Bilateral TPLO Surgery – Daisy the Goldendoodle

Daisy is a 4yr old GoldenDoodle. Recently she ruptured both CCLs, jumping up on our deck. Both Daisy’s hind legs were lame and she was unable to stand.

Bilateral TPLO Surgery

Goldendoodle Double TPLO

A week following the injury she had a TPLO performed on both knees at the same time. The surgeon choose TPLO for her because of her height (standard poodle cross), her weight (90lbs), and the fact that she would have to support both legs through rehab (he chose the heaviest of the plates). The surgical hospital at West Toronto Veterinary was exceptional. I can not say enough about the care, communication, and support we received from them.

Daisy’s surgery went very well. She stayed overnight because of the bilateral repair. She also went home on a weeks worth of antibiotics because of the increased risk of infection. Daisy is 1 week post op right now, she has had a very typical recovery so far.

Day 1

Day 2
Sleep, ice incision (I kept sticky bandage on incision to keep area clean). She has some bruising and has developed “fluid sacks” around her hocks, which we massage constantly. Assist her via sling to backyard for pee, she could not stand and chose to pee laying down (broke my heart).

Day 3
Sleep, ice incision, assist her via sling to pee. To our amazement she half squatted with shaky legs and eliminated both.

Day 4
Sleep (although I cut back on her Tramadol from 200mg every 8 hours to 100mg every 6 hours and she seems to be alright with it). Her appetite is poor; she will not eat her regular kibble and I’ve taken to cleaning out the freezer and mixing her kibble with cut up chicken, beef, pork or fish. Daisy needs help to lift her back end up via the sling, but amazed us again by walking gingerly without the sling about 12 feet.

Day 5
Using warm moist heat packs on both legs, and started passive range of motion (which she hates). I don’t push or stress her, she walked with assistance and without approx. 30 feet today. Better and better everyday, “fluid sacks” are gone, continue with warm moist heat and range of motion, walking with sling and without approx. 30 feet several times a day.

Day 6
Daisy is still unable to raise herself up from a sitting position but I’m sure that will come with time. She is walking more without the sling and I use it now only to raise her from a sit to stand. Leash walking is not an issue since she only walks short distances and lies down.

Day 7
Going to push her just a bit to walk several times very short distances…. crossing my fingers!!!!

36 thoughts on “Bilateral TPLO Surgery – Daisy the Goldendoodle

  1. Domino is coming up on 10 months?? after bilateral TPLOs. Unfortunately between timing and his complications, he managed to run his rehab right into winter, so he is weaker than he should be, but we are working on it now.
    I took to giving 4 mo puppy treats to Domi (even tho he’s 8 or 9!) during healing because of the nutrients in them…perfect for re-building bone and muscle. They definitely helped….his coat improved and he started healing faster. He’s 80 lbs at a healthy weight and I was giving him 5 a day since they’re little. Hang in there – it’ll come out all right!!

  2. I have a 4 year old German Shorthair Pointer that was just diagnosed with the same issue and the vet is recommending that we do both legs at the same time. I am worried about this as my husband travels for his work and is away a lot. I also have a full time job. I am concerned with how Zoe will fair during the day when we are not home. Was someone home with Daisy during the 1st week? Any advise you can provide would be appreciated. I am really at a loss and scared to do this as the procedure is so expensive and no guarantees that we won’t have further problems later on.

    Zoe is my first pet and I am a mess right now in knowing what to do.

    1. Hi Christel,

      I personally would not do both legs at the same time. How traumatic for your dog, I don’t understand the vet’s reason for this?

      My dog (weimaraner) had a broken leg at 15mos, which required 2 pins. After about 8 mos. she showed no signs of improvement and would limp and not use her leg. We took her back to the vet and upon examination she had a torn cruciate and meniscus that went un-noticed which required TPLO–when the vet said this, I thought I was going to vomit…after everything and it wasn’t even noticed, grr!, this was 2 years ago, she is almost 4 now. The recovery for TPLO surgery was easier than the broken leg. The vet required her to be crated for about 3 weeks, only be taken out on leash, not allowed to get up and run/walk around until she had healed, then it’s a series of short walks until they are back to normal, which is about total5- 6 weeks.

