TTA Repair Postop Recovery

One of the benefits of the newest of the cranial cruciate repair surgeries, the TTA, is the length of time required before your dog can return to exercise and a life without restrictions. Because the ostoeotomy (cutting of the bone) in the tibial tuberosity advancement procedure is done in a non weight bearing area of the knee, dogs are able to return to normal activities more quickly than they would be able to after undergoing a TPLO or the traditional (extracapsular imbrication) surgery. Most TTA patients begin weight bearing during walking within the first 24 to 48 hours after completion of the surgical procedure.

The osteotomy will take 6 to 8 weeks to heal, during which time your pet will need to be kept relatively quiet and only allowed outside on a leash. Your dog will most likely start to feel that they are completely healed within a week of the TTA, but it is important to not let them to do too much too soon as they risk damage, not only to the implant, but a CCL tear in the opposite knee. Many veterinarians will advise pet owners to keep their dogs sedated during this recovery process to assure they remain quiet and only go outdoors to relieve themselves.

At 2 weeks post-op you will need to visit your surgical veterinarian to have your canine’s stitches removed and evaluate their progress. They should be putting weight on the leg by this point, and at the very least, exhibiting toe-touching behavior. Your dog will also have rechecks at 4 and 8 weeks, and at 8 weeks postop your vet will take radiographs (x-rays) of the stifle to make sure the bones of the knee are healed. If at 8 weeks your dog’s bones have healed and he is bearing weight on the injured leg, your vet will allow you to begin to incorporate exercise back into your dog’s daily routine. You will want to start off slow, paying attention to your dog’s comfort level, working your way up to the point your dog was at pre-injury. Many TTA dogs are completely healed by 3 months.

Pit Bulls Rescued From Mike Vick Compound

All dogs with CCL injuries will go on to develop some level of arthritis. It is a good idea to have your dog’s knees x-rayed during your yearly veterinary visits to examine the presence of arthritis and determine what type of treatment plan would be best for your pet to make them the most comfortable.

334 thoughts on “TTA Repair Postop Recovery

  1. My 5 yr old 75lb chessy had TTA surgery for CCL repair. She put the leg down after 24 hours and was doing fine for the first 2 weeks. On the 15th day after her surgery, she quit using the leg and it has been lifeless for the past week. She was re x rayed and everything was OK. She is now on 2 pain meds, but she does not seem to be in pain, yet she makes no attempt to use the leg at all. We are very concerned and would appreciate any ideas.

    1. We are at three 3 weeks post op. My 140 lb German Rot, Brutus contracted two different bacteria infections in his leg at 2 weeks. He came out of surgery walking on all fours, and after 60 mile trip (one way) to the surgeons he started walking on threes. Is it the inefection that has caused this or the long trip that has caused the set back? He is able to scratch his ear with the bad leg, stretch, and do the PROM, just refuses to put weight on that leg. Has anyone had any similar experiences?

      1. Hi

        Lily went lame at 7 weeks having snapped her plate, but after a week of rest she was OK and xrays showed no problems. But we found that everytime she had to do a car journey she was sore and we had to rest her. Instead of taking her to the vets for her staples removed – we did it, because of what she is like in the car it was a sensible solution (hubby is a nurse consultant). I think its the small sharp movements of cars, when I had my knee restructured, apart from not being able to drive for at least 3 weeks, I found just sitting in a car painfull and pulling on the knee muscles. Probably the same for doggies.

        Good luck


        1. Yvonne,

          I found your post interesting. Prior to Wally’s surgery he loved to go for a ride.
          I have to fight with him just to get him in the car for therapy.It did not occur to me it could be the small sharp movements. I cannot think of any other reason. When we return from therapy he is exhausted. I have been trying to figure this out.

          Thanks for sharing!

  2. After 3 days of moist heat compress, range of motion manipulation and massage, she began using the leg again. At 8 weeks she walks on all fours almost 100% of the time. She does tend to hold it up when she stands, but she is a very happy dog.

  3. Hi John I hope your pup has continued to improve. Can you tell me if you researched the TPLO also and if so why did you decide on the TTA, I have a 73lb lab that need surgery and we are trying to decide which surgery to do. Thanks for your time.

    1. I have an 85 lb big Siberian Husky, most are 100 and over at his size but, dog keeps his at 85 lb. to 90 lb. Feed him what he is supposed to be fed, he doesn’t eat it all. He is having a TTA, per his veterinarian expert. The surgical vet told me a TPLO was not necessary and is not being done much anymore. Why?, I asked him. Told me TPLO surgery has to long of a recovery time vs TTA. TTA is a faster recovery. Hope this helps you. His surgery, tomorrow, Tuesday, April 23. Pick up Wednesday, April 23, afternoon.

  4. C Moore-
    Our Cane Corso tore both of his CCLs about 5 weeks apart. He had a TPLO on one leg and a TTA on the other. We went with the TTA on his second tear as we found a new surgeon at the facility where our dog was going to for therapy who we really liked. The recovery has been significantly easier with the TTA. He was bearing weight on that leg about 3 days sooner, there was much less swelling, and he has been able to acheive better range of motion post-op. My husband and I wish he would have had the TTA on his first tear.

  5. C Moore:

    Our lab Mocha Jane just had TTA surgery on Nov 1, she just got home from her last check up and the vet who performed surgery is extremely please. She has healed extremely well and is better than ever.
    We spent the first week after her surgery with her 24/7.. making sure heat and ice were applied as scheduled. We might of babied her more than needed but the results from this surgery have been life changing for her and I would recommend TTA to any dog owner.
    On a side note:
    A friend of mine had the TPLO surgery on her lab, the recovery time was 16 weeks…

    If you have any questions I am more than willing to help.

  6. Cooper had her TPLO on December 9th and seems to be doing very well. We also have babied her somewhat with the heat compress doing more than is required. All of her bruising and swelling was gone within a few days and it is now a HUGE chore to keep her quiet. All in all we feel she is doing well. We did a lot of research on both surgeries but we just weren’t as sure about the TTA. Thanks for every ones input and we will post again.

  7. Dakota had her TTA surgery on December 8th. She is a 70lb Rotti Mix. I decided to go with the TTA instead of the TPLO due to less recovery time, less invasive surgery, promising outcomes, and less expense. Most importantly, the TPLO surgeon was just not very compassionate compared to the surgeon who did her TTA at our local vet. Dakota started using her leg within 48 hours after the TTA. She has been walking on it ever since. She is doing beautifully and I am SO glad we decided to have the surgery. A week after surgery she was walking better than before the surgery. She has regained her life and happiness and I couldn’t be loving it more. Word of caution: Take it easy with recovery. Your dog may act like his/her old self, but you have to remember they are still healing! We are at Week 3 today and my only problem is trying to keep her quiet!!

    1. We are currently on week 3. Keeping them quiet is terrible. When she sees me she wants to move quickly and bounces – even when in her crate and every time I get so panicked. What did you do?

      1. All we could do, Lily is a springer, was surround her with pillows and we used a childs play pen with a door. First we told people to phone before turning up, put a sign on the door to leave mails outside and do not knock or ring unless essential. We would get in the pen with her and distract with a tennis ball. It was easier for us entering we straight away went and got in the play pen. No bouncing, lots of squeaking and barking and throwing the ball close to her and directly into her mouth. Having said that she still snapped thye plate somewhere between week 10 and week 12. 🙁

        You just got to hold them lay with them and play no move games.

        It’s bloomin exhausting 😉 But it does not last forever 🙂

        Our girl is now 13 years and 6 months old and although arthritic and needs help with long flights of stairs, she still chases a ball and behaves like a puppy for about 10 minutes. Then sleeps on one of her memory foam beds for about 2 hours lol 😉 We have a massive garden built on terraces and it exhausts me, so she only needs to go down all the way and play for a bit then trudge back up, lots of small steps and slopes to get her exercise. She always remembered about her recovery training and now makes us bring her water to her bed and play when she is sat down and bored but her legs are tired. Little tinker but we love her to bits.

        1. So his is the same Lily who had knee repair in 2011? She’s done well tho she may be tiring early due to age, of course. Does she get a glucosamine/chondroitin suppliment? It helps keep the arthritis at bay.

          My Rotty girl will be 14 next week, had TTO on both knees, tho you’d never know it… still. I credit the glucosamine for lubricating those probably arthritic joints, and keeping her seemingly pain free.

          Rejoice that your girl is doing as well as she is, and making you bring her water. Gotta love ’em!

          1. Thats the one who snapped her plate, hense the arthritis, that and she is a very lumpy old girl 🙂 We lost her super fit brother Joey 2 years and 8 months ago to a kind of pancreatic spreading cancer called insulinoma. Fought for a year, tried everything until he had had enough. We never imagined that Lily would still be here and Joey gone.
            She has allsorts of supplements and ever since Joeys cancer, caused possibly by the dry food they ate, she has been on home cooked food, human grade very small amounts thrice daily. I have recently introduced rus tox and arnica to the omega joint buster and pro biotic. She gets a different supplement each meal on rotation.
            She really is slowing down now, very evident, we have a doggie buggy so she can come with us without getting tired and hurting her legs, but the little madam still have the ability to jump out currently. Anyway its there for when she can’t.

            You sound like you have a strong fur baby who had a very good surgeon. I am not convinced it was Lily that snapped the plate, more likely a weak plate badly placed! Weak bone sliced thin versus a titanium plate, mmm I think the plate would have won.

  8. My Dixie just got home yesterday from getting the TTA. I see that most of you say you applied heat compress, my vet only suggested icing the knee. Does anyone know if I should be doing both? Also, has anyone had any negative side effects of tramadol (she’s taking for pain). It seems to make her loopy.

    1. My bernese mountain dog, Lucy, was instructed to have ice on the knee 3x daily for 5 days, and heat on the hamstring 3x/day each day until further notice. Lucy is on day 4 post-surgery and I love her so much. She is being very good while secluded from me and my other dog, but I miss having her on the bed with me.

        1. Our dog is in surgery today for his second TTA…I’m a bit stressed and distracted at work from the nerves! He had his first TTA about 1.5 years ago and we were so happy with the results! He started lifting his other leg a couple weeks ago and it was no question about getting the TTA on it.
          We also slept downstairs on a mattress on the floor for his first surgery! We crated him, but slept downstairs with him…it was a big sacrifice of comfort and convenience. This time around we’re going to try leaving him crated downstairs by himself at night and see how it goes….I’m almost considering sleeping on the couch downstairs by myself if he’s not happy alone. Man, the things we do for our animal “children”!
          I’m very positive about the outcome of this surgery and I can’t wait until he can run around and have fun again in 3-4 months after full recovery!

          1. Hi Shannon

            if you are like us, we tried leaving our animal baby downstairs once! We could not sleep, so we just took it in turns to stay with her. We did move her pen upstairs once she got through the first 4 weeks and opened it out to form a sleep area for her in the bedroom. Had to carry her up and down the stairs, but we did this untill 16 weeks just incase. Still had the baby gate on the stairs for 6 months.

            All the best of everything for you and your animal child.

          2. This has been the most difficult part for us. Our Seren is 3 weeks post op and the vet is really pleased with how things are going.

            For the first 7 nights we took it in turns to sleep downstairs but found it exhausting, which left us struggling with work etc, after the seven days we made a sling for her back end and we allowed her upstairs. She settles and sleeps really well and so do we.

            We help her downstairs in the morning and during the day she and the other pooches stay in the front room where there is a baby gate to keep them in. We think she’s happier as well as she keeps her relationships with the other dogs and feels part of the pack and not so excluded.

            All the best with your babies recovery

    2. Nadine,
      Go to topdog it has all the information you will need for your pet. You are suppose to ICE it for 72 hours

  9. Hi Nadine,

    I’ve heard that cold compresses should be used for the first 72 hours after surgery, then hot compresses can be used after that. It should be on the paperwork the veterinarian sent home with you – does it mention it on there anywhere??

    As for the Tramadol, you just never know how a dog will react to medications. Just keep an eye on Dixie and see how it goes… loopy might be good for a little bit after surgery!

  10. Cooper was sent home with tramadol for the pain also and didn’t have any type of reaction we weened her off of it after a few days as told to do so by the doctor. We were also given “ace” which is a narcotic to keeper calm if needed and that definitely did but we only had to use it a couple of times. Also we were told by our vet to use hot compresses. Hope all is well with Dixie.

  11. Well, I talked to the vet and he said to go ahead and stop the tramadol and she’s almost back to her usual self, ornery as ever. It’s amazing how quickly she is recovering. I asked about the hot compresses because others on here were saying how great that worked. I did the cold compresses for 3 days. She has no swelling and no more bruises. The biggest problem now is she’s bored and it hasn’t even been one week yet. Going to be a long recovery. Thanks for the responses.

  12. Hello out there – we have a 4 year old lab that will have TTA surgery next week on both hind legs. Has anyone had this procedure done on their dog on both legs at at the same time? Can you give me a picture of what the first month will be like?

    1. I have not heard of doing both at the same time but if it can be done I think this would be much better than having to go through this process anytime soon again. I was definitely glad that we did it in winter because we would have a huge battle trying to keep her out of the pool. We are starting week six and all seems to be going very well. Good luck with double tta.

    2. It is best and easier to do both at the same time if both are needed. Your milestones may be a week behind a single surgery according to my vet and a friend who had both done. Recovery should be essentially the same.

      My friend tells me it was actually easier in some ways to build up BOTH, legs equally. She was adamant about keeping the dog leashed at all times and for any and all exercise and potty breaks. Post op soft tissue injuries can set you back 6-8 weeks!

      Revovery will still take a minimum of 6 months, just as with a one sided surgery. It involves a great deal of leashed walking… and walking… and more walking. If you have hydrotherapy at a PT center, near you consider the cost and options available.

      Initially, post surgery: You will be icing those legs probably twice a day at least. I found both my dogs rather liked it. I used freezer gel packs and strapped them on with grip wrap. You will likely come home with an anti inflamitory (Deramaxx, Rimalyl, or Meloxicam). A pain med such as tramidol may be given additionally.

      Only leashed potty breaks. No stairs. You can find slings at 4 flags over aspen, the pet shop, or perhaps your vet will lend you one. You’ll be needing it! Especially getting in and out of a vehicle.

      You will likely be doing deep tissue massage at least daily. Your vet or PT may offer cold laser treatments. The massage and laser help improve the circulation, facillitates the healing and eases the muscle tension and soreness.

      Leashed walks begin slowly and gradually. My friend tells me she needed her sling the first few times for support. Just a few houses down on the block and back twice a day was enough. Gradually and slowly you increase the distance. Watch your dog. Assess what you think in regards to his gait and discomfort. Guage your walks as not to push too quickly.

      To do this in 6 months would be phenominal! But plan on at least 7 months with both legs. It took Donna 8 with her dog. Walk, walk, walk…

      Good bone is laid down within 4-6 weeks post op. Your vet will likely take x-rays. Walk, walk, walk… you dog needs to rebuild those thighs!

      Good luck! You are on your way! =)

  13. It is looooong and not easy coming from someone who is only a little bit in front of you as far as the surgery date. But it is nice seeing them return to normal after being in pain. Hang in there!!!!

  14. Adora, my 6 yr old Golden just had TTA 2 days ago. She is swollen and I’m having some trouble getting her to relieve herself. She also seems to be very uncomfortable not in the area of the incision but her derriere! I dont know if perhaps she is just irritated from being shaved? Finally, my vet didn’t talk about hot compresses either, just ice and that was optional. Dumb question but what exactly are hot compresses? A heating pad? Also, is it best to ice on the incision side of leg or the outside? Thanks in advance for the help.

    1. Hi Deborah,
      Our dog had a TTA 5 days ago. He did not have a bowel movement for 2 days, but then he went a lot! The surgeon said that was normal, due to not eating before the surgery, diminished activity, and the anesthesia. I can’t believe your vet did not mention heat. You ice for 72 hours, then use heat. I am using a hand towel soaked in hot water, and covered with an electric heating pad. That would probably not be recommended, but I am right there with him the whole time and carefully watch it to make sure it is not too hot to the touch, just warm. I am going to try to buy one that you fill with warm water. The surgeon said if you can’t get it on the incision, on the inside of the leg, put it on the outside. It will still warm the muscles. Good luck!

  15. Follow your vets advice. At 2 days it is too early for warm compresses. After 2 weeks post op, swelling down and incision not draaining, we used a hand towel dampened with water and put in the MW for 30 seconds. We made sure it is not hot. After a few minutes we warmed it up again. We only used it because our chessy totally quit putting that leg down. The combination of warm compress, massage, and range of motion exercises, helped her allot, and she started using that leg again. At 4 months post op, she is running as fast as she ever did.

  16. My girl is currently almost 5 weeks post TTA op, and we were told to ice 2-3 times a day for 10 minutes at a time for the first 5 days (we had a lot of swelling & bruising), then to change to heat packs before lead walking/physio extension & flexion. We just use a wheat bag that you heat up in the microwave.
    All seems to be going ok, though I am counting down the weeks until she can have her x-ray and we can see how it’s going!

  17. Thanks to all for the responses. We’re now at day 10 and things have been going well. She likes the hot compress lots more than ice. However, I’ve not been making her wear the e-collar because she just cries and whines. This morning, I noticed her incision was red and looked a little inflamed, as well as an area right next to the incision that has been variously scabbed and then red/open. I’ve put bacitracin around the wounds and put on the e-collar. Off to buy an inflatable one, which might help. I’m praying we can avoid infection. Has anyone else had a similar issue?

  18. Sorry Deborah, luckily our wound healed up nicely, and she wasn’t really interested in the stitches or scabs.
    Good luck with the e-collars, we had our stitches out at day 12, so I’m guessing you’ll be making a trip to the vet soon anyway and can get it checked out then.
    My girl also hated the ice packs, but tolerates the heat pack (I’m sure it’s just because she knows that she gets a walk once we’re done with the heat pack).

  19. Our 5 yr old black lab had a complete tear of his cruciate ligament in his rear leg and had surgery 5 days ago. He is a VERY active dog and my biggest concern was keeping him quiet. I appreciated reading the other posts that I was not alone! He seems to nap after his pain meds so that is when we did the icing and now the heat. He likes the moist heat, then I do the range of motion exercises.

    Some things I found useful: We bought some inexpensive carpet runner for our slippery floors. I found it very useful to keep him on his leash at all times while in the house if he is not in the crate. A couple of times he started to run when he heard something, and I was glad I could stop him. I also use his Gentle Leader when he goes outside to go to the bathroom. The chew toys are essential too!

    We have really babied him- we usually just sit with him and pet him to get him to stay quiet and rest. I’m not getting much housework, cooking, etc. done, but there will be time for that when he is better.

    I have been sleeping on a mattress on the floor of the guest room because it is on the main floor, and he can’t go upstairs. I know that sounds a little over the top, but he is used to sleeping in our room.

    Good luck to anyone whose dog is facing this. You just have to pretty much stop your regular life and focus on your dog. But it will be worth it in the end!

  20. Hi everybody,
    Again, thanks for stories – not that misery loves company but…:)

    The inflatable collar really is a big improvement. I don’t have her wear it all the time when I’m with her but definitely if I go out and at night when I go to bed. Gail, she does stand at the bottom of the stairs once during the night and cries to come up. I slept with her the first night but I get really grumpy without enough sleep! I come down, settle her on her blankets and she’s usually good.

    My biggest worry is that I’m letting her get too much activity. We are going for short walks and I use a short leash and pinch collar but she’s desperate to keep going so I have to drag/entice with treats to get her home. She’s putting weight on that leg, but it seems wobbly. She may be walking on her toes and not fully bearing weight.

    Stitches out tomorrow. Am eager to see what doctor says and if we can increase walks at all. My new next door neighbor said their dog had CCL surgery done twice, blew out other knee. That is my biggest fear.

  21. Hi,
    I just wanted to say it is very reassuring to read others comments. My pit bull had the TPLO surgery 2 years ago on his left leg and has now had the TTA surgery on his right. It has been 21 days and he’s doing great. I keep him in his crate and he sleeps most of the day but I just keep telling myself it’s necessary for a complete recovery. We just keep reminding him he will be healed by bikini season. His incision did become a little infected because i didn’t properly leave his e-collar on but with a follow up of antibiotics it healed beautifully. I also wanted to say to Deborah that you should not be walking your dog at all. If the screws loosen or your dog stumbles it could undo everything that has been done. Your dog should be confined in a crate and only taken out to use the bathroom. I know it’s hard to keep from wanting to let them out but it’s for their own good. And the chance that your dog will blow out the other knee is pretty great. Sorry to be such a bummer.

  22. Lyz,
    Thanks for your note and you are so right. I’ve cut out all walks following our 2 wk visit to the vet. It’s just too hard to get her back home (b/c she wants to walk more) and I was getting worried we were overdoing it even with 10 mins. I was also shocked when he told me that half her sutures were out. Plus 5 days later, I was back, because she had started with an infection around the incision. I tried the inflatable and the clear e-collar which was a tad too small. She got around them both. So we’re back in the massive e-collar, no walks, and you guessed it, life stinks for her right now.

    I did ask my surgeon about the likelihood of this happening to the other leg and he said it’s about 30%…which is 30% higher than I’d hoped to hear!

    So, we’re back on the reservation and taking it easy and wearing our indian headress lampshade 24/7. Thank heavens for antibiotics, understanding vets and forums like this one to share experiences.

  23. I recommend a bite not collar. They are great at limiting your dog’s ability to reach the incision on the leg.

    My dog Astrid has had 3 ACL repairs. The first one was the traditional fishing line, and that failed after 1 yr. The second was a tightrope, which has held up. Those were both on her left side. Her right side finally ‘blew’ in late 2010, and we had a TTA done. We are just starting week 3 post-op and I am thrilled at the recovery time. Her ROM is much better with the TTA, as well as the pain. She is totally off of all meds at this point. I would recommend the TTA to anyone with a smaller dog over the traditional repair methods. The difference so far is night and day.

  24. This site has been a huge help! Our 7 year old female Lab is scheduled for TTA tomorrow. I was relieved to read your experiences. I know my biggest challenge will be keeping her quiet when SHE thinks she is healed. It is good to ready about the success rate – it has relieved some apprehension. She has partial tears in both knees and has been holding the left up. We are doing the left now and will wait to do the right. Our Vet did not recommend doing them both at the same time.

    1. Yvette, I can’t imagine having both legs repaired at once, although I have read some success stories on this website. Hope all goes well. If you have any questions, please post. I wish I had found this website before my dog’s surgeries.

    2. Yvette,
      Good luck tomorrow. We just pretty much sat around with our dog to get him to lay still- if we got up, so did he, so you just have to pretty much be willing to sit and watch TV or work on your laptop and your dog will be quiet too. My husband and I had to take turns. It was inconvenient, but Freedom just had his stitches out two days ago (2 weeks after surgery) and the surgeon said he is doing great!

