Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Dog Surgery Complications

    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
    Posted 07-19-2023 09:06 AM
    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous

    Hello everyone, I am new to forums.

    Just wanted to ask, as a new owner of a dog. I have a german sheperd that needs to undergo TPLO surgery and I'm panicking about it. Thinking about her going under is such a stress. 

    Does anyone have experience this? What are the potential risks or complications associated with ACL or TPLO surgery, and how can they be minimized or managed? Would appreciate any response. thank you! 


  • 2.  RE: Dog Surgery Complications

    Posted 07-20-2023 12:00 AM


    Of course you're worried! Its only natural when we care. So glad to hear you'll be facilitating this super costly procedure. Where are you getting it done? Is your dog otherwise healthy? 

    I've dealt with a few TPLO, ACL, FHO surgeries and all have been very successful with minimal discomfort to the resilient dogs who stop at nothing and really overcome this faster than we expect. The key here IMPO is to follow every vet instruction religiously, crate rest the dog as required (typically 4-6 weeks), and then implement beach/ sand and stairs as the vet permits (typically we do several times a week), because unstable surface like sand will force them to apply proper pressure unlike a flat solid Surface like concrete. Stairs for weight barring. Also if your vet offers, definitely look into cool laser sessions.  

    Absolutely best of luck ! 

    Stella Plit
    Rescue City

  • 3.  RE: Dog Surgery Complications

    Posted 07-20-2023 05:23 AM

    My dog had a lateral tie surgery when she tore her first CCL. Not as intensive as a TPLO, but I'd recommend that you follow the rehab notes to the letter and don't be afraid to use sedatives if needed. With the TPLO being a more intensive surgery, watch carefully for infection and don't be afraid to send pics of the incision to the surgeon if you are concerned. Infection is the top complication I've seen in the past. 

    I worked in a shelter for 12 years and concurrently at a vet clinic for 10 years. Anesthetic complications are extremely rare, but surgery is so much scarier when it's your own pet! Trust your vet that they are going to do everything possible to make sure that your pet is safe, happy, and treated correctly. 

    Best of luck to both of you! 

    Marilyn Wheaton
    Client Services
    Leesburg VA

  • 4.  RE: Dog Surgery Complications

    Posted 07-21-2023 08:39 AM

    Completely understand the fear, but thankfully your dog will be in good hands. I agree with all that the others suggested. I've done several TPLO, FHO, and other orthopedic surgeries, and the best thing to do is what the doctor suggests and reach out with any worries. They are well versed, understand your concerns, and the surgeon will put your dog's well being first. One thing I'd suggest is getting plenty of stimulating toys since there is so much crate time. Treats for entering crate, doing rehab, etc help a lot with positive reinforcement. If you have a PT around, it's always beneficial and it gets them some activity, mental stimulation and out of their crate for a while, as well as a physical benefits. One thing to consider, if possible, is to go up a crate size b/c the e-collars take up a lot of room and they'll bang it around on the sides of the crate. A larger size helps them maneuver better and lessen stress. Hang in there - I know it's intimidating but you'll get in a routine and all will go great!

    Allison Rathert
    k9.5 Rescue