TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) surgery is a common procedure performed on dogs suffering from a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), a prevalent knee injury among canines. While the surgery is a crucial step towards restoring your furry friend’s mobility, the recovery process plays an equally vital role in their overall well-being. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of TPLO surgery recovery, highlighting the milestones and challenges faced by your pet as they progress through each week. Whether you’re a concerned pet parent or a veterinary professional, understanding the journey of TPLO surgery recovery week by week will help you provide the best care for your four-legged companion.

Week 1: The Crucial Initial Stage

During the first week post-TPLO surgery, your dog will require strict confinement to limit movement. Pain management and medication are essential to ensure their comfort. Frequent short leash walks will be introduced to encourage joint movement and prevent stiffness. Your pet may exhibit initial discomfort, but it is crucial to follow the veterinarian’s prescribed exercise and medication regimen to facilitate healing.

Week 2: Gradual Mobility and Controlled Activity

As your dog enters the second week of recovery, a gradual increase in mobility is expected. Physical therapy exercises, such as gentle range-of-motion movements, may be introduced. Controlled leash walks should be extended to promote muscle strength and flexibility. The incision site should be monitored closely for any signs of infection or complications, and the use of a protective cone may still be necessary.

Week 3: Building Strength and Confidence

By the third week, your dog’s incision should be healing well, and they may display increased energy levels. Under professional supervision, hydrotherapy or swimming sessions can commence, providing low-impact exercise to improve strength and flexibility. The duration and intensity of walks can be gradually increased, keeping an eye out for any signs of discomfort or fatigue.

Week 4: Steady Progress and Intensifying Rehabilitation

During the fourth week, your dog’s weight-bearing on the surgically treated leg should be significantly improved. Controlled and supervised off-leash exercises, such as short sprints or light jogging, may be introduced. Regular physical therapy sessions can aid in rebuilding muscle mass and improving joint function. However, caution must still be exercised to avoid overexertion.

Week 5 and Beyond: Continuing Recovery and Long-Term Management

As the weeks progress, your dog’s strength and mobility should continue to improve. Moderate physical activities, such as playing fetch or hiking, can be reintroduced gradually, always considering their comfort and well-being. Ongoing physical therapy sessions, periodic check-ups with the veterinarian, and maintaining a healthy weight are essential for long-term success and minimizing the risk of future injuries.


TPLO surgery recovery week by week requires patience, commitment, and attentive care. By understanding the unique challenges and milestones that occur during each stage of recovery, you can provide your beloved canine companion with the best chance for a successful rehabilitation. Remember to follow your veterinarian’s guidance closely, provide appropriate pain management, and incorporate physical therapy exercises to aid in their healing process. With your dedicated support, your dog can regain their mobility, ensuring a happy and active life ahead.

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