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every moment is a gift
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I thought I'd start a separate thread to chronicle my 11 year old senior's second TPLO. Her diagnosis is 65+ pages deep in the other thread. I plan to keep the thread updated to document this process for anyone in the future :)

A little background - Hannah originally tore her left ACL in May 2009 (age 8). It was a long, slow recovery - admittedly I was very cautious with her. At the time, the Dr said that she might tear the other one; if so, it would probably happen within 2 years. Well, we made it 3 years. Since the initial TPLO, she has been diagnosed with cancer (soft tissue sarcoma) and also been in treatment for a variety of issues (see link above). In the last year, she's had better quality of life than she's had in years and she's not ready to give up. We had a long, frank talk with the Dr and he agreed, saying he wouldn't hesitate with surgery if it was his dog.

She had surgery 3 days ago. The operation went well and she came home the next day. She is technically to be confined in a 6x8 area, but she's staying in the den. It has carpet and will prevent her from slipping. There's really not that much room to "run around" and all told, the open area is not much more than 6x8. She's been wearing a chest harness and had a belly band beneath her since she came home. They make a world of difference when helping her up, moving her, and also in supporting her when works to sit/lay down.

Our first night home was rough. She was very disoriented from the anesthesia, couldn't seem to remember how to eat, and had difficulty drinking on her own. She came home with a fair amount of medicine (antibiotics, pain medication, plus her usual meds for allergies, heart issues, and thyroid condition) and needed to have food on her stomach for some of them. I used a mashed combination of dry kibble (soaked in water) and canned food, then placed tiny amounts in her mouth waiting for her to swallow. To get more fluids in her, I moistened a paper towel and squeezed bits of it onto the side of her mouth (while she was laying down), letting her swallow what she could. I'm also icing down her surgical site and rotating her position to help with soreness/pressure every few hours. She didn't seem to be pained by laying on the right (surgery) side although it is difficult for her to sit/lay down.

Yesterday (2 days post surgery) was better. It started out rough, she threw up in the wee hours of the morning, but after that, she was eager to go to the bathroom (!). For the most part, she is dragging the surgery leg. Occasionally she will cycle it as if she's walking, but when she stops to go to the bathroom, her toes are turned under. Otherwise, she was much more alert, but obviously hurting some. She began drinking on her own (!), but was not interested in eating for most of the day, so I repeated the mashed combo from the previous day. By dinner time, she was alert enough that I realized she was looking toward the kitchen (where she normally eats/drinks). With some effort, she's now happily and heartily eating in her normal spot in the kitchen while being supported in a standing position.

Here's how she looked yesterday afternoon :)

 

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Thank you so much for starting a new thread about Hannah. She looks great! I like the harness helper. We used a hand towel with straps I sewed on it and it was a hassle getting it in position. I like the idea of the harness that stays on.

We're 8 months out from Penny's tplo and of course hoping she beats the odds on the second one!

Glad to hear your girl is doing better today. We wish her an uneventful recovery and some down time for you!
 

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every moment is a gift
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Thanks! Penny was such an inspiration when thinking about Hannah having a second TPLO surgery at her senior age. :) I'm just glad that we've got 1 step in the house so Hannah doesn't head down a flight of stairs like I remember Penny doing :D

I'm sure hopeful for Penny beating the odds too! No doubt, Hannah's long history of steroid use to allergy control contributed to the weakened ligaments and her height (knee angles) didn't help either (at least according to the Dr :)).
 

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Waht a pretty sweet girl Hannah is.

I've never had a dog have TPLO so no advice, but you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Give Hannah some kisses for me please!
 

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Wishing Hannah a successful, uneventful recovery. Belly rubs to the pretty girl!
 

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Hannah is definitely in our thoughts and prayers. So glad she is improving! Can't imagine how scarey it was to get her through this surgery with the long road you've already been on with her. She looks very good!!
 

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I miss my Buddy
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Thank you for starting this new thread, it could be very useful for others with same problems. Wishing Hannah fully and speedy recovery. Sending healing thoughts and prayers for peaceful and pain free time. Hugs to sweet, brave, beautiful Hannah.
 

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Thanks for the update!
Has the vet given you extension exercises to start, to strengthen her muscles and increase muscle mass? That is very important, as you might remember from the first TPLO.
Toby is almost 8 months post TPLO and he is doing great on that leg and built up a lot of muscle mass. The same on the opposite leg were he had FHO. He had a check-up on Wednesday with the surgeon and the surgeon was very pleased with Toby's progress. He jus commented on how Toby's fur has not fully regrown yet, but that will come too, lol.
Good luck to Hannah!
 