      If you are unable to be home with your dog, you may want to hire a pet sitter to come in and check on her, deliver meds/ take the dog to go potty and spend time for the first few weeks. Crated though seemed to be the best for us.

      If you are concerned, get a 2nd opinion.

      TPLO did help my dog, she is not 100%, but she can walk and run is happy and healthy. We give her S3 everyday and limit her running because she can over do it and will show signs of discomfort, which is mostly arthritis around the knee. Your dog is young and should recover well.

      Much luck to you and your GSP.

      1. The reason a vet would do both legs is to minimize the total amount of recovery time. One leg may take less time for the dog to be walking but there is still pain even though they cant tell you. Of course if they cant be there for the dog having any surgery isnt a good idea imo.

    2. Hi Christel has Zoe been diagnosed with torn ligaments acl (anterior cruciate ligament) xray cannot tell this but your vet should be able to manipulate your dogs leg and tell if it is a torn ligament. Only have one stifel done at a time if both stifel’s (legs) have been diagonised.
      you will need less rehab if you do one at a time as your dog can help support itself with the other leg, after surgery REST NO EXERCISE, get pain relief and antibiotics week2 you can walk your dog SHORT distances 2 times a day for 2 weeks and then increase distance each week for up to 8 weeks and Zoe should be good as gold. Don’t get any Vet get an Orthopedic Specialist.
      Good Luck
      Danny Queensland, Australia.

    3. How is Zoe
      Just today found out Winnie , my 4 year old chocolate lab will probe rely have to have the same surgery, I am horrified. How was your experience?

  3. Christel,
    Daisy is now 5 weeks post op from her bilateral TPLO and doing amazing!!
    The vet and I both chose to have a bilateral repair done on Daisy because she was lame in both legs and unable to stand. If one leg was done before the other she would not have a good leg to stand on, which would force her to put all her 90lbs on a recently plated leg. So having both legs done at least they would receive only 50% of the weight. I felt that choosing to do one leg and then the other would prolong Daisy’s pain….12 weeks until one was healed, yet continuing to have pain in the unoperated leg. Then opreating again and having to go through the pain all over again for another 12 weeks.
    Having said all that… Daisy is doing amazing!! Back to herself, walking well on leash. We walked 4 blocks yesterday, with no problem, no limp, nothing, completely normal!
    I did take two vacation days immediatley after her surgery, and my husband was on shift work. My neighbor also came over 2 days and let her out for a pee, while i was at work.
    It is an enormous amount of money but we are glad we did it. It’s a tough call and I totally understand what position you are in! Thinking of you!

    1. I have a 5 year old Standard Poodle who pulled up lame. I thought it was initially muscles and have been massaging her hip and thigh. Yesterday I noticed a lump on the inner aspect of her right knee. Almost like the knee cap may be dislocated. She is weight bearing and walking but with a limp. We have a vet appointment tomorrow. Can anyone advise if these symptoms are similar to what they experienced with their dog? She does not seem to be in pain and does not wince when I manipulate that leg but I am not being aggressive. It is not soft, like a cyst, and I had noticed she is lagging behind on our regular walks which is unlike her. Reading about these surgeries is a bit scary. Our vet is very holisitcally oriented, does accupuncture, etc, so I am hoping for a less invasive treatment than surgery. I guess time will tell. Can anyone respond with a Canadian cost for doing one knee?

