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

Exact Answer: 8 weeks

The dogs can use stairs after 8 weeks of tibial plateau leveling osteotomy. In this process, the skin bone or tibia is cut for bringing the stabilization of the joint. The procedure helps in improving the biomechanics by changing the angle of the knee joint.

The professionals would use screws and bone plates to make the surgical cuts motionless till the recovery. It’s vital for the surgical cuts to heal properly for quick recovery. The patient will have to survive with the metallic implants for the whole life.

Sometimes, the metallic implants will have to get removed as they may catch infections or get loose. After the healing period is over, the patient will be able to perform all the activities properly.

The dog would have swelling and some stiffness in the operative area for a long time and this would increase with aging.

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How Long After TPLO Can Dog Use Stairs?

TPLOHow Long After TPLO Can Dog Use Stairs
Minimum time8 weeks
Maximum time9 weeks

After the surgery, the doctor would restrict the normal activities of your pet for around 8 weeks. The owner should keep the dog inside the home or in indoor locations. The dogs are not allowed to use stairs for around 8 weeks, as movements would not help faster recovery.

If the dog keeps whining or stays anxious for more than 48 to 72 hours. Then the owner should inform the doctor or veterinarian about this. The dogs may whine or cry due to some side effects or pain caused by TPLO.

Taking care of the dog is pivotal during the recovery phase. Some dogs may not be allowed for using stairs if they need some more time for recovery. Once the bandage is taken off, the owner should always check the incision of the dog. The incision would be dry with red edges.

The incision would have slight swelling that will stay for a few days. The redness of the incision would go in a few days once the incision is healed. The owner should call the vet if there is any gap between the edges of the incision.

The dog should not lick the incision area as it would cause infection. The dog should not take bath till the sutures are completely healed and removed. The bandage done to the operative site would reduce swelling by providing pressure to it.

The bandage of the dogs may get removed in just 3 to 7 days.

Why Can Dog Use Stairs This Long After TPLO?

The owner should always take the dog for a progress test or examination after 2 weeks of the surgery. Keeping a track of recovery progress is important for knowing the condition of the dog. The veterinarian would call the dog for an x-ray after one week of the surgery.

The incision sites take some time to recover as there are some cuts done to them. Therefore, the dog needs to avoid the use of stairs for around 8 weeks. The movement of the operative sites should be avoided strictly as it may cause infection or delay the healing process.

The diet of the dog would affect the recovery of the dog after TPLO. The dog would have to maintain a normal and healthy diet for post-recovery. Surgery such as TPLO would bring the issues of arthritis for the dogs.

The orthopedic issues or conditions in dogs would increase if the dog is overweight. Therefore, it’s vital for the owner to prevent the dog from getting the issue of obesity.

Conclusion

The dogs will get back to their normal activities within a few months after the surgery. The owner will have to give all the medications prescribed by the doctor. The doctor will suggest all the foods that are required to be given to the dog for fast recovery.

The owner should check with the doctor before allowing the dog for using stairs. The doctors may ask the dog to perform swimming for rehabilitation after TPLO. The controlled swim is more often suggested by a vet for rehabilitation.

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.2010.00663.x
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