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How Long After TPLO Can Dog Use Leg (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 weeks

The first 7 to 8 weeks after the surgery, the dog would entirely rely on the implants. The implants such as screws and plates would help in stabilizing the condition of the operative site. The scar tissues would start forming within eight weeks.

Dogs with other health disorders may take more time to heal. The geriatric pets may take more than eight weeks to heal completely. The dog is required to stay in a small and closed room during the recovery phase. The dog should be kept in a room without any furniture.

Jumping off furniture may bring complications after the surgery. If the dog would take good rest for around 2 weeks after surgery, then the dog may start using the legs within 2 to 3 weeks. The dogs following a good diet and lifestyle may recover earlier than those with improper diet habits.

How Long After TPLO Can Dog Use Leg ?

TPLOHow Long After TPLO Can Dog Use Leg
Minimum time2 weeks
Maximum time3 weeks

The dogs can go for controlled leash walks daily for around 5 minutes. The owner should never force the dog to go for a long walk. As it would cause instant pressure on the legs of the dog. The dogs can start walking very slowly for improvement and strength.

If the dog is walking on the wood surfaces, then the owner should put a bath towel under the belly of the dog. Putting some support under the belly would not cause any pain to the dog while walking.

Every owner should use the ice packs for their dogs after the short leash walk. Sometimes, the dogs may have swelling after a short walk. Ice application would help in reducing the swelling caused to the operative area.

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The owner should try to apply ice to the surface area around the knee for better results. In the end, the owner should not skip wiping out the extra moisture around the knees. The ice application should not be done for more than 10 to 15 minutes.

Everyone can use heat therapy on the surgical site after the passive range motion. The owners can heat some uncooked rice in the microwave and put it inside a bag. Wrap the heat pack inside a thin clean cloth to avoid excess heat exposure.

Why Can The Dog Use Leg This Long After TPLO?

After the surgery, the dog may not take weight on its legs instantly. The surgery goes through some cuts and the implants may not allow instant movements. The dogs would be able to take short leash walks within 14 days. Some dogs may start using their legs after 3 to 5 weeks.

It completely depends on the recovery phase of the dogs. Some dogs with good health and strength may start walking before 2 to 3 weeks which is very rare. The owner could give the required nutritious food to the dog for faster recovery.

It’s good to maintain the bodyweight of the dog. If the dog is overweight, then the dog may not start using the legs in 2 weeks. The dogs who are having appropriate weight will start using their legs earlier.

The owner will have to take the dog for check-ups as such radiographs after 7 weeks even are vital. It’s important to give all the medications or supplements prescribed by the doctor to the dog.

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The medication, good diet, and restricted movements of legs would help in the recovery of the dog after tibial plateau leveling osteotomy. Some dogs may catch or develop an infection at the surgical operative site, and this would get treated after an antibiotic course.

Conclusion

The recovery after the TPLO surgery would depend on how the owner takes care of the dog. The lifestyle of the dog after the surgery should support the recovery phase. The dog should not jump during the initial phase of recovery.

Some dogs may develop issues of arthritis after the TPLO surgery. To avoid any health problems in the dogs, the owners have to take them for regular medical check-ups.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1748-5827.2004.tb00209.x
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1532-950X.2011.00844.x