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Ah, sweet precious Hannah, she looks great.

I hope her recovery goes well and quickly. I'll keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.
 

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It's good to see that Hannah is on the path to recovery once again. She looks like a happy girl! For sure she is a very, very lucky dog to have you caring for her as you do.

Hugs and prayers for Hannah and for you,
Lucy
 

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every moment is a gift
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Yesterday was a good day, although I think she's really tired from all the people/car watching yesterday. :) She was even a little slow to eat this morning which is unusual. I'll keep an eye on her today and we'll try to keep things a bit quieter.

I also have cut her food rations down a little since she's not as active. She's probably getting a few more pieces of kibble as treats, but overall, she's been cut.

Thanks for the update!
Has the vet given you extension exercises to start, to strengthen her muscles and increase muscle mass? That is very important, as you might remember from the first TPLO.
Toby is almost 8 months post TPLO and he is doing great on that leg and built up a lot of muscle mass. The same on the opposite leg were he had FHO. He had a check-up on Wednesday with the surgeon and the surgeon was very pleased with Toby's progress. He jus commented on how Toby's fur has not fully regrown yet, but that will come too, lol.
Good luck to Hannah!
Yes they did :) Starting today, I'm to cycle her leg around (like she's riding a bike) and I'm also to "tickle" the bottom of her feet a few times a day to get her to draw the leg up on her own. I'm thinking of doing it to the other leg as well, it certainly won't hurt. General passive range of motion stuff. She definitely needs to keep the muscle mass she has and build more.

Is this the sort of exercise Toby did? I'm hopeful that they'll rx a few sessions of water therapy which I "think" she'll be ok with, but would love to try.

I'm glad to hear Toby's doing so well 8 months out! Yep - that fur will come back with time. Right now I'm covering Hannah's leg/rear with a small towel when we're outside lounging to prevent gnats from getting on her. If I remember correctly from the first TPLO, she got her fuzz back first and the feathering was last.
 

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Thank you!
Yes, with Toby it also was kind of like riding a bike. He really did not care for it too much, lol. The icing is also very important, but you are already doing that.
I would think that once the sutures are out, hydro therapy as in swimming or underwater treadmill would be a good idea.
I did not have the luxury of having a rehab facility around here that offered it this past winter. But we managed and he has a lot of muscle mass. But, I will also start taking him into the pool with me now.
Good luck to your girl!
 

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Hey, Hannah. We're thinking about you, young lady. You're getting better every hour. Enjoy the AC and TLC :) Before you know it you'll be feeling great. The thunderstorms will be over for the year and you can run around outside in really nice temperatures with the wind in your face lovin' every minute of it. You're a lucky girl to have a mom who dotes on you like she does. Everyone should be so lucky :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
4 days post surgery

We're 4 days out from surgery and it's the little things you notice. When we're on hard surfaces (driveway, etc), she's doing a good job of keeping her toes upright the majority of the time. In the grass it's hit or miss, but we're celebrating the progress.

Today began the passive range of motion (PROM) or bicycling exercises. We got a few sessions in today and will build up from here. I'm still icing her leg to help with swelling. Although, she has a fair amount of fluid pooling around her ankle. I know it's painful because when doing the exercises, I initially planned to hold that area for support, but the moment I touched it, she winced and began licking my hands. With time and exercises, I hope she'll start to reabsorb it in the next few days.

Today we spent less time people watching and more time sleeping - - even I took a nap (!) ;) Our cat has been incredibly patient and concerned these last few days. (He is so devoted to Hannah) He's currently asleep on my feet, but I'm officially cold from the A/C (Hannah's less restless when it's on), that it's ok for now. :)

Hannah's spirit is still high and she's making demands! :uhoh: Our "quick trip" out for bathroom breaks has turned into a meandering journey with a few steps, then stopping to take in the scenery - a few more steps, stop, and repeat. :doh: She's figured out I can't "pull" her and she's taking full advantage of it.
 

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Sending hugs and prayers for Hannah. Great 4th day report.
 

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You and your girl have been through SO much! I am sending all my positive wishes for a very speedy and strong recovery.

Happy to hear it is going well. It is definitely worth celebrating the little steps along the way!
 
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I am glad that Hannah is doing so well.
The swelling around the ankle will take a while to go away, Toby had that also.
Wishing Hannah a continued full recovery!
 

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I hope today was a good day too and tomorrow is going to be even better. Hugs to sweet Hannah.
 
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