Frequently Asked Questions

There is fluid on my dog's knee or at the incision sight after surgery. Is this normal? 

Yes, this is normal, unless there is a foul smell or pus. Your pet has been prescribed antibiotics for after care so more than likely "normal" is the case. It may also seem red, inflamed or oozing fluid. 1. make sure your dog is not being overactive. Please call us if you think this is the case. 2. Make sure they are wearing the cone until the sutures are removed. 3. You may use epsom salts compresses on the site. Use 1 cup epsom salts to 1 gallon warm water. Soak a rag or washcloth in the mixture and place on the area for 5-10 minutes, 2-3 times a day. DO NOT PLACE anything cold on the area. If after a few days this does help the swelling go down, please call or email us. You may send pictures to [email protected] or send to the after hours number located on your receipt or go home instructions. 

What is TPLO surgery?

The Cranial Cruciate Ligament The cranial cruciate ligament is one of the most important stabilizers inside the canine knee (stifle) joint, the middle joint in the back leg. In humans this ligament is called the anterior cruciate ligament. The cranial cruciate ligament is inside of the stifle joint, and runs from the lateral (outside) part of the bottom of the femur to the medial (inside) part of the top of the tibia. Because of how it sits in the stifle, the cranial cruciate ligament prevents rotational movement and shearing movement across the knee joint, effectively stablizing it. CCL rupture is the most common orthopedic abnormality of larger breed and athletic breeds of dogs. When the cranial cruciate ligament is torn, the knee becomes destabilized and painful to your dog. Normally you will see your dog limping and toe-touching on the affected leg. Cranial cruciate ligament tears happen for many reasons. These tears can sometimes be acute and related to a specific inury, but most often it is due to the conformation of the bones that make up the knee. Because the top of the dogs tibia is sloped to the back of the knee, the femur tends to slide off the back of the knee during each cycle of the stifles range of motion. During this abnormal articulation, the cranial cruciate ligament takes repeated trauma over the course of time, especially in large and athletic breeds. After this repeated trauma, at some point in time, the ligament begins to fray and tear, at which point your dog will usually begin to show mild clinical signs, usually intermittent lameness on the affected leg. At first this trauma manifests as a partial tear, but with time will normally progress rapidly to a full tear. As the trauma in the knee begins to add up, osteoarthritis begins to proliferate in and around the joint making the range of motion around it even more painful. In the picture below you can see the extent to which arthritis can form. Don’t worry, not all stifles progress to this level of arthritis. But it is important to correct the ruptured ligament and stabilize the knee as soon as possible.

Do I need to come to my 8 week recheck appointment? 

Yes, as Dr. Owen will recheck the leg to make sure normal activity can be reinstated. 

TPLO Surgery & After Care

Click on the title link for our TPLO brochure about surgery and after care. 

What is the price for a consult?

Consults are $60. Times for scheduling are Monday afternoons or Friday mornings. If Dr. Owen needs to take x rays, there are additonal fees. If you have x rays, please bring them with you to your appointment. 

What is the after care time after TPLO surgery? 

Your pet will have a 2 week suture removal appointment and an 8 week recheck appointment. Total after care time is approximately 8 weeks.