March 6, 2023
Well…more like plates and screws…Today Whiskey had TPLO surgery on her left knee. I’m not sure why, but I was even more nervous this time around!
The surgery was performed at Mount Laurel Animal Hospital by Dr. Morris. Whiskey’s drop off time was 7am so we arrived a few minutes early so that she could visit her farm friends before being admitted for her procedure.
7:00 am: Check-In
Here we go!
Whiskey was a good girl (for the most part!) while in the waiting area after we checked in.
Once I got back home, I did a deep cleaning of the Fish Fortress so that her recovery area was super clean and ready for her arrival home.
8:55 am: Surgery
Whiskey was induced under general anesthesia and X-rays were obtained. She was taken to surgery, where she was confirmed to
have a partial tear in her cranial cruciate ligament. Her meniscus was normal. A tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (PLO) was then performed without complication. Whiskey received an injection of a long-lasting numbing medication along her incision during closure to aid in post-operative comfort.
12:00 pm: Recovery
Whiskey recovered smoothly from anesthesia.
3:00 pm: Will Work For Food
…Specifically chicken! Whiskey schmoozed chicken from her Aunt Amanda after surgery.
3:20 pm: Potty Time
Whiskey post-surgery soaking up some sun on this beautiful sunny day.
3:30 pm: Post-Surgery Selfie
Hanging out with her Aunt Amanda after a post-surgery snack and walk. Our friend, Amanda, is the Nursing Supervisor at Mount Laurel Animal Hospital.
4:30 pm: Pick-Up
After the first surgery on her right knee, Whiskey walked out of the hospital on her own. This time, she was reluctant to walk at all or to put any weight on her left knee. She had to be carried out to the car. This is understandable and expected because Whiskey’s right knee is still in the process of healing. Whiskey will be a bit more unsteady this time around, so we will have to be extra cautious and take things especially slow.
Home Care Instructions
- Incision Care:
- Whiskey’s incision will need to be monitored daily for excess draining, redness, swelling or discharge. Bruising is expected at the incision site and it should progress thru the healing phase as it changes colors. Any bruising that spreads in surface area will need to be documented with photographs and reported to the hospital staff.
- A cold pack will be applied to the incision area 2-3 times daily for 5 minutes for the first 3 days following surgery.
- The incision will not be covered and will be kept clean and dry
- Whiskey is not allowed to swim or be bathed for the first 2 weeks following surgery to allow the incision to heal.
- Seroma formation is common with knee surgery. A seroma can present as swelling around the ankle, the joint below the incision. This is where edema from the surgical site will settle over the first 10 days post-op. It will feel like a fluidy sac. Applying a warm compress to the area for 5 minutes 2 to 3 times a day and gently massaging the area will help.
- Whiskey will be wearing an E-Collar at all times when not directly supervised.
- Many patients are able to reach around inflatable donut collars or soft cones. As a result, it is recommend to use a hard plastic cone unless Whiskey is being directly supervised because if Whiskey is able to access her incision, she may be at increased risk of complications such as infection or dehiscence.
- Exercise Restrictions:
- For the next 14 days, Whiskey will be confined to her Fortress and activity is restricted to short (less than 5 minutes) leash walks in the yard only to go out to the bathroom…then it’s back to her Fortress.
- Whiskey must always be on a leash when outside.
- Whiskey is not allowed to run, jump, stair climb or play with other dogs.
- A sling will be used to support Whiskey while walking.
- Carprofen (Rimadyl)
- This medication is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication used for pain control.
- This medication is used to target neuropathic pain.
- This medication is used as needed to keep Whiskey calm.
- This medication is a opioid derived medication used for pain control.
Whiskey is expected to increasingly put weight on the operated leg over the next 2 weeks so that she is at least touching the toe to the ground by the time she goes to her two-week check-up appointment. By 6 weeks post-op, Whiskey is expected to be comfortably weight bearing on her left leg. Full recovery can take up to 3 to 6 months once Whiskey is allowed to resume her usual activities.