      1. Hi Gloria
        I am the one who wrote for advice as my germanshort-haired pointer was recommended to have both knees done. I live in Edmonton Alberta. Cost to do one knee is $4800.00 or $6000.00 to do both. Vet recommended we do both at the same time. I have 4 children with three of them attending university right now. This really isn’t an expense we can afford. We are already in about $1000 getting all the tests done, meds, X-rays, consultation fees etc. an addition $6000 isn’t sitting well with me since there is no guarantee that she will be any better off.

        1. Hello Chrystel,
          My heart goes out to you with such a difficult decision. The reality for most of us is that we cannot afford the heroic means that are given as options and are made to feel very inadequate when it comes down to money or your dog. Guilt is a powerful motivator and makes it difficult to make rational choices. But, life happens and we have to make decisions that are for the greater good, nomatter what.
          I took my girl to the vet today and he said he thinks she tore the ACL in the past and the lump we found is a cartilage build-up and arthritis. Then he shared that there as also a slight possibility it was a bone tumour. And, the only cure is amputation with a 6 month life span following. Not very good odds. I am putting all my energy into the arthritis option. Like all of us, we would be filled with sadness should we lose her early.
          We discussed the surgeries you are considering and he said that there are pros and cons but one needed to put a lot of thought into the decision. As you have noted, often the cure is worse than the initial problem. I am sure your final decision will be a thoughtful one. You may end up with a dog who has arthritis and has limited mobility if the surgery is not done. But, animals, like us, get older and often have mobility challenges. We live in British Columbia, but I was born in Edmonton, and lived there until I was 29. Our dog came from a breeder there.
          Keep in touch,

          1. I have a 2 year old American Bulldog he completely ruptured his ACL left rear I went to an Orthopaedic vet who performed a TPLO on Harry, he stayed overnight with pain relief via iv, next morning I went to pick up Harry he was in good shape, on lead he walked to the car and I lifted him into the car.

            Harry is a house dog so he was use to staying inside with the help of Pain relief and antibiotics I was walking (short walks) Harry after the first week, now 2 years on and his other leg also having a TPLO, Harry is as fit as ever.

            Many thanks to my vet Dr. Gordon Corfield Gold Coast AUSTRALIA a tremendous surgeon. Harry now has a happy life thanks to the vet, Harry weighs 52kg.

            Danny Richardson

  4. Christel,
    Domino had to have bilateral TPLOs because he tore the second CCL only one week after surgery on the first one. Domino’s story (and numerous complications) are on the Dog Knee Injury Facebook page.
    Do NOT do just one leg if he is having trouble on both. It’s MUCH less traumatic for them to only go thru the surgery one time, and if he switches all his weight to a non-surgical leg, trust me it will probably take it out. (It’s also way cheaper.)
    As far as recovery, for the first week after surgery, I would have someone stay home. If you’re going to have problems, that’s when you’ll see them. Keep her crated in a super secure crate she can’t get out of – even when you’re home. Put the crate by a TV and leave it on for her all the time.
    Make sure you get a pain med above and beyond Deramaxx (which is just a doggy ibuprofen). I got tramadol for Domino, and it helped tremendously. He only got it for the first four days after each surgery, but he wasn’t doing well on the Deramaxx alone. You can also get acepromazine (sedative) if you need some help keeping your pup quiet in the crate.
    Follow the rehab instructions EXACTLY…if anything seems or sounds weird, call your vet immediately. You will be amazed at how quickly Zoe bounces back.
    Make sure you cut back on Deramaxx/pain meds as she starts to feel better. If you disguise the pain too much, she may try to do more than she is ready for, and re-injure herself, so be careful with that.
    Both of you will do fine – don’t panic, it’s a frightening thought and a lot of work (Domino had the worst complications my vet has ever seen and he’s doing pretty darn good right now), so hang in there!

  5. We have spent an agonizing week deciding if we should try the traditional surgery or do the TPLO as recommended by the orthopedic surgeon. After scouring the internet and talking w/two family friends who are vets, we decided on TPLO. Charlie is a four-year golden. With two kids in college and one graduating HS, she is the baby of our family. She tore her CCL last Nov, 2014. The kicker is she blew her “good” knee out this past weekend. She is having TPLO today on both knees! We believe we are making the best decision for our active, love-crazed runner and avid chaser of all things that move (leaves, rabbits, squirrels, and her favorite…tennis balls).