      I’m glad your vet did not recommend doing both at one time. I don’t know how they could walk with two sore legs. Let us know how your dog makes out! Good luck.

  25. And so it begins….just brought Tula home. Final diagnosis was partial tear of the cranial cruciate. The 3 inch incision is on the inside of her leg with 7 staples. She hobbled from the car to house with her tail tucked up tight between her legs, did a massive pee and then we helped her up the stairs with a towel around her belly. She had some water and next dose of Tramadol. She is out now. Our vet wants us to ice it for 5-10 minutes three times per day for four days. On the fourth day, we begin alternating with hot packs. Then hot pack three times per day for next three days. On day three we are to begin passive range of motion for 5 minutes three times per day by gently extending and pushing back on the leg. We can begin slow leash walks for 5 minutes on day 5. Staples will come out in 10-14 days. Hope this helps the next person considering TTA. Looks like Tula is going to need the other leg done this summer. For now, here I am on the floor with my laptop just like Gail!

  26. I am also thankful for this site and the bloggers! Our 8 year old black lab mix Moxie had her TTA done on Friday, March 4th, and is now beginning her long road to recovery. While I knew we had to be all hands on I didn’t quite understand how much we have to help her and make sure she won’t overdo it in the early days. We were given a cotton band to hold her up and avoid putting full weight on her while she is outside going to the bathroom. A few steps only at this pint while holding her rear up. This is the toughest part by far. Especially as she is straining to release herself. She’s only peed at this point — waiting for bowel movement today. The Tramadol is fine – I am glad it is helping to calm her for the first few days. She is also on Rimadyl (Carprofen) and ice packs 4 times per day for 15 minutes each time. She hates it that’s for sure but we are vigorous (at least so far at day 2 post surgery). We are scheduled to see the Physical Therapist on day 5 for the initial consultation and to establish a therapy plan. They highly recommend under water exercise but Moxie is afraid of water and I’m not sure if this would work for her. The crate is important as is the collar from the beginning. Moxie likes to lick (a lot!) and you just cannot keep an eye on them all the time. So, it is better to put the collar on whenever you are not sitting directly with your dog. I know this is the bet prevention for Moxie. Quite a lot of swelling still and some discharge. Hope this will get better in the next 2 days! Thanks again for everyone’s updates and posts.

  27. Just wanted to leave an update on my pit bull Vinny. It has been 5 weeks since his TTA surgery. He had x-rays done at 4 weeks and he is 70percent healed. We were hoping that short walks would be allowed by this time but 3 more weeks of crate confinement then we can do short walks and therapy. At this point I don’t always keep Vinny in the crate but I will allow him to lay on the back porch while I am with him. He’s doing great and even puts himself in his crate without me having to ask. Hope everyone else is having a good recovery.

  28. Hi everyone, here is the update on Tula. Today was the 10 day mark and the staples came out. The incision healed beautifully without swelling or discharge. The only complaint I had for the vet was the Tramadol dose was not high enough. They had said 50 mg twice a day and we were up all night the first night. We ended up on 75 mg AM & PM with 50 mg midday. Surprisingly, peeing & pooping resumed within 24 hours. We kept a log to keep track as we were both walking her and exhausted for the first few days. Our vet did not want her crated. She had roam of the house. Couches, chairs & stairs barricaded. He wanted controlled movement immediately. She was bearing weight within 48 hours. Still no running or jumping for next 7 weeks. We are up to 3 ten minute slow walks per day and hot packs. Each day it gets harder to entertain her. She followed me with her hedgehog all day. I gave her a bone on our deck to distract her. Next step is to submit the $4300.00 bill to insurance and see how lucky we get! Has anyone else done it? I am hoping for $1500.00 to put towards the other leg in July. Because of her athletic history, the vet felt the odds are high that she has a tear in that one too and I dont want to subject her to another winter limping on three legs

    1. Hi Yvette,
      So glad Tula is doing well. Freedom is on week 4 from his total tear of his cruciate. He goes to PT twice a week- underwater treadmill, ultrasound therapy, etc. They said it is important to rebuild the muscle from not using it for a while. We continue the heat and range of motion exercises on the other days, plus short walks every day. The vet said it is okay to do stairs once or twice a day now, so we have moved back upstairs to the master bedroom:)

      We did not have pet insurance, but we should get it, as they said his other knee will probably go within 18-24 months.

      Take care – it does get easier!

  29. All,
    I’m happy to hear that some vets do encourage short walks and not complete crate confinement. I stopped taking Adora for short walks because she was so unhappy when we would have to turn back around to go home. But I have not confined her to the crate, though she is prevented from going on furniture or stairs. I tried several different e-collars but unfortunately, the most effective one was the first one I got from the vet – it’s huge and opaque, so she can’t see through it but she sneaks in licks otherwise. The incision seems to have finally healed (she did get an infection and was back on antibiotics but it didn’t go to the bone) but she still has another place that, while getting smaller, still has a raw spot.

    I hate the idea that we might need a contingency plan for a second surgery. UGH. Please let me know if insurance covers anything and which insurance plan you have.

    We have xrays on Monday, so will let you all know the verdict! Cross your fingers we can begin some activity.

  30. Hi

    our springer, Lily is going in for xrays tomorrow exactly 4 weeks post op TTA. We have used a baby play pen to restrain our over active monster who rather likes it because people go in and play with her. We have done 24 hour guard, taking turns and if any chance of visitors/mailman/binmen etc. in the pen she goes. Our vet wanted 3 10 minute lease walks each day and moving around generally. No jumping, springing, steps. Staples out at 10 days no problem. She was on anti inflamatories and antibiotics for 8 days pre op and 10 days post op, then just the anti inflam. Tomorrow we find out how well it has gone. She walked out of the vets post op like nothing had happened, better than before. I find its a bit like a prison guard com playworker.

    Let you know results of active rehab tomorrow.

  31. Hi again

    Lily springer spaniel, age 7 TTA op.

    Everything healing very well, not fully healed yet but nothing chiped, loose or split. Exercise to be increased each week by 5 min – Week 1 3 x 15 min walks per day, week 2 3 x 20 min walks per day and so on, Xrays again in 5 weeks so still no steps.

    Bye for now

  32. Moxie is doing amazingly well at 8 days after TTA surgery. I am still using the sling to hold her when she goes to the bathroom and we are carrying her to avoid any steps. The swelling and redness has gone (we iced regularly and it really helped). Now we are starting passive motion – gently moving her leg forward and extending it back a little to start. Her stitches will be removed next week (day 12 after surgery). I can’t wait to meet with the surgeon and the physical therapist to put a plan in place for her. Moxie — while having adjusted to the crate quite well — is definitely starting to get bored but that’s a good complaint to have.

  33. Buster is a 3 year old Pudelpointer and weighs 74 pounds. He is always in great condition and very active. While at the dog park last year I heard him yelp when he broke through crust of deep snow. I thought nothing of it because he limped for a little while, then seemed to be OK. Then I started noticing he would be stiff after laying in one position for a extended time. Trip to a local vet with a x-ray and the drawer test indicated partial ccl tear. Lots of internet research and phone calls to area vets made me decide on TTA. Operation was done last April. Followed recovery schedule much like others indicate on these posts. 4 week x-ray indicated 90% recovery. All walks were on a leash, with no sharp turns until 5 weeks out. Hunted great last Fall with no indication of injury. Cost was $2200 with everything (meds, surgery, post op x-rays, exams and cone included. Last month he got tangled in electrical cord and hurt his other leg. Surgery will be next Thursday. The decision was much easier this time around.

    1. please tell me the vet you used I dont care where i have to go its gotta be cheaper than pittsburgh

  34. Lily our springer, rarely ever went on a lead so it has been a bit of a shock for her. However her consultant says that the reason she is following an active rehab from day 1 is to make sure her muscles are still strong and she can get back to normal. It’s strange how so many on this forum are still following (vet directed) a non active rehab (although on a lead for Lily), almost identical to the older op for TPLO? Maybe the vets are not all that familiar with TTA and post op rehab. We were told there was no need for ice packs, or anything like that, Lily had no swelling and no issues with the wound. Mind you she had pre and post op antibiotics and anti-inflamatories.

    Different methods, so far life is now easier 4 weeks post op because Lily is walking normally and knows she is not to twist or jump. The total cost inc for the best surgeon we could get (3000 plus TTAs)was £2300.

    This forum is a great way for us dog lovers to find out best practise based on results. Lily, by the way went toilet without support day 1, she also had drugs that made her forget the post op time in hospital, she likes the place.

    Good luck everyone, nice to talk.

  35. Harvey,
    So sorry to hear Buster has to have his second leg done. But at least you found a reasonably priced surgeon! Where do you live? I should get a temporary apartment should Adora need her other leg fixed! I paid almost $4000.

    And to your point, Yvonne, there does seem to be alot of variation in vet-directed post op protocols. My vet was conservative – I was less so. I’ve given her access to the first floor but she’s only been outside on a leash to go to the bathroom. I am now, after her 6 weeks xray check up, starting walks. The hardest part is getting her back home – she wants to keep going. The challenge will be adding distance slowly. At what point are stairs and activity with other dogs allowed?

    The one area we’ve had trouble with is that she licks a spot next to the incision. It was nearly healed and then 5 minutes without the e-collar and she had it open again. The vet was not happy with me 🙁 So she’s now back in the lampshade 24/7. He said she may need to wear it up to a week after the spot has completely closed over so I am thinking it might be another 2 weeks! UGH.

    One other thing I may not have mentioned in earlier posts – Adora had a reaction to Tramadol. She developed welts while taking that pain med, but fortunately, by the time the welts came out (about 5 days after the operation and starting the medication), she could pretty much go without it and was fine.

    As always, I appreciate reading about everyone’s progress, trials and tribulations. Nice to share ideas and know we’re not alone!

  36. Hi Deborah,
    So sorry to hear that Adorah has to wear that awful e-collar. I know they hate that. Luckily Freedom did not lick at all, so he did not have to wear it. His incision healed fine.

    When I read how conservative some vets are, I worry that Freedom may be doing too much. He still has only been outside on a leash, but now that he is 5 weeks out, he can go up and down the stairs (the vet said just once a day) but he jumped on my bed the other day when I turned my back on him for a second. I sure hope he did not do something to his knee! He will have X-rays at 8 weeks post surgery.

    He has had PT twice a week and the vet said to walk him for about 10 minutes twice a day.

    Harvey, here in New Hampshire, the surgery was $3200 and nearly $500 for X-rays. PT is $40/hour. Altogether we will have about $4000 spent- luckily we got our tax return just in time!

    I agree, reading what other people have gone through has helped a lot. I was so glad I found this site before his surgery.

    Take care everyone!

  37. The price varies from place to place. Smaller towns are more reasonable. I spent more the first time because I consulted with several different vets. I settled with the one that I was most comfortable with only after hearing of her past success doing TTA. She was also experienced with the TPLO, but felt the TTA had less impact and healed faster. I live in Minnesota and my vet is only 25 miles away. I did all the PT work myself. It’s not that hard. Just follow the instructions your vet gives you. $500. for x-rays? Terrible!!

  38. The one consistent rule for everyone is ‘no stairs’

    Its more about the angle of thrust applied when dogs jump or if on the leash, pull. Lily is OK on the lead, if a bit eratic, she sort of tacks back and forward across you. Prior to her op we learnt a new game with the ball that kept her sitting or laying, that was confirmed as OK by her surgeon.

    We have 2 springers and Joey (Lily’s brother) has gone through the process with her. He developed a bad paw (not really) and wanted to spend calm time in the pen. Week 5 and we are fed up with taking turns sleeping downstairs so the pen has moved upstairs and been turned into a closed off area. Lily gets carried up at night and both dogs get tucked in (Joey with a bit of micropore on his paw). So far so good.

    The cost is scarey and the thought of finding it all over again makes you take real care of the little gremlins. Both will not be excercised as vigorously and expansively as before. Cost for us, will be £3,000 approx ($4853). We have the possibility of another 3 legs to go, groan..

    All the best

  39. The “no stair” rule for us is only for the first two weeks. Our surgeon said after that, he’s not too concerned. Just no running and no off leash activity. Dakota has now undergone her 2ND TTA surgery! Her first one was in December and then she had her second one the beginning of this month. Literally the same day that she was released from her first surgery – she tore her other leg. Lucky timing! The total cost for Dakota’s surgery (both times) was $1800. And she has done GREAT. Couldn’t have asked for anything better. No regrets except I should have gotten pet insurance when she was a puppy. I have it now though!

    Also just so everyone knows – the 2nd TTA surgery is so much easier (all the way around). I knew what to expect and Dakota appears to be recovering even faster. She was walking on her leg within three days and I wasn’t freaking out about her every little move…

  40. Milo my 5yr old choc lab, had a tta on Tues, he is now three days into recovery. However I am a little confused over differing advice on aftercare. My vet has said nothing about icepacks, heatpacks etc. Also been told he can have 5 min lead walks. He seems to be doing well and wanting walk on it. I am a nervous wreck,constantly nursing, sitting with him. Can anybody tell me how long does it take to feel confident enough to leave them for short periods of time?

  41. Dear Rosie Lee –

    We did not use heat or cold and Lily had no swelling, if swelling starts and lasts for more than a couple of days consult your vet.
    Lily was on 10 min 3 times a day walks from the start. As for leaving them, you can only leave them for a short amount of time as long as they are confined in a cage or in our case we bought a childs playpen that could be opened out for more space later on. Excercise is good, keeps the muscles strong, jumping, pulling and fast starts are likely to damage the new leg structure. Some vets have used massage and movement physio but many prefer the walking. Dogs can get very depressed if they don’t walk enough and they can find it hard to get back to normal walking post 8 week xrays.

    Its all very traumatic, we are all exhausted, but it is getting easier now in week 5 and we know that Lily is healing very well.

    Good luck my thoughts are with you, Yvonne

  42. Rosie Lee-Smith,

    I think the cold packs help with the swelling. If it swells it may pull more on the staples and be a source of more pain and possibly infections. If you crate Milo so he can’t move around much and have a means to prevent him from licking the incision, you should be able to leave him for short periods of time. This is assuming he has resumed his BM and such. That’s just my thoughts. When in doubt, call your Vet.

  43. Rosie – At this point, you probably don’t need to worry about ice unless it’s swollen. If it is swollen, you can do ice 10-15 minutes 2-3 times per day. After Day 5 you shouldn’t need ice.

    I gated our living room and have allowed my dog to walk about freely in the living room. My feeling is if she feels good enough to walk around – then movement will be good for her (just no jumping or running – we have a small living room). I wouldn’t let your dog on slippery surfaces either and would only do a leash walk for bathroom purposes only (for the first two weeks). I had to leave my dog on Day 3 to go to work. She did fine – she slept the whole time, but she’s also use to me being away, so I guess it depends on your dog.

    My vet recommends heating pads before range of motion exercises for Day 5 – Day 10, but since Dakota was already using the leg to walk and scratch her face – I didn’t worry with heat and range of motion exercises – and the vet agreed with me.

    I know how traumatic it can seem – but if your dog seems to be doing well, then he probably is recovering just fine. 🙂

  44. Hey Rosie….I too noticed on this blog differing opinions on post op care. Our vet wanted ice packs for first few days and then hot packs. Tula didnt tolerate the ice packs well at all so we backed off. There was some bruising but no swelling or discharge so I didnt push it. She was much more receptive to the hot packs after about a week. I am lucky that I have the ability to work from my home office so I was able to keep an eye on her. I kept her confined to the kitchen with plenty of pads and rugs to lay on and checked on her every couple of hours. She didnt show any interest in bothering the incision at all so that built my confidence. She was not left completely alone until the staples came out at 10 days but I think we could have without a problem. Hope this helps!

  45. My dog (german shepherd mix) had a TTA about a year ago. She’s very hyper, but I was able to successfully restrict her activity. All her post-op visits and x-rays were great and there were no complications from the surgery. She was bearing full weight for a long time, but has been lame off and on for the last couple of months. I have been giving her novox when she seems to be stiff and she is taking a glucosamine/chondroiten supplement. Her surgeon is 2 hours away (he was the nearest orthopedic surgeon) and so I took her to her normal vet when she started having pain. He looked at her joint and said it looks fine and to just restrict activity and use anti-inflammatories for a couple weeks then bring her back for an x-ray if she didn’t get better. Well she did get better for a period of time so I didn’t take her back, but now she is stiff again. Has anybody else had these issues so soon after a TTA surgery? She is only 6 years old. I will take her back to her regular vet for x-rays.. I hate that she has to be sedated for it but we need to see what’s going on.

    1. I know you posted about your dog going stiff or slightly lame a year after her TTA surgery. This has happened to our six year old retriever seven months after surgery. Vet examined her and said it all felt fine and the joint would be completely healed by now and it was probably a soft tissue injury. We’ve been resting her and doing short lead walks for a month now and she is better but it’s not 100%. What happened in your case? Sarah

  46. Hi vmumm

    Prior to the first xrays the consultant explained that if it was cruciate the long term outcome depended upon the level of damage that had occured to the surounding cartlidge. Also if the injury had been occuring for a long time then the joint would already be arthritic. Lily had no damage to the cartlidge so her long term prognosis for avoiding this is fair. Maybe ask your vet to get results regarding initial xrays for existing arthritis, also if they had to remove the cartlidge then long term prognosis will involve stiffnesss and arthritis. Anti inflammatories will help to keep the joint moving and stop your doggie from incorrectly using the leg due to pain.
    Before further xrays I would get all the info they found out from op and xrays. Lily was lame for only 2 and half weeks before op, had no arthritis and the cartlidge was intact, but will still get arthritic as she gets older. We have already adapted excercise regimes for our other springer to avoid sprint starts and jumping. Bear in mind (I have had 2 knee restructures) that any joint, dog or human, that is damaged in anyway will develop arthritis at some point.

    All the best


  47. Buster had his TTA last Thursday. When we picked him up from the Vet on Friday, he was already using the leg some. Friday night was good except we allowed him free range in the house and he ended up jumping up unto the bed. Icing recommended for 2-3 times daily if it doesn’t cause pain. Must be leashed whenever outdoors. Appears to have a sore throat probably from all the barking he did in the hospital Friday. Alls well.

  48. Got bad news yesterday – Moxie developed patellar tendonitis and we have to cut back on the amount of exercise and physical therapy. Her surgeon says the adjustment in the angle of her knee was quite severe and while Moxie felt better and put weight on her leg her muscles and tendons were obviously too weak to support it. Our concern is that this could become chronic. So, our poor little Moxie is back to very short walks, icing, and muscle massages and very little else. She needs to stay confined in her crate and we need to keep using her belly sling to keep the weight off a little and to prevent her from making too many abrupt movements when we are walking her around the house or outside (preventing her from wanting to jump is hard! She loves jumping onto beds and furniture!). We thought she was doing so well for the first two and a half weeks. This is definitely a set back. Did anyone else have experience with patellar tendonitis after TTA? Would love to hear from you. In the meantime I would say to everyone new on this blog make sure not to overdo it in the early days and weeks. It is so hard to know how much they can take — so little steps in the right direction are better than doing too much. Good luck everyone. 🙂

  49. Elke
    Sorry to hear about Moxie, As mentioned before, its not the staged excercise that is a problem, it’s down to any jerk making movement. For example dogs that pull suddenly to sniff when on the leash or jump up on hind legs to greet you. If a dog pulls or jumps you have to resist restraining because you pulling them back puts more strain on the joint. Lily does this so we put a long bit of rope on the leash that gave her some leeway if she starts to pull, plus we would follow in her direction. Anything to stop her putting strain on the ligaments and joint, no pulling ever. I assume Moxie is on anti-inflamatories? without them it will be almost impossible to bring the inflamation around the tendons and cartlidge down.

    It is early days yet for Moxie. Even at 6 weeks we still have cushions all over the floor, temporary carpet on any slippy surfaces and favorite jumping places blocked off. Only goes in the garden supervised. She now understands that she is not allowed to go flying to the door, she can bark while seated and she will get the attention first. Lily is getting a lot of excercise now and has got used to many restrictions. She has had to be re-trained really.

    Good luck

  50. I second the “Poor Moxie” sentiment. It’s SO hard to keep them quiet. I really don’t know if I’ve kept Adora quiet enough. The thing that has helped her the most, oddly enough, is that she’s had to wear this stupid e-collar for so long because she kept licking a spot next to the incision. After 7.5 weeks, it’s almost gone but not quite so she’s still in the collar and it tends to keep her more subdued. But she, in the last week, has been allowed on furniture and to walk upstairs and have one jump on the bed a couple of nights. Hopefully that won’t be too much.

    What were Moxie’s symptoms? My fingers are crossed this won’t become a chronic problem. Adora’s first set of xrays were good at 6 weeks so I won’t have a second reading on things until April 26. Best to everybody.

  51. Rosie,
    I have read all the postings and like you, was not given any instructions as to icing, heat. Just no stairs for my Pippi. She will be 6 on 3/30 and had her TTA surgery on March 17. Brought her home from the vet on Monday, 3/21. She is not bothering the 22 staples and is walking on the leg just fine. My only problem is keeping her from playing with my other golden retriever. Fortunately they are both easy to manage although they don’t understand why they are not permitted to go outside together or play. I have a fenced back yard and my vet said she would be okay to go out off leash. Have been leaving the other dog out first to chase any critters away and when he comes in -she goes out. Staples should come out the end of this week. After reading all the comments, I’m worried that she is doing too much, but then again my vet knows my situation and didn’t suggest that she needed to be crated. (which she would hate). I do separate them at night and if I have to leave the house. Thanks to everyone who has posted….it is very helpful

  52. Susan

    Thank you for you reply..Milo had his TTA on the 15 March. Everything was going really well, had his stitches out on Fri and all seemed fine. However yesterday Sat, he appeared very quite, on attempting stand up on his bed he let out an ear piercing yelp and became very distressed. He then refused to put his foot to the ground. Spoke to vet who advised to rest and up his pain relief and if no better to call in morning. Pain relief did the trick and now walking on all fours, but now another set back he has developed and infection in the leg. Having visited the vets again this morning he is back on antibiotic,anti-inflams and pain relief. Have been advised to still do his 5-10 min walks and he is happy with this. Not let him off lead even in garden. Opinions differ so much, and I guess you have to follow the advise of your vet. It sounds like pippi is doing fine.

  53. Thanks, Yvonne and Deborah. Appreciate your encouraging words. I know it has not been long since surgery – a little over 3 weeks — but I guess I was fooled by the early days and how amazingly well I thought Moxie was doing. She showed such strength. In any case, she is hardly walking on the leg now. Barely putting her toes on the ground and no weight bearing at all. I keep massaging and icing as instructed and I have doubled the amount of PT sessions. It is not cheap but I know this will help her for sure. She is on Rimadyl anti inflammatory meds and still on a small amount of Tramadol to manage her pain, which she tolerates very well. I don’t let her walk on her own at all. Not even in the house. She is fine and has resigned herself to the crate and the few times a day when I can have her lie beside me (even then I have a collar and leash around her to make sure she won’t suddenly jump off the furniture). The sling helps me take control of her movements when walking outside. Very short walks up and down the street only until she will get better. Hope Lily and Adora are doing well. Good luck everyone.

