I have gone thru it twice on our 180lb mastiff. I would skip the camping trip. No steps. Plus, if your dog sees some fun, he will want to join in. I wish I could be more encouraging but we were ALL confined to home. Bedrest and bathroom trips with the sling. Good luck and speedy recovery.
Roxie (55#) had both done one year apart. In each case she had the surgery a few weeks before our snowbird departure. If you're not willing to make some major changes in your daily routine, I'd say don't go.
The good news is that now, one year after the 2nd surgery, she's 100%. We've done hikes of up to 6 miles, some of them over rough terrain (Finger Lakes Trail in NY) with no problems at all. Well, not for Roxie anyway. I barely survived the stretch north of Watkins Glen.
Our last Lab Sofie had TPLO, we were given several sheets of instruction on how to handle it, what she could and could not do.
On that list was, and please forgive me as this was in 2004 so specifics are fuzzy, but I do remember it was several weeks before we could let her go out without a leash, walk any stairs, play with our Zachery or much of anything.
We built a ramp down the back steps to the patio. We had a sling that went under her belly to help support her hind quarters.
I know she felt good and hated all of the restrictions that we followed for nine weeks, that I remember.
We had to make a trip to Florida to help my Dad and we took her with us. Fortunetly my husband was able to lift her into and out of the truck, otherwise she would have had to stay home with our daughter.
Delaying your trip for two weeks is not enough time for your dog to heal, you will risk reinjuring the leg. IMHO
I too wish I could be more encouraging but the surgery is just the beginning and the process to complete health is a fairly long journey. But doing it the right way will give your dog every chance to being as close to normal within the year.
Our girl even started playing a little light toss frizzbe after the end of the first year. She also did a lot of swimming which really helped improve her condition.
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edited 08/18/12 03:02pm by sher9570 *
Ugh. I'm sorry to say that I think you may want to rethink your trip. My 60 pound dog (5 yrs old at the time) had two TPLOs in 2009 - one in January, one in July.
There were pretty severe restrictions on his activity at first (we set up a doggie corral in the living room to limit his activity and covered all hardwood floors with area rugs). He wasn't allowed to do any activity for 6 weeks. Therefore we had to keep him from wanting to wrestle with his dog-brother, he couldn't use the stairs, he was always on leash and walked for potty breaks. On one hand it was amazing to see how well he handled the surgery (when you get him back with his leg in a cast, you're going to wonder how he'll go #2 - but they figure it out) and how quickly his limp diminished. On the other hand, it was a serious recovery. And one that I felt had to be handled carefully as the dog doesn't understand he needs to be careful and let his bone heal, so the humans have to be extra cautious. I didn't want him to re-injure himself, and I also didn't want him to have to go through surgery again (or to pay for it again).
Nearly three months after the first surgery, I had my pup reevaluated by the physical therapist because he had pulled up lame a couple times on that leg. If I remember right, I gave him most of his activities back by 4 months, but didn't feel fully comfortable for all normal activities until 6 months. At that point, he ruptured the other ACL (we expected it would happen and were glad we were able to get the first side fully healed before it happened) and we started the process all over again. Literally, I remember writing that year off to dog recovery (we bought TPLOs instead of vacations!). I took him to work with me for months after each surgery (not all dogs need this - I have friends whose dog was able to be shut into a room, but my dog has some storm/wind fears so locking him in a room would not have worked, and he wasn't allowed free in the yard yet, so to the office he went -- thank goodness I was able to get that approved!!).
Just home from first TPLO.
Home after second surgery. He's a pro at this now!
After removing soft cast/bandage from second leg.
As others have said, the good news is that they are so strong and happy after recovery! My dog runs around like a madman and turns on a dime at full speed. We love that we were able to give him bionic knees so he can live life to the fullest. Good luck with the surgery and whatever you decide about your trip!!
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edited 08/18/12 10:50pm by alliemac9 *
Talk to your vet and get her/his opinions. I don't do this surgery (I refer all my TPLOs so I really can't give you any specific recommendations. BTW, where are you having it done?? We refer our guys to a specialty hospital in the Chicago area or Purdue vet school.
