TPLO Surgery Recovery Time – Wrigley

TPLO Recovery Time

Wrigley had TPLO surgery on her right leg in March 2012.

Initially her recovery was slow, but after 52 days was off the couch and going up the stairs to our bedroom and walking like there was nothing wrong.

In June 2012 she blew the ligament in her left leg. We’re day 33 into recovery and she doing very well. This time she used her leg right away. She didn’t seem to have as much discomfort post op. It’s amazing how different both recoveries have been.

Recovery Time for TPLO

Both procedures were done by the same surgeon at the same clinic. Every dog is different, and every time recovery is different. Don’t panic and worry if your dog isn’t recovering as fast as you read others have. They’re just experiencing it differently.

Why I Chose TPLO

Wrigley is a 7 yr old Golden retriever. TPLO has the fastest recovery time. At her age I didn’t want something that would have a long drawn out recovery period that would age her faster (pain,, stress, etc.) – especially since she didn’t have a single white hair before surgery and many have grown in since the first.

11 thoughts on “TPLO Surgery Recovery Time – Wrigley

  1. The 2nd TPLO was so much easier than the 1st. My dog healed 2 weeks faster. I think weather(summer vs. winter) and knowing what was going on helped. He is 1 yr post-op 2nd leg comes on 8-24-12. He walks a little bowlegged now but healthy as can be. My 6 year old 41 pound puggle. 1st leg post-op is 12-28-10.

    1. My dog just had her second tplo yesterday. Good to hear your dog is doing so well. Gives me hope. I have noticed this one already seems easier on her.

      Your best comment was about the bow legged. I notic d that a bit on her first surgery leg.

      1. Hi Emory, our 7 yr old poochie has his first of two tplo surgeries this coming Friday. A bit nervous but preparing to initiate great post op care. I appreciate all the posts and information, certainly lends some comfort to this nervous, worrisome time. How is your doggie doing now? Any tips you can share with the post op care? Ty.

        1. If your dog isn’t already crate trained then you’ll want to pick up one that is a size to big and has the side door. Make sure you have 2-3 people for picking up your pup. The driver and 2 others to help him get as comfortable as possible on the drive home. (Super hard.)
          The 1st couple of week’s I slept on the floor beside my dog in his new crate b/c he wasn’t crate trained. Make sure to give the pills like clockwork. Don’t expect him to poop for a couple of day. Take out to the bathroom more often b/c for the 2nd surgery I didn’t and my dog peed himself twice.You will have to hand feed and give ice cubes to help keep hydrated.
          I kept my dog on a dog bed on the floor attached to a leash. I spent 95% of my time with him since I didn’t have a job which worked out well.
          Fast Forward 4 years we are post op for both surgeries. He’s doing great and the lower I keep his weight the better. I have been giving joint supplments the last month and 1/2 b/c he’s gained weight. The only thing is he waddles when he walks other than that his legs are good for having both TPLO’s.
          Anything else feel free to ask.

          1. Hi April, ty so much for the reply! Our main man Mikey is crate trained, however, we are going to use a corral versus his crate, its just easier to get him in and out. I do understand that this instruction will be given to us by our surgical staff, but I’m curious how soon after post-op did you start to ice/cold pack and do prom?

            Everything else we are confident that we will care for him well during post-op, sadly due to work we will have to put him in daycare. But our vet is so great, they will assist us with some of the post-op rehab.

            I really appreciate your time, if you have any tips or thoughts you find helpful, by all means share. Ty Ty!


          2. I remember if I did ice packs. The hardest part is keeping the dog still and comfortable.

          3. I have a 8 yr. old Australian Cattle dog that had her first TPLO in 6/15 and we just got diagnosed with the other leg torn. Did you have any issues of them being nervous to use the 1st leg while recovering from the 2nd surgery?