  54. It is a challenge keeping a busy dog quiet for TTA recovery. Our Elgin is 3 weeks post surgery and if not crated has someone within reach of him to keep him from moving around abruptly. When he does put weight on his recovering leg and moves about the carpet, his leg makes a clicking sound. Has anyone else experienced this with their dogs? I can’t get into our veterinary surgeon for another 10 days. Other than that, this time of recovery has reinforced the attachment between dog and his family.

  55. Lily has become a real baby, put a pillow under her head and cover her up and she goes to sleep. She also likes to be cuddled now, non of this was allowed before. Joey her brother was the cuddly one now he is even dafter if that is possible.

    I have noticed the odd click from Lilys leg, but I have had recon surgery on both knees and I click, its something to do with the change of shape in the cartlidge space and the air moving around. So just thought it was a similar thing. Lily has last xrays (8 week)on the 8th april so I think I will ask. You never know

    1. Thank you so much for posting about your TTA experiences. My Sadie is an extremely active 5yr old Pit/Shepard mix. We are in week 4 of post op exercises and it’s getting almost impossible to keep her calm. I have been hearing the clicking sound. Did you ever find out if that was ok after your 8 week post op appointment?

  56. Yes, we experienced clicking – to me it sounded almost like a person cracking their knuckles-not quite as loud though. I queried this with my vet at the time, and was assured that it was either congealed blood working its way out of the joint, or the ligaments inside the knee sorting themselves out – we had work done on the meniscal ligament/tendon inside the knee when the TTA surgery was done, apparently this is quite common as it reduces the likelihood of meniscal tears down the track. My vet was of the opinion that my dog would let me know if the clicking was associated with any paid, which it really didn’t appear to be.

  57. Thank you for your replies Yvonne and Sandy. You have both given me some comfort. I hope Lily has an excellent report from the vet on April 8. Keep us posted.
    Yes, it does sound like cracking knuckles. Elgin had quite a bit of meniscal scraping, so that may well be the issue. I will ask the vet at our next visit. Sandy, your girl must be past 8 weeks post op. How is her leg now?

  58. Buster is recovering from TTA done on last Thursday, March 24th. The Vet called to check on him yesterday. He has no swelling, uses the leg almost like nothing happened. Only problem I have is keeping him from using it to much. Vet said to start 15 minute walks twice a day to hopefully settle him down some. Discontinue if he starts limping or swelling up. Did a 15 minute walk yesterday with no problems. Hour after his walk, he had a good healthy BM and seemed to be much calmer then he was before. He had a TTA on his other leg last year, and the recovery from that went well too. Hope others get as lucky as we have been. Last time we waited for maybe 8-10 weeks before deciding to have it done. During that time maybe more damage was done to the meniscal padding in that area. This time we decided it had to be done about 4 week after he injured it. My advice would be act early after the diagnosis is made.

  59. Yes speed of op seems to improve outcome. Lily was was rested from day 4 of the lameness occuring and on antinflamitories until op at just over 2 weeks. Her meniscal padding was undamaged and there was no sign of any arthritis. Poor thing she is now 8 weeks into not running around counting the 2 pre weeks. Yesterday she did a real sneaky thing. We have a big bay window that they like to sit in and watch out. In normal times they first jump on a large wooden storage unit and then the window. This route has been blocked with boxes to stop them going up. I had moved one box slightly to the side because the cat was moaning to sit in the window. Thats when Lily saw her moment, she walked over slowly looked at the box, and then did that springer thing were they turn into a vertical take off plane… I had to lift her out but she felt she had won!

  60. Rhonda, my Phoebe is 11 weeks post op. She had a meniscal tear before her op, so she also had quite a bit of the meniscus cut away. The clicking stopped at about 8-9 weeks post op for us, and was consistently decreasing in frequency from about week 4.
    She is still going well, her 8 week x-ray showed that the bone wasn’t fully healed, but the vet was pleased with where she was at and advised that she was ready to start some running off lead. I let the vet know that Phoebe might be ready, but I’m not ready to let her! She is a bit sore after a longer walk, and occasionally skips when she’s walking fast (but that really only happens when she’s on the tiles so probably has more to do with the surface than anything else). I am now trying to build her up to longer walks, a little bit of jogging (on-lead for my sanity!), as I’m worried that she’s likely to tear the other cruciate if she tries to do too much before she’s got her fitness back. Best of luck to you all!

  61. I am so glad I found this site. Similar to another person, when my dog was approx. 4 months, she was at the dog park, when I heard her yelp, then saw her leg up. She limped at first, then was fine. Every so often, she limped after walking, but while actual walking, she was fine. Now she is 1 1/2, and does limp after walking, plus when she lays, her leg is straight. Took her to the vet last week and had x-rays done on her hip and both legs for $185, which isn’t bad after listening to your stories. X-rays showed a thinning around the knee, so I believe it is a tear. Doctor said an orthopedic specialist will call to discuss what the operation is. My vet mentioned procedure should cost approximately $1,800. I just can’t imagine keeping her quiet after surgery. Will need 2 weeks off from work at least. Thanks for listening.

  62. Susan, In my opinion, TTA surgery is the best procedure for larger breed dogs. The TPLO surgery is much more invasive and will take even longer to heal. The procedures using mono or spectra type fishing line may have a quicker recovery time, but aren’t as durable as the others. The simplest way to keep your dog quite is to crate them. If you do that and follow your vets instruction for icing and exercise, it’s not as bad as you imagine. Your dog can can be out of the crate when you are there to supervise , but if you have other pets it plays with make it stay in the crate. I felt comfortable leaving Buster alone after about 3-4 days. If your crate is of the all wire type, you may want to cover it with an old blanket so it’s a little darker for her. If you crate her right from the start when she’s not feeling so rambunctious, she may get used to it easier. Good Luck!!

  63. Hi all…I agree. If you start off right, it will be easier. I recommend keeping that bloody e-collar on…I know lots of other people haven’t had a problem but Adora would lick this one scab and it required a second round of antibiotics. The e-collar also kept her very quiet…I’m not sure she moved around much when she had it on. Also, I didn’t crate her but kept her off furniture and confined to the first floor, so no jumping. Her 6 week xray looked good but not healed. She doesn’t go back until 12 weeks. I am now letting her (at 8 weeks ) go up stairs though only 1-2X/day. She is going up on her favorite chair, but it’s not high so hopefully she’s not doing any damage. Does that sound safe to all of you? There is a wide range of vet-allowed activity for TTA dogs. Once in a while as we’re leash walking, a herd of deer will gallop past and that causes pulling which I know isn’t good but I am helpless to prevent.

    We go to vet Monday just to have her scab spot checked then back at the end of the month for 12 week and last round of xrays.

    Susan, I agree with HARvey, The TTA op is very different from TPLO in that the bone that is cut in TTA is not in a place that is weight-bearing so recovery is faster. There’s no doubt its a challenge to keep them quiet especially when they start to feel better. I’ve not been as strict as others on this blog — hopefully her healing won’t be compromised as a result. Best of luck.

  64. Freedom had his 8 week checkup and X-ray and the vet said his leg is healed. He can resume normal activity gradually, but I am going to be cautious. The surgeon said she felt his twice a week PT that we started at 3 weeks really helped build up his muscles and get his leg back into shape, closer to his other leg (ultrasound, underwater treadmill, massage, etc.) It was definitely worth the $40/day. Plus we gradually got him up to 15-20 minute walks twice a day.

    He is a crazy OCD black lab and I have had a lot of trouble containing him the past couple weeks, though I have tried. He has been running up and down the stairs and playing with the other dog whenever I turned my back (he can open the gate). I was sure his X-rays would show that it had not healed. I certainly don’t recommend letting your dog do this, but if your dog does get away from you and run or climb stairs, don’t necessarily beat yourself up and feel that all is lost.

    Good luck to everyone who is going thru the difficult recovery time. Hang in there; it does get easier.

  65. Well, I am afraid we had a set back with Moxie. It turns out she somehow put too much weight on her knee too quickly and loosened the plate. Fortunately the basket which holds the knee in place (and adjusted the angle) is fine meaning the structure of the knee is solid. TG. This means that we do not have to redo the surgery. (I nearly fell of the chair when the surgeon told me!). But Moxie went back to square one and had to have two full weeks of strict bed rest. No walking at all and as little movement as possible to allow scar tissue to form and heal. She was in pain when we touched the area around her knee (it was thicker than it should have been which is why the surgeon suspected something was wrong with the implant). We took an x-ray and it showed that there was space between the titanium plate and her bone (after surgery the plate was flush against her bone). We were so careful with Moxie after surgery. I have no idea how this could have happened. In any case, we obviously had to stop PT and have kept Moxie on Tramadol. We are seeing the surgeon again in 3 days and hope that she will give us the all clear to restart PT sessions. Moxie is fine to the touch now which gives me hope but I can tell that she is weak from not using the leg much over the past weeks. I still have to carry her down the steps into the yard — it’s hard to believe I’ve been doing that for 5 1/2 weeks now. I so hope that her next exam will show improvement. Good luck everyone. Hope you’re doing well.

  66. 8 week xrays

    Lily update, went to collect her from hospital and had update from the vet.
    Everything fine fully healed etc.
    Then the consultant popped in and said “is this Lily who has managed to snap her plate?”
    Shocked cries of “Oh no! How?”
    Vet says its not on the write up!
    Consultant says I told the nurse, has a look at the screen and mutters she did not listen.
    We say “what now?”
    consultant says “luckily her bones have completly healed and the spacer is still in position, so nothing needs to happen, she has snapped the plate (shows us the model) in a place that just does not happen, normally the bone gives first, its titanium, its tough for goodness sake!”.
    So we siddle out shamefaced and don’t ask any more questions and the vet who delivered the good news is also dumbstruck.
    We think there must have been a weakness in the implant, there is no way she could have snapped the plate on a non bending, straining part without wrecking her leg.
    So we are not taking any chances and we are still keeping her from jumping, running, just incase or should I say untill we feel confident 😕

  67. Hello All,

    I have a 2.5 year old English Mastiff who had a complete tear in the right leg. He weighs 175. I had a terrible time by myself attempting to lift him until I could make it to my Vet. We decided on the TTA. Monday will be day 3 and he has been at the Hospital in recovery. Since I had no help to lift him the Vet thought it would be best if he stayed. I will pick him up after 4 tomorrow. This site has been extremely helpful thanks to everyone who has posted. Cant wait to get my baby home. Expense for one leg should be 2200. I have 24PetWatch insurance. They r great however only pay 3000 for a lifetime muscular injury. Left leg will need surgery as well so I will b on my own for that. I live in MD and surgery performed in PG County. I hope I can handle this 🙂

  68. Hi Jordan

    have you got a play pen for him? or a closed in space? I suspect he is going to need a bit more space to stretch out than your average doggie. Do you have anyone who can stay with you and help out. Remember he will be able to walk so let him and don’t attempt to lift him up any steps even if the vet says so. You putting your back out will not help him.

    Best of luck I will be thinking about you.


  69. Yvonne,

    Thanks for your post. I have baby gates ready to go and he will be limited to the kitchen and I have runners down. I understand from the Vet he struggles to get up but once he is up is ok. No steps inside for him, and three steps he must go down to get to the yard but I will try to use my doggie ramp. Have my fingers crossed.

  70. Jordan,
    Best of luck…it’s not an easy process but once you get past the first few weeks (HA!!), it does get better. If your dog seems interested in licking, I recommend you keep the e-collar on all the time until the wound closes up completely. I ran into challenges with that.

    Adora goes for her final 12 week xrays tomorrow. She seems mostly fine…I say mostly because she just started to pull up her left rear leg on her walks and stand there. She does continue, and doesn’t limp, but I don’t know why she would do that at all. It’s infrequent but worrisome. I have allowed her more activity in the past 4 weeks, so I hope that hasn’t had an adverse affect. The TTA leg does move differently and I don’t know how it’s supposed to look. Fingers crossed.

    All in all, though, she is a MUCH happier girl. It cost me $4000 and I am praying I don’t have to fix her other leg.
    Best to you all! Cross fingers for tomorrow. I gave her a bath yesterday, thinking perhaps her good looks will keep us both out of trouble 🙂


  71. Deborah,

    Wishing you all the best as well. Finally got him home he ate, drank, and went to sleep. Didnt even want to go out to use the potty but I didnt push it. First night home. I bought the E collar will use it tomorrow because I have to go to work. His ankle was so swollen used the ice pack as recommended.
    Will keep everyone posted.

    Also what state do you live in? Did not realize TTA cost up to 4000.00-wow

  72. Hi

    We are from the UK and TTA cost £1900 and then 3 sets of xrays costing on average £265 plus other vet consultations and drugs,£2,900 total. Thats about $4790, its all very scary. Our dogs will not be getting the vigorous excercise they are used to, even when Lily is fully fixed. She is doing very well now at 10 weeks, just limiting her abit and not letting her jump up into the window or up the stairs yet. She now has mostly off leash excercise.

    All the best


  73. Wow, just reading your prices and I’m now loving my vet even more than I already did! I’m in Australia, and all up my English Staffordshire bull terrier’s TTA op (including pre-op consultation, op, vet stay, meds, post-op consultation and x-rays) was AU$1,400. At the time that was the equivalent of about US$1,550.
    When I was doing my research before we had it done I had found clinics in Australia which charge $4,000, but assumed that was much higher than the usual charge.

  74. Jordan,
    I wish you the best- I too will be thinking of you. Oh my goodness, 175 lbs. I didn’t realize some breeds got that big. Our black lab was 110 lbs when we got him at age 2 (too heavy for a Black Lab, but we have gotten him down to 70 lbs now, which was a blessing when he had to have his TTA. Our cost here in New Hampshire was nearly $4000 too.

    My husband took vacation to stay home with Freedom the first week after his surgery; not sure if that is an option for you. Best of luck to you and your pooch.

  75. Woke up this AM 0445 for doggy duty and prepare for work. He does not want to get up on his own must support him with a towel under belly but he does try to walk once up. He was able to potty however no bowel movement. Used E-collar as I must work. Hope all is well when I return this afternoon. Looking forward to next week when stitches are removed Friday. Hoping to be on our way to recovery. Thankful for this site so I can read others experiences and progress 🙂

    I looked into surgery options in Maryland for TPLO surgery was 4600.00 for a Mastiff double plate -opted for TTA due to insurance and finances since I must pay for left leg in future.

  76. Well, my friends, if Adora has to have her other leg done, perhaps I should plan a visit to Australia! I have always wanted to visit…Jordan, I live in Columbia, Maryland but had the surgery done in Annapolis. My vet strongly recommended a board-certified surgeon and while there was a place closer, it seemed they would nickel and dime me to death. I was very happy with the care she got at Chesapeake Animal Hospital – it is also an emergency hospital so there’s always someone there 24/7 to answer questions which is wonderful.

    Good news! The bone has healed and she’s ready for sky diving again. Doc said not to worry if she pulls that leg up on occasion, as it will be a full 6 months before she’s fully healed. But no restrictions.

    Yvonne, like you, I have considered restricting her activity a little bit although I don’t think I will go through with it. One of her favorite things is to run off leash through the woods, and chase deer if she can find any to torment. Knowing how much she enjoys it, I will probably take my chances and let her get her endorphins.

    Continued good luck to you all. I enjoy reading how everyone is doing so will continue. You all have been a wonderful resource (though my kids do joke me about my internet doggy friends!).


  77. Yep, have to say this group is a great help especially in the early days.
    Your post has just helped me in my added pressure on hubby to let lily go up stairs again.

    We chose to have a surgeon who had done more than 3,000 TTAs so the price was higher. It could have been done by a normal vet or recently qualified surgeon for £800 – £1000 ( would have only saved £900 – £1200, what the heck!). We also chose a 24 hour hi tech hospital with a direct mobile line to the consultant who did the op.

    Seriously thinking about moving to Australia next time:) Please God let there be no next time, the money is bad enough, but the emotional and physical trauma costs more!

    all the best


  78. Our dog recovered very quickly from his TTA, and could go up and down stairs and occasionally play off leash after 6 wks. His 8-wk x-ray showed that the implant had seated well and the surgeon was very happy with his progress. We were very lucky, we know, but othe surgeon said she thought that the Physical Therapy had made all the difference in the world. He started at 2 wks and went twice a week for ultrasound therapy and therapy on the underwater treadmill, as well as other exercises. It was “only” $40/day and they walked him and did heat and range of motion exercises during the day too. I really believe it was worth the cost. Just a thought… Good luck to everyone, nice to hear some from some of the “oldies” on this site that their dogs are doing so well.

  79. Can anyone advise if their Dog’s ankle appeared very swollen? Im still doing ice packs until swelling goes down then warm compress. I will also contact my vet’s office however she is on vacation.

    Also Deborah, I went to VOSM in Annapolis Junction and he would only recommend the TPLO($4500) which my vet disagreed due to the complications. I do agree you pay for what you get. Im happy with the vet who did the surgery but you must really get 2nd and 3rd opinion.

  80. I initially went to VOSM and I just didn’t care for them. And expensive! The vet who does TTA at VOSM was away on sabbatical or something and that’s why they were pushing TPLO, I think. For your big guy, I would think TTA is better.

    Adora’s ankle was swollen for a couple of weeks. Ice it but it will go down. And of course, drink wine. (you, not the dog!)

  81. Hi Jordan

    the ankle will be swollen for about a week. The chances are that your doggies may last longer because of size and lack of movement following a longer stay in hospital. Lilys ankle was only swollen for 2 days, barely noticable, but when she was lying down which was mostly on her good side, we elevated her leg with a cushion. She still expects this at bedtime now:)
    They should have given you an emergency number at the hospital, ask for the vet that is filling in while your vet is on holiday, just to reasure yourself. Your vet was correct TTA has been shown to have a faster recovery time.

    Good luck


  82. Thanks Yvonne & Deborah-

    I did call vet and normal for swelling as stated. This is a lot of work……
    Thank goodness for this site & everyone’s comments help. Take care everyone.

  83. Tula 8 weeks

    Hey everyone….haven’t posted in a while but have been following everyone’s progress. Jordan – it does get easier. Our vet said it could be 3 or 4 days before first BM. It only took Tula 2 days. It was painful for her to squat ….she put most of her weight on front legs to do it. She would not accept help from belly sling other than to do the 4 steps in and out of front door to yard. Recovery has been steady. I too notice the occasional knuckle crack when she gets up. New issue this week is limping on front leg. I suspect from her first car ride last weekend. It was difficult for her to get comfortable. She used to ride shotgun in my SUV laying on the center console with her fanny rest on back seat & rear legs on floor. I knew that would not be a good idea so I blocked the space between front and back seat and put a wide board across thinking she would just lay down and put her head on the console. Wrong! Such a hammerhead Lab. She lay on console but with her fanny up in air essentially doing push ups for the 20 min ride which I
    think strained her shoulder causing the limp. We go for our 8 week x-rays on Friday and I think I will have all 4 legs done!

    Total cost to date here in northern New Jersey about $5000. This included appt & x-rays with regular vet then ortho consult and surgery. Actual surgery was $4300 of the $5000. VPI pet insurance covered $1800 which was disappointing.

  84. Yvette,

    Thanks for the comment. I was worried about the BM but realized this morning he will go when has to. Still needing help to get up however as your dog he seems not to like the assistance of the towel/sling. When he makes it outside he pees and then just wants to sit,walk a few steps, and lay down and roll in the grass. I also have 3 steps he must go down to get to the yard.I have decided to take off work tomorrow to play nurse the next four days and keep that cold pack on the leg to reduce the swelling. He is so big I was hoping by day 5 he would be able to get up and down on his own. This incident has really made me feel my age Im exhausted between the dog, 5 yr old, house chores and work. Whew…

    Im surprised to learn the different prices of the TTA I thought that was to be a lesser price in surgery compared to the TPLO I would hate to even know what NJ cost are for that.

    Also has anyone tried to obtain a different insurance after having one leg repaired. I was wondering if another insurer will even give you insurance after the TTA surgery? I have the other leg to do yet.

  85. If this can help anyone, I highly recommend 24petwatch insurance 1-866-275-7387. I have the Quickcare gold policy which covers 3000 for muscular injury.That is for a lifetime. I spent 1000 in vet fees prior to the surgery and will be refunded 2000 more towards the surgery.

    Great customer service. Automated system calls to tell you they have recieved your claim and calls to notify you the amount and when your check will be mailed.
    So far very happy for this service ~

  86. Hello All,

    Can anyone advise if I’m expecting to much.
    Tomorrow will be day 6 since surgery. We are still having to help him up with a towel. He did have a BM and pee yesterday. However, today he would do neither. When outside he just lays down and we have to bride him with food to get up and try to get him back in the house. Just using the leg as toe touching the ground. Is this normal? It seems other dogs were attempting to walk. Leg still swollen and Im using ice packs. ANy comments would be appreciated. My husband said to leave him alone and he will let us know when he is ready to walk on the leg and go out. This is rough considering his weight.

  87. Hi Jordan,
    I feel so bad for you. Your dog is probably having so much trouble due to his size- that’s a lot of weight to get up when his leg hurts. The toe touching is normal.

    Can you call your surgeon to discuss the trouble he is having moving around? Maybe he needs pain meds a little longer. Usually by now, you are starting heat and range of motion exercises, but I would wait to start any of that until you talk to your surgeon. Go slowly and follow your vets advice.

    Good luck- you have lots of people sympathizing with you!

  88. Jordan,
    I agree with Gail. I would definitely call the surgeon and tell him/her that your guy is just not doing well. It does sound as though he needs more pain meds but possibly more high-powered anti-inflammatory. If swelling is still an issue, that will impede recovery and certainly cause lots of pain.

    His size must be a serious complication but that is why the recovery process should be managed differently too…right?! Best of luck – it’s almost as painful for us to see our furry children in pain themselves.


  89. My vet is on vacation. Spoke w/vet tech who stated no range of motion exercise until I see vet next Friday to remove stitches.

    I will call office again tomorrow. He looked good today and I thought was starting to act like his old self except not urinating. I cannot believe he has held himself since yesterday. I hope tomorrow is better 🙁

  90. Hi Jordan,
    I suspect Gail and Deborah are right in that his size may be hampering typical recovery although I would think your vet would have him on adequate pain meds. I wouldn’t let the not urinating go too long – especially if he is drinking like he should be. Definitely, call your vet tomorrow – perhaps they have a recommended vet covering for emergencies? Good Luck – keep us posted.

