TPLO 7-8 weeks

Well, followup xrays showed Ticket’s bone hadn’t quite healed yet. So she gets to be a little more free (can be out of the crate if calm inside), but still no running around outside.

She still has significant muscle atrophy, as well as pain in the muscles around her hip, and her psoas. Those last two are a result of compensating for her knee. She also still offloads off of her surgery leg when standing, but will use it well when ambulating. So, I’m focusing on laser/acupuncture to help relieve that secondary pain, as well as upping her rehab to try to increase muscle and weight-bearing. I’ve also been using her Back on Track jacket daily, in the hopes that will help keep her muscles more loose and less painful. The theory is that the ceramic polymers embedded in the jacket reflect a dogs’ body heat back, and therefore keep the muscles looser. I’m honestly not sure how much it might help, but I know it won’t hurt, so I will continue to use it, especially since winter seems to have finally arrived. Hopefully we’ll see some significant improvement in the next 2-4 weeks. Still ok on our Nationals schedule, but would like to make some progress in January to feel confident about where we are going.

Here are some of the exercises we have been working at home.

Balance disc–back feet on and shifting weight onto bad leg, as well as front legs on. I’m currently shaping her to walk in a circle with her front feet on the disc.

Rear feet on disc

Front feet on disc

Peanut ball–weight-shifting and strengthening of the rear legs. With her front end on the ball, I rock the ball to make her take a couple of steps forward, and then back, to make her take a couple of steps backwards.

Rear end strengthening and weight-shifting

Rear end strengthening and weight-shifting

Limbo — Take a shower curtain rod, and place it in a doorway. You want the bar to be low enough that your dog has to duck under it, but not so low that they have to crawl. It’s also important to not let them jump the bar (since they’re still healing). Lure them back and forth, effectively causing them to squat under, and then rise back up. Doggy squats. 🙂

Shower curtain rod in a doorway

Squatting down with the back end

Ducking under the bar

Finally, hills. Yes, even in Houston, you can find hills if you look hard enough, though it’s definitely a challenge. One thing suggested to me is parking garage ramps (if you need somewhere lit at night). Overpasses that have a sidewalk are an option as well. I found this hill at a local park–it’s an embankment for the jogging trail that runs around a pond they built. I will also be putting Ticket on my home treadmill and putting the incline as high as possible, since our weather isn’t looking great for going to the park in the near future.

Keep your eyes open, and you can find a nice steep hill for building those hamstrings

We still aren’t where we need to be, but I hope the next month will get us there. Ticket is a trooper, and wants to do so much, but I have to keep slowing her down. I do feel the bit of time she gets to spend out of the xpen is helping maintain her sanity, though she will happily go back in on her own to take a nap. Healing thoughts for my little honey badger…

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