TPLO Recovery - Advice Needed!!

Discussion in 'Health & Nutritional Care' started by Courtney H, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Courtney H

    Courtney H Active Member

    Hi, everyone!

    My last update with Cora's TPLO recovery was she had her second post op visit and the surgeon was very pleased with her progress. This Friday will mark 20 weeks post op. I feel Cora is at a stand still and has stopped improving. She walks pretty well with the occasional "bunny hop" if she gets ahead of herself or goes too fast. She only walks with a limp is she lays on her bad leg for too long. But for the most part, I'm happy with her walking. My concern is her weight distribution while standing still. I have noticed she is not equally distributing her weight on both legs. Rather than 50/50, it's more like 40/60. Her good leg still has a lot more muscle than her TPLO leg, so maybe it just feels more natural to lean? I'm wondering if it's more of a discomfort than a pain, too. Maybe it just feels weird to her? Her injury was acute, so she always had a great working leg prior to the injury, and it will never feel the way it did before.

    My current plan of action is this:

    -Continue fish oil and glucosamine
    -Restart Meloxicam pain meds temporarily
    -Increase her activity (walks and exercises)
    -Add shifting and figure 8 exercises to her daily routine
    -Continue to massage and do daily manipulation
    -Follow up appointment is scheduled for the end of November (6 month mark)
    -Be patient.....

    Does anyone have any advise? Maybe you have gone through this, or know someone who has? I know every dog is different so it may take some dogs longer to recover than others. My anxiety is through the roof with this. I wish she could tell me what's bothering her!! I'm just hoping that this is within the realm of "normal" recovery.

    Thank you for any advise and continued support!
  2. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you have a good plan, to me!

    The only other thing you might consider, would be talking to a rehab vet that could help with some designed physical therapy... under water treadmill or swimming exercises for sure, and hopefully some other fun activities.
    Maybe something from FitPAWS? I've been thinking of building Denna some walking poles (like these: to make her lift her feet more and bend her knees as she goes.

    If you want to skip the meloxicam, or maybe afterwards, you could look at adding turmeric-golden-paste to her regimen. That's helping Denna, for sure, and is supposed to be good for slowing down any arthritis issues.
  3. Courtney H

    Courtney H Active Member

    I never even thought of turmeric! That stuff is great for inflammation.

    We unfortunately don't have a rehab vet around here. I believe I would have to go to Boston, which is a good 3 hours one way.

    The agility kit is a great idea. I will probably get that!

    Thanks for your input!
  4. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

    Is cold laser therapy an option? Many vet places offer that. I was going to do this if Hector didn't improve on his limping because of bony growths on his elbows, but supplements has kept this off.
  5. Courtney H

    Courtney H Active Member

    I will ask about that! I know they offer acupuncture but I’m hesitant. Have you had any experience with that?
  6. sjdavenport

    sjdavenport Well-Known Member

    Not a mastiff, but my 12 year old pit bull mix had her 1st TPLO 2 years ago and her 2nd TPLO (plus bilateral elbow arthroscopy) in March of this year. We've been using therapy laser for the past 2 years, and acupuncture for the past year and a half. I've seen a noticeable difference from both, but we also use gabapentin, tramadol, NSAIDs as needed, adequan injections, and even did stem cell therapy back in January to treat her joint disease(s). I'm going to post a few videos of the type of rehab exercises we did post op, but some of these are geared more towards her elbows more than stifles. This one is 5 weeks post-op.
    Courtney H likes this.
  7. sjdavenport

    sjdavenport Well-Known Member

    And some more difficult exercises from somewhere between 16 and 20 weeks post-op.
  8. Courtney H

    Courtney H Active Member

    Thank you so much! So you feel the acupuncture did make a difference? How long did you treat with acupuncture?
  9. Courtney H

    Courtney H Active Member

    Where did you get that pad from? I like that exercise! I am so hesitant to do the last one. I’m afraid she won’t be able to do it, or I’ll hurt her. Should I be worried like that at this point in her recovery? How did you start your pup on that exercise?
  10. Courtney H

    Courtney H Active Member

    This video is also super helpful. Thanks a million.
  11. sjdavenport

    sjdavenport Well-Known Member

    I do feel like acupuncture makes a difference for her. She gets it every 5-6 weeks and probably will until she dies. But she's a 12 year old who has had both stifles and both elbows operated on, so she really needs it long term for her arthritis at this point. The blue inflated disc? I got it on Amazon - 26 inch wobble cushion. We started out with the 2 paws up exercise and the wobble cushion on the ground separately and then slowly put those together. I'd definitely start with a harness, etc and make sure you're spotting her well. It's also definitely a good idea to schedule a recheck with her surgeon to get their blessing before attempting rehab exercises. We did these first under the instruction of her orthopedic surgeon, then later with a rehab specialist. We also started twice daily walks at 2 weeks post op, starting at 5 minutes per walk and added about 5 minutes per week until we were back to walking 30-40 minutes twice daily.

    Here's a video of an in between step (our corso liked to help Mazey with this exercise, lol).
    Courtney H likes this.
  12. scorning

    scorning Active Member

    I have had acupuncture on 2 dogs, I thought it helped both of them. One was a young Great Dane with Wobblers, we did acupuncture after surgery to help with inflammation. The other was a senior Doberman with arthritis. Both dogs were able to just have acupuncture and did not require any medication to address their chronic issues.
    Courtney H likes this.

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