  91. Hi everyone,
    Update on Moxie — 8 weeks post surgery. Since her plate loosened, we went through 2 weeks of strict bed rest. No movements at all other than going to the bathroom. I carried her down the steps to the yard and we barely let her walk the short distance from her crate to the back door even with the sling around her belly. The vet was very strict about keeping her completely rested and avoid any weight bearing. The risk of her bone breaking was/is too high. For the past 1.5 weeks we have re-started hydrotherapy. No other exercise. Moxie is still on anti inflammatory and pain meds. Today we added laser treatment and range of motion to the hydrotherapy. She looked great in the vet’s office and for the first time really confident standing on her leg and moving around. We’ll take x-rays at week 10 again to see if the bone has healed. For now, no walking and we have to continue to use the sling under her belly, but I don’t have to carry her through the house any more. She is able to walk with the help of the sling. Phew!

    @ Jordan,
    6 days post surgery is very early days. Given the weight of your dog I would agree with everyone’s comments. Make sure he gets sufficient pain meds. Does he tolerate Tramadol? Moxie was fine taking it — a big help given that she had so much pain after her set back. Keep monitoring his drinking. He should want to pee – BMs are tricky and it took Moxie quite a while – about 2 weeks I think — to eat properly and to have normal BMs. Lots of sleep and rest is important in the early days (first month really). However, I agree with Yvette. Call your vet and give them a progress report. I had to take Moxie’s temperature during the first 8 days or so as her swelling and pain was quite bad. Icing and the anti inflammatories are important. And remember, some dogs are much faster with their recovery than others but it does get easier for all of our four legged friends. I am hopeful and look forward to week 12 and beyond. Good luck and hang in there.

  92. Hey Jordan
    I too agree that the size of your dog will probably mean a longer recovery period but I do agree with Yvette, the no urinating is a cause for concern. BM’s can take a few days but my vet said that urinating should be regular (no change from prior to the surgery). I would call the vet in the morning and see who they refer their cases to when they are gone. Take care and don’t get discouraged.

  93. Hi Jordan

    I agree with everyone, its early days. However the not weeing may be a sign of infection. Lily had post and pre-op antibiotics and had no problems. The other thing you have to think about is the other leg may be painful too, making getting up very difficult. Check with you vet(insist on talking to a vet, weeing and pos antibiotics) but gently smoothing the muscles and leg will help the circulation this will be restricted because of the lack of movement and doggie size, cramping will also be an issue. Some dogs react badly from the anesthetic regarding wee and other muscles causing delays in the nerve impulses. When you picked your doggie up did they tell you how walking, weeing and BM had been?

    Lily is really back on track now, just headed off for her morning gallop, now allowed.

    Best wishes


  94. UPDATE:

    I took everyone’s advice called vet today and they increased pain meds. He should be attempting to use the leg that had surgery however we have a slight tear in the other leg ughhhhh. So, he may be in more pain than I thought poor guy and not wanting to get up. Plus they mentioned his size so increase in pain meds it was. Hope this helps!

    No heat just continue to use ice pack for now and my vet will be back on Monday so I must call back.

    Been up since 04:00 with him today. What a long day I felt if things were starting to get worse rather than improve.

    Thank you all for responding I needed some support from others who have been in the situation or are currently going thru it.
    Many Thanks 🙂

  95. Hi Jordan,
    just checking in….how is he doing? Hopefully the pain meds are helping. Ice will help keep inflammation down. I assume he’s still on anti-inflammatory too?

    Let us know what the vet says. BTW, where did you have the surgery done? Did you end up at VOSM?

  96. Hi Deborah,

    Thank you for checking on us. After increasing the pain meds things are going much better. We have been able to
    walk him in the back yard so he may relieve himself, and we started giving him more room to walk on the first level.
    Looking forward to Friday to meet with Vet and remove stitches. He is still on antibotic, pain med, and anti inflammatory.

    We are still using the beach towel as a sling for support when going down three stairs, which lead to
    the back yard no way around that. At times he needs assistance getting on all fours. I suspect that is because the left leg needs surgery as well.
    One thing, which is frustrating, is once he is outside and does his thing he wants to sit down
    and relax. We have to bribe him with food, the doorbell, or neighbors to help us get him up & inside the house.
    We have are fingers crossed the left leg will hold up until the right is able to support him since we know he needs surgery on the left leg.

    Swelling lasted a week as someone on this site advised me. Rocky Gorge Animal Hospital ( Dr. Morris) did surgery. She is the only
    one who performs TTA there. VOSM is top notch however out of my price range. The only thing I did not like at VOSM is when they thought
    the insurance would cover the bill the estimate was high. When I explained I only had a certain amount left on insurance the estimate was slightly lower.
    When discussing the surgery the Vet kept stating “well the insurance is covering this and how much coverage is left”. That gave me an uneasy feeling. Do to the emergency I was in I went with Dr Morris. By the way, she did my other Mastiff’s ACL in 2005 and I had no problems.

  97. Jordan,
    I’m glad he’s doing better. It’s such a shame the other leg needs to be done or I think you would start seeing some real improvement faster than it sounds like you are. Also glad you liked Dr. Morris. I will keep that in mind. Yes, full agreement that VOSM, while competent, seemed very obviously to be running a business first. It gave me an uneasy feeling too. I don’t know if I mentioned but I went to Dr. Prostetny (probably butchered his name) at Chesapeake Veterinary Surgical Specialists in Annapolis. He and they were great. And no extra charges beyond the $3250 except for xrays. One xray he didn’t even charge me for b/c he knew I was stretching financially and I had to bring her in for an issue early on after surgery. Hang in there. I can’t believe how happy Adora is now! I just wish I’d had the surgery earlier. I didn’t realize the pain she must have been in because she masks it well.

  98. Hi all

    Lily now of all meds and continues to improve. Out now for her afernoon, off leash gallop with hubby and Joey around the park, which she is being very sensible about at the moment.. Wonder how much longer that will last?

    Its week 11 now and everything is fine. Still not letting her run up and down stairs or jump into windows, mainly to protect her other leg from injury.

    Best wishes to everyone on this good day for the world (the demise of you know who)


  99. Jordan, hang in there. We are on the 2nd operation on the same leg, as our Rotti/shepherd mix manged to snap the screws the first time. It has been the most stressful time of my life and so difficult to see her in pain, but 4 weeks in on the 2nd op, she is doing really well. It will get better. Good luck and I hope your boy is soon feeling great.

  100. Hi Marty

    I have moved your post down to here for date order.

    Quote :My bernese mountain dog, Lucy, was instructed to have ice on the knee 3x daily for 5 days, and heat on the hamstring 3x/day each day until further notice. Lucy is on day 4 post-surgery and I love her so much. She is being very good while secluded from me and my other dog, but I miss having her on the bed with me.: end quote

    Yes its hard – we have been taking turns sleeping downstairs with Lily because she is usually with us at night. She has a night night cuddle and then gets on her bed Joey her brother is a bit of an on bed off bed dog who wakes us up at the crack of dawn!

    Best wishes


  101. Jordan – so happy to hear of your progress. Managing the pain is key. Tula’s initial dose of Tramadol was too low (as indicated by the first night being totally sleepless). Day 2 it was increased and that put us on the road to recovery.

    Mandy- my heart goes out to you! It is bad enough most of us face a good chance of having to do the other rear leg let alone having to do same leg twice! Glad recovery is going well.

    Tula had her 8 week X-rays last week. The bone looks good but not completely healed yet. No stairs, jumping or running until end of May. In the meantime, she had started limping on left front. Vet agrees that rear muscles need to be built up to take pressure off front. She is still on Rimadyl and we added Amantadine over the weekend which is a pain blocker. The difference was amazing! We have to keep reminding ourselves (and her!) to go easy. We are going to begin hydrotherapy rehab twice per week and hope to have the success that Gail and Elke

    Thanks to all who contribute to this blog. It is extremely helpful!

  102. Mandy – My heart goes out to you! How did your dog snap the screws. Sending good thoughts your way for a speedy recovery.

    Deborah- I’m happy to hear your experience with the other vet met your expectations. I think a good vet will try to help & cut cost where they can knowing they will get repeat business and referrals.

    Marty- Best of luck to you! This is an experience and as mentioned it really changes your life for a few weeks. So looking forward to the recovery as we all are.

    Yvette- May Tula keep up the good work. Please blog your experience with rehab I would like to give that a try with my guy.

    I agree this blog is so helpful and Im glad I came across it. Best wishes to everyone and their furry friends!

    1. Hi

      Quick update on Coco. She went for X-Rays yesterday, and the vet is thrilled with how well it has healed this time. Nothing snapped or broken, bone growing back where it should, such a relief. She can now go on walks, building up over the next 4 weeks, and then she is free to run and get back to her old self. Being as this is the 2nd op on the same leg, it felt like we would never reach this point, so everyone hang in there, it does get better. Good luck to all of you. x

      1. Very exciting!! What a relief it is to have the vet tell you everything is on track. How long ago did she have the TTA again?

        1. Hi Deborah

          It was only 4 weeks ago, so she has done amazingly well this time. I can’t wait until she can run free again.

  103. Hi Jordan

    She was out for a short toilet break, and we saw another dog that started barking at her, maybe sensing that she was not at full strength. She went straight up on her back legs to try and get to the other dog, and that was all it took. A yelp and damage done. This time she hasn’t left the house except to go in the garden. Taking no chances

  104. Hi all,
    My girl, Nysa, is scheduled for TTA on 5/18/11. She ia a 60 lb Boxer. I have a slightly different concern, in addition to all the ones listed here of course LOL. My girl is very dog reactive so I worry about doing therapy, her lunging on walks, etc. She is well trained to “leave it”,etc. but I do wonder (and worry) if she will be more reactive, less reactive or the same after surgery. I also worry that she will hurt herself while healing by lunging or jumping. Have any of you had to manage that? Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

    1. Hi Eileen

      My advice would be to only take your girl in the garden for the first few weeks. My girl Coco has had to have the same leg done twice as she snapped the screws in her leg reacting to another dog. This time she only went in the garden to do her business and spent the rest of the time in her cage. Seems harsh, but this time she has made a very good recovering and 4 weeks after the 2nd op, the vet doesn’t want to see her again, and she can be completely back to normal with her excersise in another 4 weeks. Good luck.

  105. Eileen,
    My two cents is that you really won’t be able to walk her for weeks…my vet wanted her out only to go to the bathroom and then back inside. I put a sign on my front door which made everyone laugh but it said something like “Injured dog inside. Please don’t knock. Leave packages on porch” b/c I knew if someone knocked, she’d jump up or lunge. So it really is about curtailing her exposure to anything that might cause her to react that way. Once she starts feeling better, after maybe 2 weeks, she’ll want to. But she really can’t until probably well into 8 weeks. I’m sure you will get some additional thoughts from people here.

  106. Hi Eileen

    yes we have a ‘reactive’ dog, nice way of putting it. Very long lead wrapped around your hand ready to release the tension and run with them until you can grab them, last resort. Best to get down and hold your doggie if you see another dog and keep telling her she is a good girl in a calm voice. Ignore the owner of the other dog, apart from a smile. You are going to have to retrain her, Lily is much better now. She still barks like mad and when off the lead gallops off barking to tell the other dog to stay away, but only a short distance, it makes her happy.

    Best of luck


  107. Thanks Deborah. Yes, I had a feeling that would be the protocol. It is the only way to insure her safety. Luckily our yard is totally fenced so she cannot see much of the outside. And when she can go a little again I have a friend with a very large yard we can walk, also fenced. I know it will be a long road with this girl. Your sign on the door made me laugh. My last sweet boy had SAS and collapsed if he got too worked up so I disconnected my doorbell-guess I will do that again LOL

    Yes, Yvonne, she is a lunger, and strong! I have become an eagle eye and generally head in the opposite direction. I used to use a no pull harness-wonder if that would be useful? Thanks so much for your help-great site here!

  108. I think I would use a kennel for several extra days for a dog that may injure themselves by lunging or jumping to soon after the procedure. I know it’s seems hard, but it may be needed. The quicker it heals the better.

    Buster had his 6 week checkup Wed. AM and everything is going great. Bone is growing back great and no stiffness at any time.
    This is his second TTA and it’s seems to be going even better than the first. I attribute that to recognizing it had to be done and not waiting as long this time.

    I also have been giving him a product called Next Level. It’s designed for horses and dogs to aid in joint and hip functions. I put it in his kibble and he eats it with no problem. I think it helps but can’t be sure. I do know he had much less swelling this time compared to last time.

    Any thoughts on this?

  109. Thanks Harvey. She likes her crate actually so I think that will be a huge help while she recuperates.

    I will be interested to see if folks have heard of the supplement you are using. What does it consist of?

  110. These are the ingredients per oz.
    Perna Mussel – 3.5 gm
    MSM -1750 mg
    Glucosamine Sulfate- 5000 mg
    Ascorbic Acid – 1000 mg
    Shark Cartilage – 14.5 mg
    Bromelain – 37 mg

    My Pudelpointer Buster weighs about 75 lbs. The directions say to give 1/4 oz. per 40 lbs of weight. He gets about i/2 scoop per day. I buy it at Fleet Farm in a 30 oz container for about $40.00.

  111. Thanks Harvey. I have been using a supplement called OPC from Pet Health. It is glucosamine, and then a bunch of things like pine bark extract, red wine extract, etc. Not sure it is useful. Maybe I will give yours a try as you say you see good results. Thanks for the information. I am so worried about this surgery-just want to get her through it!

  112. Hi everyone,
    I wrote here a while back about my pit bull Vinny having TTA surgery on Feb. 1st. This is his second leg to be done, the first was TPLO. His 3 month checkup is May 11th and most likely he will be given clearance to resume his normal activity due to his proper healing. I have learned with this second leg that I overreacted with the first surgery and probably did more harm then good for his healing process. In my opinion less is best. Vinny remained crate confined for a month with only bathroom breaks then another month in the crate while I was gone but confined to the small front or back porch while I was home. Only after 2 months did we begin slow short walks that have now become 45min. fast paced walks. That was the vets goal for Vinnys appointment on the 11th. With his first surgery I felt guilty so I let him do things he shouldn’t be doing like sleeping on our bed or letting him loose in the backyard for just a few minutes and not making him wear his e-collar. He still healed but not as fast or easy. Basically I think no one should let themselves feel guilty so that it compromises the dogs health. I’m sure some of you do. It’s only natural. Good luck and I hope everyone has a great outcome.

  113. Lyz,
    Thanks for your great post. You are so right and I made the same mistake by letting Adora do more than she should have. LEss is definitely more and knowing that we people parents should not feel guilty by instituting confinement and restriction for 2 months helps. It is only natural. But anyone who has had teenagers who act out has the right mental model!

  114. I am so glad to hear about Coco’s progress, Mandy, after the second surgery on the same leg. I was worried we would have to do the same for Moxie but thankfully we were ok by restricting her activity and letting the scar tissue fill the gap between the bone and the plate (no parts of the implant actually snapped or broke, the plate just loosened). Moxie is a hyper active, nervous dog and certainly falls into the “reactive” category as well. In any case, if we do end up having to do the other leg I will be much more vigilant in the early days as I also think I did not restrict Moxie enough. She probably reacted to other dogs on the short early walks, and perhaps even noise in and around the house and I didn’t even realize it at the time.

    My advice Eileen is to keep Nysa confined in her crate and only take her out for bathroom breaks. No stairs under any circumstances. And, if Nysa tolerates pain meds well, make sure to give her an appropriate amount. Our vet increased Moxie’s pain meds to help to keep her quiet and resting. The extra Tramadol worked wonders!

    Good luck everyone. This blog is truly a gift of sanity particularly in the early weeks (we’re at week 9 1/2 and it feels like years. This has been harder than taking care of a new born baby!!!)

    By the way, we paid $4,400 at a clinic in Massachusetts.

  115. Hi Elke and thank you. Yes, this site is SO helpful. So glad I found it. Yes, Nysa is very comfortable in her crate, thank God, as that is where she will need to be. The vet has her on Tramodol and Deramaxx and she is good on it so I will talk to the docs about increasing the dose. May I ask, at week 9, what is your pup’s activity level? Thanks so much

  116. Good Evening Everyone:

    End of week 3 for Wally. We started therapy which consisted of laser and range of motion. Did not think it was to much however my guy was exhausted. He would not get in the van to leave. He had to carried and placed in the van. Then this evening he had a hard time getting up on both hind legs.

    Can anyone advise how their dog reacted to therapy the first time.

    Therapist gave me additional pain pills for the week until next visit. I guess this should be expected since this is the first real activity he has had. I just got worried thinking this was a set back.
    Other wise he seems to be doing ok.
    Any thoughts?

  117. Hi Jordan,
    Tula had her first hydrotherapy(treadmill in water tank) session last week. She was 9 weeks post surgery. One session last Thurs was 8 minutes in tank plus stretching & range of motion exercises. This week was two more sessions Tues & Thurs. She is up to 20 minutes in tank. We purchased a total of 9 sessions for $730.00. It will be two sessions per week. Prior to her 8 week check up, we were doing just walks which weren’t enough to begin restoring muscle tone in her hind legs. She had started limping on her front leg just before her 8 week X-rays. The pain blocker Amantadine was prescribed and that made a huge difference in her attitude. We have our happy Lab back. We are very careful not to let her overdo it though. Still no jumping, running or stairs. The Amantadine will end next week after Thurs therapy so I will curious to see how she does off of it.

    I don’t think you should see today as a setback. Some soreness is to be expected. My vet said to apply ice if Tula was sore after her sessions. You have to remember that ALL of his legs are sore. The front from bearing the weight and the other rear leg as it probably needs to be done too. Constant pain is exhausting too. I have heard varying opinions on laser therapy. Maybe in the early stages, as in your case, it will help. For us, 9 weeks into it, I opted for the hydrotherapy because I felt it was a better for restoring her muscle tone. Her thighs were sculpted from all the running and frisbee chasing!! I don’t think we will ever get back to that but I would be real happy with 50 percent. Not sure what is realistic yet.

    Hang in there……our best to you and Wally!!

  118. Hi Jordan and Yvette

    Lily is week 13 now and she is starting to get some muscle tone back. Apart from little walks she is now managing 2 full off lead walks per day. The ball no longer goes with them and they are learning to gently run around without chasing the ball. She is now allowed upstairs at bedtime so no more sleeping downstairs shift system. We have put a lower chair next to the bed and she rapidly learned that was the way on and off for the nightime cuddle. She gets a bit stiff after the big walk but its becoming less. We are starting to see things returning to the new normal.

    Its a long, hard slog but keep hopefull Jordan you will get there in the end 🙂

    all the best


  119. Yvette & Yvonne,

    I so glad hear of your dogs progress. I cant wait to get there. I was told a few more laser treatments (90.00)are needed before the
    hydrotherapy which is(35.00.).

    Thanks for reminding me about the soreness and the rest of the body being on over load. I start to panic when I see he cant get up on all fours or he is struggling because he is so big for me to lift. Of course we are still having to coach him to get back in the house. He is so bull headed and as big as a bull lol.

    I did call the therapist & got an additional pain med. I will check the name again.

    Thanks again for the response. I dont know what I would do w/out this blog it is such a great asset!!

  120. I have a big lab (103 lbs). How many of you have had TTA on a dog this size. I’m told by the vet that the larger dog would probably be better off with the TPLO, however, I haven’t spoken with a vet that is extremely familiar with the TTA.

    Joshua is scheduled for a tplo in days and I’m wondering……..


  121. Hi MK

    It may be more to do with the experience of your consultant vet than the weight of the dog. Others will get back to you who have very big dogs, some a fair bit bigger than your lab. Whatever the op you are in for an intensive time, good luck and remember it does get better:)

    If you are unsure get another vets opinion because whatever you choose it has to be the best you can get or afford.

    There are people on here who have dogs that have had both.

    Our dog is 52lb and because she is bonkers TTA was the best for her. They can move around faster and generally recover faster. The weight bearing bone is not broken as in TPLO.

    All the best


  122. Hi,
    I agree with Yvonne in getting a second opinion. My vet did both TPLO and TTA and he said that not all dogs are good candidates for TTA (based on angle of bones in leg). He said that he wouldn’t know until he went in but his preference is to do TTA if the skeletal structure supports that option because the dogs recover quicker and you’re not cutting the part of the bone that is weight-bearing.

    Good luck with your big guy! And just be prepared for the first week (or three!) to feel long.

    Good luck,

  123. Hi MK,
    I also think a second opinion is important. Ideally, find someone experienced with both. My Lab is a light weight at 58 lbs.

    On a discouraging note….she blew her other leg yesterday. She is in a lot of pain so I put her back on the Tramadol.. Scheduled for our second TTA on Wednesday. We are 12 weeks post op from first one. I hope it holds up.


  124. MK,

    My mastiff was 175 lbs when I did the TTA.
    I agree you must get 2 0r even 3 opinions.
    Do your research on the TPLO it is more expensive and the bone is cut.My vet was NOT a fan of the TPLO. I also understood the TPLO to be a more difficult surgery. As stated most dogs end up needing the other leg done. Which my dog is one of them.
    We are starting week 4 and it is a long road to recovery. I hope to make week 12 and a full recovery before the other leg requires surgery (fingers crossed). Good luck to you and keep us posted!

  125. Yvette,

    Sending well wishes to your pup for the surgery tomorrow. I’m counting down the days and weeks. Hoping my guys other leg will last until we make the 12 weeks. Can you share with us if you know how the other leg was injured. Did it have anything to do with the
    hydrotherapy? Unfortunately, not looking forward to these back to back surgeries.
    Take Care

  126. Hi all. So my girl ended up with TPLO 🙁 Surgery yesterday and home today. I am a wreck so a couple of questions… She has a little bleeding at the site-just a drop once in awhile? Also, she is very, very dopey-normal? This girl is a whirlwind so this is so weird to me. But we went out to pee, she ate for me, and we iced it and that seemed to feel good to her. Anything else I should be doing (or worrying about??) Thanks all

  127. Hi Eileen,
    It all sounds pretty normal — it takes a few days for them to perk up,between the anesthesia and just feeling uncomfortable. As long as she’s eating, going to the bathroom…I iced for almost a week, until swelling went down. Depending on what your vet says, range of motion exercises help keep the leg somewhat limber. My big advice is keep her quiet for as long as you can, especially with TPLO. And my girl Adora licked her staples out so keep the e-collar on if yours is prone to that. Best of luck!

  128. Hi Eileen

    make your space as comfy as possible for you and your doggie. Deborah is spot on you need to keep her as quiet and still as possible. Any signs of boredom play games that stop her moving, we played now you see it now you don’t, keeping the toy or ball next to her head. Make sure you are right next to her and just gently play, use a baby voice, nothing exciting. A few minutes then baby her back to sleep, it takes a while but they get used to the routine, stops them and you going stir crazy.

