TTO Surgery with Laser – Stetson

Stetson had his TTO surgery today, just 9 weeks after my girl, Rave. His accident is an unfortunate co-incidence. Neither is related to their agility involvement. However both dogs being athletic competitors, we want a great outcome thru both the surgery and the ensuing physical therapy.

I have been very well pleased with Rave’s recovery and decided the exact same treatment options for my boy, Stetson.

Two years ago I fostered three Rottweiler’s over the summer. (Phoebe and Manning were adopted by new families, quickly) Stetson’s response to training was so overwhelming and solid, I adopted him from the rescue myself! He was too good to let go and he fit in nicely with my own two girls, Raven and Sable, also Rottweiler’s. He is a Clydesdale sized dog with a personality to match and a desire to please.

Stetson should be ready to come home tomorrow. We’ll be doing gel ice packs with grip wrap, crate rest, on lead potty breaks and deramaxx. In 10 days he’ll get his staples out. Then in 2 weeks he can have his intake evaluation at the PT center.

Naturally, at some point in time we will be able to book consecutive PT sessions. Maybe I can at least save on some gas?

9 thoughts on “TTO Surgery with Laser – Stetson

  1. Stetson is now 6 weeks post op. Just Imagine all the “therapy walking” I get to do between the two of them! Rave is cleared for trotting, now, so I have to jog with her.

    But back to Stets: He did his first full session of the underwater treadmill last Tuesday. It took him a few minutes to get his head around it, but got the idea by the end when he grabbed the kitty-man toy out of the water and carried it the rest of the trip! He is such a goober! His thigh is only 1.5″ difference. The rear portion of his thigh is visibly equal to the non surgical leg, owing to the 9 additional weeks of agility. He was “in shape” to begin with.

    At some point he was so totally bored with his limited activity that he brought me a weave pole from the coat closet. I keep some indoor versions of agility equipment in there for rainy days. So here he is with his weave pole, a huge grin, and a question his his eye. Can I Mom? Please?

    Naturally, I laid it on the carpet and let him step over it a few times while I cheered. About a week later the girls were lying in the middle of the living room. I saw the glint in his eye just a nanosecond before he vaulted one then the other! The Clydesdale strikes again! I had to invent “non-impact agility” for him because I know this dog will not be happy unless I do. That, and it could be detrimental to his recovery. So I took apart some of my “indoor” equipment and remade it into a non-impact version for him. It worked! No more vaulting lounging girl dogs!

    Being the character that he is, I expect a less busniness like approach from him than from Rave. She is so steady, hard working, and sensible. He will come up with stuff especially when he’s idle. I have to be on my toes and adaptable.

    My conclusion? Even with the same surgery, these dogs are different. No two recoveries will be the same! Wish me luck! And stamina, PLEASE! 😉

    1. I have owned 2 Rotties and both dogs tore their ACL’s. My first Rott had both legs done (about a year apart) TPLO’s and my current Rott had a TPLO done about 6 months ago. I am praying the other doesn’t tear.

      I am coming to the conclusion that this breed has a high risk factor on ACL problems.

      Would you say the same thing? I LOVE Rottie’s but I don’t think I would get another because of it.

  2. No. I would not say Rottweiller’s have any greater predaliction for knee injury than other breeds.  Accidents happen.  In my case, both dogs slipped in a rain drenched muddy yard.  We were in the news for our flood.  Even yards high on a hill had standing water in their yards.  Years ago, I had a Cocker Spaniel, 17 lbs soaking wet.  He tore his knee, and I would consider him small.
    Consider the breeds whose stories are listed here:  Labs, Aussie’s, GSD’s, Pit Bulls, West Highland White Terriers, Danes, Basset hounds, Beagles, Huskies, Goldens, Weimaraners, Cane Corso’s, MaltiPoo’s, and Cockapoo.  We have a larger variety than I would have thought, myself, until I looked.  I guess knee injuries do not descriminate. 
    You must be shell shocked tho, to have had 2 surgeries on one dog.  Of course you are concerned that a similar situation is in store for your second dog.  If it helps, my Cocker never tore the other leg.
    I have also learned thru my PT that the chances of injuring the second leg are greatly reduced if you can rebuild the surgical leg (thigh) to within 1/2″ of the other leg.  Then… you are back to no greater chance than you were for the first injury.
    Keep building those muscles up thru persistent leash walking.  Why a leash?  So you can keep the dog from reinjury until you reach that magic measurement.  Swimming is great.  It works thru resistance enhancement building.  If you can find it that would be fabulous. 
    You LOVE Rottie’s. Me too. I am far too fond of the breed to consider any other.  Rottweiller’s suit my style of positive reinforcement training.  I find them brilliant, and pretty much comedians!  I like a dog with a sense of humor and a good work ethic.

    Good luck with your dog! =) Keep working and you stand a good chance.

