Welcome back, pet lovers! We all want what's best for our furry friends, especially when it comes to their health. If your beloved pup has recently undergone TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) surgery, you know how important a smooth recovery is. While most dogs recover without any complications, there is always a possibility of infection after such a procedure. But fear not – we're here to guide you through the warning signs that may indicate an infection post-TPLO surgery. By being vigilant and taking preventive measures, you can ensure your four-legged companion gets back on their paws in no time! So let's dive right into it and learn about these crucial indicators together.

The Warning Signs

The Warning Signs

After your dog has undergone TPLO surgery, it's important to keep a close eye on their recovery process. One of the key things to watch out for is any signs of infection. While infections are not common after TPLO surgery, they can occur and should be addressed promptly.

One warning sign of infection is increased swelling around the surgical site. If you notice that the area appears more swollen than usual, or if there is redness and warmth to the touch, this could indicate an infection. Another potential sign is discharge from the incision site. If you see pus or any other abnormal fluid coming from the wound, it's important to have your vet check it out.

Another indicator of infection is excessive licking or chewing at the incision site. Your dog may be trying to alleviate discomfort caused by an infection. Additionally, if your furry friend shows signs of pain or discomfort when walking or putting weight on the operated leg, this could also signal an issue.

Fever can also be a warning sign of infection after TPLO surgery. If your dog seems lethargic, has a loss of appetite, and exhibits an elevated body temperature (over 102°F), it's crucial to consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Keep an eye out for behavioral changes in your pup post-surgery. If they seem unusually irritable or depressed, this could potentially be linked to an underlying infection.

Remember that these warning signs do not necessarily guarantee that there is an infection present but rather serve as indicators for further investigation by a veterinary professional.

How to Prevent Infection

How to Prevent Infection

Preventing infection after TPLO surgery is crucial for a successful recovery for your furry friend. Here are some steps you can take to minimize the risk:

1. Keep the incision clean: It's important to regularly clean the surgical site as directed by your veterinarian. Use a gentle, pet-safe antiseptic solution and follow their instructions carefully.

2. Limit activity: Restricting your dog's movement and avoiding strenuous activities can help prevent complications, including infection. Follow your vet's advice regarding exercise restrictions during the recovery period.

3. Monitor for signs of inflammation: Regularly check the surgical site for any redness, swelling, or discharge. If you notice any changes or have concerns, contact your vet immediately.

4. Administer prescribed medications: Your vet may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to prevent infection. Make sure to give them as instructed and complete the full course of treatment.

5. Maintain good hygiene practices: Wash your hands thoroughly before handling any wound dressings or administering medication to avoid introducing bacteria into the incision area.

By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of infection and ensure a smooth recovery process for your beloved canine companion!

When to See the Vet

When to See the Vet

It's important to closely monitor your dog's recovery after TPLO surgery. While some discomfort and swelling is normal, there are certain warning signs that could indicate an infection. If you notice any of these symptoms, it's crucial to seek veterinary care promptly.

1. Persistent or Worsening Pain: It's normal for your dog to experience some pain in the immediate aftermath of TPLO surgery. However, if the pain persists or becomes more severe over time, this may be a sign of infection.

2. Increased Swelling: Swelling is expected after surgery, but if you notice excessive or worsening swelling around the surgical site, it could indicate an infection.

3. Redness or Warmth: Take note if the area surrounding the incision appears red or feels warm to the touch as this may be a sign of inflammation caused by infection.

4. Discharge from Incision: Keep an eye out for any discharge coming from the incision site that is abnormal in color (such as pus) or has a foul odor.

5. Lethargy and Loss of Appetite: If your dog seems unusually tired and lacks interest in food following TPLO surgery, it could signal an underlying infection that requires attention.

Remember, every case is unique - what might be considered normal for one dog may not apply to another. Trust your instincts; if something doesn't seem right during your pet’s recovery process after TPLO surgery, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian for further evaluation and guidance.


Being aware of the warning signs of infection after TPLO surgery is crucial for the well-being and recovery of your furry friend. By keeping a close eye on their behavior, monitoring any changes in incision site appearance, and practicing proper post-operative care, you can greatly reduce the risk of infection.

Remember to always follow your veterinarian's instructions regarding medication administration, wound cleaning, and activity restrictions. If you notice any of the warning signs mentioned in this article or have any concerns about your pet's healing process, don't hesitate to reach out to your vet for guidance.

While infections are not uncommon after TPLO surgery, they can be effectively treated when caught early. Your vigilance and proactive approach will go a long way towards ensuring a smooth recovery for your beloved companion.

By staying informed and attentive during this critical period following TPLO surgery, you are setting the stage for a successful outcome that will enable your furry friend to regain mobility and enjoy an active life once again. Remember: prevention is key!

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