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Surgical Information 

A Learning Source


What to Expect The First Week After Your Pet's TPLO or MPL Surgery

Your pet may experience some discomfort post operatively. This can be managed by giving the pain medications that were dispensed with your pet. Please give all medications as prescribed. 


Often, pets may feel well enough to put weight on the leg. This is ideal, however, too much activity should be discouraged. The pet should go outside on a leash for bathroom breaks and be otherwise restricted to a crate or a small room with carpet. Though your pet may feel ready to return to normal activity soon after surgery, appropriate activity restriction is crucial for proper healing post surgery. Too much activity can cause the internal sutures to rub together creating a seroma or fluid pocket at the incision. This is fairly common with more active dogs and should be an indication that the pet is getting too much exercise and should have restricted activity. 


Some post-operative bruising and swelling is also common within the first few days. Please follow the go-home instructions that were sent home with your pet at surgery release. You may use cold pack (NO ICE PACKS) to help with post-operative swelling as needed. 


There may also be a small amount of bleeding or pink/clear discharge from the incision for the first 2-3 days while the skin is healing. This is very common. It should resolve on its own. Please do not apply a bandage or wrap to the leg. 

There is fluid on my dog's knee or at the incision sight after surgery. Is this normal? 

Yes, this is normal, unless there is a foul smell or pus. Your pet has been prescribed antibiotics for after care so more than likely "normal" is the case. It may also seem red, inflamed or oozing fluid. 1. make sure your dog is not being overactive. Please call us if you think this is the case. 2. Make sure they are wearing the cone until the sutures are removed. 3. You may use Epsom salts compresses on the site. Use 1 cup Epsom salts to 1 gallon warm water. Soak a rag or washcloth in the mixture and place on the area for 5-10 minutes, 2-3 times a day. DO NOT PLACE anything cold on the area. If after a few days this does help the swelling go down, please call or email us. You may send pictures to 

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