Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Talk about diets, exercise, and disease.

Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby k8nkane » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:10 pm

My boy Kane just had a TPLO done on the 31st of August for a partially torn cruciate.

I was also instructed to have him in his crate at all times except for leashed potty breaks. Passive exercises, range of motion things, are to be started after his xrays at 8 weeks to make sure everything is healing okay. Staples come out on Wednesday and he can finally take his "cone" off; I got him a No-Bite collar after the cone the vet gave him kept getting in his way and wouldn't fit in his crate, and then he managed to get around the inflatable donut collar.

I built him a ramp with some indoor/outdoor carpeting so he could get up and down the three steps on the porch to the front yard without having to use the steps. He came home with Rimadyl which we're still working through until it's gone and then he came home with some tramadol for pain meds which I stopped after the first 5 days as he seemed to be getting around fine on his leg.

His recovery seems to have plateaued right now. Not to say it wasn't worth it at all, as he's recovered to a little better than he was before it. But he still switches between toe-touching with it and walking on it when he's going outside, which I've heard is normal as individual dogs recover differently. The lack of exercise is already starting to get to my poor puppy, as he does a very good bucking bronco impersonation every time we go on a potty break and he's started to test me with certain commands. :) One thing I've found helpful is having puzzle toys to make him use his brain. It doesn't get rid of all the zoomies building up, but it helps tire his brain.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby k8nkane » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:13 pm

Here is a link to the collar that Kane has ....

http://www.bitenot.com/

He doesn't like it, but it's the only thing that works for him. He can get around the soft cones, too.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby IloveBlu » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:56 pm

Well we are currently using the Kong clear e-collar (http://www.amazon.com/KONG-Collar-Dogs- ... roduct_top). It seems to be less bulky than the comfy cone (http://www.allfourpaws.com/the_comfy_cone.php).

He's resting comfortably with it, drinking water, chewing his bone a bit and sleeping. He's not yet tried to attack his leg but I have been watching him like a hawk over his pen. The thing that concerns me is that his snout sticks out of it which makes me believe he just may be able to get to his back leg. I'm not sure how to test that other than just watching him. I think we can move it up on his neck a bit by attaching a collar to it. Not sure how he's going to feel about that though.

I am giving him the tramadol with a bit of PB and a biscuit or cheese. The other meds are given with a full meal. And he's eating everything I give him. I've cut down his food quite a bit, still trying to find the right amount with no activity.

I am trying to convince my fiance to put the kennel in the living room where the pen is now. He is doing great in the pen now, not trying to get out at all, but I know that as he begins to feel better, he'll be more ambitious, especially when we're not here. The other thing is the cats....they typically mind their own business but since they have free reign of the upstairs (Blu typically has free reign of the basement when we're gone), it's possible that they'd come down and bust chops in front of the kennel. I can lock them up in a bedroom upstairs to avoid that, I guess.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby mtlu » Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:18 pm

Hmm, yeah, I would worry about it being a little short too. Molly would probably flip out if I out a stiff cone like that on her lol We used the one that the vet gave us (http://trimlineinc.com/sizes.cfm) which is pretty cheap and kind of flimsy but it really did the trick for us, especially since the one they gave us was really long. She would not be able to drink out of it if I didn't flip it down the other way.

I like the design of the comfy cone and the bitenot one that k8nkane linked to looks pretty good too – that one looks like it would be the most comfortable for lying around.

I hope your fiance agrees to put the kennel in the living room. If you wind up hiring someone to take him out during the day, it would also be easier if Blu doesn't need to be carried up and down stairs. We were able to find people who have helped care for dogs post-op/knee surgery but none of them would agree to carry a 47lb dog up and down stairs (to be fair, it was also rainy season and going up and down wood steps in the rain is no fun) :(
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby IloveBlu » Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:32 pm

Well, we replaced the Kong clear one with the larger size and put a collar on him to keep it up higher than it was sitting. He's not happy but he's not freaking out, he's actually snoring now (just got his drugs not too long ago). He can't drink water or eat a kong but he can't get to his leg and that's what's most important right now. :(

I actually did find someone (a girl who works at Blu's doggy daycare) who is willing to come and let him out, give him his med, let him drink water, and recone him. She is coming over tomorrow night to meet with us. She does not mind carrying him down the steps (we only hae a few), but I still feel bad to some extent. I mean it sucks for me, but it's my dog, my problem.

Mtlu, I googled that cone and it looks like I can only order it online, which would take a few days. Some of the reviews said the dogs could flip it over and still get to their wound....did you experience that?
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby k8nkane » Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:28 pm

The trimline one is the soft cone I'd used on Kane. I left for five minutes (I swear!) and when I came back, he'd managed to flip it back so it was folded the opposite way, over his chest.

