Recovering from surgery?
Here’s how you can help your dog to get well soon.

Consider the following items to help your pet recovering from TPLO, hip or any other surgery.

Comfortable Space

  1. Once home, your pet may still be feeling groggy from the anesthesia so be sure to guide them gently to the crate space you have created for them. They will appreciate you sitting close by. A blanket can help to keep them warm and secure as they settle.
  2. As the days pass you may be able to let them spend more time in the blocked off area that you have set up. Make sure the space is in an area that keeps them in a social setting but with little household traffic.
  3. Cuddle and spend some extra time with them. Just as humans like to feel comforted and taken care of during a recovery, your pet will appreciate the TLC as well.

Restricted Activity

  1. Limited leash walks should be given only for bathroom use. Make sure you are using a short leash and not a retractable leash. Even if you have a small fenced-in yard it is still too risky to let them roam freely.
  2. Avoid stairs as best as you can. Any large staircases should be blocked off.
  3. No playing with your pet for some time. You can offer your pet a Kong or new chew toy to help occupy their mind while healing.

Follow Your Surgeon’s Directions

  1. Make sure to provide the full-course medication prescribed and that your pet does not spit it out. Be aware that some medications will keep your pet in a sedated state.
  2. Keep your e-collar or e-collar substitute on your pet to keep them from licking or chewing at the bandage or the incision site. Do not leave your pet unattended without the collar on.
  3. If your pet is returning home the same day from being under anesthesia, it is best to offer a smaller meal than usual.
  4. Monitor your pet’s bandage to make sure it stays dry and clean. Check for any odors or slipping of the bandage.
  5. Depending on the surgery, breed and age of your pet, you may need to assist them as they walk. There are lots of slings out there, but in a pinch you can wrap a towel under their waist to help hold up the weight.
  6. Be sure to go to all follow-up visits with your veterinarian. This is the time they will check the bandage, incision and potentially take radiographs to monitor any shift in the plates and screws from any excessive movement.
  7. You may be asked by your veterinarian to apply cold or hot therapy on the surgery site while they heal.

Prolonged Health

  1. Rehabilitation may be needed after and during your pet’s healing process. Once you are given the green light from your veterinarian you may be directed to try some simple activities such as light walks or sit- to-down-to-sit-to-stay exercises. Depending on the surgery you may need to have more advanced rehab such as water or laser therapy. Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s advice.


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