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Recovery Expectations

Week 1:

  • Days 1-4:

    • Let your pet rest for the majority of the day

    • Get your pet up to every 3-4 hours to stand or take a few steps to avoid stiffness and muscle atrophy

    • No duration walks. Leashed bathroom walks kept to 2-3 minutes

    • Use a sling or recovery harness during this time

  • Days 5-7:

    • Add in very brief, but frequent episodes of assisted ambulation 

    • Swelling and redness near incision should be almost healed

    • No duration walks. Leashed bathroom walks kept to 2-3 minutes

Week 2:

  • Get your pet up every 1-2 hours to stand or take a few steps to avoid stiffness

  • Recheck with your veterinarian 10-14 days post-surgery for suture removal (only if your pet does not have absorbable sutures)

  • No duration walks. Leashed bathroom walks kept to 2-3 minutes

Week 3:

  • Add one duration leash walk for 5-8 minutes per day (if tolerable)

  •  Extend leashed bathroom walks to 3-5 minutes (if tolerable)

Week 4:

  • Extend duration of leash walk to 8-10 minutes per day (if tolerable)

  •  All other leashed bathroom walks should be kept to 3-5 minutes

  • Setbacks are common at this time. If/when it occurs, let your pet rest and use anti-inflammatory medication. No duration walks until recovered.

Week 5:

  • Extend duration of leash walk to 10-12 minutes per day (if tolerable)

  •  All other leashed bathroom walks should be kept to 3-5 minutes

Week 6:

  •  Extend duration of leash walk to 12-15 minutes per day (if tolerable)

  • All other leashed bathroom walks should be kept to 3-5 minutes

 

Week 7:

  • Extend duration of leash walk to 15-18 minutes per day (if tolerable)

  •  All other leashed bathroom walks should be kept to 3-5 minutes

Week 8:

  • Extend duration of leash walk to 18-20 minutes per day (if tolerable)

  •  All other leashed bathroom walks should be kept to 3-5 minutes

Week 9:

  • If tolerated the previous week AND your pet had its 8-week recheck visit with appropriate healing, you may extend duration leash walk to full duration

  •  All walks should still be confined to leash walks, but you may walk as long as your pet wishes and tolerates

Week 10+:

  • Begin to introduce 5-10 minute episodes of off-leash activity after your pet has gone for a full length walk (to release some of their pent up energy)

  • Once your pet has tolerated short episodes of off-leash activity for at least one week, you may begin introducing additional off-leash activity

  •  Return to normal activity should be gradual - introduce one new variable at a time (i.e., increase walk duration OR new exercise, not both)

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