    All the best


  129. I had surgery March 3rd on my right hind leg. My owner took me in for a check up on Monday and my screws and plate are loose. We are so worried. My owner does not want to see me go through another surgery so, she has me on Trameadol to keep me calm to a point and kept in the office where I have my bed and my crate. The Vet is hoping with the 6 weeks of restriction this time that there will not have to be a major surgery. So, in 6 weeks he will do another x-ray and see how the bone looks. If all looks good he will schedule a surgery to remove the plate and 3 screws that are not needed to hold the bridge in place.
    Any advice on this would be so helpful because we are all upset. My owner loves me so much and hates to see me in pain or confined in a room.
    Ok, it’s dinner time so, I get to get out of here for a few mins.
    Again, thank you for any and all advice…

  130. Eileen,

    Although my dog had the TTA keep your pal well medicated and rested. It took days for him to have a bowel movement, and I iced the leg for over a week and the swelling lasted as long.
    The TPLO is major surgery so Im sure it is a good thing your dog is dopey. Im sure your dog is in a lot of pain. My guy didnt perk up until the middle of week two. Make
    sure you have him on a rug so there are no falls that is most important as well.
    You want to use a beach towel as a sling if u have stairs. Good luck 🙂

  131. Thank you all so much! Yes, she is dopey but did get up to drink, eat (Yeah!), and Pee. We are camped out in the kitchen-best room in the house right? She loves it there so I plan to read and work on my resume Thanks God for inflatable mattresses-LOL

    Love the game Yvonne-thank you! They sent me home with a belly sling and Ny and I already have a rythymn 🙂 Thanks for the support-this is scary stuff!

  132. Hi Zoie

    this has happened to other doggies on here and in most cases things have healed with rest. Lily actually snapped her plate at 7 weeks just by flumping on the floor(although we suspect the plate was weak). Fortunately for Lily at 8 week xrays her bone had healed so well the plate had already done its job. The vet said there was no need to remove the broken plate, more stress than its worth and signed Lily off as fit to start proper excercise. Now 13 weeks and she is galloping around on long walks. Still not jumping or doing stairs more than once a day, but generally doing very well. Much better than before the TTA, we are being cautious because we don’t want the other leg to go.

    Best wishes

    Yvonne and Lily

  133. Hi everyone,
    Well looks like another sleepless night. Tula had her second TTA yesterday. This one was fully torn. We suspect it happened in the car Sunday. We picked her up today and she seemed to rest comfortably all afternoon. I thought the increased dose of Tramadol would avoid any problems tonight but I was wrong. She is extremely restless but I think it is a tummy ache. She is burping a lot. I am wondering if the antibiotic with dinner upset her tummy. We have a couple of other issues this time too. Apparently while hospitalized last night she rubbed the inside of her good hock raw. The other issue is a swollen, oozing anus. I didn’t notice it when I brought her home so not sure when it happened. It is really red and raw. There are also raw spots around it where she must have been licking. My reference book says to apply Cortaid ointment so I will get some later today (I was going to say tomorrow but it is!). She appears to be constipated so that does not help. We did not encounter this last time.

    Well looks like she has finally dosed off…..time for me try.

    Good luck Eileen….we are on the floor too!
    And Zoie too! Unfortunate about your hardware coming loose but as Yvonne said, it has happened to others. Restricting activities is heartbreaking but for the best.

  134. These operations are on weight bearing bone and joints. They require time to heal properly. Despite their whining and barking and begging, you must crate your dog after these operations. Dogs can’t make intelligent decisions. You can. Keep your dogs in the crate as long as advised by your Vet.
    Petco sells an inflatable ecollar that isn’t as bad as the plastic cones. Think they are about $25-30.

  135. Hi Harvey,

    I asked my vet about crating and he doesn’t recommend it. He prefers they be restricted to room if possible which is what we did. His opinion was that the crate was too restrictive. I guess it really depends on the dog. My Lab is 7 and was content to lay around because that is a typical day for her at this stage of her life. It would have been a lot harder in her younger days.

    We are going to use Desitin for her sore butt, Arnica gel for the bruising and Pepsid AC for the tummy ache. She tolerates the cone when we have to leave the room…..thank goodness

  136. Two days out and now I can see what I am in for 🙂 My girl is already pushing the limits so she is sulking right now restricted to her bed. Despite all the warnings I had no idea how HARD this would be. One more night on floor with her and I will be stealing her Tramodol. All does seem well though she is hating the icing-is that anything to be concerned about or is it just because it is foreign to her? Incision looks good and the swelling seems to be going down but she actually tries to move away from me when I go to ice. Any similiar experience? Thanks so much


  137. Hi Eileen, Yes, Dixie hated the ice compress. What I did was wrap a bag of frozen peas in a kitchen towel and she tolerated that much better. I only held it on her for about 5 minutes at a time. I am happy to report she is 100% again. She had the TTA on Jan 6. The first 2 weeks were torture for us both, but then we started short walks extending them a little each day. Now we are back to our regular 2 walks a day and even hiking. Hang in there, it gets better.

    1. Thanks Nadine! Will try the peas. Just gald it is rather common and not a sign of trouble. Glad to hearyour pup did so well 🙂 We are only three days in so all things considered I think we are doing ok. After reading some more posts though I think I cm going to restrict her even further as far as walking around the house She is my velcro dog and wants me in sight at all times-so we need to use the e-collar and crate more. I just want to be at the two week mark, sutures out , and be told we are doing good 🙂

  138. Hi Eileen,
    My girl hated the icing, but when we got to the heat pack (after one week) she was much happier. I locked my dog in the laundry (we bought a baby-gate so she could still hear us when we were home), and she came out of there to go to the toilet and to have her leg iced and that was it. Seems cruel, but as she is a Staffy there was too much risk of her getting over excited if she came out too often. She resigned herself to the fact that this was how it had to be and was ok with it. Also, the pain meds knocked her out a bit so I tried to ice about 1/2 hour after she had her tablet – she was more dopey then and less likely to give me as much resistance to the ice pack.
    I went back to work on day 2, but I work close to home so came home at lunch every day to let her out to the toilet, and had plenty of newspaper on the tiles in case she needed to go while I wasn’t home. I also brought my Chihuahua into the laundry each afternoon (the Chihuahua thought she must’ve been missing out on something) which made both dogs seem happier to be together.
    Regards, Sandy.

  139. The ice pack is for the swelling. If the swelling is down and your dog doesn’t like it, I’d stop it. Buster had much less swelling on this his second TTA. I only used the cold pack once the first day. He liked the warm packs and the attention so we started them after a couple days. Last time he licked the staples. This time, I mixed the bitter apple spray with Vaseline and put around the wound area. He never bothered it at all.
    Buster’s 6 week X-ray were good and are nearly back to normal. We do about an unleashed hour at the dog park or swimming in the lake everyday. No limp or soreness.

  140. After reading my comment, I need to add, his procedure was on March 24. So it’s between weeks 8 & 9.

  141. Thanks Harvey and Sandy. She is a little swollen but less everyday. My vet said no heat the first week? As you can tell I am so afraid of a misstep I do whatever they tell me :)But I do think a little more tramodol as I was not even giving the full dose and even more “quiet” time. She is a high energy/high stress girl so I can see from reading here that i need to strictly manage her environment for her. Thank you all so much. Better days ahead, right?

  142. Zoie is a hard one to keep quite and relaxed. She had ankle surgery at 13 months at Purdue and now this TTA surgery she had surgery March 3rd and now the plate and screws are loose. So, I called the Vet on Friday to get some kind of medication so, I can keep her down for awhile to let the bone have time to heal. You can now see the plate and screws bulging under her skin. The vet said she just needs to stay off of it. Ok that is so easy to say after 11 weeks of no regular activity. She is getting restless and I am also. She will not really be able to do anything this summer off of a leash. We also have a Yorkie who loves to play so, now we can’t even play with her so, we don’t upset Zoie. This has the whole household upset.
    Well any and all advice on this whole process would be great. Has anyone else gone though all of this and how was the out come. I just want my happy, playful Lab back. The quality of life is not really good right now. The long term is what I’m trying to focus on.

    Thank you,

    Angela & Zoie

  143. Hi

    so sorry for you.

    One option, don’t even know if they can do it anywhere near you. A fitten leg brace, I have seen them on this forum. Look into it but hey if it works. I had one while my restructure healed (human) and I have seen doggie ones. They are for active dogs that need time to heal.

    Best wishes


  144. The question I have can I wrap her leg with a ace bandage to keep her from using it when she does stand? She wouldn’t bother it and the way I see it at least it would help stablize the knee when she stands up… I hate to call my vet one more time with a question.. the poor man has given me this home and cell phone numbers… and I have used them…

    any thoughts???

  145. Use the number again and get a brace for her. We bandaged Lilys foot so she knew not to bounce or use her leg but it was only for 24hours when she went lame.

    Get a brace, if you bandage the paw she will think she can’t put it down.

    All the best


  146. Zoie, so sorry you’re having a tough time. I agree with Yvonne – I think there are braces out there that will remind her to slow it down but will also facilitate healing and more limited movement.

    You will get through this…but when she grows up, you will have to tell your grandchildren how difficult their mom was on your pocketbook and heartstrings!


  147. Well Nysa hit the one week mark yesterday-
    TPLO-and she seems good. My only issue-small compared to what some folks are dealing with-is her appetite is not great. She is kind of a sporadic eater anyway. I do a combo of raw and homecooked. Have not gone back to raw yet but she is hit or miss with eating. The tramodol maybe? Any thoughts or suggestions are most welcome Thank you all

  148. Hi

    think convelescence humans – tricky tummy baby food, small amounts, should only be eating half what they normally do because of lack of excercise We had Lily on a reduction plan 2 weeks prior to op. Meant suddenly started wanting to eat 🙂

    1. Thanks. Yes, that makes sense. And cutting back too as if I look at it that way she is actually eating pretty good.

  149. Hello,

    I do remember, Wally did not have his usual appetite until the middle to end of week two. We are at the end of week 5 and his old self is starting to appear. When he see’s me getting his food ready he is quick to rise and hurry over to his bowl.
    Finally standing while eating as well. Tomorrow is another day of therapy for us 🙂
    Good luck to all in this recovery process

  150. Hey all,
    Update on Tula the Lab. 12 weeks post op from left leg and right one blew. Full tear. Had TTA done 9 days ago and it has been a nightmare this time around. Vet did not notice the night she stayed over she had licked her butt raw. I did not notice until I arrived home. Their answer was Desitin. Ok fine. Next issue was diarrhea which ended after one day first time. During day 3 of it this time, we went back to vet. He checked her butt and said keep using Desitin. I questioned the antibiotic Keflex upsetting her tummy but he dismissed it and sent us home. Day 4 she was totally wiped out from straining on three legs. Took her off Rimadyl since it can contribute to diarrhea. Begged vet on phone switch them but he said just finish out the day and stop. Well that about finished both of us. Brought her to my regular vet on day 5. She had 104 fever, dehydrated , leg and ankle had accumulated fluid and a butt that was a mess. She was admitted for fluids and blood work. Thank goodness blood work was fine. They shaved her butt making it easier to treat. It was so, so red, sore and swollen. They put her on another antibiotic meant for skin and diarrhea as well as a probiotic. Finally on day 9 her stools show improvement however this whole mess has severely impeded progress on her leg. Staples are out. We are hot packing 3 time per day and gentle range of motion exercises. She still will not put it down. I am guessing that until we can resume Rimadyl, it will be a tough go. She is still on Tramadol, 100 mg every 8 hours. I have had about 8 hours of sleep in 8 days. Now that the weekend is here, I hope to catch up. This whole thing was so totally unexpected since she sailed thru the first leg like a champ. I am glad dogs only have two “knees”!!!

  151. Hi Yvette,
    I am so sorry to hear what you and Tula have gone through. That is awful. Did they suggest rice and boiled hamburger to replace her dog food to try to help the diarrhea?

    You must both be exhausted. When Freedom had his surgery, I thought it was like having a newborn, and he didn’t really have any problems.

    Hope you have family or friends nearby who can help. If you lived in New Hampshire, I would be over with a bottle of wine (for us, not for Tula!)

    Take care and good luck,
    Gail and Freedom

  152. Hi Gail,

    We have had her on rice and boiled turkey. They felt her combo raw meat diet and kibble were not good during this time. Turned the corner yesterday…..the diarrhea has firmed up a bit. Hopefully will be even better today. I can’t wait to get her back on the Rimadyl. When she sees me coming with the hot packs she knows it is time for exercises and flips over to hide the leg! Long haul this time…..makes me realize how fortunate we were with the first leg. Friends having been coming around to cheer her up and coax her out for short bathroom walks. I think she is sick of my face in her face! LOL

    The wine sounds great….even at this hour of morning!

    Thanks Yvette

  153. Hi Yvette

    So sorry for what your going through with Tula.There is also a can food for diarrhea I think it’s called Perscriptive Petsmart or usually vets carry it.

    Also wanted to mention for anyone reading this blog so glad you called your other vet for a second opinion. If your gut instinct is telling you something is not right with your situation please get another opinion.

    Best of luck to Tula!!!

    1. No advice just wanted to wish you well and hope your girl continues to improve What a long haul!

  154. Eileen,

    I think it depends on the dog as everyone of them are difference. Wally would not stand after surgery he would only lay down to eat. It has been a long/slow road to recovery but I think that is because of the breed English Mastiff.

    We r starting week 6 and things are so much better. I will say after therapy his legs r like jello and he is knocked out the rest of the day. Not sure why that is. Therapy is only laser treatment right now and message. ALthough I think they should offer owners a message at the same time 🙂

    1. OK Thanks My girl is a litle boxer and I think size really matters We get sutures out Tuesday and then PT startsWill see how she fares Thanks all.

  155. Thank you all for all of your advice and tips on this site. Our dog Jake is having the TTA surgery on Friday. We adopted him from ESRA when he was about a year old because he was (and still is) a special needs dog. He had severe hip displagia and had both hips resectioned before we adopted him. Had a 3rd hip surgery due to bone spurs and then had the patella subluxation surgery on his (R) knee. He has been fine for the last 6 years and then his right knee went out again – this time needs the TTA surgery. Even with all of his leg issues he is a very active and playful dog. We call him our million dollar dog after all the surgeries he has had – I guess now he will be our million and a half dog! Anyway thanks everyone, we know now what to expect and how to help him.

  156. Jan,
    Best of luck and what a lucky dog Jake is to have such loving parents! Poor guy has had more than his share of surgeries. This is a wonderful forum and is a great help to everybody whose dog has this procedure. Even though Adora has her leg done on Feb. 1 and is gallivanting around again, I enjoy following everyone else’s prgress. Please let us know how Jake does and keep the wine cold. You may need it 🙂

  157. Very best of luck Jan and Jake

    Remember it may feel like forever but one day, before you know it, it is all over and just a nasty memory. The good bit for us is that Lily is much more cuddly now and so much happier. She used to be abit too independant. Joey was the real baby. lol

    All the best


  158. Hi everyone,
    I haven’t been on here for a while — quick update on Moxie: she is now at week 13 and doing amazingly well. Finally. Her week 12 x-rays showed great progress on bone healing. The scar tissue between the loosened plate and bone is filling the gap nicely and she is walking well with nice steady movements. The knee is stable and we are allowed unlimited leash walks and stairs. Yipee!!!! I thought the day would never come…We are still doing PT sessions once a week to ensure her overall strength develops evenly. The difference in muscle tissue between the good leg and the TTA is a mere 2 cm at this point. We’re getting there. Thanks to everyone for your support and for all of you going through the early stages hang in there. Go slowly, take small steps in the recovery and if you can go to PT. The hydrotherapy is especially helpful to avoid muscle atrophy and avoid blowing out the other knee. Good luck everyone.

  159. Hi all. Well Nysa is at the three week mark and doing well. PT is going well too and they have upped her to three 10-15 minute walks a day based on her tolerance. All great news. So I am wondering if any of you have suggestions for walks for a dog reactive girl? Scared to death she will do damage lunging or pulling. She is very strong but easy to redirect at a distance- but if they surprise us forget it. I have a couple of “safe spots” but was wondering if anyone else had this challenge and how you managed it Thanks!

  160. Eileen,

    Glad to hear everything is going well. I have had to limit my walks to my fenced back yard.
    We are on week 7 and still have the other leg to worry about. I worry a lunge or pull can damage the other leg before the one that had surgery completely heals. Good luck to you!

    1. Hi Jordan. Yes, same here. Think we will do the same and stick to the backyard. Even I am sick of my own backyard 🙂 Thanks and hope things go well!

  161. Hi Eileen,
    Fortunately that is not a problem we have with Tula. She simply is not interested in other dogs….or squirrels for that matter! On days that are too hot to walk though, we had to come up with a way to get her moving a bit. Our game is to hide treats around the house, some in toys, others not. We restrict her to one room at a time because after all, she is a food motivated Lab!

    We are now 3 weeks post op from second TTA. All complications finally subsided. She is back on Rimadyl, still on Tramadol, a probiotic and Cosequin DS. I still need to research the product Harvey mentioned a while back as I was intrigued with the ingredients. We will see the vet on Saturday to be sure all in ok and plan a hydrotherapy timeline.

    Hope everyone is doing well!

  162. Hi Yvette So glad Tula is doing better! Must admit I am a little jealous that dogs and squirrels do not faze her. Next to a dog my next biggest fear is a squirrel LOL But love the game-will definetly try it!

  163. I am thrilled to find this site!!! My dog May just had a TTA today. I was told by several different Vets that she was limping because of hip arthritis. Anyway, I found out today she had the ligament tear. I’ll be bringing her home on Sunday. Any advice? Her sister June, from the same litter is also very worried about her!

  164. There is a lot of info if you look at past posting on this site. The most important in my opinion is to confine your dog. If you have another dog too, it may be necessary to crate both dogs for a while. Your vet knows your dogs condition better than any of us, so follow his directions concerning icing or heat pad etc. If something seems abnormal to you, post it here and it will get discussed. Post info on your dogs age, breed, and size. Someone else may have had the same situation you have and be able to relate better. Patience. It takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it.
    Good Luck!!!

    1. Thanks Harvey. I have read all the posts & I’m taking it all very seriously. May is 85 lbs and is a Lab/Springer mix. She came home today and is doing ok. I purchased a sling with handles to help lift her hind leggs and I am hoping to recieve a ramp tomorrow for 3 stairs in my home. There are no other stairs. Fingers crossed for a full recovery!

      1. I will be going back to work tomorrow and will gate both dogs off in the kitchen. May will need to wear her E-collar all day while I’m gone. I ordered the comfy-collar…also hope that arrives tomorrow. She is fairly sedentary, so I don’t expect a problem. My dogs don’t “rough house” anymore….getting older.

  165. After a couple sessions of laser therapy I was looking forward to having Wally try the water treadmill. Things did not go as I expected. He would not walk on the treadmill instead tried to swim when they filled up the water to his waist.
    Therapist stated they would give it a try 3 more times. Suggested if it doesn’t work try a pool for therapy since we now know he swims.
    A little frustrating since he wont go for walks. He just wants to sit and watch everything. Car rides are a fiasco. We have to fight with him to get him in the car. We try everything. He was not like this prior to surgery. He needs to build up the muscle. He is very bull headed. I was told it’s the mastiff breed 🙁

  166. Hi Jordan

    car rides can hurt as the dog tenses and relaxes muscles to balance. We avoided all car rides for this reason with Lily, even stitches out. Therapy does not have to be hydro or anything that makes your dog unhappy. Just walking around the room following a favourite toy or snack/treat. You can massage/stroke the leg and back, doggies love this, play tickle tummy while on their side this gets them to lift the leg in the air. Great stengthening excercise without impact, just make sure they put the leg down evrey 30 seconds. Tickle foot massage makes them stretch their toes out and tense the leg in a straight line. Be inventive, think of things that they would enjoy that makes muscles work and entertains them. Post op dogs are prone to depression. You just have to spend one on one several times a day playing.

    Best of luck


  167. Yvonne,

    Thanks for your response. I will give this a try we are starting week 8 and I thought with therapy we would be further along however I suspect with the other leg needing surgery this has put a wrench in the progress. x-ray to check the surgery leg at 10 weeks but therapist thinks it is healing nicely. Still on pain meds but she stated Wally needs this for the leg needing future surgery. Thanks again and will try your advice. Take Care

  168. Hi
    I am in the UK and would have loved to have found this site 18 months ago!! It has been really good reading about everyone’s experiences. Sam my 6yr old, 35kg Golden Retriever had TTA surgery on his right leg back in Feb 2010. Luckily he is a calm, laid back boy when in the house and on a lead so his recovery was quite straight forward and quick. We did crate him when we weren’t there just so he could not go upstairs or onto any slippy floors. We did not get any instructions from the referral vet about ice or heat packs so we did not know to enquire about these so didn’t use them. He was back to full exercise at about 16 weeks, but that was more down to us being cautious as the referral vet was quite happy with him at 12 weeks!!
    I was so nervous about letting him off the lead the first time because off the lead he makes up for his calmness the rest of the time, he runs and jumps and basically has fun! Just as I was getting a little bit more relaxed with him off the lead, at 6 months post surgery he came up lame again on the same leg. ARGH!!! Straight back to our regular vet who referred him back to the specialist. He knew exactly what he had done before we had even walked in the door. Sam had a torn medial meniscus and had to go through surgery and recovery all over again. Apparently when he had his TTA his meniscus was perfectly healthy so the vet left it as they do not like to remove healthy tissue. If it had been damaged they would have removed it. There is a 1 in 6 chance that 6 months after a TTA surgery the meniscus goes too and Sam did his almost 6 months to the day after his TTA! This surgery was far worse than the TTA, there was a lot of swelling, pain, crying and he was non weight bearing for a week.
    We got told that there is a 33% chance that the other cruciate will go too, so I have been dreading this day coming and am so paranoid about his other back leg, watching him like a hawk when we are out and when he gets up after a sleep. Well this weekend that day has come 🙁 On Saturday night after our regular walk, it was like deja vu but with his left leg. He is lifting his left leg, toe touching, standing crooked with all his weight on his right leg and really struggling getting up and walk those first few paces. My poor boy.
    So tomorrow it is on the phone to our vet to start all over again. I was trying to be optimistic but we aren’t that lucky, I know exactly what it is as I did the first time. Our insurance company are going to love us!

  169. Hi Cheryl

    our consultant told us that although our doggies leg was repaired very fast after the cruciate was torn, and there was no sign of arthritis or torn cartlidge, that her other leg would go in under 18 months if we did not modify her exercise regime. We have 2 springers and Lily, like your doggie, was almost fully recovered by 12 weeks and now at about 20 is better than she was for about a year pre op. In the past they got very vigorous exercise chasing a ball on a rope (we back onto country park, bought the house for them) and competing with each other at least twice a day. They came back exhausted and happy. No ball anymore, they just nosey around and if a another dog comes along they have a bit of chase and play. Food intake has been reduced and ball games in the house are now allowed, supervised, carefull of Lily’s leg. They are just as happy, it was us that thought they needed their legs ran off every day. Hindsight a wonderfull thing. We are not insured and in a way I am glad that we in the uk do not have the US system of loads of various PT. Lily suffered in the car so apart from essential xrays – no car travel and touch wood, even though she snapped her plate at 7-8 weeks, she had repaired fast, good muscle structure as she was mobile and excercising from day 2.

