Right Knee TPLO – Betty

right knee tplo

Four weeks ago my 6-year-old Greater Swiss Mountain Betty, who is very active and very healthy, tore her cruciate ligament and began limping. We love our dog very much and of course took her to a vet who did x-rays and an exam and recommended a surgical hospital that had board certified surgeons who taught other surgeons new techniques, we were told they were very good. So we took her immediately there and surgery was scheduled for the next day. All tests were done and we liked the surgeon who was very nice and of course Betty was healthy and approved for surgery. She had the surgery the next day and the day after that we took her home. The house was prepared with a soft crate for convalescence and we received a prescription for an anxiolytic because Betty can get anxious. And she had a Fentanyl patch for pain for the next week.

For the next 2 weeks, all was fine. She recouped, we carried her outside from the crate to do her business and then put her back in the crate, she ate well and was returning to her normal self and most importantly she was toe touching when we started letting her walk out of the house instead of carrying her out (this we started on day 8 of recovery). Second week to the day we had a scheduled exam with the surgeon to see how the healing was progressing and she received a glowing report from the surgeon. The surgeon took Betty away to another exam room to examine her. When she came back we were told that Betty was doing great. The surgeon did tell us that she was able to put her hunch back to her rump and she did great and that we should come back in 6 weeks. Betty was tired but walked out of the office slightly limping and occasionally toe touching the floor. We crated her in the car and came home and from this moment on all just went bad.

She slept all afternoon and night, refused food, and was lethargic. We attributed this to exhaustion and let her sleep. The next morning she ate her breakfast, did her business, and limped back into the house on 3 legs and slept and still was slightly lethargic. I called the surgeon’s office and left messages 3 times that day and was not called back. The next day I called at 8am and spoke to the surgical nurse who looked after Betty before and after surgery and told her what was going on. She was concerned and said that there could be swelling and limping after the exam and to
monitor and if she doesn’t eat then bring her in. We monitored and the next day she was better. There was no more lethargy and she was eating and doing her business, but she still was hopping on 3 legs and not putting any weight on her surgical leg. This concerned me very much. The next day we brought her in to the surgical office and she had a temperature of 104.5, had a swollen leg, and was still only hopping on 3 legs. The team at the surgical office was a different team and they examined her and said it seemed there was no problem at the surgical site and the temp could be from inflammation. So she was put on Rimadyl for 5 days and we were told to let her rest and monitor her. We declined an x-ray because of fear of more trauma to her leg.

Anyway, the next day passed uneventfully, but I was concerned for the 3 leg hopping because now it had been 4 days and the leg from the shank down was limp and Betty kept the leg high, never toe touching. So the next day (which was Friday) we brought her in because the surgeon on duty was Betty’s surgeon. This time we did an x-ray, she was examined again outside and away from us, and the surgeon even aspirated fluid from the knee to see if there was any infection, all was negative. And another good thing was that her temp was back to normal 101. And she was a little back to herself. The surgeon also said she did an neurological exam and she did fine. She told us that there was no reason that she could see why she wasn’t toe touching, except maybe pain so now Betty was prescribed Rimadyl and Neurontin for a 2 week period, on top of her anxiolytic meds.

It’s Saturday and nothing has changed. Betty is still hopping on 3 legs, refusing to put any weight on her operated leg, the swelling has gone down and we have been putting ice packs on her as recommended 3-4 times per day for 5 to 10 minutes to the leg. I am very concerned with this hopping and not toe touching and it has been a week almost that she is doing this. I am concerned about muscle atrophy and neurological damage. Can anyone please help and shed some light on this issue and my concerns? We love our Betty so much and just want to see her active again, swimming in the pool and running and being my second little girl.

8 thoughts on “Right Knee TPLO – Betty

  1. Any update on how precious Betty is doing? I have a 7 yr old bloodhound that is going through the same exact thing without fever issues.

    We are on day 14 since surgery and there seem to be no improvements what so ever. I was prescribed prednisone and told that if there are no signs of improvements in the next two to three days to come back in for a CT scan…

  2. Can we get an update on Betty? Please? This is a pretty traumatic read for me as I just found out my sweet boy, Sebastian, half black Lab/half Golden Retriever MUST have surgery for a completely torn ACL in his left knee. He just turned 9 years old last week and has never even shown signs of being arthritic, much less, having knee problems. People often think he is much younger because of how energetic and playful he is. He barely even has gray around his muzzle.

    I’ve been an emotional wreck all day and reading about sweet Betty’s struggle didn’t help.Now I’m even more frightened.

    Please update to let people know how Betty is doing and if she recovered. I really hope it was just a little scare and nothing terrible happened.

    Thank you,
    June 2, 2017

  3. Olivia
    Before taking any decision about surgery , I would suggest you to read this site first
    tiggerpoz – Dog ACL Injury– Is Surgery Really Needed?

    I wrote my dog Noelle’s story on this site.

    1. Hi Sandhya

      My 9 year old Tibetan Terrier started limping on 3 legs about 4-5 weeks ago. Xrays were taken and in the meantime I gave her complete rest…no jumping and in a crate of a night.
      She’s now walking normally but I still got her leg checked out by an Orthopedic Surgeon today and was told that she has to have a TPLO for a partial tear.
      I have been reading scary stories about this procedure and found your story very interesting.
      One important question I have is that my dog has gone from limping on 3 legs to practically walking normally with rest so why does she need a TPLO??
      Any feedback on this would be highly appreciated.


      1. I can understand what you are going through. According to my vet Noelle also needed TPLO. I get goosebumps when i read TPLO recovery and if something goes wrong there is no way back. Sebastian is showing improvement -its a good news though. Be patient. I don’t know about his weight but loosing some weight will help his knee. Glucosamine Chondroitin supplement might help him. I give Noelle Pointpet- Glucosamine Booster and Glycoflex 3 .
        according to me if he is walking normally without any painkiller, Rimadyl I think he is not a TPLO candidate!

        1. Thanks for your reply

          Her op is scheduled for 28th June so I still have time to change my mind.
          She is not on any pain meds but the question I keep asking myself is that she seems to be walking better and not on 3 legs so why suggest a TPLO…hmm!!

  4. How is Betty going/we have a German Pointer who is 11 years old,she has gone through exactly the same procedure as Betty with the same outcome,we are totally distraught,’It is now one month since surgery and she is on 3 legs at least 50% of the time.
    We have had an xray and they can not see why Maxi is still on 3 legs..
    she is now on liquid paracetemol,neurontin,and previcox,
    We have had her at physio 3 times last week and spent over $5000,we are giving her physio every day at home but nothing seemsto be working.
    We were told yesterday thy may have to remove the plate from her leg,
    Is there anyone who can help,or had this situation come right.
    We just want our happy dog to be running with us or even walking would be good!

    1. Hi can I just say sorry for all the babies going through these surgeries it’s awful my boy Cyrus had a tplo July 2016 wow did we go through it pattela tendinitis a late miniscual tear which was more surgery at the same time I asked for the plate to be removed as it had done its job! I think we all go by the 12 week and your dog will be right rule this is not so this is routine for vets but major surgery for our babies and takes months to fully heal honestly was a year before I could say cy was ok he has since had a tta on his left leg august this year so we are 14 weeks post op and every time I increase excersise we are back on 3 legs now even though I’ve been through this something tells me something is not right so I am scheduling an app for next week he is a big lad so I think healing takes a little longer than the little doglets but no matter what Christ don’t they make you worry!! Anyway I’m rambling now good luck everyone here x

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