if he doesn’t have one I can give you the one we used. If you have the option you can even look for physical therapy facility in your area and include them in the process.

    Physical therapy is at least 50% of success of any surgery. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise, please.

  2. Wendy October 15, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    Can anyone send me a comprehensive aftercare timeline for my dog – she is a 20lb PRT who had her cruciate repaired 11 days ago (traditional method). Stitches are out/wound healed but she won’t use her leg 98% of the time. Help!

    • Mandie October 15, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

      HI Wendy,

      I’ve actually JUST teamed up with a veterinarian, Dr. James St. Clair, to start offering a free guide for rehabilitation and therapy following surgery to Dog Knee Injury Community Members.

      To access the guide all you need to do is click the “Free Recovery Guide” box on the right hand side (at the top of the page) and fill out your information. You’ll be able to download the Home Rehabilitation Booklet immediately to start working through the protocols.

      Check back and let me know how you make out during the recovery!

      All the best :)

  3. Aubrey March 5, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    I am having trouble finding the free recovery guide mentioned above. Can anyone send a link?

    • Mandie March 5, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      Hi Aubrey – sorry to hear you’re having trouble. If you click where it says “Free Recovery Guide” in the right hand sidebar you should have a box that opens and asks you for your basic info – name, email and guide you’d like.

      If that does not work (maybe popups are blocked on your browser?) here is a direct link – Free Dog ACL Ligament Rehab and Recovery Guide

  4. Aubrey March 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Got it, thank you!

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