    Wishing you and you baby all the best, – got a love em!


  170. Hello everyone, my 140 lb rot, had TTA surgery on 5/10/11, everything was going great, two weeks later he came down with two bacteria infections in the leg, on that day he had a 120 mile round trip ride to the suregeons. shortly after we arrived home he stopped usng his leg. Toe touching/ not weight bearing. We are at 5 weeks now and he is minimal weight bearing and walks with a limp. All i hear is that it is a set back from the bacteria infection. I am very worried but my husband is not and feels there is nothing wrong with that leg. Brut will bend the knee, scratch his ear with it, we still do PROM excerises and he has no issues with that, but will not bear weight. Does anyone else here had a similar issue or with there dog. We have a an appointment next week with the surgeon.

  171. Hi Mary,

    Don’t fret I think your husband maybe correct. These larger breeds do not bounce back as the smaller ones. Pls feel free to read my prior blogs regarding my Mastiff Wally.
    Try to massage his back,foot, and leg and talk with your vet about range on motion exercise. He may also need his pain meds increased. Out therapist added a different pain med that made all the difference. Once on this particular pain med he would get up and move around more using the leg. Call your surgeon and inquire. We are starting week eight and things are still going slow. Just remember it is a long process. Good luck to you!!

  172. My dog May is 5 days post-op now & doing well. The stitches will come out in another 5 days. I have 3 stairs that go up from my breezeway to the kitchen. I bought a ramp for her but it is kind of steep. I’m thinking now that the stairs may be easier than the steep ramp. What do you think?

  173. Hi Donna,

    We have four steps to our front door. I tried a ramp but our Lab, Tula, would have nothing to do with it. We simply folded a bath towel the long way and used it as a sling for her back legs and she used her front one to go up the stairs. She is only 55 lbs. We are one of the lucky ones who had a double-header (2 legs done in 3 months) and both times vet said at 3 weeks she could do just those 4 stairs slowly on a leash. We are now 4 weeks post op from the second and set to resume hydrotherapy next week. She had 3 sessions prior to rupturing the second leg and by the 3rd session was tolerating it. She has bad hip dysplasia and I fear symptomatic now that all her muscle tone is gone from her back legs. It is hard to tell if it is pain from her legs or hips. We may try some acupunture too.

    Mary – pain meds are key and I found my vet was very conservative with them until I complained. Tula was more comfortable on a stronger dose. We also had setbacks that delayed her recovery on the second leg. Like Jordan said, don’t get discouraged. If your house is like ours, I run around being worried about her every move or lack of and my husband is always saying don’t worry, she is fine. We are the Moms and it is our job to worry! LOL

    Regards to all!

  174. Donna,

    I used a beach towel as a sling and lifted the hind legs going up and down the stairs.
    There is a company called walkabout you can order a sling once you measure your dog-check out the website
    I think it depends on the size of the dog and what will be easier on you. Most important your dog can not fall on those stairs. You must support the dog up and down. Which would probably be the same scenerio with the ramp still providing support.I have another surgery to do in the future so I may order one of the slings from walkabout to save my back. I have a large dog that now weighs 169 lbs. I think the dogs should not do stairs until 6-10 weeks. Good Luck to you and your fury friend!

  175. Mary,

    I also wanted to mention the therapist suggested I put my dog on gabapenton for my dogs pain. It made all the difference along with the tramadol. You may want to ask your vet about it. Take Care~

  176. Something else I wanted to mention to everyone faced with this in the future. Ask your vet if he or she does laser surgery vs scalpel. I learned that laser surgery virtually eliminates all bruising and swelling. The incision heals quicker. Tula had a lot of bruising both times but it did clear up quickly with arnica gel (for humans). It absorbs quickly and I did not put it on the incision.

    Has anyone had laser TTA?

  177. Thanks all for the great suggestions. I did buy a sling for May with handles on the ends for me to hold and that is working well. I have read that 30 to 50% of dogs who have TTA surgery on 1 knee will also need to have surgery on the other knee. Have any of you gotten away with just one surgery??? It’s expensive and risky (just as any surgery is in terms of infection, etc) I’m trying to plan for the future!

  178. Donna,
    My surgeon said 33% will need surgery on second rear leg. Adora had hers on Feb. 1 and so far, so good, but it’s way too early to assume we’re out of the woods. I will be devastated if I have to do this again given the cost. Can anyone provide pro’s and con’s of their pet insurance experience in terms of helping allay the financial burden of the surgery?

    1. Thanks Deborah. May got her stitches out tonight & all is well. We will start hydrotherapy next week. I cannot go through this again!!! (Neither can May!)

  179. Tula (55 lb Lab) had first TTA Feb 26 and the second May 18. First round of vet bills totaled approximately $5k and VPI covered $1500.00. Just submitted second round plus $729.00 for 9 hydrotherapy sessions. Will let you know what VPI pays.

    We are now 4 weeks post op from the second TTA and will resume hydrotherapy at end of this month. In the meantime, we are doing three 15 minute walks per day. I had her outside relaxing in the sun a few days ago and some insect stung or bit her right smack in the middle of her incision. What are the odds of that?!

  180. Hi Yvonne

    We have never let Sam chase a ball because I already knew about cruciate problems and how they can be caused. I think Sam’s problems stem from before we rescued him when he was 2yrs old. He had lived with an elderly couple and had never had proper exercise and was a massive 50kg! We slowly introduced more exercise and had him on a diet and we got him down to what he is now, 35kg. His exercise consists of a 20 minute off lead walk in the morning, a 20 minute on lead walk around lunch time and a longer 40 minute off lead walk at tea time. We have an appointment with our referral vet next Tuesday so we will see what he says. Sam has been a bit better this week with just 2 20 minute lead walks a day but our regular vet has said that it is his left stifle causing him pain.

  181. Hi Cheryl

    with hindsight I would have stopped hubby from all the mad excercise that Lily had chasing a ball on a rope. Joey is showing no signs of any problems but not taking any chances with him now. The vet said Lily will probably need the other leg done in under 18 months, problem is as they get older the outcome is less good. They are seven and a half now so 18 months makes them towards elderly in springer years. I have already been looking at the lesser ops that only last 2-3 years but have a short term good result. Prior to a change in regime they never acted like normal dogs when off lead, no sniffing or wandering around, just fcus on the ball. Now they are exactly like every other dog you see in the country park, actively seeking out something to entertain them. Luckily they are still very good off lead (hopeless on it) and they obey commands. They never played with other dogs before, but now they do, Lily no longer runs to visitors or the door, she waits for people to come and say hello to her. Sad in a way because she has lost most of her bouncy springer madness, she knows she has to be carefull.

    All the best


  182. Hi Deborah

    Sam had his first TTA Surgery on his right leg in Feb 2010 which cost £1,800. Our insurance paid this. 6 months later he had a torn medial meniscus on the same leg that required further surgery that cost £1,300. Our insurance paid this, but rightly or wrongly we carried this on as the same condition. We now only have £700 left on this condition.
    Now, 16 months later, his left cruciate has probably gone, seeing our referral vet next Tuesday to confirm so looks like we will be facing surgery again. Rang our insurance and they are saying that they class bilateral conditions as one condition so I don’t know if they will pay anymore than £700 towards this surgery. We will have to try to get the meniscus surgery classed as a different condition. Hopefully the referral vet will be able to sort something out for us, we don’t want to be faced with a huge deficit to make up.

  183. Hi Yvonne
    Sam doesn’t even bother chasing balls that are being thrown for other dogs!! He likes to play with other dogs, especially other Goldies! His downfall is he has these mad moments when his back legs tuck under his body, tail between legs and runs round like a crazy thing, which is probably also contributed to his injuries! He is definitely more interested in sniffing around and tracking down food than chasing balls! Ruled by his nose.

  184. Deborah,

    If this can help anyone, I highly recommend 24petwatch insurance 1-866-275-7387. I have the Quickcare gold policy which covers 3000 for muscular injury.That is for a lifetime. I spent 1000 in vet fees prior to the surgery and will be refunded 2000 more towards the surgery.

    Great customer service. Automated system calls to tell you they have recieved your claim and calls to notify you the amount and when your check will be mailed.
    So far very happy for this service ~

    I did try to get a secondary pet insurance
    however I was told once you have a cruciate repair you will not be covered for this injury again.

  185. My springer/lab mix May is 10 days post op from the TTA surgery. She had her stitches out tonight & is doing really well!!! We are going to start physical/hydro therapy next week. Progress!!! I will start weaning her off the tramadol tomorrow. She is walking on her leg, but of course still limping. Go May!!!

  186. So glad I found this site! My Sadie is at day 6 for her TTA. She is a 12 yr old Elkhound who knows what else pound rescue. I was concerned because today I left her for 2 hrs, confined her to the kitchen with gates but she got one open. I don’t know if she went up/down the stairs or not. I’m so worried she just messed up everything. The staples look a little more red at the knee but that could be just normal healing. She goes crazy in her crate so I will just gate the stairs next time I have to leave her and hope/pray she didn’t mess it up. She is probably 60%-70% weight bearing now. My vet had us use ice but not heat. He recommended the ROM on day 3 and to start 3-5 5min walks on day 4. My yard is inclined & he said no inclines for several weeks to not stress the knee. Our biggest issue is keeping her from the hillside.

  187. Hi Johnna,
    Recovery is such a scary time- you worry about everything. Our Freedom is a hyper Lab and was nearly impossible to keep quiet. We were lucky enough to have a kennel nearby where he went to doggy day care before his injury, and they let him come there when I had to work. He was kenneled but they took him on short walks (increasingly longer), did his ice and then heat after day 3, did his range of motion exercises, etc, all for $20/day that they usually charge for doggy day care. You might see if you have a kennel by you that would do that. Of course, you have to practically pick him up to get him in and out of the car. When he was in his crate, we gave him hollow bones and Kongs stuffed with carrots, green beans, peanut butter or biscuits, but he is very food motivated (being a lab) so he would lay still for hours trying to get the food out. Our vet did not want to give us a tranquilizer but I have heard that some vets do if the dog is just too stir crazy to let her injury heal. Good luck to you and Sadie, I know it is a very tough time right now. Gail, Goffstown, NH

  188. Hi All
    Sam is now 11 days post TTA surgery on his 2nd leg! The first few days at home he was very stressed and in a lot of pain and discomfort, he was sitting down every few steps out on his 3 ten minute walks a day.
    Now though he thinks he is back to normal and is walking 100% on his leg, he can lie down and stand up 100 times better than before surgery and is getting increasingly more bored in his pen we made him in the living room. He is staying in there for the full recovery period though, don’t want him running to the front door everytime the bell rings! Luckily he doesn’t try to escape or whine, he just sleeps and resigns himself to the pen.
    I think we are far more laid back this time though having been through it once before and we know what to expect and what could happen. It’s nowhere near as worrying or frightening the second time round! I just feel guilty now, he just wants out of his pen to be able to join us in the garden during this lovely weather.
    He is at our vet tonight for his staples to be removed. His wound healed up no problem and he hasn’t really bothered it so no need for a horrible buster collar! He is back at the consultant vet in 3 weeks for x-ray checks and then hopefully we can go further on our walks.
    Fingers crossed everything carries on straighforward and I hope everyone else who is going through recovery with their dog is having a smooth ride.

  189. My dog was just diagnosed with a torn ACL. Our vet is recommending the TTA however, he is not board certified – ACVS. Is this important?

  190. Hi Mary – Just like with people surgery, I think the most important things in a surgeon is how often they do the procedure, what facilities they have available, what their success rate is, etc. These are all things we are supposed to ask before we have surgery. The vet who did the TTA on my dog isn’t board certified but he does 2-4 TTA’s a week and has been doing ortho surgeries for over 20 yrs. There are no board certified vets in my area and the nearest was 3 hrs away. So far I’ve been very pleased with the care, advice, instructions. I work in research at a med school so I researched things ahead of time. He has followed everything exactly as has been written. Good luck with the surgery.

  191. Hi Mary. I do think experience is a key factor but in addition the specialists tend to be up to date on the most recent developements. In my case the surgeon said she “hoped” to do TTA but would not know until she saw the angle of my girl’s knee. She ended up with TPLO due to the angle of the bone. She had told me ahead of time that she could not commit to either procedure until she did her measurements.

    Nysa is now 8 weeks post op and doing amazing This particular surgeon was recommended by my regular vet and is very pro-active and involved. I just love her. I had met with and passed on the guy who was renowned around here for knee surgeries as I found him cold and uncompromising.

    So I guess my advice is read up on the surgery itself, read the posts here, and talk to folks who have been through it. But, like Johnna said, be sure to confirm this vet is doing procedures regularly. I also would be curious to know how they can conclude it is TTA. Best of luck to you and your pup.

  192. My pudelpointer Buster had his second TTA in March of this year. I ran around trying to decide between TPLO and TTA like a chicken with it’s head chopped off before the first one. Second one was much easier on everyone. I believe they have an idea of which procedure to use from the x-ray, but still need to take the measurement for final determination.
    I think references are the best way to choose your Vet. Ask for references from dogs that are about the same type and age as yours. If they have done enough procedures they should have some that are similar to yours. Don’t be afraid to ask about their failures too.
    Good luck and use the crate!

  193. Lily, our Springer, had her op in Feb this year and 1 week prior to op went in under a general to have xrays and scans to confirm diagnosis and to have the right size spacers and plates prepared. From what I can gather, and this we advice we followed, it is important that the consultant has many ops behind them. Their first 500-600 are classed as early ops and they charge a lot less if the vet fits into this catagory.

    Beginner upto 500, usually supervised was £750.
    600 ops plus usually can charge around £1300.
    Our consultant has done 3000plus (lost count)and charged £1900.
    This is number of TTAs not TPLO which our vets nolonger reccommends (very few do in europe now) for dogs over 18kg. Under 18kg and depending on activity level of dog the artificial ligament op usually has a good outcome.

  194. Hi all. SO glad to find a place to share. My lab Goose is at the hospital now after having DOUBLE TTA. I know, ugh. Vet said everything went as planned during surgery last night. Today they called and said she’s pretty sore, with some bruising and swelling – also to be expected. She’s supposed to come home tomorrow so I will be anxious to hear his post op instructions and to see with my own eyes how my girl is doing. I’m hoping I will have nothing but good news and happy reports over the next few weeks and months, but I’m glad to share with doggy mom’s and dad’s who’ve been through it!

  195. Hi Jennifer. My girl, Nysa, is 10 weeks post op with one TPLO and, yes, this site is a Godsend. Ny was pretty swollen and bruised when I brought her home but that went away quickly. All in all my surgeon pretty much nailed down how it would go, and of course we were very lucky that all went without a hitch. Cannot imagine doing two! My good thoughts are with you and your Goose for a quick and uneventful recovery 🙂

  196. Thanks Eileen! Hoping to hear from the vet any minute to schedule her pick up today! SO excited and nervous to get her home! I think its the unexpected that’s making me so nervous. Happy to hear that Ny is doing so well!I appreciate your note 🙂

  197. My 2 1/2 year old Rottie, Ted, tore his right ACL while romping through the yard. Surgery was scheduled, and in the meantime, he tore his left one. Aaargh! We just had the TTA on his right leg and, at this point, have the next one scheduled in three weeks (if the vet approves it). I hate seeing him go through this now only to repeat it soon. To top it off, I had total foot reconstruction in June and am still on crutches. Thankfully, Ted is extremely receptive to commands and, so far, taking him out to go potty has been interesting but doable. He just doesn’t understand why we go so darn slow. Total cost for both surgeries will be a bit over $5000.00.

  198. Jennifer – good luck with that double! Our Lab’s were done 3 months apart and I thought that was bad!

    Karen – here in northern NJ we had the same price tag. VPI Pet Insurance helped a bit – about $1500.00 per leg.

    Update on Tula – 8 weeks post op X-rays on second TTA were done on Saturday and all is good. She is still on Rimadyl AM & PM and 50 MG of Tramadol AM & PM (down from 3x per day). We hope to wean her down to 1 per day next week. She resumes hydrotherapy next week and will go 2 x per week for next 4 weeks. The past 4 weeks have been acupuncture – $95.00 1 x per wk) and Adequan injections – $48.00 2 x per wk for a total of 8 in the series. In addition, she is on Cosequin DS and has resumed her raw meat diet. Her weight has come back and her coat is glossy black once again. It has been a LONG road. My hearts go out to those of you in the thick of it!!

  199. Unfortunately, no insurance. We took the gamble and lost. He’s had elbow surgery on both front legs and now this.

    Our vet did not recommend icing, but did say to do flexing movements after two weeks. I am considering doing aqua therapy eventually as we did that after the elbows and it helped.

    His leg is swollen and bruised. The incision is at least 8 inches long. Does anyone do this arthoscopically? I love and trust my vet, but if I can get the next one done in a less invasive way, I might consider it. For this one, I am not driving yet due to the foot surgery and no one I knew, including the husband, was willing to drive all over to use a specialist, so I didn’t check how they did it. I will be barely driving for the next one, so all options are on.

  200. Karen – good luck with your healing and the next one for Ted. Sadie’s incision was abt 8 inches too – I think abt 17 staples…

    We’ve had a set back. Sadie is 3 1/2 weeks post TTA and now does not want to use the leg. At 2 weeks she was using it fairly well and the vet said she’ll do great when the staples came out. I dropped 1 dose of her Tramodol so I’m hoping that by putting back the evening dose it will help. BUT I’m worried we caused a problem. We took her on 2 car rides this week; she lays down most of the time in the back of the van but does try to get up/down to look out. We had to stop pretty quick and she slid while laying. Has anyone had a similar experience? That they used the leg and then stopped? And if so, was it a failure?? I hope/pray it is just something minor…

  201. Johnna – It’s good to know Ted’s incision isn’t abnormally long.

    I hope Sadie’s non-leg use is only a temporary setback. It’s so hard to keep on guard every minute. Who would think that a simple car ride at 3 1/2 weeks might injure them? Sometimes living life gets in the way of healing.

    Ted is doing ok as far as mood. Last night he even wanted to face fight with his brother. Of course, I stopped that!

    Ted’s appetite is not what I would like. I’ve had to hand feed him to get him to eat more than a few bites. Last night and this AM, he ate less than 1/2 of his normal portion. I put in a call to the vet and hope this is normal. Usually, even if he’s not burning the calories, he definitely wants them. He takes after his mother.

  202. Hi Karen. My Nysa was not interested in food at all at first! I really had to tempt her, hand fed her,etc. Once she got off the tramodol she did much better. It was about 6 weeks before she ate a whole meal. I did cut her food way back to avoid any weight gain while she is rehabbing. And despite spoiling her she is now happy to eat her regular food again

    Johanna-so sorry to hear of your set back. I know some folks do not go out in the car at all but we had to to get to therapy. I worried about it but xrays are coming up so that will tell the story. Please let me know how your pup fares

  203. Update: lucy had tta on both knees tuesday evening, i picked her up thursday so that puts us at day 4 post-op. He is putting weight on both legs and walks great with the help of the sling. Shes been squatting fine outside and finally pooped this morning (yeah!). The only challenge right now is doing the range of motion exercises the vet prescribed. Even before surgery she would tense up her legs when we’d try to evaluate them. Now, with them being so bruised and sore she’s really just not having it. Anyone else have thus? Hoping it gets better as the pain decreases.

  204. Glad to hear Lucy is doing well. I was advised by our vet no exercise for two weeks until stitches are removed. Never heard of doing range of motion on day 4??? Wally is schedued for his second TTA in two weeks.

  205. Anyone looking for pet insurance I highly recommend 24pet watch
    They covered up to 2000 of the cost of surgery. I’m on my own for the second surgery but their customer service is great and I was reimbursed promptly.

  206. Jennifer,

    Our vet had us icing 3x per day for first three days, alternating hot and cold on fourth day, then hot 3x per day for next three days. Passive range of motion exercises began on day three for 5 minutes 3x per day for 8 days. In addition, slow leash walk began on day 5 for 5 minutes and increased 1 minute per day until day 10. After day 10, it was 15-20 minute walks 3x per day. I had trouble with the range of motion exercises…..first suggestion I can give is that we found the Tramadol dosage was not high enough. Our vet eventually had us on 100 mg three times per day for our 55 lb Lab – a far cry from the standard dose of 50 mg twice per day! Second, I had one of my friends come over who our dog adores for the range of motion exercise. It became a bright spot in the day as she was SO happy to see her buddy. Our lab would roll on her back for belly rubs and we were able to work her leg in a slow bicycle pedaling motion.Arnica gel (for humans) was suggested for the bruising and worked well. Every vet is different and every dog is different but that is our story and I hope it helps!

  207. Eileen – good to know your dog was off the food for a while too. Last night Ted ate well, but today only about 1/2 of what I put down. Guess we’ll take it a day at a time.

    Jennifer – If I had been off crutches and able to do the sling, I would have wanted to do both legs at the same time – if my vet would have done it. I saw my last lab through hip surgery like that and it’s nice to just get it over with. That said, I feel horrible watching Ted now and knowing we’re just going to do it again! Poor baby!

  208. The second one for Buster seemed much easier. His were a year apart, but I hope you’ll find it easier too.

  209. Sam is at the consultant vet today having his Week 4 x-ray checks. The second op is certainly so much easier as you say Harvey. Sam is like a coiled spring at the moment, he wants to be off his lead having proper exercise again! Hopefully the vet will be happy with him today and we can start walking further. Still no word from the insurance company about whether they are going to pay up for this second op though. Grrr.

  210. I’m sure hoping the next one is easier. We still don’t know exactly when it will be. We will probably decide that at the two week checkup.

    We are a week post op today and Ted is doing well. Thankfully, many of you mentioned that it is a struggle to keep them reasonably quiet so as Ted tries to drag me further, I keep your comments in my head. His incision looks good. As of yesterday, the bruising was all gone and the skin is looking normal.

    I did order an alternative to the cursed cone; it’s called an easy collar. There were two types online. I got the one made by Kong because it had good reviews and was ten dollars cheaper. I sure hope it works because he and I detest the cone. He does not sleep well with it on and I feel horrible watching him thrash to find a comfy position. It probably won’t come in time for this surgery, but it will be here for the next one and any future issues. just hope it keeps him from licking his leg – the reviews were mixed on that so I guess it depends on the dog.

  211. We HATE the cone too I used a “comfy cone” It did the trick and she accepted it better than the plastic one. She only needed it a couple of times and once the stitches came out she never bothered with the incision again. Hopefully it will do the trick for you and Ted

    Nysa has her final xray tomorrow-cannot believe we are here! Think good thoughts for us please 🙂

  212. May went for her 8 week post op (TTA) visit today with xrays & she’s healing well. She actually walks better now than she has in a very long time!! We are going for therapy once a week and it’s really helping. Next visit in another 8 weeks. Fingers crossed.

