TPLO Rehab – What to do, what NOT to do and for how long!

If your dog has just had, or is about to, have TPLO surgery, it’s very normal to be a bit anxious. Any surgery for our dogs is a big deal – firstly, they’re expensive, secondly we have the pressure of being their carer, and lastly we hate seeing our dog in pain and just want them to be happy and comfortable.

Having just gone through the surgery with Kiba, here are a few things that might help (in addition to the usual advice!):

Make sure you DO:

  • Ask your vet all the questions/concerns you’re thinking about.
  • Arrange with your vet a way to email or text photos of the wound/swelling/bruising for their review, they’ll either allay your fears or tell you to come in if there is something concerning (oftentimes there isn’t anything, we just worry!).
  • Get a harness to help lift your dog up and down stairs if you have a larger dog that needs to access potty with stairs. Usually just for the first few days when weightbearing is painful for them.
  • Use a crate if tolerated, if not, ensure couches and beds are off limits.
  • Ensure if you sleep next to them on a mattress on the floor for the first few days that you’re comfortable too!
  • Arrange working from home if able, this is best to keep them calm and you from worrying too much! If you can’t, ask your “nice” neighbours or family and friends if they can check in and keep them company or take them potty.  
  • Have items ready – like a cone, bandages, hot/cold pack, lick sleeve or pill pockets to avoid last minute errands and stress. 
  • Make floors non-slip or place pads on their paws to stop slipping and further injury.
  • Write up a list of medications and exercises that need to be done each day and tick them off as you do them…you’ll be surprised how all the days start blending together!! 😁

I would’ve been lost without my very long list of things to do each day!


  • Discontinue medication without consulting your vet
  • Push your dog through pain just to complete the exercises. Talk to your vet if you think they’re in too much pain to do the exercises. 
  • Go through this alone, there’s so much support out there!

 Join this awesome group that I’m part of!

 Canine Cruciate Recovery (TPLO, CM etc)

They’re 8 weeks post-op, what now?

Even if your dog is weight bearing well with no limp doesn’t mean that rehab is finished! 


Complete rehabilitation doesn’t just mean their walking ability, it means returning them to their function and activity prior to their initial injury. Based on this, strengthening exercises will need to be continued and you will have to check with your rehab therapist that exercises are still helping or if they need to be altered.

Further, because we know that our dogs with one CCL tear are likely to tear the other, if you want to help reduce that risk then strengthening exercises are vital.

 Is your dog back to pre-injury levels? Want to decrease the risk of CCL tear on the other leg? Strength training is key!

If your dog is ready to start some strengthening exercises (ask your vet) then the Couch Class Program is awesome! They are home based exercises without fancy equipment that you can do in front of the TV!

Couch Class Program for Dogs with Arthritis | Digital download – Strong And Steady Canines

Here’s to helping your dog live and move well,

Kylie 💙🐾

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