TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) surgery is a common procedure performed on dogs to repair a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), which is equivalent to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in humans. The TPLO surgery recovery timeline plays a crucial role in the successful rehabilitation of the dog. Understanding the different stages of recovery and the expected milestones can help pet owners provide appropriate care and support to their furry companions during this process. In this article, we will explore the TPLO surgery recovery timeline in detail and provide insights into the various phases of healing.

TPLO Surgery Recovery Timeline:

1. Immediately Post-Surgery (Days 1-14):

During this initial stage, the focus is on pain management and wound healing. The dog may experience discomfort and need pain medications as prescribed by the veterinarian. Restricted activity and limited movement are essential to allow the surgical site to heal. The incision should be monitored for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge. It is important to prevent the dog from licking or biting the incision, which can be achieved through the use of an Elizabethan collar or alternative protective measures.

2. Restricted Activity (Weeks 2-6):

In this phase, the dog's activity level needs to be significantly restricted. Short, leashed walks for bathroom breaks are permitted, but jumping, running, and other strenuous activities must be avoided. Physical therapy exercises, including controlled range-of-motion exercises, may be introduced to help maintain muscle strength and joint mobility. Regular veterinary check-ups will ensure proper healing progress and may involve X-rays to assess bone and implant stability.

3. Gradual Increase in Activity (Weeks 6-12):

During this stage, the dog's activity level can gradually increase under veterinary supervision. Controlled leash walks can be extended, and low-impact exercises, such as swimming or hydrotherapy, may be introduced. It is important to continue monitoring the dog for any signs of pain or discomfort during this period. The veterinarian may recommend additional rehabilitation exercises or therapies to aid in the recovery process.

4. Returning to Normal Activity (Months 3-6):

By this stage, most dogs have made significant progress in their recovery. However, it is crucial to remember that each dog's healing timeline may vary. Activities can gradually be resumed, including off-leash play, running, and jumping. However, it is still important to avoid excessive strain on the affected leg. Continued monitoring and regular veterinary check-ups are necessary to ensure the dog's complete recovery.


The TPLO surgery recovery timeline plays a pivotal role in the successful rehabilitation of dogs who undergo this procedure. Pet owners must understand the different stages of recovery to provide appropriate care and support to their furry friends. Following the prescribed post-operative care, restricting activity during the initial weeks, gradually increasing activity, and monitoring the dog's progress are crucial steps. By adhering to the recovery timeline and working closely with a veterinarian, dogs can regain their mobility and enjoy an active and fulfilling life once again.

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