Below are short feature stories about two patients, Murphy and Lucy. Watch and read about their experiences with the TPLO procedure.
Murphy is a 10-year-old German short-haired pointer lab mix that we got from the SPCA when he was six weeks old, and he’s been an integral part of our family ever since.
The day Murphy injured himself was just like any other day when he was hunting around the property and enjoying being outside. A small deer came through the property, and he chased the deer down. They both fell at the same time and as Murphy stood back up he was limping immediately, so we knew something was wrong.
For two months we leash walked him and kept him in a confined space, hoping that he would be able to recover on his own. He would rest it for a couple days but then he would try to chase a squirrel, and then he would really limp for a couple days again. So we realized we had to do something. So we went to get a second opinion.
The surgeon said there was no way Murphy could recover 100 % without the TPLO surgery. I’d say he was back to 75–80 % within eight weeks of the surgery. We really anticipated a much longer, tougher recovery, but Murphy really recovered quickly.
We would absolutely recommend having the surgery to anybody who is thinking about it. Murphy would not be back to the level of activity that he is today without having had the surgery. Today he’s able to run with the kids, catch a Frisbee, and he’s really back to himself again.
We got Lucy from an area rescue group. She’s a Shar-Pei and pit bull terrier mix, about three or four years old. Lucy is a wonderful dog with a great temperament and we love her to death. She came to us with an injured back right leg that turned out to be a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament. We had a lateral suture surgery done on her right leg. The surgery itself went well, but the recovery time was pretty rough. At week 12 postoperative she was still not able to go on a full walk.
The day she injured the left leg, I had her out on a walk, playing with a neighbor’s dog and no more than maybe two minutes into playing she pulled up lame. The next day we scheduled an appointment at the vet where they confirmed that she either had a partial or full rupture of the cruciate ligament.
We ultimately decided that we wanted to go forward with the TPLO procedure. We knew that with the TPLO procedure, versus the lateral suture, she could bear weight on the leg quickly and get off the leg that had recently undergone surgery.
Lucy hasn’t had the setbacks she had with the first procedure. The initial recovery time was comparable since they’re both pretty invasive procedures. But with the TPLO, we had to restrict her more because the bone needed to heal, even though she felt great and wanted to use it. With lateral suture, we had to go through physical therapy to force activity to help promote the healing of the joint and muscle strength around the joint.
I would recommend TPLO. To be where we are today - ten weeks postoperative - and have her be able to run around a play a little bit, it’s awesome. We’re thrilled with the outcome.