Rehabilitation After Canine TPLO Surgery

After your dog's TPLO surgery, post-operative rehabilitation and therapy is an important part of your pet recovering as quickly and successfully as possible. 


Range of Motion


During your discharge consultation after TPLO surgery, you will receive a packet of information with detailed home care instructions for your pet. Those instructions will include step by step directions that include appropriate dosages and frequency of giving medication and how to perform massage techniques, gentle range of motion (ROM) exercises and icing sequence during the first 1-2 weeks following surgery. You can view the videos on this page to to help guide you when performing massage, ROM exercises and icing at home.

Additionally, you will receive information on activity restrictions for your pet. The purpose of these instructions is to minimize the swelling and stiffness in the joint that follows a surgical procedure. Furthermore, during the first few weeks after an operation, the surgeon wants to limit the pet’s activities in order to allow for healing of the tissue. During that time frame, your pet may experience swelling and bruising at the joint, hesitation to put weight on their involved leg, and difficulties with mobility like getting up from the floor. You can help your pet get around by using a large sling wrapped under their belly and assisting them with walking, pottying and getting up off the floor. After the first two weeks, your pet’s joint swelling, stiffness and soreness should be greatly improved. You will want to continue to limit the dog’s activities to controlled leash walking for about 5-10 minutes, 2-3 times a day.

At the two week mark, your pet can begin rehabilitation, where they will receive an in-depth examination to look at the strength, flexibility and soreness level of the surgical leg as well as the whole body. At your initial evaluation at Canine Rehabilitation and Arthritis Center, your therapist will develop an individualized therapeutic program designed to meet your dog’s specific needs. Your pet’s therapy can include massage and stretching for the stiff joints, underwater treadmill session for strengthening and gait retraining, Laser treatments for tissue healing and pain reduction and a tailored exercise strengthening and stretching program.

After surgery, your pet will experience noticeable weakness in the surgery leg. By practicing specific strengthening exercises, your pet will be able to regain both muscle mass and strength in eight to twelve weeks. Your pet’s rehabilitation sessions will continue one time a week for eight weeks and will be advanced as your dog’s function and mobility progresses. You will be able to increase the time of leash walking as well as the difficulty of strengthening and balance exercises during those eight weeks. After three months, your pet will be able to return to more normal activities.

Rehab Info

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