  213. Nysa looks great-vet is thrilled with her xrays-YEAH! We continue with therapy and start to increase her activity now. Today was a great day for me and my girl.

    I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone here so much for being so encouraging and supportive. Unlike a lot of sites where folks can be rather”authoritative”, everyone here just sincerely wanted to help and support. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. I hope I can offer the same comforts and reassurances to others 🙂

  214. Yeah for Eileen and Nysa, DOnna and May! That’s great news for all the recoving pooches (and owners!)
    Lucy is still doing really well, I can see we are getting to the point where keeping her quiet will be the challenge. SHe is a lab after all. She gets so excited for her measly 5 min walks down the block. Can’t wait until we can go a little longer. I think the sling is more there to slow her down at this point – and yes, I say that at one week post op. Unbelieveable. But everyone’s encouragement to TAKE IT SLOW is good advice. After the pain and the stress, not to mention the cash! – I do not want to do anything at all to risk reinjury. As for the dreaded cone of shame, I only use it when she’s home alone confined in her room or at night. Otherwise, she’s been great about not licking and was actually starting to develop a little irritation on her chin. Vet ok’d it as long as she’s not licking so that’s been nice. Sutures come out next Monday. Her brusing is almost all gone now and I can’t believe how quickly she’s healing. I am glad we did this all at once though. I think it’s actually helped her stay quiet, and have to pace herself instead of just limping around on 3 legs like nothing happened – which is what I pictured her doing if we did just one.

  215. Famous last words, I see. I wrote last week how Lucy Goosey was being so good about her sutures… yep, 10 mins without my eyes on her and she had one whole knee stripped clean of stitches!Another 2.5 hours and $250 at the vet! We go in to get the other knee removed today and they will see if the new stitches can come out too. If that’s our only set-back though, I’ll take it. She’s been moving around soooo good that I have to remind myself that those bones aren’t even close tob eing healed! I would highly recommend doing two at once though – if your vet recommends it and you can take that first week off. I would say she’s getting up and down – which are the hardest moves for her – better now than before surgery.

  216. Oh Lucy! Well at least it was not too much of a set back. Glad the rest of the recovery is looking good for you 🙂 It is amazing how good they feel and how much they are raring to go My surgeon said they see so many re-injuries the month after those final xrays because folks let thier guard down-hope things keep moving along well for you 🙂

  217. Good to know that there are reinjuries one month after the last x-rays. Can’t wait to get to that point and will continue to be careful.

  218. Ted had his 2nd surgery yesterday and I just got him home. The vet said all went well. I feel so horrible doing this to him twice, but I had already seen hi moving much more confidently just 3 weeks after the right leg was done. He and I can get strong together as I had total foot reconstruction 11 weeks ago and am just getting to the point of walking more than what is necessary.

    Will sleep downstairs with him this week to keep him company and keep his brother from bugging him.

  219. Hello,

    Not sure if you will remember Wally (English Mastiff), we had our first TTA the end of April. That was a horrible experience for him and me.
    He had two bad legs and vet recommended one surgery at a time due to his size.

    Wally had his second surgery this past Friday and I was not looking forward to this second round. I would read everyone’s blogs and wonder if Wally would ever be even at 50% of what he was prior to this injury. All the other dogs seem to bounce back and we were having such a long
    and slow recovery.

    The second times a charm!!! Wally is up and walking. He does not even need help from mom to get up! I cannot believe how wonderful he is doing.He has lost about 30lbs from the first surgery, which is no problem since he was 190 lbs. I am amazed at the difference I see. This leg does not have nearly the swelling the other did, and his overall appearance is so much better. He is only three and has been through so much. I cannot wait to take him for a walk. He used to enjoy car rides before the injuries so I am hoping we can get back to enjoying those rides again. We have are fingers crossed for a speedy recovery and I feel that we are on our way (so excited).

    One last thought, on my long ride to the vet’s office Friday I was wondering why is it that we see so many more TTA surgeries. I have grown up with dogs my entire life and never heard of this type of surgery. In reading through the blog, it not only occurs in the large but medium size dogs. Is it the breeding? The food? Does anyone else have an opinion on this?

  220. Ted’s second surgery was five days ago. This one has seemed rougher than the last one which was three weeks before the second surgery. The vet’s office put the wrong size cone on him the first night and he managed to get to the leg and lick it all night. They didn’t mention that they had to resuture it, but I can imagine they did. The suture point and the skin surrounding it were much redder and swollen than the first leg and that pretty much set the stage for the recovery. He’s had more trouble getting around and is reluctant to poo because it hurts the leg(s). He was good about not licking the first one, but we’ve had a lot of trouble keeping him from worrying this one. We do see improvement, it is just slower than last time.

    Jordan – I’m happy your dog is doing well. I’m more than ready for Ted to start feeling better. The poor thing has had such a change in his life, from walking daily, going to the dog park, playing ball, visiting neighbors to my foot surgery where his and his brother’s life became boring and now this. Fifteen total weeks of healing for him. My husband says he’ll be healed by Thanksgiving, but I haven’t done the math yet.

  221. Jordan-so glad things have gone well for your Wally. I have often wondered about the TPLO/TTA too. Why so many and what has changed. Two orthopedic vets I talked to both said (in our case) the ball throwing was a part of the problem. In the water was fine they said, but on land they are propelling off those knees everytime. But, they added, years ago dogs limped, rested themselves, went back at it, and then came up lame again. I hate to say it but I guess that is somewhat true. Not sure about any genetic links. My Nysa had TPLO in May but neither of her parents, nor her grandmother, had a problem. Be interesting to hear what other folks think/have discovered.

    Karen-so, so sorry for Ted’s difficult time. You two have been through a lot. I am sure you have a sling to help steady him to do his business. Nysa really relied on that in the beginning. It is torture worrying and waiting. I hope he gets back on track soon. I dread the day they tell me Ny’s other knee is gone. Just praying the day does not come. I cannot imagine ever letting her run off lead gain I am so fearful right now. Wonderful to see them recover but scary to think of re-injury…

  222. Hi all i have been reading this extremely helpful discussion for several weeks now as we prepared for and underwent TTA surgery, on august 3 in new york city. My dog princess, a 50-lb husky mix of a certain (and by that i mean unknowable) age, tore her ccl completely and had a bucket handle meniscus tear that was removed. Her lameness began in late june, and was so gradual and intermittent that my vet and i considered it a symptom of lyme (which she tested weakly positive for) and treated her with antibiotics for 3 weeks before seeing an orthopedist. We are now nearly 3 weeks out from the surgery, she has had no setbacks and has been off all meds for about 10 days. we have been really careful — she hasn’t been off leash once, no rough-housing with the other 2 dogs (which has been no mean feat), no flights of stairs.. but her energy level is excruciating and I have a question for the veterans here: Should i worry about “overdoing” it when it comes to rehab and walks? we were told no more than 10-15 minutes – increasing very slowly – and the first 10 days or so she really did seem to be satisfied with that (she was also on tramadol and a little logy). Now she’s so restless that one of us is either fiddling with her (range of motion and things like that) or taking her out for a walk — all times of the day and night. as in, she’s going on maybe 6 – 8 15 minute walks a day. She’s going to start on pt in a week so i’ll get some feedback from them, but should i not worry as long as she doesn’t seem stiff or sore? I’m trying to burn off some of her energy gently, and i feel like if we don’t let her walk she’s going to start climbing the walls and really do something stupid. If she suffered a setback, would I know?

  223. HI Caitlin. My advice to you is just remember – THE BONES ARE NOT HEALED. The resting is as important as the exercise right now. Most reinjury happens in week 3 to 8 when the dog feels great and has massive cabin fever and the owners get relaxed but the actual bones are still forming and healing. We are dealing with the same thing here, week 4 post op of both knees at once. She is doing so well it’s hard to remember that she should still be quiet. I would definately consult your surgeon on the amount of rest vs. exercise she should be getting. I’d hate for anyone to deal with set-backs. Good luck and PATIENCE TO US ALL!

  224. Oh, another thing – if you can entertain her with nylabones or kongs filled with treats, something where she can lay and chew, that’s a good route to go, too. Even early on, Goose got “cone-free” breaks where she could chew on a bone for a bit.

  225. Hi Caitlin

    its time as jennifer says, to play, get inventive! We did hide the ball, even though Lily is a springer we kept her in her playpen as much as possible, even for playing. Even now games in the house are only allowed if Lily sits to recieve the ball or toy. We have had to retrain the untrainables (We have 2). We did loads of sympathising and pointing out her sorely poorly, aah, have a little sleep poorly Lily etc.. If she went in her pen then she got a game and sometimes a person with her. We avoided treats because she puts too much weight on when not excercised a great deal. We did hide and seek games, bought her foam balls that she could destroy, even so at 7 weeks she did a huge tantrumy thump on to the floor and snapped her plate. Luckily the spcer was still in place and her bone had fused. We are very carefull yet, chasing balls outside is now banned, we don’t want the other leg going which is currently OK.

    Keep you chin up, drink and get silly with her. Not sure you need PT as she is already exceeding what is reccomended. For an active, bonkers dog usually 3x 5 min walks per day up to 4 week check and 3×10 min up to 8 weeks is a maximum, as long as they don’t leash pull. If they do then its garden walks only.

    All the best it will be over soon


  226. I may soon realize how foolish this advice is, but with Ted we go sit outside. I keep him on leash, he looks around and moves a bit. He had one leg done four weeks ago and the other one done one week ago. I suspect that “just sitting” won’t satisfy him for long, but it is a nice out of house break in between our small potty walks.

  227. We are Day 5 post op…our 4 month old Springer Spaniel Lucy is already stir crazy. I am not sure how we are going to last 4 weeks without re-injuring something. She has tried to jump onto the couch or myself and my husband a couple times…luckily we have been able to catch her in the process. We also have wood floors that she slips on when we are not going fast enough with the lease… We have resorted to keeping her in her kennel, which she doesn’t not like. Today, she hasn’t been using her leg as much as she has the past couple days..I am afraid that we let her use it too much too fast…such as walking around the house or outside to find a spot to pee. I do not think I will be able to relax until these 4 weeks are over and we know if she healed alright or not.

  228. Hi Danielle

    You are about to get loads of advice, prepare yourself 🙂

    Our springer,Lily. is bonkers, or was, we had to do some radical retraining. Here comes my words of wisdom.

    Its the thrust action of jumping or pulling that causes the problems, so, cover or block all possible areas that she would normally leap onto, use anything. Buy a big adjustable childs playpen, opening door, opens out to allow areas to be sealed off (amazon about £100, worth it) with a padded bottom. Loads of cushions everywhere for you and her to sit on, on the floor. We bought cheap carpets and covered the floors, you can get a sticky spray to keep it down, buy felt backed so it does not fray.

    Bandage her leg and keep telling her its sore and gently stroke the leg to let her know she has a problem. No walks on the lead if she pulls, unless you use a sling so she can’t pull sharply.

    4 weeks is only the first check, the bones are not even healing untill 8 weeks at earliest.

    Go in the playpen with her, play ball while she sits, she only gets to play if she is sitting. We started this pre op and the vet OKed this play.

    Lastly for now, it will end but even at 6 months restriction is needed or the other leg will go.

    Good luck!


  229. My dog May is 11 weeks post op &now she’s limping again on the same leg!!! We’re going back to the surgeon tomorrow.

    1. Oh I am so sorry! I will be thinking good thoughts for May and for you. Hopefully she just twisted wrong or something. Until I went through this I had absolutely no idea how difficult it truly is. I will be watching for your update on May

  230. This Friday will be Wally’s two week check up and stitches will be removed.
    I now find myself in the same situation as others whose dogs are full of energy.
    I have kept him confined these last two weeks and will give him some extra room to roam however Im trying to be very cautious after reading other post from those who have had set backs. He has been restricted since April with the first surgery. With the amount of money spent on his legs I can not afford any more problems.

    I wish everyone continued success with their recovery!

  231. HI Jordan . Hope your Wally has a great report Friday! I keep saying I cannot imagine ever letting my Nysa run wild like I did before surgery (we are now 14 weeks post op) but I guess that is the point, right? LOL

  232. Update on May. She may have a torn meniscus in the same knee. If so, more surgery is required. I just can’t believe it & I have no idea how it happened. We’ve been going for rehab & following instructions. We have to go for a follow up visit & xrays next week. I really hope she does not require more surgery. I just can’t stand to see her limping again….poor thing!

  233. Oh Donna-I am so sorry to hear about your May 🙁 Let’s pray she just bruised it or something and rest will take care of it. I will think very good healing thoughts for May. Please update us after xrays. Re-injury is the biggest fear of everyone here. I am so rooting for May!

  234. I’ve seen a lot of comments about setbacks and very grateful that we didn’t have any. Buster was on the leash or in the crate until his stitches were out and the wound healed. Before that, always on the leash and short but frequent walks. After that, we would go to the lake and walk in the water for exercise. That went on for about month. Next it was to the lake without the leash. After 7-8 weeks, it was off leash at the lake, but still on leash for walks. If your dog isn’t used to the water before the surgery, it’s probably not a good idea to introduce him while he’s hurting unless he trusts you a lot. Buster’s a very active Pudelpointer, but seemed to accept the crate and leash while healing quite well.

    Don’t know if this was why we didn’t have any setback, or if we were just lucky But thought I’d put it out there.

    This Saturday we’ll be in the field for the early goose hunt. He moves great and has no sign of any problems.

  235. My 4 year old boxer had the TTA surgery 2 days ago. I’m not going to lie, it has been horrible since I brought her home about 24 hrs ago. I don’t think she is in pain because she is already putting her toe down. She HATES the 5×5 kennel that we have set up in the back bed room. She has been crying non-stop but if I bring herout she tries to walk all over the house and gets so hyper. I have been icing ever few hrs and trying to calm
    Her down by staying in the kennel with her. How in the world am I going to survive the next 4 weeks like this. Any advice? Please?! I feel horrible that I am putting her though this. I really hope I made the right decision.

    1. Alison, you did the right thing and this will get better/easier. My Dixie had the TTA surgery in Jan and is now completely back to normal. What we did was build a small pen for her in the backyard, this way she was able to get fresh air without doing any real exercise. We kept adding to her pen until she got good results from Vet that she was healing properly.
      As for trying to keep her calm, maybe a bone? those kong balls, maybe stuffed with peanut butter. Isn’t she on any kind of pain medicine? That kept Dixie pretty doped up for at least the first week. Keep the does get easier.

    2. This may be one of the cases where a little more medication is required. If you get in the kennel with her, she may quite down some. If she’ll rest on your lap in the kennel, I’d get her used to that and then move her to the main area. Or, just move the kennel to the main area where she can see what’s going on.

  236. Hi Alison

    It is horrible and early on looks like it will never end, but it does!

    Put her kennel where you all sit if you can, Its not quiet time she needs its entertainment and staying still, while in her kennel, putting her kennel in your normal environment lets you relax too. Granted everywhere will look like a bomb site but its worth it for sanities sake. We carpeted wooded floors, put cushions everywhere to prevent flumping injuries, used baby gates (still have one on the stairs no more galloping up and down for Lily), developed sit and play game, made beds under our feet, got her used to a cover up and sleep time. All sorts of anything, new toys to destroy ( she is pestering me now the having decided that the ball game were I move and she does not is great, all the time).

    It will end, you just have to get through it and keep your humour and sanity intact. The hardest bit for you is the guilt, but remember without the op she would have been in constant pain and become permanently disabled. She will forget all thois you won’t and it will change the way you excercise her incase the other goes.

    Good luck


  237. Hi Alison,

    Maybe you can gate off a small room and stay there with her when you are home. Just make sure there is nothing for her to jump up on. I know it’s hard, I’ve been there. Hang in there!!!

  238. Alison,

    each day will get a little better for both of you I promise. We have all been where you are . My dog is week two post op second surgery. Does your boxer have a dog bed? Can you put her on a carpeted area with baby gates to enclose her to a specific area. Also give her a treat. Maybe an extra large bone something new. I bought a small rug and enclosed my dog in the kitchen with baby gates which helped. Also check her meds maybe they need to be increased. Is she hyper or crying because she is in pain? The first two weeks are the hardest on both of you. Remember to use a towel as a sling if she has to go up and down stairs when going out to potty.

    You made the right decision but it is important to keep her rested so she has no set backs. Keep us posted here, we have all been through it and everyone has great advice to give. This blog was of great help to me. Hang in there.

  239. Hi Alison. I have a 5 year old boxer, Nysa. She had TPLO in May and I feel your pain. I too doubted myself those first few days. But you did the right thing and you will see she will come along quickly. My Ny hated the restrictions too but she adapted so I think your girl will too. As hard as it is quiet time is what she needs to heal. My girl whined pitifully but in the end she is a happy, healthy girl again. We are swimming and leash walking and she looks good. We were able to get into PT 10 days after surgery- she loved it. I spent a lot of time on the floor wtih her for bellyrubs, exercises, etc. I also let her have the messiest, most disgusting bones you can imagine( I feed raw) LOL I also divided her meals up into a few smaller meals a day to give her something to look forward to. Hang in there. Your girl, like my Nysa, is young and has many active years ahead of her. This surgery will really help her enjoy those years. Just make her pace herself-boxers are so stoic and so boisterous! Good luck!

  240. Thank you all SOOO MUCH for your feed back. I am happy to report Luci is getting better. Her knee is doing great and she is putting more and more weight on it already. I know that is good but it also makes me nervous since she has been so stinkin hyper. She is getting more used to her kennel and doing better if we are watching tv she will come snuggle and let us massage and work on range of motion. After speaking with the dr this morning they gave us another pain med that also has some sedative in it. At lunch I gave that to her and within 20 minutes she was so much more calm. She even walked into her kennel by herself and only cried for about 2 minutes… verses 20 minutes like she did yesterday!! I hate that we have to give her so many meds but maybe after a few more days she will be even better and more adjusted and we can back some off.
    We have been “shaking” and playing other little games if she will stay calm just to work her mind. We go back for post-op check up tomorrow and hopefully can start physical therapy later this week! I think she will love that.
    I can not tell you how much it has helped to hear stories of you all 4 weeks down the road and how much better your babies are! Thank you!

  241. Yay, Alison! Glad to hear you guys are turning the corner a little. It’s tough for sure. We are 6 weeks post op TODAY! and my Lucy (aka Goose) is moving around better than she did before surgery. I am still very cautious with her and remind myself that the bones are NOT healed yet, but I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to know I made the right decision. I too questioned it that first night when she howled and cried all night – I cried right along with her. Patience, patience, patience. To you and your Luci 🙂

  242. Update on Lucy (5 month springer)…we have tried our hardest in keeping her quiet…yet today, she started limping on her leg after being in her kennel all day. The last couple days she started to shift her weight on and off that leg while she was standing…called the vet and we have to wait and see what she looks like in the morning. I am about to cry! I am hoping that it is just stiff and will look better in the morning…

  243. Danielle

    don’t be too down hearted, our springer Lily is a flumper, she can’t just sit down she has to throw herself on the floor (hense cushions of every type all over the place, plus 4 large memory foam doggie beds) and she often limped, even snapped her plate at 7 weeks ( but it was OK her bones had healed and the spacer was still in place). Also it may be that, as you say she is just a bit stiff through not moving, crampy. Gently rub the muscles and stroke the leg to see if she extends and contracts it herself when no weight is on it.

    All the best


  244. Danielle,

    I totally agree with Yvonne. I have noticed with Wally some limping on and off. I think it depends on how much room they have to move around. I did not use the kennell but like Yvonne have dog beds, rugs, and baby gates every where. As Harvey mentioned I try to keep Wally limited to the leash short exercise. Frankly, I can not have any sets backs I just cant afford any more problems with these legs but also think limited space and laying in a certain position with to much weight on one side causes the limping when the dog first rises.

    I live on the east coast and we are getting slamed with all this rain and flooding now. Any thoughts on how the rain and cold weather will affect the plates? I have not discussed this with my vet yet.

  245. Jordan

    keep safe with the weather being horrid. The metal work should be fine ( we are wet and horrid most of the year) its you that are more likely to get injured, doing a flyer on slippy ground trying to stop your 4 legged friend from diving for puddles or hurrying you up because they don’t like the wet! Which type of doggie is Wally? Ours don’t care if they are going out for a big walk, but Lily would rather let her bladder burst than piddle on a wet surface, honestly. This problem did not show itself while she was supposed to be resting post op, just disapeared, its back now!

  246. Well, Lucy is looking a little bit better this morning. She is still limping but thank god not as bad as last night. She was limping so bad that I thought her knee was about to snap at any moment. This limp she has now doesn’t seem to be holding her back from wanting/trying to do things however, she does favor it when standing… we decided to wait until Monday before we call the vet again to see if it changes for the better. I just hope it is just stiff and doing too much for the past couple days.

    She does contract and extend it on her own so I don’t think anything is broken…or at least horribly broken. She doesn’t like and whines a bit when we do the exercises especially from a contracted to extended position. i am not sure if it is because we are holding her down, the exercises, or the worrying feeling we are projecting. She used to not mind them too much last week. I hope this weekend full of rest will help her. I took out her bed from her kennel last week since she was balling it up into a corner anyway and seemed to sleep better without it (and a couple blankets) but not I am debating on putting it back in hoping that it might help with the 10 hour days in the kennel.

    We weren’t using the kennel that much before (just rest time, bed time, and when we were gone) but she wants to walk around all the time so we found that keeping her in the kennel keeps her out of trouble and us from yelling/chasing her down). We also have all wood flooring on our main level and so she would slip around a bit. We put carpet down but she would just walk around them.

    I agree with you Jordan. We got Lucy in June and have already spent close to $4,000-$5,000 on her since we got her with a variety of issues including this one. We are only 2 1/2 weeks in the recovery stage. I am hoping this is the last of the excitement and she turns out to be okay.

  247. Danielle,

    I have asked this question on the blog many times before but I still do not understand why we see so many dogs needing these TTA surgeries. Interestingly enough, I grew up with English Springer Spaniels had four none that ever had this injury. My mother has her 5th now & no problems. I thought this was a problem with larger breeds only however from viewing the different blogs there are many different breeds that require this surgery. I have a English Mastiff now & my husband has told me this is our last large breed. Like you with a variety of issues and these leg surgeries we are over 10,000. I love my wally but this really makes my head numb 🙂

    Wish everyone’s fury friend’s speedy recoveries!!

