TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) surgery is a common procedure performed on dogs with cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries. This surgical technique involves the placement of a TPLO plate to stabilize the tibia, allowing for proper healing and restoration of joint function. While TPLO surgery is generally successful, there is a small risk of complications, one of which is TPLO plate rejection. In this article, we will explore the symptoms that may indicate the rejection of a TPLO plate and provide insights to help dog owners and veterinary professionals identify and address this potential challenge promptly.

Understanding TPLO Plate Rejection Symptoms:

1. Swelling and Inflammation: One of the earliest signs of TPLO plate rejection is localized swelling and inflammation around the surgical site. This may occur shortly after surgery or even months later. Monitoring the incision area for abnormal swelling is crucial.

2. Persistent Pain: Dogs experiencing TPLO plate rejection may exhibit persistent pain or discomfort in the affected leg. If your dog displays signs of pain, such as limping, reluctance to bear weight, or difficulty walking, it could be indicative of plate rejection.

3. Lameness or Recurrence of Limp: While a certain degree of lameness is expected during the initial recovery phase after TPLO surgery, a sudden recurrence of limping or an increase in lameness several months post-surgery may suggest plate rejection.

4. Heat and Redness: The presence of heat and redness around the surgical site can be an indication of an inflammatory response caused by plate rejection. Regularly check the incision area for any abnormal warmth or redness.

5. Persistent Drainage or Discharge: Unusual discharge or persistent drainage from the surgical site, especially if accompanied by a foul odor, may be a sign of an infection or plate rejection. Immediate veterinary attention is required in such cases.

6. Loss of Appetite and Lethargy: TPLO plate rejection can lead to systemic effects, such as loss of appetite and lethargy. If your dog shows a sudden decrease in appetite or energy levels, it could be an indirect symptom of plate rejection.


While TPLO surgery is generally successful, it is crucial to be aware of the possibility of TPLO plate rejection. Recognizing the symptoms early on can help ensure prompt intervention, reducing the risk of complications and maximizing the chances of a favorable outcome. If you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, it is essential to consult your veterinarian immediately. By working together with veterinary professionals and closely monitoring your dog's recovery, you can provide the best possible care and ensure a smooth and successful healing process after TPLO surgery.

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