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Bruno's Second ACL Ordeal: Corrective TPLO Left Knee—5 to 10 weeks

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) rupture/tear in dogs

Five Weeks

X-ray of Bruno the Boxers Knee with screws and plates in it

Bruno had his five-week checkup which included an x-ray of his knee. His bone is healing nicely and is almost all the way healed but not quite 100% yet. Check out all the mechanics he has going on with that plate and all those screws.

The surgeon said it was time to start slowly building up his muscle. He is to do 12-minute walks three to four times a day for the next two months. If we skip a walk we are not to double up on the time. The walks must be short.

Ramp leaning on the back of a van with Bruno the Boxer and Spencer the Pit Bull Terrier sitting in the back of the van with the hatch open

Since our van has the back seats out and a nice flat area for him to lie he is now allowed to go for rides so long as he uses the ramp to get in. No jumping, playing or running of any kind. No hills or stairs. He has to stay calm. He will soon be starting water therapy to help strengthen his leg.

Bruno is now on three-quarters of a sedative. The surgeon suggested that I up it to one when I explained Bruno's recent attempt at playing while inside his pen and the way he will bark, sometimes jumping up like a bear, when he hears a noise (see pic on week 4 page). That type of excitement is a big recovery no-no.

Eight Weeks

Bruno had his first physical therapy session. He did well.

Therapist working on Bruno the Boxers knee

The therapist checked and stretched his muscles. He was a little tight but seems to be healing OK. It was confirmed again that he does have moderate hip dysplasia.

Bruno the Boxer receiving Laser therapy

Bruno received a session of laser therapy...

Bruno the Boxer getting ready to use the underwater treadmill

…and walked in the underwater treadmill. Bruno sat nicely waiting for the water to start coming into the treadmill.

Bruno walking in the Underwater treadmill

He will go to therapy two times a week for four weeks. At his first session he did three different two-minute rounds on the treadmill. Two minutes, short break, two minutes, short break then two more minutes.

Oh Bruno, your tongue is so long it keeps touching the water when you pant!

Eight and a Half Weeks

This clip is of Bruno two days before his second water therapy session on one of his daily 12-minute walks ordered by the surgeon as part of his recovery. You can see in the middle of the clip where Bruno starts to skip a step with a little hop. This was an indication that we needed to slow him down and end the walk. We headed right back to the van. He had enough for one day.

Bruno had his second therapy session. He walked a little faster this time. He had laser therapy on his leg and even got his nails trimmed. Bruno takes it easy for the rest of the day after his water therapy. He is not ready to do too much too fast. At his second therapy session he did three different three-minute rounds on the treadmill. Three minutes, short break, three minutes, short break then three more minutes.

Nine Weeks

Bruno the Boxer walking in the underwater treadmill with the therapist over top of him

At his third therapy session he did two different five-minute rounds on the treadmill. Five minutes, short break, five minutes. He also received laser therapy on both knees and his hips. Bruno's daily exercise was raised to 15 minutes three to four times a day.

Nine and a Half Weeks

Bruno the Boxer walking in the underwater treadmill and drinking the water with the therapist over top of him who is also in the water

At his fourth session Bruno received a laser treatment and did ten straight minutes in the underwater treadmill. He is visibly a little sore after his treadmill workout. He has another appointment in a couple of days so he will be taking a rest from his walks until his next appointment.

Ten Weeks

Bruno the Boxer walking in the underwater treadmill

Bruno's fifth session. Since Bruno was a little sore after his last therapy session just two days before he was kept on the same time regimen, ten minutes straight through. This time, however he got to be in the water treadmill by himself. He did great.

10 and a Half Weeks

Bruno the Boxer walking in the underwater treadmill with a person holding a green leash which is attached to his collar

Bruno had his sixth therapy session. He did one 12-minute round on the underwater treadmill. His left leg is still much smaller in muscle mass than the right leg, but it is firming up some. We are making slow progress.

Raising a Puppy: Bruno the Boxer