The surgery itself is the key to stabilizing your dog's knee and getting back on the road to normal function, but it is only one part of the bigger picture to full recovery. If you were to sustain an ACL tear and had to have surgery, there is no way that your orthopedic surgeon would release you from the hospital without requiring you to get post-surgery physical therapy. The same holds true for our dogs. Though dog physical therapy has been around since the early 80s, it did not gain popularity until only recently. More commonly referred to as canine rehabilitation or animal physical rehabilitation, this vital medical discipline is now being recommended by general veterinarians and veterinary orthopedic surgeons on a routine basis. In the last few years, hundreds of canine rehabilitation facilities have opened all across the country in every state. Even though professional therapy is now readily available, the vast majority of post-orthopedic patients are still not fortunate enough to benefit from these services. Some of the reasons for this are:
These services are still not being recommended to pet owners
Pet owners are financially unstable after the surgery
There are no local professional canine rehab facilities
There is a lack of time for pet owners due to their work schedules
TopDog to the Rescue!
Since 2004, TopDog Animal Health & Rehabilitation has been providing educational material to pet owners around the world, helping them to learn and perform the basics when it comes to post-surgical therapy. Our TopDog Home Rehabilitation Guides: The Step-by-Step Instructions for Pet Owners holds your hand throughout the entire recovery process for the first day your dog comes home from the hospital all the way through 12 weeks after surgery. By learning and implementing these very easy therapies and exercises, you can feel better that you are providing the best for your dog during the recovery process.
Rehabilitation Exercise Videos
We have posted some videos below to demonstrate some exercises that would help your dog recover fully from TPLO.
Slow Controlled Leash Walking
Sit to Stand Exercise
Walk to Run
At this point you have obviously come to our website seeking more information because of your dog's injury. Therefore we cannot discuss prevention without relation to the first injury. What we can focus on is preventing an ACL injury to your dog's other hind leg. It is commonly stated in veterinary medicine that if a dog tears one ACL, then they have a 30-50% chance of rupturing their other ACL within one year's time.
TopDog is here to help make sure that this does not happen to your dog by taking the proper precautions to reduce the probability of this occurrence. Here are the most important things that you can do to help prevent this horrible potential reality:
Learn how to fully rehabilitate your dog and get it back to optimal condition following the first surgery. You can do this by visiting a canine rehabilitation facility and using the therapies and strengthening exercises listed in the TopDog Home Rehabilitation Guide.
Learn how to properly evaluate your dog's hind leg muscles
Don't allow them to do too much too soon after the first surgery
Make sure that they are at the perfect weight for their breed and size
Make sure you exercise them on a regular basis
Make sure that they are on the best joint supplement to keep their joints healthy. Check out our GlycanAid-HA Advanced Formula, which was specifically designed for dogs like yours who require the maximum degree of joint support
Bailey, our five year old black lab recovering from ACL surgery, has found the Home Rehabilitation Booklet a wonderful help for her owner - she particularly liked the moist heat therapy and massage - and still does even though we have passed the point where it is necessary. Seriously the booklet has been a great help - I showed it to my vet and he thinks it is a really good source of information. We are on week 5 ( should be on week 6 but my mom had hip replacement surgery two weeks ago and my time was pretty crunched) and Bailey is doing really well. Went for her one month check - up and our vet thought she was several weeks ahead of where she should be in terms of movement and weight on her leg. Information is well written, concise and the descriptions of each activity ( i.e. puppy sits) very easy to understand. Have also appreciated the weekly emails which have given additional information and tips. Thanks... Debbi and Bailey