In Week 7, we provide you with additional exercises to do with your dog which include weave poles to help strengthen your dog’s hind legs and weight shifting to encourage weight bearing on the surgically repaired leg.

Weave Poles

Weave poles can be a great way to help strengthen your dog’s hind legs. This exercise can help improve your dog’s body awareness and placement of their feet. It will also help encourage your dog to slowly lift and bend their leg. Along with other therapies, this will help in the end result.

Weight Shifting

Weight shifting is a great exercise to do with your dog. This exercise can be done throughout the entire recovery process. There are many benefits to weight shifting, but for our purpose it is to encourage weight bearing on the surgically-repaired leg. While standing over the top of your dog’s hind end, you want to gently rock their hips back and forth, slowly. Once your dog is toe-touching, you can do this exercise. It is important to be gentle and rock evenly in both directions.

Your Road To Recovery

We’re here to help you help your dog
  • 1.

    Comprehensive Education

    We are dedicated to providing pet owners with all the information you need to help your dog get back to active. From the start of your dog’s recovery, understanding the surgery and how to prepare your home Our constantly evolving rehab center is home to all the trusted resource you will need to help your dog recovery successfully

    Learn More

  • 2.

    Complete Joint Nutrition

    Our suite of joint health supplements is carefully formulated to work together to nourish and strengthen your dog’s joints. Backed by science, our supplements are meticulously formulated by veterinary professionals to ensure amazing results.

    Learn More

  • 3.


    Between our free rehabilitation guides, explanatory videos, and curated blog, we’re focused on answering the questions you have and those you haven’t even thought of yet.

    Learn More

  • 4.


    Whether through our Facebook support community, weekly rehabilitation emails, or dedicated customer support team, We are here for you and your dog on your journey back to active. Nothing matters more to us than your dog’s health and happiness. We want to see wiggly butts and afternoon zoomies.

    Learn More

Support Your Dog’s Recovery


Suggested Readings


  1. Sharon is this situation I think it is critical that you contact the surgeon who did the surgery and discuss the possibility of continuing with pain medications for a long period of time. All dogs are different and some require pain meds for a long period of time. Tell me how things go. Dr.J

  2. Jane it in never a good thing to have a set back like this, though it is often a common occurrence. For my clients my advice is to go back on to NSAIDs and Pain med for 5-7 days with STRICT REST. If their dog is not improved or back to where they were then I make sure they get a full evaluation with radiographs, just to be sure everything is where it is supposed to be. Good luck, Dr.J

  3. Good day
    it has been 7 weeks since tplo surgery , the last 2 days he has gone back to waking on 3 ,back leg, could he have damaged the leg again? This is a 4 year old border collie , male.

  4. My doberman had the surgery 7 weeks ago. I have tried to follow the instructions in your guide, but she still struggles to get up, and I have trouble getting her to sit. She simply lays down. She seems like she “tries”, but then just kind of melts onto the floor. ALL of the other exercises she does without issue. She has gotten back most of her strength, or more it seems sometimes. I just don’t know how to help her on getting up and sitting. Suggestions?

  5. Nicole the swelling is not so much of a concern to me…as long as she is using the leg and slowly improving over time. If your doctor is not concerned then I would not be concerned either with this. That said and I am sure you have heard me say this over and over before…Just make sure moving forward that you have her on a really good joint supplement that provides the right ingredients for optimal joint health.

  6. Hello dr StClair! My Yorkie had ACL repair and grade 1 luxating patella 6 weeks ago. Her knee is still swollen slightly and the vet did xrays to show me the clamp that is holding her new ACL laterally. They said because she’s small this clamp is sort of big and we can feel it when we touch her knee. I’m just worried because it’s still swollen. Is that normal?

  7. Mary my question for you would be …are you giving her a really good joint supplement? Do you have her on TopDog’s GlycanAid HA Advanced or a product equivalent to this. The other key would be good massage on both the “Good” Leg and the surgery leg. This will help relax the muscle and bring positive inflammation to the area.

  8. I just found out Reina (our Welsh Corgi) who is 7 weeks post op is “weight shifting” to her “good” leg (she had surgery on that leg last year). She’s having physio and underwater treadmill walking twice a week, just started stairs last week, sit/stand (I can’t get her to sit straight, never has), figure 8’s, walks, etc….this weight shifting is really concerning me (almost looks like a bit of a limp, hardly noticeable, but her doc assistant saw it). Am I not doing enough? We only do a few minutes of each, every day, except for the walks, which are up to 30-40 minutes. Any idea what I can do?
    She’s 2 1/2, on a weight loss diet, currently 28 lbs,

  9. Sharon thanks for the message. Unfortunately I am not well versed on all of the insurance companies and plans available. I would assume it would be hard to find a company who would cover the second surgery now that you have “a pre-existing condition”. That being said if the TPLO surgery is to much of a financial strain it is important for you to know that there are other surgery options to stabilize the knee which cost much less…such as the extra-capsular repair or lateral suture repair. This may be something you discuss with your doctor as an alternative option. I wish I could do more for you :( All the best, Dr.J

  10. Cheryl the answer to your question is that yes Logan should be able to learn how to sit correctly again but it will take some work on your side. I have a video on that covers the sit-to-stand exercises. This is something you need to work on and again will take time to correct.

