So, your dog has been limping around for a few days and it’s not been improving all that much. So you go to your vet & get the bad news – your dog has torn their cruciate :-O
You’ve been advised on the most appropriate surgery, usually, a TPLO or cruciate replacement, and trust that you’ve got a great vet to perform the surgery. However, you’ve also been told that your dog will probably also do it’s other cruciate, because…that’s just what happens!
So you’re left wondering what else you can do to make sure your dog has the best surgical result possible. Can you even be proactive and prevent their other cruciate from needing surgery in the future?
What Would You Do?
Think about the human world for a moment – what is the number one thing that your surgeon will tell you to do following most kinds of orthopaedic surgery? They will refer you for rehab with a physiotherapist or other allied healthcare practitioner. The rehab program varies depending on the type of surgery performed and a few other factors, but in the case of ACL/cruciate surgery in humans – it begins immediately.
Did your vet recommend the same for your dog? Somewhere to do hydrotherapy or prescribe exercises to do at home? In most cases that would be a no, but that’s not your vets’ fault – post-surgical rehabilitation just isn’t as common in the animal world as what it is with humans. Vets typically don’t do it because they’re busy enough with the other millions of things they have to look after. It’s also unlikely that there is an animal rehabilitation centre nearby with qualified practitioners that your vet trusts.
But it’s not the end of the road for you, because we can help.
Below are 3 of our go-to exercises that we do with post-op cruciate surgery rehab for dogs. It’s not an exhaustive list by any means, but they’re a great place to start. We do recommend speaking to a professional first however just to make sure that these exercises are suited to your dogs’ unique situation.
If you are looking for a qualified practitioner who is closer to you than us, then a great place to start is with the Animal Biomechanical Practitioners of Australia (ABPA) practitioner search where you can find vets, chiropractors and osteopaths who are fully qualified around Australia.