Post Cruciate Surgery

Home care notes

Post operative period

Stitches are to be removed in 10 days after surgery

Six weeks strict rest post operatively

All patients will have weekly cartrophen injections for four injections

Revisit to check on progress every two weeks post operatively to ensure the repair is solid. Preferably do this with the surgeon who carried out the operation

Final check is at six weeks post operatively when your vet will discuss your pet's return to normal exercise

Return to exercise program

After 6 weeks total rest a gradual return to normal levels of exercise is advocated. Your vet may vary this program according to your pet's situation. No mad / vigorous exercise during this period

  • Week 1 build up from 5-15 min on lead exercise
  • Week 2 build up from 15-25 min on lead exercise
  • Week 3 25 min on lead 5 min off lead exercise
  • Week 4 30-40 on lead 10 min off lead exercise
  • Week 5 onwards essentially back to normal

Possible complications

Potential complications include:

  • Wound infection. Antibiotics have been used to minimise this risk. Excess licking of the wound can contribute to this. If licking wound excesssively please call and we can organise an e-collar to prevent this
  • Ligaments take 6 weeks to heal. Excessive use of the limb before that time can lead to repair breakdown. It is essential you restrict their exercise 6 weeks post operatively
  • Pain. We supply pain relief for all our patients and usually a weeks supply is sufficient. Occasionally a patient may require additional pain relief. Do not hesitate to let us know if you feel your pet needs additional pain relief.

Weight Control

Many dogs with cruciate damage are over weight, one contributory reason why the injury occurred in the first place

Weight Clinic

Over weight dogs should be enrolled onto our Weight Clinic. Here your pet will get plenty to eat, but the metabolism modyfiying nature of the diet will ensure weight reduction

For the future

Once your dog has damaged one cruciate ligament the other one is at risk of rupture at some time in the future (classically 6-12 months later). To avoid further injury to either knee joints avoid boisterous exercise and any play that involves sharp braking, twisting and turning (eg chasing a ball). It is possible that there will be some arthritic changes to the joint later on in your dog's life, therefore it is recommended that you maintain them at their optimal body weight. Your vet will advise you on what this ought to be

Physiotherapy Follow up

Physiotherapy can alleviate many problems by working on soft tissue injuries involving muscles, ligaments and tendons - spinal problems ( back and neck ) rehabilitation following surgery e.g. for ruptured discs, cruciate repair, arthrodesis, hip replacement. dysplasia and other degenerative or congenital problems Physiotherapists are experts in assessing movement problems. They use their hands to assess and treat your animal. They are trained in the correct use of electrotherapy e.g. laser, ultra-sound and muscle stimulators, and know when to use these safely and appropriately. Physiotherapists work in conjunction with your veterinarian to ensure the best possible outcome for your animal. A consultation usually involves assessment of movement problems, gentle joint mobilisation, stretches, corrective exercises, acupuncture, electrotherapy if appropriate. Other techniques such as the TTEAMS method and Trigger point massage may be used. Owners are usually taught simple exercises to treat their pet at home. If you would like to discuss possible treatments or need further information, please call Kristine on 0408229341 or 95604514