May 18, 2022

Canine Orthopaedics

Dog PhysiotherapyRehabilitation for CCL repair

Physiotherapy really helps the dog’s recovery from immediately after the operation to repair the cranial cruciate ligament(CCL) in the dog’s stifle (knee). Vets worry that Physio rehab is just about exercising the dog and since the dog is on strict cage rest after the operation then they think that physio is not applicable until weeks later but it is.

The aims of physio rehab after CCL repair surgery are:
a) reduce pain
b) promote healing
c) promote controlled functional use of the limb
d) prevent compensatory stresses on the musculoskeletal system
e) provide advice and reassurance to the owner.

Within a week or two after the operation dogs are usually looking all right and this can lead to one of the most common mistakes – the owner allows the dog more freedom. The dog is let off the lead for toileting in the garden – until he chases a squirrel ; or to wander around the house – until someone rings the doorbell and he runs on the wooden floor to bark and slips. Then all the hard work of the surgery is undone and the dog either needs additional surgery or will take longer to heal without as good a result.
Working with the Physiotherapist gives you confidence that your dog is recovering as expected. It’s good fun doing the home rehab program and the dog recovers with less chance of problems.