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TPLO Recovery help.


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Hello all,


I seem to have the worst luck with my dogs! :(


On 18th December 2013 my youngest border collie, 3 years, had TPLO surgery to repair a partially torn ligament. I had the option to "wait & see" or do the surgery now. I decided that there was no point in waiting, seeing as I have been waiting for almost a year with no improvement to her limp / funny hop movement. Her back was suffering because of it and I had already spent over R 5000.00 in rehab costs which were not helping, so we did the surgery which was another R 15,500.00! Lucky I have pet "hospital cover".


Anyway, here is my worry. We are now 19 days post op and she had stitches out last week, the surgeon was extremely happy with the movement in her leg and said he thinks she is a bit ahead in recovery, she is walking without a limp and only slightly toe touching when standing still BUT this morning I woke up to a dog who is now not using the leg AT ALL - which started last night. :(


I am trying to think if she might have overdone it. For the first 13 days she was crated, I then moved her to a small (tiny) room, where I put down rubber matting so she doesn't slip but has a little more room to move. She is an extremely active dog and only has 2 speeds, 100% or sleeping.


I am worried that by moving her to the room she has done some movement and hurt the leg OR is this still early days and im worrying for nothing?


She was a rescue and my agility hopeful after my male was retired at just 4 years old because of major back problems, now im wondering if I will ever go back to agility.


If anyone who's dog has had the surgery can give me some kind works and/or tips I would really appreciate it.


I have crated her today while im at work....the leg is not hot to touch.


Thanks :)

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I have no time to write right now but remember that in any recovery, you may experience temporary setbacks. One thing that could have happened that isn't the leg itself is an iliopsoas strain.


Have you started a course of rehab therapy? Here is a link to a long topic concerning our experience with a TPLO with my (at the time) 9 year old dog. You might find something helpful in there. http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=33480&hl=tplo


The surgery is only the first step in recovery. Physical therapy is a good way to help a dog return to normal activity by strengthening essential muscles, promoting balance, and improving symmetry, all necessary for good movement and soundness.


Very best wishes!

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Another thought - this is early days, as you say. In rereading, I see that this has been an issue for some time. One thing that also must be overcome is the muscle memory associated with months of having this injury. Also, if you noticed this primarily on rising, does she walk out of it quickly or not?

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Hi Sue,


Thanks so much for your reply.


That's just the thing, she has been doing fantastically on the leg, 2 day after surgery she was walking on the leg! In the last couple of days I let her sit with me (on lead) on a doggie cushion while watching tv or pick her up to lay with me while watching tv for a little while, being very careful of course. She just wants some attention and is dying for a cuddle instead of being in a room all alone. I have been very careful about this and support her at all times. Then suddenly late yesterday she was still using the leg but every now and then going on 3 legs. This morning she is not even using the leg at all :( im so worried.


As far as rehab is going, we have been doing ROM exercises everyday, as much as SHE wants me to do, which was not much! she stretches out nicely when I tickle her tummy with her leg straight out and is generally VERY happy and doesn't seem to be in any pain at all. Except this morning she was on 3 legs :( I also have been supporting her weight with my arm under her belly and shifting weight onto operated leg. She also enjoys a "rolly polly" on the grass when going out to toilet.


I have been referred to a physiotherapist far away from me and we have an appointment for 21st Jan 2014, I have to take off work to go so will do virtually ALL rehab myself.


What are your thoughts on swimming? Or is underwater treadmill better?


The surgeon was so happy with the movement in her leg, he was extremely positive with the results so soon after surgery.


She had virtually no swelling (even right after surgery) and no heat off the incision. I did do a quick feel this AM to see if it was hot and it felt warm but it could also be because she had just woken up and had been lying on the leg :wacko:


I just want to get home to see how she is doing :(

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I have just called the practice where she had the operation and spoke to a surgical nurse to make sure that it is normal for her to now suddenly be walking on 3 legs again and she was worried that it was something more serious, so as a precaution I have been asked to take her in again tomorrow morning for an x-ray and evaluation..... :( :( :( :(

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