The Dog Owner’s Guide to TPLO Surgery

Dog walking in sling after TPLO surgery

Has your Veterinarian recommended Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery for your dog? TPLO is one of the most widely used procedures in repairing cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tears in dogs (and sometimes in cats). In most cases, TPLO surgery is superior to that of other orthopedic surgeries. It is particularly successful in large breeds and those with advanced joint degeneration and CCL ruptures.

Many dogs suffer injuries related to CCL tears, fractures, and other orthopedic occurrences. These injuries require a highly skilled team of veterinary surgeons. This guide explains what TPLO is, in what cases it is needed, and why it’s effective. We also provide tips to maintain your dog’s orthopedic health post-surgery.

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Entertainment, Stimulation, and Exercise After Your Pet’s Surgery

pet surgeryAfter surgery, it’s very likely that your pet will be ordered to rest and remain calm during recovery (and we’re sure you want them to rest too!). Depending on the procedure, your pet may be restricted in movement, diet, and other aspects of daily life in order to promote healing. But what does this time of rest during recovery actually mean for your pet?

If you’ve ever had surgery, being relegated to sleep and a restricted regimen can be quite boring. The same is true for your pet post-surgery. Because all animals need enrichment and stimulation, it’s necessary to create games, activities, and other positive outlets that can promote wellbeing during this time.

A happy pet, after all, typically enjoys a faster recovery time. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services has some suggestions for activities and exercises after your pet’s surgery.

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Surgery: On the Cutting Edge

You have probably heard of laparoscopic surgery.  You know, the kind of surgery where the surgeon makes an itty-bitty incision and uses a camera to perform a procedure.  In human medicine, many surgeries are routinely performed like this.  You may not know, however, that more and more veterinary practices are performing this type of surgery.  Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is happy to be able to offer laparoscopy and arthroscopy (within the joint) techniques for a wide variety of surgical procedures.

What does that mean for your pet?

  • Smaller incisions mean less pain, less trauma, and overall less invasive surgeries.  There is evidence to show that a laparoscopic procedure can reduce pain after the procedure by up to 65%!
  • Improved visibility for the surgeon means an overall safer surgery and a shorter time for your pet to be under anesthesia.
  • Shorter procedures and smaller incisions mean a faster recovery for your pet, with many being able to be discharged from the hospital on the same day as the procedure!
  • Studies show that pets are 70% more active in the first 3 days following surgery when a procedure is performed laparoscopically vs. traditionally.
  • No plastic cone! Those big, awkward plastic cones that are so uncomfortable for your pet aren’t necessary after laparoscopic surgery.

With all of these benefits, laparoscopic surgery is being recommended to make surgery easier for both pets and their owners.

What types of surgeries can be done laparoscopically?

Liver biopsies  are the most common.  Others include preventative gastropexy to prevent bloat, tube placement for nutritional support, and staging of disease.  We can also explore joints in a minimally invasive, safe manner. This technique allows us to help you make the best decisions possible for your pet by gathering information in the least traumatizing way possible.

Contact us today to find out more about laparascopy or the types of procedures that can be completed in this way.  Your pet will thank you!