The Recovery Process – Two Weeks After Surgery – Removing the Sutures

If you haven’t seen my original posts, be sure to checkout my first article, read Treating a Torn/Ruptured Cranial Crucial Ligament (CCL) in Dogs (ACL), my second article The Recovery Process – Keeping an Active Dog Inactive, and my most recent article The Recovery Process – One Week After Surger – Ligament Injury in Dogs

So it’s been two weeks now since the surgery (thirteen days to be exact) and our dog is finally getting used to the idea that she is going to have to stay in the cage for awhile. I think that she has come to realize the fact that we’re not doing it as punishment, we’re doing it to help her. I’ve got to admit, the first couple days were the worst, but now, almost two weeks in, she’s definitely getting used to the routine. So today was her appointment to get her staples (sutures as the doc calls them) removed. As expected, she was very excited when we let her out of her cage and put her in the car to go to the vet. After being penned up in a close-quarter cage for 13 days, I don’t blame her. So we take our 45 minute drive to the vet, they take her in, remove her sutures, bandage her leg back up and give her back to us.

This time, the doctor comes out and tells us that once the bandages fall off of her leg, we can leave them off and start doing mild rehab on her leg. The first stage of rehab will consist of flexing and extending her leg for her – that should be an interesting project. Originally our third follow up was supposed to be two weeks from today, but since the doctor that did the surgery only flies in once per month, his next visit is offset a week from her original surgery date, so she gets to wait three full weeks until her next visit. Until then, we’ll keep going with the same routine – Feed her in the morning, 3 bathroom breaks during the day, and the rest of her time will be on lockdown.

12 thoughts on “The Recovery Process – Two Weeks After Surgery – Removing the Sutures”

  1. thanks for your comments, i have just come home from the vet with my 6yr old german shep diagnosed with torn ccl. We now face the decision of the type of surgeries to choose from (all very expensive I might add) Looks like the 3 mths or so after surgery are tough also but i think that i can handle that i just don’t know which type of surgery to choose – did you have this same decision process and how is roxy doing now ___? days or weeks after surgery

  2. We unfortunately weren’t given a choice. We had the surgery done where pins and are put in the bone and a “cable” is wrapped around the joint in a figure eight and basically holds the joint together as if the ligaments were still there. The other surgery option is TPLO – I believe the TPLO option is where a metal brace is screwed into the upper and lower leg bone. I’ve heard pros and cons of each type of surgery and I think that both options will be very beneficial so long as the post operation instructions are followed, primarily, keeping the dogs activity severely restricted.

    It’s been about 9 months now and Roxy is doing great. We let her do just about everything that she did prior to the surgery. She walks off the lease, she runs (sprints too) and most of the time we can’t even tell that she was ever injured. Occasionally at a “trotting” pace, she misses a step with her right rear leg, but other than, she gets around just fine.

    Do you mind me asking what the cost of your surgery options are? I think we paid $3,200 for the surgery… $500 for the emergency x-rays, and a few hundred extra for some follow-up visits (which I would probably do without if I could go back and do it again).

  3. My dog tore his ACL last week. We had a consultation with a surgeon who has given us 2 options, TPLO or Traditional surgery (using suture to stabilize knee with the hope scar tissue will grow and strengthen the knee), TPLO is $3800 and Traditional is $2100. Money aside, I keep agonizing over which surgery will be best for my dog. He is a Cairn Terror, is almost 14 years old, and weighs 18lbs. I was told that the TPLO surgery has a better success rate than the Traditional. But I have a problem with putting my little dog through such an aggressive surgery. I really don’t like the idea of his bone being cut and a plate screwed in. Yet the surgeon said that there is a 15% chance that the traditional surgery could tear and he will have to have a 2nd surgery.

  4. Hi Linda, I’m definitely not an expert, but here’s my opinion:

    Considering that your dog weighs only 18lbs, and that the dog is 14 years old, I’d personally go with the traditional surgery for the following reasons.
    1) It’s cheaper (I know that we’re all willing to spend any amount of money on our pets, but in the case of a 14 year old dog, I’d go with the cheaper option)
    2) The dog is very lightwieght, so the impact on the knee probably won’t be that great.
    3) The dog is 14 years old, so it probably won’t be doing a large amount of running and jumping.

    Hope this helps… Please give us an update on the surgery and your dogs progress.

    Good luck!!!

  5. To Linda,
    I usually NEVER answer bulletin boards but I was researching the recovery time for my dogs surgery and I came across your post. My puppy who at the time was only 3 months when she fractured her humerous, had pins inserted into the bone. She had to be confined for 1 month. Im sure it was torture for her. You can tell she was sad. And now she needs surgery again to remove the pins because they’re coming out. She will once again have to be confined for 1 month. This is terrible for a puppy. I don’t think you should do the surgery for your dog because she is 14. Thats old, the surgery and confinement is just torture. My last dog died at 14. Just before she was planning to get a surgery. I’m happy that she died peacefully. My suggestion is to put your dog to sleep. Im sure she’s had a good life. Surgery is too tough for such an old dog. Im not trying to be mean but I think thats the best thing you can do right now for an older dog. Just imagine the pain after surgery. My pup had to take pain killers and everything.
    Good Luck with your decision

  6. hello, my baby had back surgery she’s a doxie, she’s 10yrs old, and she was feeling pain more on her right than her left leg before her surgery, my question to all of you, do any of you know of a dog who took a long time before going into full recovery and how long did it take? I quess i’m looking for some hope here. Everytime I ask the dr’s they say they dont know they have no time limit. To date she does have feelings on both legs, sometimes she jerks both her legs, her tail lifts when she is doing pottie, and when i stand her up, she stays up for about a second or so and she doesnt drop right away. she kinda just goes down slowly. Has someone had this experience and could you let me know how long it took your baby to recover fully or did she?

  7. We just lost our 14 year old dog because she had mass cell tumor in her leg. We were going to get this gigantuous tumor taken off her leg, which we did. Two hours after surgery she had several seizures and she never came out of anesthesia, it was like she was in a coma. We had to make the decision to have them put her down, but she ended up in renal failure and died on her own. This just happened tonight, so I’m telling you, I think her being 14 the surgery put her over the edge. I wouldn’t have any surgery on a dog that old. I now know this. Don’t do it, it’s too risky!!

  8. My 1 and a half year old lab may have a tear in her cruciate ligament. We are being referred to a specialist. I’m not sure that I would do surgery on her even if it is recommended. Any advice?

  9. She only limps on it after laying on it for a long period of time. When she is outside walking etc., you can’t tell she has hurt it.

  10. I have the same situation with my dog. She has a partially torn CCL and we have given her two weeks and have only seen slight improvement. She is a 75lb pit bull. We don’t want to just jump right into surgery and are considering giving her another 6 weeks for her knee joint to try to restabilize iteslf before we do the surgery.

    Michelle it sounds like your dogs situation is even less serious than ours. I would do more research on it and possibly wait at least 8 weeks to see if you really need surgery.

  11. My 3yr old 60lb pity had surgery on a torn ccl 10 days ago. Her recovery seemed to be going great. We have been very careful to restrict her activities to bathroom breaks and eating. 2 days ago she woke up in obvious pain and limping again, now today she refuses to put her hind leg down at all. I called the vet and they just perscribed more anti-inflammatory meds and said they’d check in on her after the weekend. I’m a wreck, worrying about what might be wrong. Is this a normal phase of recovery?

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