Understanding TPLO Surgery for Dogs

If you’re a dog owner, you understand the immense joy and companionship our four-legged friends bring to our lives. But what happens when your beloved pup faces mobility issues due to a CCL (cranial cruciate ligament) injury? That’s where Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery comes into play. TPLO surgery has transformed the lives of many dogs, enabling them to regain their mobility and enjoy a pain-free life. It’s not just a procedure; it’s a lifeline for our canine companions.

Understanding CCL Injuries

The CCL, equivalent to the ACL in humans, plays a crucial role in stabilizing a dog’s knee joint. When this ligament is damaged, it can cause pain, lameness, and limited mobility. CCL injuries are quite common in dogs, and they can occur due to various factors, including age, breed predisposition, and physical activity. Large and overweight dogs are often more susceptible to CCL injuries, but dogs of any size and breed can be affected. The severity of these injuries can vary greatly, and your veterinarian will recommend appropriate treatment by consulting X-rays and performing a thorough lameness exam. TPLO surgery is one of the most effective solutions to restoring your dog’s mobility.

Cats have a similar ligament in their knee joint, but CCL injuries are relatively rare in cats compared to dogs. If your cat experiences a knee or ligament injury, your veterinarian will come up with a specific treatment plan for your cat that may include a TPLO surgery as well as alternative treatments.

If your dog is limping, having trouble walking, or showing signs of pain in their hind legs, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian. These could be indicators of a CCL injury.

TPLO Surgery Explained

TPLO surgery is a surgical procedure designed to stabilize the dog’s knee joint by altering the angle of the tibial plateau. By doing this, it eliminates the need for a functional CCL, restoring stability and function to the joint. TPLO surgeries are typically performed by veterinarians with specialty training in orthopedic surgery.

To alter the angle of the tibia (shinbone), the surgeon will cut the top of the tibia and use specially designed plates and screws to hold the altered bone in place. For the procedure, your dog will need to be under general anesthesia to ensure they remain still and comfortable during the surgery.

Post-Operative Care

Post-surgery care is crucial for your dog’s successful recovery. This typically involves strict rest, medication, and a gradual rehabilitation program. Your veterinarian will guide you through this process and schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your pet’s progress.

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery is a ray of hope for dogs suffering from CCL injuries. It can make the difference between a life of discomfort, and one filled with joy, play, and adventure. If you suspect your dog has a CCL injury, consult with a veterinarian to explore the best treatment options. If you’re located in Western Washington, our team here at All Creatures Animal Hospital in Bremerton offers this Advanced Surgical Services. We would love to take care of your furry companion.

Jacqueline Blanchette, DVM performs TPLO Surgery

By |2024-02-15T00:12:05+00:00October 30th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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