SWaldman avatar image

TPLO advice

Hi All,

I am a long time lurker on this site, and learned a lot from reading prior posts.  I have a 4 yr.old bulldog named Olivia, who weighs 54lbs. She is very athletic, and loves to play.  Last month she was diagnosed with bilateral Cruciate Ligament Disease in her hind knees.  Diagnose was confirmed with Xrays.  She is under the care of a Orthopedic Surgeon, who has been great.  We had her 1st TPLO on her left knee, last Wednesday. She is already putting weight on her leg, and I am following my surgeons post op care exactly as written. Depending on her post follow up Xrays in 6 weeks, we are looking at having the other knee TPLO in January after the holidays. 

I'd love to hear from other bully owners who've had TPLO or TTA surgery, and what they did for rehab?  What are your thoughts on hydrotherapy (I'm agraid she will be so nervous)? Also, any suggestions on keeping her occupied? She was used to daily walking, and chasing squirrels in our backyard, so it kills me to see her stare out the window wanting to play outside!

Thanks for your replies,

Sharona and Olivia



Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Advised to not do Hydrotherapy

after TPLO surgery.   My personal experience is with the old method, which I would do again in an instant for CCL surgery.  My bff dog had TPLO and her surgeon advised against hydrotherapy. In fact she kept her girl on leash in expen for 10 weeks, before she let her have some free run.  Surgery has been a complete success, you would never know she had surgery.  She was extra cautious.  Is your specialist encouraging activity already?  I would think that hydrotherapy would be great, but I would want to have the dog familiar with that type of exercise before the surgery, incase he panicked.  You don't want any kind of strain on the plate and screws.  Of course the incision has to be completely healed.  I'm not sure why her surgeon advised against it.  I can check with her.  My surgeon advised hydrotherapy after the old method.

SWaldman's picture


My surgeons advice is to keep her on leash at all times in a closed area, or crate her when I am not aorund for 6-8 weeks.  After her xrays he will incorporate short walking distance. Hydrotherapy afterwards.  My general vet, says most of her clientele did okay without it. I like the idea of introducing hydrotherapy before the surgery ( guess I was too late!). She freaks out over carriages, bicycles, carts etc.. so I am probably not going to do it for the risk of straining her knee. Thanks for your advice.



AmyandSophia's picture

I agree with your vets recommendations.

Obviously all stitches need to be removed before any hydro can occur. But after that, when the incision is fully healed, hydro to bring blood flow back into the area is excellent. I use it all the time on my horses when there is any sort of injury that does not require sutures.


Amy and Sophia

Been through two of those

Lola has had two, 11 months apart and I never did water therapy. LIke you I was fearful of her getting to scared.  She is jumpy and nervous and I didnt want her to suffer anymore than she already had to.. I kept her in a Xpen, slept in it alot myseld ha.. did alot of therapy on my own, its not hard at all and really just kept her on a short leash and slowly allowed her to progress.  Did what I could to limit her jumping but as you know things happen so there are some moments where I thought the screws and nuts were going to come flying out.  truth is if you trust your surgeon then these surgeries are very sturdy if completed the right way.. I did two will two diffrent surgeons and the first was a nightmare but the second was amazing.. it takes some bone, toys and just one on one time to get them through the boredom but without a doubt the most rewarding thing I have done for her.. she is so much more active and pain free..