  6. Hello! My dog Dale is 4 months post bilateral TPLO he definitely favors one leg and limps occasionally on only that leg. Any insight/ advice?


    1. Hi Nico
      Your dog Dale has probably tore his Meniscus, some vets remove it while doing the TPLO maybe you should get this checked out.
      Good Luck

  7. Hi Nico. Charlie did not have any issues with limping or favoring one leg over the other. We are seven months post op and she is VERY active.

    At our last appointment (8 weeks post) he told us some favoring at times could be normal during the process of slowly returning to normal activity (maybe too much activity too soon), but we had none. So far, we have had such great results from the TPLO so I know it works. If it were me, I would ask for some follow up X-rays to see what is going on.

    Good luck!

  8. To all contemplating TPLO surgery. Ellie Mae, my 3 yr old Labrador Retriever who goes full throttle 24/7 came up lame and was found to have bilateral ccl injuries, 100% rupture in the right and 50% on the left. After much consideration, I opted to do both of her knees at the same time, as the recovery would be much easier and less stressful on her, and myself as well.. I live in Austin Tx, and her orthopaedic vet kept her for 5 days post op to ensure good pain control. I have a pet nanny who comes in daily, to give meds and take out of her kennel, to potty. Ellie is now 2 weeks out from surgery…she is over being confined, wants to run and play and tells me about it daily! She is still at 50% weight bearing and I am using what my vet sent home with her, an easy walk harness to accomplish this….Ellie, seems to be doing well, is scheduled to see her vet tomorrow for suture removal and I’m hoping to get a good report. In the beginning I was worried about keeping her calm, as she is highly spirited… vet sent her home on “Composure Pro” which supports calm behavior, and IT WORKS!!! She has also been placed on “Phycox” a joint supplement, as she will certainly develops post traumatic arthritis in her knees… This surgery is expensive, it was $5k, these days not many people have that much just sitting around somewhere waiting to be spent, and i didnt either….but Ellie, is family, you love them, dont want to see them in pain, so you bite the bullet, tighten the wallet and do it……ive always had labs, and Ellie is my second lab to have this injury. I purchased pet insurance for her as a puppy, and they have covered 90% of the cost surgery and all that goes with it after a $100 deductible. I have the ultimate cadiliac plan, as ive learned my lesson from the first lab…i pay a premium of $80/mo. This insurance has already more than paid for itself…and Ellie is for the better having it…

    1. Hi there. Do you mind me asking who did your pup’s surgery? We are in the Killeen area and our 2.5 year old boxer mix is needing bilateral tplo (although we are deciding on cblo, a newer version of the tplo).

  9. Just took my 5-year old bow-legged English bulldog Rosie home from the hospital last nite after her left leg TPLO surgery. She was overnight in the hospital one night. Night One at home was tough but manageable. My dog hates the raft-like collar around her neck but getting used to it. Hard too with a chubby bulldog neck. Resting resting. ankle beginning to swell like a golf ball. I’m just monitoring & keeping an eye out, ice, rest & meds. Rosie’s injury was a progressive onset, bad arthritis in both knees & diagnosed with hip dysplasia in both hips. I was told by the surgeon that the tear was bad & since she was limping it needed to be repaired to take pressure off the other knee & hips. If you have other pets in the house I noticed Rosie doesn’t want my other bulldog touching her or too close (she got mad at him) but wants him in the same room. She cried when I put him downstairs but then got mad at him when he came close. Women! Nice to read the other stories .. Thank you.