  3. About week ago, while tethered to the deck for a potty break, a young woodchuck came thru the back and up alongside my shed in the yard.  Tho I was standing on the deck with him, Stetson became excited!  He lunged at the creature who quickly went under the shed. For 6 days after, the poor boy had a significant limp.  At 9-10 weeks there is no damage he could have done other than strain some of his muscles.  I continued the deep tissue massages and medication, and we survived.  There was no heat, warmth, or additional tension in the muscles.  In fact he found the massages soothing, so I uped them to twice a day.  We did very limited walking and postponed his underwater treadmill.

    I began his regular walking regimen when the limping deminished to a workable level.  Then, on Thursday he had his post op x-ray.  As expected, everything is fine.  Bone is filling in nicely and all is well.  It feels so good to have my boy back in the saddle, treatmentwise. 

    He is such a young very physical, and highly mentally active dog, these set backs affect him.  I taught him to play the shell game… he was so bored!  He’s a pretty funny guy, actually.  And quite a challenge as he needs brian games.  I’ve had to adjust some of my indoor agility equipment to ground level, so he feels he is still part of the game.  This is subsequent to the day he brought me a single weave pole, which I then laid on the carpet for him to step over.  I don’t know many dogs who communicate their needs so very clearly.  He’s pretty funny!

    My girl Raven is at 19-20 weeks, now and has graduated from the program, but i signed her up for some additional treadmill sessions.  She can continue with that until they are both ready for swimming. =)

  4. Stetson is currently at 16 weeks post op. He sustained some significant soft tissue injury as mentioned in the previous posting. We did adjust his medication to include an increase in the tramadol to 2 tabs, 3x/daily, and added Rimadyl 2x/daily for inflamation. I’m sure, as many of you already know, soft tissue injuries take a long, long time.

    Stetson is also his own worst ememy there. He has such an active mind and he is an exuberant young dog. Keeping him occupied is a bit of a challenge.

    However… the medication adjustment has afforded us the luxury of keeping pretty much on track with his rehab. Well he may have not gained much for the first week or so after the woodchuck, but he’s doing MUCH better, now.

    I am infinately pleased with the TTO! I cannot imagine a better option for “this” dog. After the initial 8 weeks of laying down new bone, the leg itself is solid. It is very safe and secure. It was and is the right choice for him!

    He’s looking mighty good these days. Yes, with his rambunctious behavior… obviously despite being continuously leashed(!) there are days where the slightest limp returns. His recovery will undoubtedly be impeded occasionally by his own behavior. But he will make progress and he will be just fine in the end. i am so, so thankful we have PT available! It’s going to be a long 6 months , but he’ll get there!

  5. It’s been 5 months post op, now, and miraculously… Stetson seems nearly no worse for wear since his woodchuck escapade. He’s apparently recovered from his soft tissue injury and is back on track.

    He has an excellent work ethic and will do anything asked. I sometimes have to be inventive with him and keep his mind challenged throughout the exercises. He likes games and puzzles and make believe jump patterns. The patterns he recognizes as a FUN aspect of agility. He is not yet ready for more than step overs, no jumping. But, for me, if he “sees agility-like equipment”, he is ready for action.

    We signed up for additional underwater treadmill sessions, due to the set back of his injury. I expect these last 5 sessions should have him well on his way and measuring equal thighs on both sides.

    Raven continues to do well. She is working on exercises and activities to transition her back into agility… which I am taking very slowly, at this point. My goal is to have her ready once the weather gets nice. At this time I see no rush. We can skip most of the winter classes, exercise and practice at home, and take it slow for the next 3 months.

  6. Update:  Stetson is fully recovered as well, tho we did have that set back with the woodchuck.  That added about 8 weeks to his total recovery time!  And we had to do a bit of extra work and additional hydrotherapy because of it.  Eventually, he wore an ankle weight and we did stairs and step overs (ladder 6-8″ off the ground) which we never had to do with Raven  But his thighs are now equal.  Thank goodness!
    I am deliberately going a bit slower with him due to his propensity to do more than he should.  I am stretching out his “12 step” reintegration to agility schedule, and adding swimming.  My aim now is to build it up a bit more.  He is doing home agility, with no classes, or demos.  Soon though.  He is such a goober!  I know him so well. 

  7. 2013 update: Stetson has extraordinary muscular definition. He enjoys ALL the activities that he enjoyed before his surgery. He is doing agility, and swimming, and may soon be working on his pack dog title. He is such a special boy. It is good to see that same pleasure on his face going thru a tire jump again.

  8. UPDATE:

    It’s been 3 years now! YAY! I can’t be more pleased. Stetson is still a relatively young. powerfully athletic, and highly active! I am so happy with his surgery. TTO is the way to go! He enjoys his agility and swimming, and hiking… and those danged thigh muscles just ripple. Very happy campers, we are. 😉

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