Tomorrow is the 1 year anniversary of Delilah having her ACL surgery. It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year, and that Delilah is completely back to normal.
The anterior cruciate ligament in dogs is similar to that of humans. It is located behind the knee cap. It is common for certain breeds of dogs to rupture these ligaments. The problem with this is that because of a dogs anatomy, there is no way to really repair the ligament itself. Instead, there are several different types of surgeries to secure the bones so that they cannot hyper extend anymore, which is what causes the ACL to rupture.
I remember the day that Delilah tore hers. She was running up the stairs like a crazy person, and missed one of the stairs. She yelped and then kept running. We waited it out for a few months, to see if it would get better on it’s own, and it would until she ran again. Finally we took her to the vet and sure enough, her ACL was torn.
Because Delilah is such a high energy and active dog, the vet recommended that she have the Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery. The TPLO surgery is the most extensive ACL Surgery, however, is it also the most popular. The way that the TPLO surgery works, is that they completely alter the movements of the knee. Essentially, the bone is cut in half, and secured into a position with metal plates, to a position that doesn’t allow the bone to slide.
Not only is this a major surgery for a dog, the recovery is even worse. For the first twelve weeks following the surgery, your dog is not supposed to do ANY activity. This means that they have to be in a kennel, except when they need to be relieved. When they come out of their kennel, it is idea to use a towel under their stomach to lift them so there is not a lot of weight on their leg. For more information about the recovery of the TPLO surgery, TPLO Surgery for Dogs That Have A Torn ACLhas a ton of useful information.
This was the hardest part for Delilah. She hated being in her kennel. She always felt left out. It got to the point where she stopped eating, and she would go to the bathroom in her kennel so we would have to take her out to clean it. It was heartbreaking.
Now, a year later, Delilah is back to normal. She runs up and down the stairs like before, and she loves to go and run at the dog park.
Does any one have an experience with the TPLO surgery or one of the other ACL surgeries? Please share in a comment below.