Olive update – 8 week check-up

Today marks EIGHT WHOLE WEEKS since Olive’s TPLO surgery. To be honest, some days it feels like FOREVER, and some days it seems like yesterday. I took her to get her x-rays done this morning to check the progress of the bone, and how everything inside was healing. I was a little apprehensive because she started favoring the other back leg several days ago. We were really praying that it was just a muscle strain from trudging through all the snow we got this last weekend, but alas, it was not.

Turns out, this condition where the meniscus starts to deteriorate is a degenerative one, and 50% of dogs who tear one side, will tear the other. In our case, it looks like Olive really used her right leg to compensate for the pain of left leg, and it finally gave out. It’s not a full tear, thankfully, but the doctor said there was quite a lot of swelling in her knee, and it could feel a partial tear already.

So. What does all of this mean? I means that for Olive’s left hind leg – the one that had surgery in November – healed beautifully, and we’ve done everything right. Rehab has been vital in her recovery, and I’m so thankful for that! However, because of the pain she’s now experiencing in her right hind leg means that we are taking her back in for surgery on Tuesday for another TPLO.


I know we can do it again. I know that in the end she’ll feel amazing, and she’ll be able to play, and run, again just like she used to. I know that we’re doing the right thing for her, but I’m not going to lie, this is A LOT emotionally, and now we’ve got to basically start all over. I guess at least we know what to expect this time around?

As you can tell, she’s very upset about it, ha!

Thanks for reading! I’ll continue to update her progress here!


Olive update – part four // rebab – part three

Hello! I know it’s been a hot minute since my last post, but Christmas was too much fun to interrupt! I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas with friends and family. We had lots of delicious vegan eats (including one of THE best meals of my life at the Fancy Radish), and fun playing games, watching movies, and enjoying our time off together. Olive got a new Santa Narwhal stuffy for Christmas from her auntie which she immediately tried to destroy. We have been flying through the soft toys – anything to keep our girl busy and help wear her out!

Christmas morning fun!

Olive is doing wonderfully! She’s healing up really well, and she is crushing it at rehab. This last week the tech kept saying out well she was doing, and how well she looked for her being 5 weeks post surgery. She’s really doing well on the water treadmill. This last session, they increased the speed, and the length of time, and she did so well! I think that the faster speed is more like her natural gait, and so that helped her keep at it. They also did some new land therapy exercises that definitely worked those muscles!

Working on those core muscles!

Because Olive is healing so well, and acing her exercises, it also means that she feels healed, and thinks that she should be able to do all the things she used to! She has LOADS of energy to burn, so thankfully we’ve been able to up her walk time each week (we’re up to about 30-35 min), but she still has even more inside that she’s dying to get out! 🙂 Like I mentioned above, we’ve been going through the soft, stuffed toys, and lots of peanut butter filled Kongs. We are anxiously awaiting her 8 week appointment with x-rays and hoping she gets the all clear. Rehab days are the best for wearing her out, and we can’t wait for the next one!

So sleepy and recharging in the sunlight.

Thanks for reading!

Rehab – part two

This morning was Olive’s second visit to rehab. Like I had mentioned in my previous post, we were going to try hydrotherapy to see how she did before committing to it 100%. The doctor and the tech gave her a good check, and did another ultrasound on her hip flexor to try and loosen it up just like before. After that, it was time for the pool! Olive was a little apprehensive about getting inside, but she did great once she did! They start out with just a little bit of water in the bottom, and once the dog is inside, they fill it up more. (I wasn’t sure how it all worked until today) It took her a second or two, but she got the hang of it pretty quickly! She would occasionally just ride the treadmill backwards, and then have to work even harder to get back to the front. The peanut butter smear on the glass certainly helped. The tech was really impressed with how well she did for her first time, and was happy with how everything went. After drying her off, we learned a few new exercises to try at home, as well as practicing a couple that we had already been working on. They also used a laser on her again – but this time we tried a different laser. This one wasn’t as strong, and didn’t involve those cool goggles like before. 😉

We decided to go with the hydrotherapy package. She did really well with it, and the tech told us it was a great way to help her burn off any extra energy she may have – and boy does she have a lot right now! – so that was definitely a HUGE selling point! We have about a week and a half until her next appointment, so we’ll continue to work with her at home, and hopefully she’ll be back to her old self in no time!

Working hard for that peanut butter!

This exercise is great for making her put more pressure onto her back leg – you could see her little muscles quivering!
Getting sleepy on the ride home.

Thanks for following along!

Rehab – part one

Yesterday was Olive’s first rehabilitation appointment. The first one was included in the cost of her surgery, and was 90 minutes long. The doctor came in to do some measurements, and to check her range of motion. While she’s doing quite well, she has lost about 4cm of muscle on her bum leg, so we have some work to do to get it up to match the other leg. They also noticed that her hip flexors were quite tight, so they did a little bit of ultrasound to help warm, and loosen, them up a bit.

We were taught several exercises that we’re supposed to do with her everyday to help her start using her leg again. While she walks on it just fine most of the time, she’s still really compensating by putting most of her weight on her other three legs. And believe me, we want to do everything we can from having her harm the other back leg! The tech also showed us some massage exercises that will help her muscles from being quite so tight. She’s just like me with those tight hamstrings!

One of the last things they did was laser therapy. Apparently the day of her surgery, they went over to the hospital and did the same procedure as they did last night. We had to wear special glasses to save our eyes from the laser beams, and Olive had to wear goggles. It was my favorite part of the whole day! She looked so hilarious. 

The laser apparently helps her muscles, and cells, to repair more easily. She was such a good girl the whole time we were there, and while we know that we have work to do with her, they were also very impressed with her, too. 

We’re going to try and keep up weekly appointments until her 8-week check where they take x-rays to see if the bone has healed correctly. We take her back on Monday to try hydrotherapy – I can’t wait to see that! -and she how she does. We want to be able to see how she takes to the water as opposed to “land” exercises similar to the ones we were taught last night, and then choose the direction of therapy. 

She was pretty jazzed up last night afterwards, and had a hard time settling down. They did say that she’d be quite sore for about 12-24 hours, so hopefully during the day today she’ll get some good rest so Nick and I can work with her tonight. Most of the exercises seem to work best with two people as it’s helpful to have someone ready to go with the treat, and the other making sure she’s doing the movement correctly. 

I’ll check in next week after her first hydrotherapy appointment!