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.

33 thoughts on “TPLO Recovery – Cora

    1. 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.

  1. 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!

    1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. Are there any parents of Bpoxers out there who have gone forward w/the TPLO surgery? I have a 31/2 year old “requiring” this procedure and i remain highly skeptical about this invasive treatment, however i am getting nowhere w/the conservative measures I’ve tried in th last four months…..

    1. Hi I’m the daddy of two boxers (Dante and Kona) and we are in the middle of our second tplo surgery in two years. First Dante completely tore his ccl last year. He is a full year recovered from tplo and you wouldn’t know he ever had surgery. Lightning struck twice and his sister had a partial tear a couple months back….restricted her for a month…no better so she just had her tplo two days ago. So far so good. Just make sure you follow the instruction and do the therapy (laser treatments and water treadmill really got my boy back up to normal quick). Best of luck with baby!

  4. My almost 10 year old boxer tore his and was told he will need the surgery but not sure if he is too old. Don’t want him in pain but unsure about this as I have not heard anything good about this surgery for big dogs. Other boxer owners I know that had the procedure have failed. Anyone really know how good the other option — the brace is? Need thoughts. Thanks all!

    1. Not sure who is giving you information but tplo is made for big active dogs. I have one 80lb boxer fully recovered from tplo and 1 55 lb boxer that is in the beginning (almost two weeks in) of recovery and doing very well (almost no limp and she hasn’t even gotten the staples out yet). If you do the right things during recovery (all of the rehab and icing, water treadmill therapy, and truly keep the dog from activity the first couple weeks) then tplo has a 95% effective rate from the research I did.

  5. We are coming up to almost one year post op TPLO for Cora and she is doing FANTASTIC. She is back to full activity, we just don’t let her play outside with her big brother (they get a tad rough). I’m very happy with the outcome.

  6. I am seeing varying prices for the TPLO on this site, but many are dated. What are some average prices for the procedure at today’s (May 2018) prices? I am in Central California, planning to move forward w/the surgery on my 3 1/2 year old Boxer,Lucy. Being quoted $4300 … not happy about this,but am prepared until a friend of mine told me that she just had it done on her dog (Aust Shephard) for $1650. This seems unbelievably low, or is it???

    1. I had Cora’s done in Claremont, New Hampshire and we spent a total of about $2500 between the pre op appointment, surgery, meds, and post op. We did not to physical therapy or acupuncture. I’m hearing that some people spend upwards to $7000 on this surgery. I really think it varies between areas.

    2. My 2yr American Pitbull is 9weeks out of TPLO and our costed $2700 out the door. They also kept her for 3days post surgery with 8 laser treatments, all included in the price. Located in Clovis, Ca.

  7. my rottweiler is having tplo this Monday in Ventura by Vetsurg clinic.Watching all the videos on youtube can really help know what you will need to do after the surgery.I feel like it will be ok and worth it to have her to be able to play agaun with my daughters dogs, my granddogs!

  8. My Cane Corso just had TPLO on Both knees. He is 3 years old and 110lb. The surgery was done on May 16th. After the surgery we kept him in his Kennel all the time only coming out for bathroom breaks outside the first month. We use a sling to take the weight off his back side. We now let him lay with us in the living room in the evenings still using the sling to get around. He can walk on his own but we want to be carful with him till is 8 week check up and X-rays. The only issue we are seeing now is a random pop like before the surgery.. I’m a bit worried about this. Anyone else notice this a month after sergery?

    1. Ahhhh…the horrible popping/clicking sound. I remember hearing that and just thought the worst. I noticed Cora having it right after surgery, and then it went away and returned. I was horrified because her knee never did that to begin with. The popping finally started to go away once the muscle started to build back up. I think I took her to the vets about this issue twice and the surgeon politely reassured me that it was nothing to worry about. He muscles are weak, but her knee is now strong! He was right. It eventually went away.
      So sorry to hear that your Corso had BOTH knees done. Was this at the same time? That’s crazy… I wish your baby a great and quick recovery!!

      1. I am so relieved to hear this reply. Our one year old yellow lab is about 3 wks post TPLO surgery and I noticed clicking/popping during our short leash walk today. Of course it is Saturday and I can’t call the surgeon. I will follow up with him Monday but it’s comforting to know others have heard a clicking following surgery. Lucy does need to build that muscle back up for sure at this point.
        Thanks for posting!

        1. I’m 6 months out from TPLO and now have a clicking sound and he’s limping a small bit. He had double knees done last time. His brother already had 1 knee done and he’s limping in the other now. I’m so upset. After paying for 3 already I can’t believe I might need another 2.

  9. My 10 year old, 60 lb. hound mix had TPLO surgery on July 6th. She had a complete tear of the ligament and meniscus. One week post op and she is looking so much better. She was toe touching 24 hours after surgery and is consistently bearing weight on the repaired knee. The swelling and bruising are gone now and the incision looks great. I

  10. My 3 yr old Rottie is on week 7 of her TPLO on both legs and she is doing fantastic. We started our walks for 10-15 minutes a day 2 times a day and she is so happy to get out of the house again. She is also going out and getting the paper in the morning again!! Her Xrays were really good. Drs. were very happy with how everything looked. I started giving her Nzymes (check out their website) it is a probiotic and I think that really helped her healing.

  11. How much swelling is too much? My English bulldog just had TPLO and 36 hr post op is very swollen. Twice the size of the good leg

  12. My American pit bull had quite a bit of swelling, we had her on an anti-inflammatory which helped but it was noticeably swollen for a good 5 days. I also massaged it upward away from her foot multiple times a day so the fluid wouldn’t accumulate.

  13. My vet put soft casts on both of my Rottie’s legs to help with the swelling. In fact about 9 days after her surgery one of the casts was so loose I was able to slide it off. The swelling was so minimum that it came off. Vet said to keep it clean and no need to worry. Having casts on was nice because I didn’t have to keep a cone on her. I was never out of her sight for 9 straight days. My husband did all the shopping for that time. She recovered wonderfully. It is 7 months since her surgery and she can run and play again.
    She also had that clicking sound in her legs but vet said it will just be fine once she builds the muscles up again. He was right, I haven’t heard it click in about 2 months.

  14. Hi. My 2 year old shepherd/golden retriever mix just went through his first TPLO surgery. March 18th will mark his two weeks mark. He is seeing my local vet for this visit as surgeon is 4 hours away. I’ve been doing his stretches faithfully but hear and feel a slight click in the repaired knee. Zoro had a full acl tear with a partial town meniscus. Zoro is weight bearing on repaired leg approximately 20% now. I’m still using his sling to take him down stairs. So far his recovery is miraculous.

  15. My American Pitbull 2yrs 55lbs had the clicking as well. From what I’ve read and gathered from others is that it’s normal. Clicking has since gone away.

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