  248. Hi Danielle Just want you to know I am here wishing the best for you and Lucy. I have no answers for you just sincere and heart felt prayers that this is not anything serious. I will say my Nysa will limp sometimes and my vet and the PT folks said as long as she is ok after 24-48 hours then it is most likely not serious. But I agree the age old question here is why so many ACL issues??? Ny is my third boxer but first ACL and I just do not know what she did differently. Please keep us posted on Lucy

  249. Update on Lucy. The last incident I mentioned on here went away and she was walking on it wonderfully. Had her 4 week post op on this past Friday. The x-rays looks great and everything is healing well, only 4 more weeks to go. 🙁 She is allowed up to 20 minutes on a slow leash walk and is able to take stairs as long as it is slow as well. However, last Tuesday (before her post op visit), Lucy leaped up on her leg weird and has been favoring quite a bit and not putting weight on it when she is standing. The vet cannot find any reason why this is happening. He manipulated her leg aggressively and she didn’t make a peep indicating any pain. She will walk on it, jump, run, play on it (all of which she isn’t suppose to do, but that doesn’t stop her) He did mention that 10 hours in the kennel is too long for her to be in there and that we should see if someone can let her out during that time. That should help with the stiffness. We are suppose to call him in a week if she doesn’t improve or sooner if she gets worse. I just don’t get her sometimes 🙂 Let’s hope these next 4 weeks are uneventful.

  250. If they could only talk! I hope Lucy is a “good girl” for the next four weeks. Your vet could be on to something with the crate- I notice Nysa will take awhile to limber up after a long nap so maybe a midday stretch will do Lucy good. Best of luck to you 🙂

  251. Ok my Luci (Boxer) is 2 weeks post-op. Friday was supposed to get her stiches out on Friday but on thursday the stiches busted. She was restiched up on Friday. Now 24 hrs later it looks as if it’s opening again right on the bend of her knee. She has only been in her kennel or sleeping while we watch tv or outside on a leash only to go to the bathroom. We have done 0 pt on her and have made her rest as much as possible. I’m so frustrated!! I’m at a loss of what to do. Looks like we will be back at the vet Monday morning. It’s so nice to hear how well your pups are doing after 6 and 8 weeks! I can’t wait to be there!!

  252. Alison, how frustrating for you! Those first four weeks are truly the worst-so worrisome. I would keep a close eye on that incision and make sure your vet does too. This did not happen with us but I have heard of a number of people that it did and in the end their dogs were fine. Please keep us posted and know my boxer Nysa and I are sending wiggles to your girl

  253. Hi All

    About to join you all in the “keeping them calm” challenge. My Alaskan Malamute Marti is going in for TTA repair on Wednesday and it’s been really brilliant to hear all your experiences. Fingers crossed. I’ll keep you all posted on our progress.

  254. Hi, my dog Jack is just about 4 weeks post TTA and has had no setbacks. We are up to 2 10 min walks 2xs per day. I have noticed that he walks with his knee turned out a bit. Has anyone else experienced this at all? He is starting to bear more weight on his knee, but I don’t know if the turned out knee is common.

  255. Buster has both knees done and the vet actually pointed out to me that his legs aren’t straight when he sits. She said it was common for this to happen after TTA. It doesn’t seem to bother him when he runs or jumps, just when he sits. Unless you’re putting Jack in some field trials where they expect them to sit just right, it should be OK. Glad you haven’t had any setbacks. You’ll soon be very glad you got it done.

    Buster is back to duck hunting and soon will be pheasant hunting again.

  256. Hi all! I wrote a few weeks back about my husky/german shepherd mix princess who had her tta on august 3. She just had her final xrays today — everything looks great — and she’ll have a 4-week ramping back to her original level of activity. I wanted to thank all of you for being so helpful contributing advice and recording your own experiences.

    At this point, princess is doing terrifically well. The doctors see no instability in either knee and she has no discernible limp. However, she definitely moves differently than she did before the surgery — both sets of toes point outward about 8-10 degrees and her left knee, the site of the tta, also cocks out a few degrees. The doctors tell me this may disappear over time. I believe the angle of her knee has been fundamentally changed; whether this affects the other knee over time or not remains to be seen. I plan to lighten her up by 3-4 pounds (she’s fit now but not particularly lean), keep her activity consistent, and to maintain her on a good dose of joint supplements. I really dread going through several thousand dollars and several weeks more rehab again, for the next knee!!

    I am in NYC and had her surgery done at the animal medical center — if anyone has any questions about anything I can help with please don’t hesitate. This is a really good resource for all of us.

  257. Hi all,
    I’m terrified and not sure what to expect. My 11 yr old Aussie tore her acl and they are receommending tta surgery. Since reading all the posts, I find that recovery is brutal and that it might happen to her 2nd leg. I plan on taking off the week after her surgery but cannot after that. I could possibly have someone check on her mid-afternoon during the days. What other suggestions do you have? Also, we do not have pet insurance and cannot simply afford another surgery. All of this an my Husky died unexpectedly last week. Since he was my baby, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster. She is depressed and in pain also. If you had the choice, and she is a canidate, would you consider the TTA over the Cranial Cruciate Ligament Surgery-Extracapsular? Taking in her age. Thank you and any helpful suggestions/experiences would be grately appreciated.

  258. Sharon,
    I am so sorry you lost our Husky baby. That on top of your Aussie’s surgery decision must be dreadful. Here is my two cents, but there are more informed and VERY helpful people on this blog so I am sure you’ll get lots of ideas.

    In my research, the TTA recovery was no worse, or not much, than ECS. Bigger dogs tend to do better with TTA and given the age of yours, I think it unlikely a second would be needed. Adora was 6.5 yrs old in Feb. when she had her surgery. The first week was definitely the worst. Very important to keep them confined — crated is best for the first few weeks. After that, no stairs, no jumping on furniture….I kept her in a small room where she couldn’t do either. Also very important that they can lick the sutures. Adora somehow managed to pull out 2/3 of hers, but fortunately had healed enough that it wasn’t an issue.

    I know that ECS was less expensive but not dramatically. I paid around $3700 total for TTA. ECS would have been perhaps a $750 less. I am not remembering exactly. I debated and researched options extensively, took her to 2 different places, and almost went the route of ECS. In the end, I am glad she got TTA and she’s completely healed. Back to chasing deer. I know some folks have curtailed their dog’s activity to protect the other leg. I decided that part of her greatest fun is romping in the woods. She has moderated herself, I think.

    Best of luck and best of wishes…keep your chin up. Most on this site are great believers in the power of wine….:)


    1. For what my research is worth. I was told that an artificial ligament is better for a possibly, moving towards sedatory dog over the age of 9 years. It is a simpler op, TTA is about maintaining activity and preventing arthritis. In an older dog its not required. enquire further, its been mentioned on here and got me thinking, why are there so many ttas/tplo?s now, that are expensive, might be great but are they great for all ages and dogs?

      Just my thoughts, if Lily needs another we have already decided on a simpler op for her.

  259. Hi Sharon,

    I understand how terrified you are. I was there a few weeks ago when our 2.5 year old Aussie mix was diagnosed with two CCL tears. I got 5 opinions, 2 from othopedic specialists and they all recommended the TPLO because they’ve seen better results with the TPLO and if the TTA implant is rejected you are SOL. I’m not an advocate for either but I just wanted to tell you which we went with. We are on day 10 and she is doing absolutely fantastic. You can barely see the incision at all and she is walking well with a sling. In total, with 2 rehab sessions, drugs, post-op xrays and visit included, the first one cost ~$4000, we didn’t have pet insurance either. But we also went to a specialist who has done over 5,000 with the smallest complication rate I’d ever heard of. My husband is in school, so money is tight, but it seemed like a no-brainer to me to go with the best surgeon, whatever the cost. It may be more upfront, but by reducing chances for expensive complications, it made more sense to us.

    Anyway, I can’t help you with which option to go with, the TTA, the Extracapsular, the tightrope, the TPLO or any others.. all I can say is do your research, read everything, learn about the Care Credit Card and go with the one you feel the most confident with. Speaking from personal experience, you will never feel 100% about any of them, but you will get to a point where you are more confident with one. Ask your vet what he recommends for your particular dog’s age, activity level and injury. I’d also recommend going to an othopedic specialist, if you have one in your area… this is mostly what they do for a living so they have to be good at it! Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful with your particular situation, but I hope you find a solution that gets her up and running again in a few months.

    Regarding the days off, what I did was work out a schedule with my employer where I could go into work super early and work a half day or go in late.. whatever worked so that she was never alone for the first week. Now, she’s doing so well that we can leave her alone for 4 hours comfortably. She stays in her xpen/crate and we set up a puppycam on ustream to keep an eye on her. Our vet said it is almost better if they are left alone for a few hours, it encourages them to sleep.. but every dog is different. Good luck and I”m sorry you have to go through this!

  260. Has anyone else heard that there is a correlation between female dogs spayed too early and CCL injuries? My mutt was spayed at 11 weeks, way too early in my mind, but the rescue did it anyway.

  261. I have a happy ending to share. May had TTA surgery 6/10/11. She is fully recovered & no longer limps at all. She walks better now than she has walked in years. She was limping again a few weeks ago & I was afraid we had another major problem. As it turned out, it was a groin pull that healed on it’s own with some pain meds & rest. She’s doing great & so am I! I wish the same outcome for all of you!

  262. Thank you all so much. Difficult to take in on top of loosing my other dog. I’m sure it will all get better. We are scheduled for TTA surgery on Wed 10/12. I think I’ll take off the following week as well just to make sure she’s doing ok. I like the doggie cam idea.

  263. Update on my 6 month Springer, Lucy…She had her 8 week post op appt today and everything looks great and is almost healed. Hurray! There is still some slight lameness but we are suppose to see how the next 4-6 weeks go with the increase in activity. She may need the implants removed. To clarify, Lucy snapped her growth plate in her shin and that is why she got the TTA surgery, nothing to do with the ligaments. Next weekend, she is finally getting spayed and vulvaplasty as well. I am hoping that she doesn’t get an UTI within this next week. Things are looking up and I am hoping that I don’t jinx it!

  264. My lovely 4 year old rotty has just had a TTA yesterday and she is already weight bearing. Once healed she will have to have the other one done and then both hips!
    She had both knees done about 6 weeks apart when she was about 10 months old. She came to me as a foster dog after her previous owners wanted to destroy her as they hadn’t got any insurance and her legs went. Fortunately the vets refused to do it and found a rescue to take her on and they paid for basic surgery for both knees, which lasted until now.
    I’ve had a dog in the past that had TPLO’s done and the TTA now seems to be the surgery of choice.
    I’m hoping for good results but I think we’ll have our work cut out trying to keep her quiet, she’s a bundle of energy and has this huge zest for life….so we’ll do what we can.
    It’s been great to read some of the stories and I’m filled with hope that all will be well.

    1. Jacquie – you sound like a lovely person and you deserve a happy healthy dog. I am sure you will do everything needed.
      The very best of luck


      1. Ahh thanks Yvonne, we’re going to do our best for her & I’ll be keeping an eye on the site for more tips.


  265. My 5 yr old Rottie has just had Tightrope repair on both legs,first one on 28th November and the other today,she is at present over night at the vets.I feel really bad as she was getting around really well but didn’t want to (neither did the vet) leave the other leg for much longer.Up until today she has been crated other than toilet breaks in the garden and walking round the house.No climbing up and down and we have been helping her up and down our back door step.The advice that i am after and i will obviously be under my vets guidelines is regarding Arthritis.Will she have/get Arthritis? The best way to help/prevent/treat this.I have a thousand questions but at the moment any advice from experience about recovery and long term future would be appreciated.
    Many thanks

    1. Julia – how is your dog recovering from the Tightrope surgery? I considered that for my 4 1/2 year German Shepherd but decided to go with TTA. All is well. It was a long recovery process but my dog and I are happy with the outcome. Regarding arthritis – you should ask your vet. From what I have read, there is a higher probability of developing arthritis after knee injury. My dog has a mild case of it but we manage it with glucosamine supplements. Hope things are well with your Rottie.

      1. Hi Joy, Holly is doing amazingly well I’m pleased to say! Was really hard in the beginning and not nice to see her like it but nothing was worse than seeing her unable to walk at all as both her cruciates went within a week of each other. After first op it took her about 10 days to be up and walking without support and then she had to have the other leg done. Was really hard after second op but she was up and walking unaided within 3 weeks. Now 3 months on she is back to normal just can’t walk much further than 15 minutes without needing to sit but from other stories I think this is great progress. She has lost 5 kg and is doing hydrotherapy twice a week. She is having catrophen injections and we are giving her glucosamine and the vet has recommended metacam which we are looking into. Glad your dog is doing well, we didn’t discuss what op was best for her as ours is an orthopaedic surgeon and we felt his judgement was the best and so far this has been fruitful. She has been well looked after and he is amazed with her. He has now told us to walk her as far as she will allow and that she can come off her leash. All in all it has been really smooth and nothing like I expected, I read do many other people’s stories and was expecting sleepless nights with her crying in pain, I had none of that, she has been a superstar!

  266. Hi. Live in Denmark (scandinavia). My 7 year old japanese spitz tore his right cruciate ligament and got at TTA i october 15. It was a though time, but the recovery was good. Now 3 months later his is limping on his other hind leg? and will probaly need a new surgery on that leg. He also have pretty servere heart faliure, but is doing fine on the heart meds, but we dont know how long he has before the meds dosent work, and we have to put him to sleep (could be few months to years)So i am very much in doubt if i should put him though a new surgery and 3 months recovery or maybe put him to sleep now. He is my little boy, and i wish he could live forever, so i am leaning towards the second surgery, but I would be thankful for any comments that can help me make a desicion…

    1. Sorry to hear the little guy is having knee troubles again on top of some cardiac issues. You could always have him fitted for a brace (check on line) which he could wear every day.
      Several years and 4 dogs ago, I had a lovely little Cocker Spaniel who tore a knee at age 11. One of the options was to avoid surgery. The vet said that scar tissue would begin to fill in over time and ‘hold’ the knee together somewhat. Pain meds help. It was a huge consideration at the time, as we had no idea as to his life expectancy.
      So you have 2 perfectly adequate non surgical options: The brace, or Critical Management. Do what you feel best. I know you love him very much. Whatever you choose remember there are no wrong answers… only that love.

  267. So I found this site the day after my great dane, Minnie, got her TTA surgery done. I know its been a good number of years since this has been active, but your stories on here are very encouraging. Minnie is toe-touching already, and after a day seems to be more herself than the drugged up dog we brought home yesterday!

    I read some stories about people putting mattresses on the ground for their dogs and that is exactly what we did. And to make sure she had enough room to sprawl out, guess who slept on the floor? But, hey, anything for my girl.

    But I wanted to say thanks for the stories, they certainly have helped calm my nerves! I hope all your doggies are doing well still.

    1. Garret,
      Love the name Minnie for a great dane 🙂 Glad to hear she’s doing well. My Adora was particularly unhappy about wearing the e-collar so I was not particularly good about making her until she pulled out her stitches (and I didn’t even realize it until the vet chastised me). So I would just encourage you to keep it on as much as possible. And just be aware that they will want to do more and be more active than they should so I also had to use the crate more than she was happy about. Good luck!

    2. Hi Garrett, I also found this site extremely helpful years ago. Our Lab ended up with both legs being done within six months (the vet did warn us). The most important thing I learned was pain management. The vet we used was extremely conservative with the Tramadol that was prescribed. That left our girl in agony her first night home and reduced me to tears at 2am! We overcame that hurdle and that leg was textbook recovery. The second leg was a problem. An infection behind the plate prevented it from healing correctly. We went back and forth for months when finally they open it back up, removed the plate and found the infection. That leg was never right after that but she was 7 at the time and lived another 5 fairly active years.

      1. Hi Yvette,

        My name is Andrew and have a 7 year old Yellow Lab named Rosie. She had TTA about 2.5 years ago. After about 6 months of bumpy recovery, she started lame again. We discovered she had a meniscal tear and took her to a different surgeon who told us that, surprise, she should have never had a TTA but a TPLO would have been proper given her tibial angle, etc. That surgeon reco’d we remove the TTA implant and replace with a TPLO. We just couldn’t bear to have her go through major invasive surgery again, so we opted for a lateral suture be added to the TTA to provide more stability. After 2 years, she was doing well, but a drainage tract has developed near the incision and the surgeon has now told us Rosie has developed an infection in the implant and it had to be removed!! Everything I have read online says it is nightmarish to remove the TTA implant. I am so worried that she will never be the same or, god forbit, her leg need to amputated afterwards.
        Looks like you went through a TTA removal. Do you have any advice? Did they put another implant in, or just leave it out? I am so concerned for my little girl.

        1. Andrew, I’m so sorry for your Rosie. My understanding is that while the bone itself is pretty much healed by 6-8 weeks, it takes much longer for the supporting muscles to rebuild. You mentioned a “bumpy” recovery, and while my dogs had TTO’s not TTA’s they would have been close with regard to healing time, PT, and protection from a secondary injury or monitoring for infection, etc. Was there something that you feel may have been the cause or precipatory factor in your dogs case? I’m not casting blame… goodness knows, things happen even with constant vigillance. (My male ~ a woodchuck suddenly appeared by our shed, dog lunged and injured tho I had secure and short hold of his leash ~ extended his recovery x8 weeks!)

          I’m thinking if there was a secondary infection or subsequent reinjury then possibilities for problems arise. I absolutely understand your reluctance to do further surgery. I’ve read nightmarish tales upon removal of implants, just as you have. I will make one qualification tho. My own friend had to have part of his implant removed. This actually can happen with any screw, plate, or other device including those of a TPLO. (as my friend’s dog ~ with her’s a few screws were taken out, it was a while ago so my memory is hinting that the screws used were a fraction too long, however, once removed, not replaced, the dog did much better)

          Now, I’m afraid here’s where I’m not going to be very helpful. Just gather as much information as you can: online and in person with surgeons in questions. You’ll need to filter out what is useful and what is uneccessary information, For example, the comment about what “his” preferred surgery would have been is not all. It’s past the point. It’s unfair to make you feel as tho you should have opted for his preference, do you think?

          The point is where you are now. And what your options are, how much those options could be expected to help, if at all, and what the prognosis would be, and the age of the dog. Is there Physical therapy available in your area? Considering this would be an additional surgery to an area that has already had surgery, those muscles will be in need help. After my friends dog had some screws removed, he did much better with my dog’s PT over just the suggested exercises of a surgeon.

          So, gather information while tossing out statements that are not helping so you get a clearer picture. Ask yourself what the quality of her life may be with the possibilities (neg and pos) of any of the decisions you may make. I know you love her, I know how concerned and worried you must be, and this must be killing you.

          Do your best and you can live with whatever you decide. There is no blame or shame to be felt with any choice. Best wishes

          1. Thanks for the thoughtful reply Lucy.

            We have been gathering a lot of information since my last post. I have received a few other opinions from reco’d and well respected surgeons in my area. They have concurred with the initial diagnosis of implant infection that can only be 100% resolved with implant “explantation”. I inquired about merely managing the infection and taking a ‘wait & see’ approach. I have given it another 10 days and it has not gotten better. All surgeons have said that the only way to address it is by removing the implant. The only thing that makes me feel better is that the other surgeon I consulted said that I have the best surgeon to do the removal. I spoke to the that surgeon and she said she has performed “at least a dozen” TTA removals. She said it was very difficult due to drililng through bone, but has never had a fracture and said that, due to scar tissue, Rosie will have a shorter recovery period than the previous surgeries. So, my wife & I are getting in a ‘surgery’ mindset and preparing our house for post-op. Crates/ramps, rugs, clearing our schedule to give Rosie the best care possible.
            Thanks again Lucy- Appreciate the camaraderie on this website as I know we all love our dogs (Rosie was our first baby years before we had 3 kids)…

        2. Andrew, We are in the exact same place now as you were when you left your comment in 2017. Our dog has had two TTA surgeries and now has MRSA (confirmed by culture). One surgeon has recommended removing the hardware from her TTA surgeries. Where did you get yours done and how did the results go? I will go anywhere to get my girl the best care for this. Thank you.

    3. Well… it’s not unusual for the dog to be still ‘drugged up’ that first day. It’s the price you pay for being able to take them home soon. I’m glad she’s doing so well and toe touching already. I was so pleased to see that as well with my 2. The TTA and TTO’s are less invasive surgeries and the toe touching happens quickly!

      Those gel ice packs 2-3 times a day will help keep swelling down. Bone heals in 6-8 weeks, but building those muscles back up can take 6 months. Get ready for a lot of walking a few months down the road. It starts slow, and gradually increases… going back to what you did the week before if you find limping increases. By the time month 5-6? I was doing 2 dogs with ACL troubles only 9 weeks apart, so It did seem like LOTS of walking in the end…

      Mattress on the floor? Great idea! Hope it’s big enough for you too!! 😉

    4. My dogs were a bit ‘still sedated’ when I brought them home too. It’s not unusual. I’m not surprised she’s toe touching already! YAY! The TTA and TTO are less invasive (less swelling) and toe touching is sooner. Gel ice packs 2-3 times a day will help too. Slings for under the belly are a great to have, especially for getting in and out of a vehicle.

      Mattress on the floor is a great idea! Hope there was room enough for you too!

      After that, it takes 6-8 weeks for the bone to heal…. and 6 months for the muscles to come back. Eventually you’ll be walking l lot. You start slowly and increase very slowly and gradually… always going back to what you did the week before if there is increased limping. I was doing rehab for my 2 Rottweilers concurrently (9 wks apart). So I was walking all day long it seemed by months 5 and 6.

      Give Minnie lots of love! Good luck with her recovery.

  268. Garrett, glad Minnie is doing well. Our lab Freedom has his TTA done about 6 years ago. (Yvonne, I think you were on this post at that time too!) he did well but I wanted to say that he had physical therapy afterward and his surgeon said that made a huge difference in his healing. We were so lucky that the place he went to daycare is also a rehab facility (they raise sled dogs) so they boarded him during the day, gave him his meds, did his muscle exercises, and did PT such as underwater treadmill etc. for $40 a day! This was a little after the surgery. He had to stay in a crate the first few days to keep him from running around. But I had to get back to work. Anyway, I just wanted to mention PT to get your Minnie healed if there is an affordable facility near you. And so far, Freedim has not needed his other knee done. Best of luck to you and Minnnie.

  269. My 85 pound pudelpointer Buster had tta surgery in 2010 on one leg and 2011 on the other. I gave a supplement called Next Level and felt it was doing a good job of preventing stiff joints etc. Buster is 8 now. Last fall he started having problems after hunting him hard. I switched to a supplement called Dasuquin and have been very pleased with the results. It’s available on Amazon and you can get it at vets too. Amazon I’m sure is cheaper and easier then a trip to the vet. I seen improvement after only a couple weeks. Anyone else using this?

  270. Yes. We have given this supplement to 2 of our dogs and the improvement in just a few weeks, and the continuous results are excellent.

  271. My dog just got ATT surgery 3 days ago and was putting weight on it when we picked him up. We kept him laying down except for bathroom but today he went to stand up from his bed and twisted it and cried. He held it up for awhile afterwards. We have an appointment to get his stocked out in 5 days but I am going to try and get an earlier appointment to get his leg looked at. He was able to briefly stand up and take two steps to his bed but he is not putting weight on it

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