Extracapsular Surgery for Dogs – Santos


Santos is a rescued/adopted 7 year old Greyhound and Dalmatian mix with diabetes diagnosed one year ago. Santos had a full tear with no meniscus damage.

I attempted CM (Conservative Management) for 1.5 months with him getting worse. I decided to get the knee surgically repaired. Because of his diabetes, I brought him home the same day of surgery. As others have noted, the first week and definitely nights one and two were the hardest part. I’ve never heard him cry until the first night. It was horrible. I wondered if I did the right thing. Only time will tell.

Our last vet visit was for staple removal (at 2 weeks post-op) and all was fine. Santos is now 1 month post-op and is still limping. I am doing my best not to compare his recovery with other dogs’ recoveries I read online. It is very hard. I live on the second floor (16 steps) and continue to carry him up/down the stairs, as I’m so very worried the suture (inside) will not hold since it really just there to “buy time” for the scarring to take hold.

I take him for short walks 3 x day and will bring him in as soon as I notice the limping is worse. I also sit/stand exercises with him and try range of motion, which he does not like at all. When he first gets up, the leg is stiff and he hops around. I am hoping the loss of muscle is the big reason for his limp and maybe a lack of confidence, but not the procedure itself. The muscle atrophied quite a bit by the time I brought him in for surgery.

Unfortunately, there is no rehab or hydrotherapy facility nearby. He is now able to hold himself up (while relieving) using the repaired leg and his front legs. Today, he was also able to scratch his ear (not a hearty scratch) with the repaired leg. Our next vet visit is November 4th and I am hoping all will be okay. Thank you for establishing this site. The information and personal stories of success and failures and success again have been very helpful.

2 thoughts on “Extracapsular Surgery for Dogs – Santos

  1. Hang in there. Luna is 5 weeks post op ex cap and very slight limp still. She goes to PT for laser, ultrasound, e-stim and water treadmill every 4 days and chiropractic and accupuncture every 2 weeks. Things you can do yourself is massage above and below the stifle( knee) and very very gentle stretching ( not to much so you don’t stretch the suture in the stifle). No stairs unless he can do them very slowly but maybe not any at all until he quits limping during a flat walk. No jumping, rough playing or running until he regains strength. It’s frustrating but with not having a rehab source, it may take longer. Hang in there.

  2. Thank you Luna’s Mom,

    He is doing better and so am I.

    Just recently started allowing him to go down stairs with me blocking, so he is essentially going one at a time and very controlled. Up the stairs is a bit more challenging so I’ve decided to continue to carry him.

    We have a follow-up Monday and I’m just hoping all is well.

    Thank you again. Take care.

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