  10. My lab turns 9 tomorrow and it is also the day of her birthday bi-lat TPLO. …she severed both jumping on the deck 2 weeks ago. Fingers and tors crossed

  11. Hello, I have a stand schnauzer who is 1 year old . She had TPLO surgery 8 weeks ago. She’s recovered really well despite going lame at 4 weeks. I think after clear X-rays , we think she twisted her knee.. Recovered well within 48 hrs.. At 8 weeks she’s walking 15 min day walks and has free access to the garden. She has over the last week or so developed a cyst on the inside of her TPLO leg . X-rays are required again as a pin may be irritating subcutaneously? No idea really. Anyone else had problems?

  12. My 130 pound Anatolian Shepherd had bilateral TPLO surgery 5 weeks ago. Is recovery longer when both knees are done at once in comparison to only one? Her progress has been slow. She tends to drag her right foot, and when she sits her back legs are extended out and not underneath her. She only started standing on her own a week ago and doesn’t do that all the time. The fact that it is winter with about 10 inches of snow (and ice) on the ground and temps in the teens is not helping with getting enough exercise. I’m hoping manual leg exercises in the house may help some but I’m starting to worry about her progress because I’m not sure if this is normal or not as she is a very large dog.

    1. Hi Lisa.
      I think having both stifles done at the same time places a lot of stress on your dog, I’m not sure where you live but I am in AUSTRALIA Queensland my American Bulldog had tore his Ligament (left) right off the bone so I went to a specialist who , performed TPLO my dog was walking in 1 week small walks 18 months later he Ruptured his Right stifle and had TPLO with same recovery rates.
      Sounds hard with your weather conditions but you could help with physio moving his legs while she is lying on her side. Also if you can provide water treadmill exercise this would help her. My dog was 53 kg at the time.
      Provide water exercise as much as possible but also continue pain relief

      1. Thanks for the reply. We are in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, USA. She is walking, but a little wobbly. She can stand up on her own, but not easily, and she will often scoot on her butt to move. We plowed a path around the property and she seems to be doing better not having to walk through the deep snow. Her fur is also starting to grow back so that is helping as well. I’ve started to do joint flexes and extensions of her knees, ankles and toes 4 times a day after heating pad application. She is being taken out 4-5 times daily, but we are still using the belly harness for a little extra help. Since it’s summer in Australia, if you could send some of that warm weather this direction, that would be great!

        1. Hi Lisa, I was wondering if you could provide an update on your Anatolian Shepherd’s progress. My 80 lb GSD mix had bilateral tplo about five weeks ago and I’m concerned his progress is slow. He walks well, but needs assistance getting up 95% of the time, strongly favors his left leg, and has trouble getting comfortable at night. Like your dog, he often scoots around on his butt, so any insight would be greatly appreciated!

          1. Hi Cynthia, I’m afraid my Anatolian, after 12 weeks has not improved much. She’s still not standing on her own. We still need to use the support strap. When she first gets up she still tends to knuckle on her right foot. After she gets going that stops. I live in a very remote, rural location and the surgeon comes to the local vets office about once every 4-6 weeks. He has seen her twice. The last time he saw her he said he believes it is a muscle weakness because she is such a large dog and she hasn’t been able to build back enough muscle to support her weight. His own office is about 5 hours away and has rehab facilities, including an under water treadmill where she can exercise without all the weight of her size. He is also going to give her some muscle building steroids. We will be taking her there this Tuesday and she will be staying 2 to 3 weeks. He is not charging us for this except for the medication. I don’t know your circumstances, but if you live in a more populated location, there may be rehab available close to you. I would also suggest asking about laser treatments if pain is still a problem. I have heard a lot of people say their animals have responded well to laser treatments. We have also started her on a new kind of joint supplement called Dasuquin. It is expensive, but is a low molecular weight, and more easily assimilated. My husband said he has noticed a positive difference. I will let you know how she is doing in rehab. I understand how much work this is when you have a large dog. It can also be very frustrating. Please let me know how your dog is doing.