I moved Kane's crate into the living room from the side-room it was in and it's helped a lot for him to be able to see all the activity going on and hang out with us at night. When I go to bed, I have an air mattress that I sleep on in front of his crate because my room is upstairs (~14-15 steps) and he would howl every time I went upstairs without him. Spoiled brat is used to sleeping in my bed with me. :)

Just a note -- I don't know how well your boy is using his leg right now, if he's doing more than toe-touching, but don't be surprised if he changes how much he uses his leg after you wean him off the pain medication. Kane was walking around on his leg like nothing had happened to it while he was on his pain medication and now (off the tramadol) he's back to switching between toe-touching and weight-bearing, depending on how fast he wants to go (no, Kane, you can't run! lol). I stopped giving him the tramadol the 5th day after surgery only because I noticed he wasn't visibly distressed or in pain if I was a little late giving him the pill, so I decided to see how he'd react if I missed the dose and I didn't notice a difference in behavior.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby mtlu » Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:59 pm

Molly couldn't reach the wound with the longer one on – with one of the shorter ones, she could reach it. I left it on her flipped down so she could drink water but she did trip on it with her front paw one time when I took her outside lol I think you might get lucky if you call one of your vets – they seem to be the standard-issue take home cone for a lot of vets around here and I would imagine that they would just give you one :)

And like k8nkane, we kept Molly's x-pen where we would hang out most and that meant right up against the bed – she is used to sleeping in bed with us so at night, I could stick my fingers through the bars to pet her and let her know everything is okay.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby k8nkane » Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:28 pm

You're lucky to be living in such an area. Kane got the standard-issue flimsy plastic ones. He was so miserable with it on. It was absolutely HUGE and would get caught on everything. He would try to sulk around with it, and it'd get caught on the ground, and he'd just freeze and look up at me with puppy dog eyes, waiting until I reached down and lifted the cone up so it would get free. It almost didn't even fit through the door of his crate. And when he tried to lay down, it ballooned out.

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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby IloveBlu » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:35 pm

Aww, look at that cute brown and white smooshy face :inlove:

Well Blu is certainly feeling better. We're doing pain meds every 12 hours rather than 8, and I think we can stop them altogether. I just want to be 100% sure. He is not showing any pain or discomfort and is in fact full of energy and utterly pissed off that he is still coned and contained.

It's getting harder and harder to keep him locked up...and we have 6-7 weeks to go.

Luckily, he is able to sleep in his pen by himself all night....with me on the couch within a stone's throw. For the past two nights, I have only had to go in briefly to comfort him twice.

How much of a reduction in food do you guys think is reasonable? He usually gets 2-2 1/4 cups and I started giving him 1.5 cups. Not sure that will be enough.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby mtlu » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:25 am

Sounds like Blu is acting pretty normal lol Yeah, it was hard for Molly to be on lockdown – I geared up several kongs at a time with lowfat cottage cheese and green beans and kept them in the freezer.

I cut down Molly's food by close to half for the first few weeks (keeping in mind that she was given kongs and treats also) and gradually upped at we started walking her more. I found it to be kind of day-to-day monitoring; too little food can lead to loss of muscle also which you definitely don't want. It will depend a lot on Blu's metabolism to figure out what the right adjustments will be.

I totally know how you feel right now and Molly totally knows how Blu feels right now – you will both get through it just fine :)
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby k8nkane » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:53 pm

IloveBlu wrote:It's getting harder and harder to keep him locked up...and we have 6-7 weeks to go.

Luckily, he is able to sleep in his pen by himself all night....with me on the couch within a stone's throw. For the past two nights, I have only had to go in briefly to comfort him twice.

How much of a reduction in food do you guys think is reasonable? He usually gets 2-2 1/4 cups and I started giving him 1.5 cups. Not sure that will be enough.


Kane understands how Blu feels, lol. It's getting harder for me to contain Kane as well and we've got another 5-6 weeks. Today he managed to snatch the leash out of my hand when he got a sudden attack of the zoomies. He SPRINTED across the yard at full speed and leaped up the 3 steps onto the front porch instead of taking the ramp I'd built for him. :wow :eek: :po: :po: I'm still freaked out over it and hope he didn't ruin his knee during that escapade.

Today, he was supposed to go in for staple removal, but SOMEHOW, I can't figure out exactly how, he's managed to lick at the incision despite the inflatable donut (and never in front of me, sneaky dog). So he only got 3 taken out and we have to wait another week for the other 7 or so. In the meantime, he gets to wear the Bite-Not collar he hates because he can't turn his head:

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Kane got ~4 cups before surgery and he's down to 2 cups now (plus extra tidbits he probably shouldn't be getting like bits of McDonald's cheeseburger, etc, because he's good at the WOE!face).

Today, when he was weighed at the vet's, he was at 49.6 lbs. Before surgery, he was at 50.6, so I'm probably going to continue feeding him what I am. But like mtlu said it really depends on the dog's metabolism. Kane has a very hard time keeping weight on him when he's his usual active self (2+ hours of fetch every day, plus hiking, swimming, whatever else I can throw at him, lol) and so I have to shovel food down him to keep him at a good weight. Now that he's not as active, he gains weight TOO easily. :) I just keep an eye on his waist. I want to see a bit of extra tuck than I would if he was getting his normal amount of exercise.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby IloveBlu » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:50 pm

Omg Blu just slipped and fell on hard wood floors. He was on leash but excited. Omg I'm freaking out. Have a call into the Dr.
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Re: Must haves for post-ACL surgery

Postby mtlu » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:33 pm

Any update on Blu? Were you guys able to get him checked out after his fall? I hope he's okay.
My boyfriend complained about the non-slip rug liners I put throughout the kitchen and the living room during Molly's recovery but I told him to stuff it lol
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