So your dog has surgery and you meet with the vet surgeon and everything has gone as planned. Your dog is doing well. You’ve got a list of the post-surgery exercises and you take your dog home. In 2 weeks they will get their stitches out. In 8-10 weeks they will have another x-ray.
That’s all you need right? Well maybe not!
After a joint surgery, whether it be a TPLO, medial patellar luxation or a femoral head and neck excision, they are likely to be in pain and to be swollen. You are supposed to be doing some range of motion exercises with your dog but they resist you because it hurts. You’re scared to hurt them. Now what? UGH! Why didn’t this happen when the vet tech was showing you what to do?!
Or there are lots of guides on the internet that you you want to do week to week. So isn’t that good enough? HINT: your dog didn’t read the guide so they don’t know what they are supposed to be doing either.
So the question is, what can rehab provide you and your dog that you don’t have already?
- Give you the confidence to do these exercises with your dog! You know they need to be done to decrease pain, swelling and get your dog moving again. Delaying them until your dog feels better isn’t a viable option.
- Personalization! If your dog is progressing faster or slower than “the guide” their program should be tailored to them. If your dog is being pushed to do things too soon it may lead to further injury.
- Better long term outcomes. Dogs have 4 legs. It is VERY easy for them to learn how to walk on 3 legs. Sometimes they need to be tricked into using that fourth leg.
- Get you back to your normal activities! This goes back to personalization. If you liked to go hiking with your dog or you did dog sports, you should be rehabing towards those activities as your goals. Rehab can help.
Meet two dogs we’ve worked with and learn how it made a difference:
Mya was 3 when she had a TPLO surgery for a torn CCL (cranial cruciate ligament). Her owners got started with rehab the day after surgery! We got her pain under control FAST and she had little (really almost no) swelling! Mya had NEVER been able to sit squarely even before injuring her knees. It took time and a lot of convincing (Mya doesn’t like to be told what to do!) but she finally was strong enough to sit squarely!
Millie wasn’t even one yet when she had surgery for a subluxating patella (ie. the knee cap would come out of the groove). She had a bit of a setback prior to starting rehab – she got a little too excited and strained her patellar tendon. Millie needed a rehab program focused on getting her to use her operated leg. She very much favoured it. Consistency and encouragement with her rehab exercises got her back to walks with the dog pack when she goes out with the dog walker!
What else do these two girls have in common? They were supposed to have the opposite leg operated on but were able to avoid have more surgery! Rehab paid for itself! Want to learn more about it? Fill out a Cost & Availability form.