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Location - Carnation, WA 98014

Rehab Instructions

TPLO Rehab


TPLO Postop Care and Rehabilitation Protocol

After his TPLO, your dog will be moving through two periods of rehab, each lasting around 8-10 weeks. Total rehab time is generally around 16 weeks.

After following rehabilitation instructions for the first eight weeks following surgery, an x-ray is taken at 10 week postop. If good bone healing has been achieved, you will then be given the green light to move on to the second period of rehab.

The First Rehabilitation Period: Weeks 0-10 Postoperative Care and Activity Restriction

Your main responsibility during this period is going to be incision care and strict activity restriction. This period is most crucial to the outcome of the surgery. It is very important that you read and understand what will be required for a good surgical outcome.
Incision Care
The incision must be kept clean and dry. No swimming is allowed for at least 3 weeks following surgery. It is crucial that you never allow your dog to lick his incision. In order to prevent this, you must keep rigid e-collar on 24/7 for the first 14 days following surgery. Failure to follow these instructions can result in surgical infection and even implant failure.

Keep a watchful eye on the incision. If it starts looking red or swollen, or if there is discharge coming from the incision, please bring your dog in to be seen by your veterinarian immediately.

Some swelling and bruising is normal following surgery. For the first 72 hours following surgery, icing the incision for 10 minutes 2-3 times per day will help with pain and swelling. After this, you can switch to heat. To make a heat pack warm a rice bag in the microwave for a minute or two, warp it in a towel, and place it over the incision. Be sure the bag is not too hot or it may burn the skin.

The Second Rehabilitation Period: Weeks 10-16 A Gradual Return to Full Activity

Once we have obtained x-rays at 10 weeks and we know we have good bone healing, more activity is gradually introduced. During this period we will stretch scar tissue and build muscle. It is important to note that the dog must remain on leash through most of this period. The degree of activity should progress with how comfortable the patient remains. You will need to gauge when to scale back, and when to introduce a little more.

There should be no running, jumping, playing with other dogs, or climbing stairs until otherwise directed to do so.
Weeks 10-13
The first few weeks of this rehab period are comprised of progressively longer walks with your dog on a short leash. Begin with short walks around the block. If your dog is comfortable with this, try doubling that distance every few days. If he seems sore, then scale back. If he seems comfortable, then increase distance. Your pet will generally benefit from several short walks in one day rather than a single long walk.

More Information

For more information about what is TPLO please see the (TPLO) Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy section.

Riverbend Veterinary

Riverbend Veterinary orthopedic surgeries performed in-house at your local veterinary clinic in King County, WA and surrounding areas.

Contact Details

Carnation, WA 98014

(913) 708.3394