  2. My 2 year old labrador Piper is almost 8 weeks into her second TPLO surgery. She had her first 18 weeks ago. She came home from the first not using the leg for a week and slowly came around and did very well. At 10 weeks we had the other leg operated on and she came home three days later using both legs perfectly! I attributed it to her now having a stable leg to rely on. When she came home the first time she had a torn ligament in the other leg and wasn’t stable at all.
    She hasn’t grown the hair in on this last leg as quickly though. The hardest part is keeping her calm and contained and not letting her run or play or climb the stairs by herself. She just turned 2 four weeks ago! She has been on a leash and quiet watch for 18 weeks now and we have at least 6-8 weeks to go! AAgh! THIS is the hard part. We go in for xrays on Tuesday and hopefully all will be great and we can get the OK to start the rehab process.
    TPLO was the only way to go for our very young and active 80lb English lab! Hopefully she will have many years ahead of her to run and play with all of her friends.

    1. Hi Barbara, thank you for your post! Our lil guy Mikey goes in for his first leg, both require tplo, this coming Friday. I’m so concerned about his post op care, be it, he doesn’t have the other leg for support. I’ve already purchase every harness there is, and plan to support his hind like we’ve been doing. Any tips or thoughts you can share for our journey to recovery? thx again..nervous but inspired by all the posts to get my guys tap shoes back on!

      1. Hi Ken,
        Mikey is very lucky to have you help him through this.
        Three years later and Piper is doing fantastic. People are always stunned to hear what she went through.
        A few tips that stay with me are
        1. Do what you can to help with traction when he ” walks “. We put rubber mats through out the downstairs on the tile. Without the other leg for support its especially important.
        2. Don’t rush the rehab. Go slow and watch for signs of distress.
        3. Second TPLO seemed horrible to put her through again but actually went easier.
        4. Freeze corn syrup in ziploc bags to use. Make 3-4 to rotate. It conforms to the leg nicely and stays cool but not too cold.
        5. Campho phenique works really well on shave burn.
        We didn’t crate but we used gates or pen type fencing instead. Keep it very small and increase size slowly.
        I did her rehab mostly in the evenings while the neighborhood was quiet and she wasn’t excited or distracted. After we advanced to that point of course.
        I will review the notes Later that I took and see what else I can offer you.
        Good luck,

        1. Hi Barbara,

          Wow do we appreciate you!! Thank you for taking the time out and post these suggestions. Mikey’s surgery is tomorrow, and we have plans to pick him up on Saturday, late morning. We will be with Mikey 24/7 until Wednesday of next week. Then he will be going to daycare at our vets location, he will be in their post-op surgical area. They have a lot of experience taking care of post tplo patient, and will assist us with some of the rehab. From my understanding, they can do ice and hot packs and offer cold laser therapy. That, and they will give him love, attention and tlc. In the early afternoon I will go pick him up, so he can be home and sleep overnight with us. Ideally, I plan on fitting in a few rehab sessions in the late afternoon and early evening. I certainly don’t want to push him too hard!

          As is, my plans for the first 3 days post-op is to do all we can to make him comfy. Ice therapy/packs to help manage pain, and light massage, more touch. After two days, I was thinking of starting some very easy passive ROM. Regards to your points:

          1. Yes, we’ve bought to different slings to help support the hind. He doesn’t like them, but right now it seems he doesn’t like much unless you have bacon!

          2. Yes, I will definitely make it a point not to push to hard with the rehab. I know we have a long road ahead, and will remind myself that this process requires baby steps and patience! The upside is I was a kinesology major in college, so I’m hoping that that will translate into properly managing his rehab phases.

          3. I hope that these surgeries aren’t that hard on him, he seems to have shown unbelievable resiliency over these last 5 weeks with how he does support himself during elimination. We are certainly helping during that process, holding him up by his inside thighs. I know that post op we may not be able to do that depending on how high up the insicion travels.

          4. We’ll try the corn syrup tip, thank you! Right now we have different types of cold packs. We’ve found that the gel cold pack maintains good flexibility, however, your corn syrup tip sounds great!!

          5. Ty again, we’ll look into this….certainly will obtain some skin soothing cream to help with the skin irritation.

          If you have any other tips, please do share. Today I’ll be going through my checklist, to ensure that we and the house are ready for him post-op. Again, we appreciate you! God Bless!!

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