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Just to answer your question above, we DO do quite a few laparoscopic surgeries on dogs often, and you'd be amazed at the severity of the procedures involved. But a TPLO is a procedure where the surgeon goes in, cuts apart the bone, rotates it, then puts the whole thing back together with plates and screws. Can't do that with scopes. There are human surgeries that surgeons can't do with scopes too.

I just skimmed the other posts, but the dog in the videos needs to lose weight to be a good candidate for TPLO. Yes, it's worth waiting, even if you have to help him walk with a harness for the next several months. My K9 surgeon and I were chatting one day about the cases that have gone bad for him over the years. Most of the time, they're orthopedic cases (knee surgeries and hip replacements) and pretty much, every one has been with a dog that's overweight. Even if you opt not to do surgery, the dog should not have that much weight on that joint.

I'll be blunt: get some weight off that dog asap. My little beagle needed to lose a couple pounds before her recent knee surgery. She wasn't overweight. But she wasn't lean either. I wanted her to be lean. The less weight we put on a recovering joint, the better. It can be the difference between a good surgical outcome and a bad one.

Otherwise, I had a dog that had two TPLOs (the ligaments ruptured within about 30 seconds of each other) years ago. She lived on those rebuilt knees for about 8-9 years, hiking, snowshoeing, wrestling with our other dogs, swimming, etc. I think that while a TPLO won't give our dogs back 100% of what they had before the injury (it can give back about 85-90% of function according to my surgeon), it's a great surgery when the dog is a good candidate, is supervised vigilantly to ensure proper healing (no running, playing, jumping, etc), and is given suitable rehab -- at home and/or with a certified rehab vet. At the least, I recommend one meeting with a rehab vet to get instructions on exercises/stretches to do at home.
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