  13. Hi Lisa, thank you for responding so quickly – although I was hoping to hear your Anatolian was back to normal by now. I’m assuming your vet took x-rays at 8 weeks to make sure the bones are healing properly and the plates are where they should be. If no issues were found on x-ray, the muscle weakness explanation makes sense. Hopefully underwater treadmill exercises are the answer – I’ve heard that’s the best option after this type of surgery. I live in the Texas Panhandle and his surgery was in Albuquerque, so I’m not sure if we have underwater rehab options nearby. I’m just hoping that his not standing on his own is a confidence issue and that one day soon he’ll realize he doesn’t need to be so dramatic and can actually do it without assistance! In any case, his follow-up appointment is March 3rd and we’ll know more at that point. I truly appreciate your insight and will certainly look into the laser treatments and the Dasuquin. After much research on bilateral TPLO recovery, it’s good to find someone in a similar situation – even if just to compare notes. I’ll be looking forward to an update on your furBaby’s progress and hoping for the best. Cheers!

    1. HI Cynthia, My girl wound up staying in the rehab facility for 3 months. She just wasn’t making much progress. They x-rayed her knees twice and they were fine. They finally decided to do an MRI and found she had 2 ruptured discs in her back and had to operate again. We brought her home 2 weeks ago. She is standing and walking on her own, is still wobbly, but seems to finally be improving. She cannot run at this point. I think there will be more improvement, but I really don’t think she will ever be back to where she was before these injuries. I hope your baby has had better luck. How is she doing?

      1. Oh my goodness, Lisa – three months and another surgery! That’s a lot for anyone to go through in such a short period of time…sounds like your girl is a fighter! Even if she doesn’t return to pre-surgery bounciness, what’s important is that she isn’t in so much pain (in my opinion). My boy is back to running and playing like before – it just took him a little longer than I expected. Perhaps it was just a confidence issue – but it sure was hard work those first two months. I shouldn’t complain – they are worth every bit of sacrifice!
        Thank you for the update on your furBaby. I certainly am glad she is improving and I hope she does get back to normal or at least near normal. Chin up, and cheers to all the dog parents out there who love their furBabies as unconditionally as they love us!

        1. Thanks for the good words Cynthia. I’m optimistic. One thing I would suggest for anyone whose dog is having more problems then normal is to get an MRI sooner, rather then later. It appears that in my dogs case, one caused the other. Not sure which came first. Great to hear your baby is doing well.

  14. Hi,

    I am reading a lot of comments about either doing bilateral TPLOs simultaneously or doing one at a time. We have a Rottie, who had a TPLO four weeks ago. The procedure is unfortunately not new to us. This is our third Rottie to have the procedure. This morning she ruptured her CCL on her good leg. Surgery is scheduled for this coming Tuesday. What is new to us is doing back to back TPLOs. Any words of wisdom?


    1. Hi Eden, the only advice I can think of is be patient with the recovery process and use a harness religiously to help your Rottie get up from sitting. If there is significant pain, administer a doggie aspirin; also use a supplement with MSM/glucosamine/chondroitin daily to help support the joints. I agree with Lisa about providing some exercise to reduce muscle atrophy, just be sure to limit his activity to short walks (with support from the harness or towel around the belly) during the first few weeks. Good luck and best wishes!

    2. P.S. – Since activity will be limited for a while, feed your dog less than normal to avoid weight gain (which would put additional stress on those joints).

  15. Hello Eden, It is my understanding that when one leg goes, the other leg usually does too due to the extra weight etc. I wish I could say there was an easy way, but my own experience is that, with a large dog, it is very difficult. It is a huge amount of work to support the whole back end while the dog recovers. My advise would be to see if there are any dog rehabilitation facilities in your area and if possible, have them help with the rehab. My dog is so heavy that only my husband was able to hold her up, and after a while his shoulder gave out. Try to make sure she gets enough exercise so her muscles don’t lose too much strength. Let us know how she’s doing.

    Best of luck

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