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Cruciate ligament surgery advice

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Rosie M, Jun 21, 2022.

  1. Rosie M

    Rosie M New Member Registered

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    Hi everyone
    I’m new to this forum and this is my first time posting. Apologies for the long post.

    My dog has just had surgery for a ruptured cruciate ligament (TPLO) yesterday. He’s coping generally well but is having periods of being unsettled/ anxiety. He’s in a crate, with a ‘lampshade collar’. He hasn’t used a crate for 4 years but we had a bit of time to reacquaint him with it beforehand and he took to it ok.
    As his devoted and a bit sad parent I really would welcome any advice and tips from anyone who has any past experiences of this , so I can maybe make his recovery a little smoother. Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    We went through this last year.

    Rather than a lampshade, we used an inflatable collar like the neck supports people use while travelling, but he could still reach round it to lick. So we bought a soft neoprene cone which was more comfortable.

    He had a lot of stuff from Kongs and snuffle mats, to try to amuse him, but the best thing was a buggy. It let us get out and about with him and it kept us all sane.

    20211031_135148.jpg

    After the surgery, his progress was slower than we expected. That's partly because he is a small dog, and our vet said small dogs cope so well on three legs that the incentive to use the damaged one isn't so strong, so they happily hop along on three rather than bother with the sore one.

    But he got there and I'd say about 4 months post surgery he was back to his previous level of fitness.

    We also had hydrotherapy, I'm sure that helped.

    He gets a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement and wears a bioflow magnet on his collar. I'm sure you will have been told, arthritis is almost inevitable, and there is an increased risk of the second knee failing too.

    Is there anything specific I can answer for you?
     
  3. Rosie M

    Rosie M New Member Registered

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    Thanks so much for replying Joanne, really appreciate it. I will look for the soft collar , such a good idea. Also I was looking at buggies online today, I think we would all benefit too.
    How long was it until your dog could put weight on his leg? Although our vet has given us an aftercare fact sheet I’m really unclear about some expectations. Also we have 3 lots of medications to administer and 1 lot of painkillers he refuses to take, even hidden in his favourite treats. Do you have any tips on how to get them down?
    Feeling a bit daunted by it all to be honest and want to get it right for our little chap.
    Thanks again
     
  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I think it was about 6 weeks before he started touching it to the ground. His care plan said 4 weeks but he had his own ideas. And, it would only be for a few paces - I found making him walk at a slow walk made him use it, at a faster pace, he'd just hop along. We would do 5 minutes, three or four times a day in the first week, 10 minutes in the second week, and built up from that.

    For pills, I'd have several pieces of soft cheese. I'd give him one with a concealed pill, he would be so keen to get the second (unlaced) piece he would swallow the first one (with the pill) without it touching the sides. Port Salut cheese was a favourite, soft enough to mould round the pill.

    Here's some encouragement -

    11 weeks after surgery -



    13 weeks after surgery -



    I should add, he wasn't too confident with the approach of the dog in that second video. Note the twitchy wag of the tail, the need to keep eyes on, and the shake-off. He did lose a bit of confidence for a while.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2022
  5. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Some tablets can be crushed and mixed with food, which can make it easier to hide. Do check with your vet first, though, as some shouldn't be ground up.
     
  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I was just reading back through my diary and there was something else I'd forgotten.

    After the surgery, I was supposed to do ”passive physiotherapy” which involved moving his leg in a cycling motion. Well, he was having none of that! But you know how by scratching behind your dog's ear, they make the scratching motion themselves, with their own back leg? That worked well. But only do it if your vet has said to do it.

    And a major breakthrough was about 6 weeks after surgery when he stood on the bad leg to cock his good leg for a wee. Little victories.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2022
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  7. Rosie M

    Rosie M New Member Registered

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    I can identify with the small victories, we were so happy when he did his first post surgery pee! Tried the soft cheese with his last tab, and it worked!
    It’s good to see your dogs recovery. Cheered me up no end. Good idea to keep a diary too.
     
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  8. Rosie M

    Rosie M New Member Registered

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    Hi Judy
    Unfortunately 2 of his medications have to be taken whole and one is chewable, but of course he won’t do that! I will have to resort to more devious methods!!!
     
  9. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    @Rosie M what sort of dog do you have, when was his surgery? And how old is he? Timber will be 12 on Sunday so he isn't a youngster.
     
  10. Rosie M

    Rosie M New Member Registered

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    Harry is a cockerpoo and he’s 5. He had his surgery yesterday, so early days.
     
  11. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    He is very young, he will bounce back quickly.

    Feel free to keep asking, if I have anything to share that will help, I'm happy to do that.
     
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  12. Flobo

    Flobo Well-Known Member Registered Partner

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    @JoanneF really lovely seeing Timber having a run around:)
    @Rosie M I've also used that trick with difficult pill takers, have 3 or 4 balls of something yummy with the pill in one and they are generally so intent on getting the next 'treat' that they don't notice the pill laced one! (make sure they see you getting a few bits out for them too to get their interest) Wishing you all the best with Harry's recovery journey!
     
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  13. Rosie M

    Rosie M New Member Registered

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    Hi Flobo
    All good tips thanks. He’s back to his old lively self which is a mixed blessing as he’s on strict crate rest, so we’ve got a doggie stroller coming tomorrow ( thanks for sharing your experience JoanneF) , which I think will help us all.
     
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