As I type this, Titus is 19 days post-TPLO. The time has gone faster than I expected, which is nice! Doing nothing keeps us a whole lot busier than I ever would have thought.
The first week went swimmingly, with noticeable improvement in weight-bearing and gait pretty much every day. Our first real roadblock came when I tried, as per surgeon’s instructions, to wean Titus off his Rimadyl (while, I should note, leaving him on two other pain meds; we are not monsters) and he promptly began favoring his surgical leg — not dramatically, but not nothing. I put him back on pending his visit to our local vet for staple removal and then, after discussion at that appointment, pending his appointment with the rehab team on day eighteen where the answer was a resounding, “GOOD JOB KEEP GIVING HIM THAT.” I’ve joined two really useful orthopedic-dog groups on Facebook and it’s been interesting to see how medication and rehab regimens differ from dog to dog and vet to vet.
He did come off the Tramadol at day fifteen so that we could increase his Trazodone dose. I was really reluctant to use the Traz in the first place, but he’s an eighteen month old heeler/husky mix whose life, at baseline when he can run and play and seriously train, already includes pretty much everything that you’re supposed to do to keep crate-rest dogs happy. And as he started feeling better after the surgery, he also started resenting the confinement and coming up with fun ways to express that.
Like, for not-hypothetical example, jumping from one end of his crate to the other over and over again the second I stepped away to give Lilo attention or make dinner, etc.
Which is not a vet-approved rehab activity.
So now he gets the Traz twice a day at a reasonable doseage. He’s plenty alert and engaged, but it takes the edge off the anxiety of not being able to do everything that he’s used to doing and that, in turn, means his recovery seems (knock wood!) to be on track.
But if he looks a little stoned in these pictures, now you know why!
He continues to be a pretty good patient aside from that roadblock. I’m cautiously trying to allow him a slightly more normal life, though I’m watching like a hawk and intervening when he seems inclined to engage in normal-life ridiculousness.
But he has gotten to go on a few very controlled outings, where he mostly hangs out in his car crate but gets to hop out for a short time here and there to sniff new sniffs and see new sights.
He’s hanging out with me on a tether in the kitchen again. This is partly out of desperation; between his surgery and other recent evens, I have gotten a little behind on housekeeping and need to start cooking and cleaning occasionally instead of just sitting an reading next to his crate!
And now that I’m resigned to just keeping the dogs supplied with a constant stream of really good stuff to chew on for the next two months — and now that he’s cone-free and can fit in his soft crate again! — we’ve developed a nice little evening routine of chewing and playing video games. I’m a binge gamer, very picky about what I play but inclined to sink deeply into a game when I find one that I like, especially this time of year. I haven’t turned the console on since Titus came home, but had hoped that he’d be settled-down enough to let me play occasionally by the time Mass Effect:Andromeda comes out. This wasn’t quite how I’d planned on getting there, but hey, I’ll take what up side I can get.
And the best news is that he was cleared by the rehab vet to go on leash walks to tolerance. We’re at 6-8min 3x/day right now and will of course increase carefully to minimize our chances of overdoing and suffering a setback…and we’re sticking with the flattest ground we can get and with strictly good footing…but having no hard upper limit feels pretty huge.
Next week he gets back on the underwater treadmill.
In the meantime, though, we walk!