There are few homes that don't have any steps, most do as Sher did and use ramps (available for Motorhomes), or as others have recommended slings. I would find it easier to confine my guys in a MH vs the home, but if there is potential for problems, I'd postpone the trip.
Doug & Sandy
Jill (11yr old Golden)& Charmin (16 yr old something)
Henry NOW a camping cat
2009 Honda CRV
I wouldn't put them through the trip so soon after the surgery. When it happened to Sage, we had a trip scheduled. I had asked if we could take her along shortly after the surgery. I have a friend who is a vet tech, and she said she wouldn't do it because of the pain involved for the dog - and to be bouncing around while driving shortly after surgery.
Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.
Well you guys aren't very encouraging but then neither is anyone else I've asked. Darn. It.
Dr. Doug> I've had a horse & another boxer evaluated at Purdue and was very pleased with the time & care they gave to both. I did think about taking Cody to Purdue but it's about a 2.5 hour drive from us so we've opted to have the surgery done at BluePearl (a goofy name for a vet hospital, IMO). It was formally Louisville Emergency Vet. Specialist.
Cody's vet is Dr. Mesich and her official exam findings are:
Grade 1-2/4 lameness on the left hindlimb; pain on hyperextension of the left stifle; mod. joint effusion on the left stifle; 2-3 mm of tibial thrust on the left stifle (more on flexion)
Soooo y'all....hows the weather from Denver to Moab and the Moab area middle to late October?
We live in Denver and do most of our travel in October. We love the cooler weather and smaller crowds, although we usually head northwest, though (WA, OR). I think Moab would be great in October (that's probably the earliest I personally would plan to go to southern Utah, but like I said we like cooler weather and have very furry dogs). If you have plans for staying at elevation anywhere in Colorado you may need to be flexible. It could be gorgeous or it could be snowing. Same with the portion of I-70 through the mountains (if that's your route). You shouldn't have problems, but it would be best if you have a little flex in your schedule so that if a storm pops up you can wait it out. Things melt/dry out quickly here, but driving that route with an RV in a snowstorm wouldn't be fun.
Also, I agree w/Dr. Doug that conceptually the inside of the RV would be easier to restrict activity. But there may be some drawbacks as well. For us, our dogs don't get on the furniture at home (unless invited in bed for a cuddle), but in the RV they know they are allowed on furniture. Therefore, keeping him from jumping would've been more challenging in the RV. Also, when the vehicle is moving I wouldn't want my dog to be standing up or moving around. Usually, ours lie down and chill while we're driving, but you know how it goes - sometimes they want to move around a bit (they wear seatbelts, so their range is limited) and I wouldn't want him to get knocked off balance from a bump in the road, or turn or whatever. I was very protective of only doing what was allowed until the bone had healed....maybe overly so, but it was for my own piece of mind. I also knew the second knee was a problem and wanted to ensure it held out long enough to get through most of the first knee's recovery.
Glad you found a specialist - I think that's the best way to go for this sort of thing!
Our boxers generally snooze while we're on the road. Cody spends most of his time on the couch while Gypsy lays on the doubled doggie beds on the floor. They don't sleep with us but do like to jump in first thing in the morning for snuggle time. So jumping on/off the couch & bed would be a problem.
They are allowed on the furniture at home so I'll have 2 crates set up. One in the family room & one in the bedroom. Cody is crate trained and does well although he won't be too happy about spending the night in one again. He's used to sleeping on a memory foam mattress with a fluffy doggie bed on top of that. That was the trade off to get them off OUR bed at night and the only reason they agreed was to make their bed more comfy than ours.
alliemac9> Your boy sure is handsome! I'm so glad his surgery was a success and hope Cody's will give him back his active life w/o the pain in his knee.
Cody just left for his surgery and I'll pick him up tomorrow which begins our new lifestyle, at least for the next several months.