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TPLO Recovery – Cora

Around the end of April, I noticed a limp. Suddenly. I thought she had pulled a muscle, so I waited a couple of days. It didn’t go away, so off to the vet she went. They did an exam and determined she had a partial tear (maybe) in her CCL. Pain meds were prescribed for two weeks. After she was off of them for a week, the limp returned. So back on the meds she went for another two weeks. During that time, I had her on restricted activity and leash walk only.

One day while I had her out on her leash, she decided to go turbo and started running circles around me. Then, up went her bad leg and she completely stopped putting weight on it. I rushed her to the vet. During the exam, they determined that she completely blew out her CCL. Luckily, they had openings for surgery on Friday, and this happened on Wednesday night. Surgery went great, no complications. And she did have a complete tear.

So things had been going well post op. But one day I noticed a clicking or popping sound when she puts too much pressure on that bad leg (3 days post op). After her stitches were removed, the popping went away for the most part and would only return on occasion. I think once I built up her muscle a little, it help stabilize her knee.

By 12 weeks, I was pretty happy with her recovery. She was walking straight for the most part and her limp was minimal.

This past Friday marked 20 weeks post op. I feel Cora is at a stand still and has stopped improving. She walks pretty well with the occasional “bunny hop” if she gets ahead of herself or goes too fast. She only walks with a limp if she lays on her bad leg for too long. But for the most part, I’m happy with her walking. My concern is her weight distribution while standing still. I have noticed she is not equally distributing her weight on both legs. Rather than 50/50, it’s more like 40/60. Her good leg still has a lot more muscle than her TPLO leg, so maybe it just feels more natural to lean? I’m wondering if it’s more of a discomfort than a pain, too. Maybe it just feels weird to her? Her injury was acute, so she always had a great working leg prior to the injury, and it will never feel the way it did before.

My current plan of action is this:

-Continue fish oil and glucosamine
-Restart Meloxicam pain meds temporarily
-Increase her activity (walks and exercises)
-Add new exercises to her daily routine
-Continue to massage and do daily manipulation
-Follow up appointment is scheduled for the end of November (6 month mark)
-Be patient…..

Does anyone have any advice? Maybe you have gone through this, or know someone who has? I know every dog is different so it may take some dogs longer to recover than others. My anxiety is through the roof with this. I wish she could tell me what’s bothering her!! I’m just hoping that this is within the realm of “normal” recovery.

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6 Responses to TPLO Recovery – Cora

  1. November 10, 2017 at 3:00 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! How is Cora doing now? Which Fish Oil and Glucosamine product are you using?

    • November 17, 2017 at 10:12 am #

      She is doing better now! I had to take her to the vet and her surgeon said she is actually doing fine. The only thing he noticed was the muscle atrophy (which I was aware of). He said that I needed to let her run around off the leash now and to continue pain meds for another 2-3 months.

      The fish oil is called Omegease and I just started her on a new joint supplement called Cosequin (advance support). The vet said to continue those.

  2. November 11, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

    Have you tried hydrotherapy at all? That was when we saw the turning point with Bennison. He was exhibiting a lot of the same symptoms as you described with the bunny hopping and not putting full weight on the TPLO leg until we started doing hydrotherapy 2x/week at 18 weeks. We’re a year out now (did the hyrdo for 6 months) and it is as if the injury never happened in the first place. Best of luck!

    • November 17, 2017 at 10:13 am #

      I wish I could do that, however there are no facilities that offer that type of therapy anywhere near me. That’s great to hear that your dog is doing so well!

  3. November 17, 2017 at 5:54 am #

    Hi Cora
    We decided against the surgery with our boy and he is doing great after the torn ccl. When my husband would walk him he would put a little resistance on his leash which would force him to put his back leg down and use it more and that helped to keep the muscles active. Occurred about 8 months ago all is as normal.

    • December 15, 2017 at 6:52 am #

      I am going this route also
      How long did the whole process take for you

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