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TPLO Surgery in Dogs

The canine cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) resembles the human anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Situated along the leg, this tendon is susceptible to tearing, posing a significant risk of injury if not addressed promptly. Our vets inTurlock discuss applying TPLO surgery as a practical approach for treating dogs with torn or injured CCL.

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) Surgery

If your dog suffers a cranial cruciate ligament tear, your veterinarian will likely recommend surgical intervention for correction. The preferred surgical procedure for addressing the cruciate ligament issue is known as TPLO, which stands for Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy. This surgery is designed to enable your dog to resume normal activities such as running and jumping.

What sets TPLO apart from other surgeries is its ability to restore mobility to your dog's knee without depending on the compromised ligament for stability.

Tearing the CCL is Painful

If your dog experiences a torn cruciate ligament, discomfort arises due to the instability in the knee, leading to a phenomenon known as 'tibial thrust.'

Tibial thrust is a sliding motion induced by weight transfer along a dog's shin bone (tibia) and across the knee. This transfer causes the shinbone to leap forward relative to the dog's thigh bone. The forward "thrust" happens because the upper part of a dog's tibia is sloped and cannot impede undesired movement.

Details of TPLO Surgery

TPLO surgery effectively addresses issues with the cranial cruciate ligament in your dog's knee by restructuring the joint. In this procedure, a surgeon initiates a curved incision on the patient's tibia and strategically rotates the tibial plateau (upper section) to align the tibia and femur properly. The final step involves securing a metal plate to stabilize the knee during the healing process, ensuring it maintains the newly configured alignment.

Recovering From TPLO - Dog Recuperation Times

After undergoing TPLO surgery, dogs can resume walking on the treated leg within 24 hours, with many comfortably bearing moderate weight on the leg within just 2 weeks.

Although the recuperation period for TPLO surgery is relatively extensive for dogs, it remains significantly shorter compared to similar procedures, typically spanning 12-16 weeks. Anticipate your dog's return to full physical activity approximately 6 months post-TPLO surgery.

What to Do if Your Dog Jumped After TPLO Surgery 

Adhering to your veterinarian's post-operative guidelines is crucial to prevent your dog from re-injuring the leg during the healing process. Restricting your dog from running or jumping following TPLO surgery is imperative until the knee adequately recovers. Despite our best efforts, accidents can happen, and regrettably, we can't effectively communicate the details of TPLO surgery to our canine companions.

If you observe any of the following symptoms, it is advisable to reach out to your veterinarian promptly:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Missing staples or stitches
  • Signs of infection or inflammation at the incision site
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Reluctance to put weight on recovering leg
  • Sensitivity to pain medications

Your vet will be able to examine your pup for signs of complications and treat any issues before they become more severe.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

More questions about TPLO surgery? Contact our Turlock vets today.

New Patients Welcome

Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Turlock companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

(209) 634-0023

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