  11. Cheryl I have encounter this before. If the surgery was the lateral suture repair then I would say your best option is probably what your doctor is recommending. In the past once I removed this internal suture the dogs improved 100% very quickly.

  12. Hi Dr J,
    My 4yr old golden had TPLO surgery 7 weeks ago. Thanks to
    a great surgeon and your rehab guide he is doing great. He
    had another set of X-ray’s today and the surgeon said after
    looking at the other knee ( the good one) he sees evidence that the good knee will likely need TPLO surgery within 1-2 yrs. As you know this surgery is very expensive. I am wondering if you or any of your clients can recommend a pet
    Insurance co. that will cover a second knee surgery . The ones I have looked at do not. I appreciate all the work you do
    for dog owners like myself. Your guidance has made this whole process so much easier for me! Your products are
    Superior !
    Thanks again
    My Best

  13. Logan had to return to the Vet, he still has fluid on his upper knee. I was given options to rest him and ice the leg 3x daily, he could feel suture in the leg and thought this could be causing the swelling and fluid. Another option is open the leg and remove scar tissue and the suture that did not desolve…HELP

  14. Anne with neurologic issue such as this, if diagnostics and surgery are not an option then we use prednisone and focus on canine physical therapy and strengthening. Unfortunately I can’t provide you with specific exercises for your dog because it really all depends on what she needs and that would have to be determined with a proper evaluation. That being said…exploring chiropractic would be an option but I think you best option would be to find a local canine rehab facility in your area and utilize them first. TopDog has a directory of all the canine rehabilitation facilities in the USA. Here is the link I wish you the best of luck and of course if you are in the state of CT I would be more than happy to see your dog.

  15. My 7 year old boston terrier suddenly lost use of her hind legs. I did NOT do surgery,opted for rest, anti-inflamitory meds, and acupuncture. She can walk and relieve herself, but her left leg is still weak. I massage her and do passive range of motion, and bicycle her hind legs daily. What specific PT exercises could I do at home for her to keep helping her improve? Also, could chiropractic treatments help more than the acupuncture? Thank you, sincerely, A. Basil

  16. Kim I would say that if you are not using it on a regular basis then it would be ok to take it off. Just stay conservative because you are still only 6 weeks out but from the sound of it you are doing really really well.

  17. we are only at week 6 but when should we stop using the sling for our walks? We really don’t use it as a support at this point, but just keep it loose, for a just in case. She has shown no signs of really needing it any longer but we want to be safe.

  18. Lisa at his point he really needs better pain management. I don’t stop pain meds until they are balanced and using the FHO surgery leg consistently and well. The elbow coming out is because he is compensating with the front and he is in pain. Please call you veterinarian and discuss good pain management with him/her

  19. My 12 year old 80lb mix had a FHO about 6 weeks ago after the ball of the hip disintegrated. His recovery has been weird. He put the leg down and put weight on it 2 days after surgery. He now can get up and down 2 steps on his own, and get most places he wants to. He has arthritis in his front elbow and now tends to turn that front leg out when he stands. He also still puts most of his weight on the good back leg. He gets 1 glycan aid a day (2 give him diarrhea) and I do make him do rehab exercises even though he’s a couch potato. Any good ways to get him to start to distribute his weight more evenly? Stop turning the elbow out? I’m afraid he’s doing more damage to his other joints now. Thanks.

  20. Eileen is there any way that you can repost your comments. I respond to all the comments but am not finding your comment. Thanks. Dr.J

  21. Ann it is not uncommon for them to “tweak” themselves during the recovery process and have a slight set-back. You are doing everything right from what I hear. During these times of set-backs you have to rest and give the anti-inflammatories. Within 3-5 days they should return back to here they were. If not then I would probably make the drive or at least call the surgeon to discuss.

  22. After being very careful with strict crate rest, leash walks, swimming and laser therapy, my 30lb dog was healing extremely well. She has been allowed a small amount of supervised freedom in the den and jumped over the couch. She has been limping and the area where she had surgery is tender. You can still feel the internal sutures(she had a suture repair)She is weight bearing, but, went from almost 100% sound to dropping a hip when moving. My surgeon is an 8 hour drive, and my regular vet does not feel any instability or popping. Concerned there has been an re-injury. She is on the glycan aid and is back on metacam. Also back on strict crate rest and shorter walks.

  23. Jeff this can be totally normal and should correct itself over time. In therapy we often use something called a theraband placed just above the knee and have the dog walk with this at increasing time increments. As long as your dog is progressing and doing well with weight bearing on that leg all will balance out over time.

  24. My dog abby seems to be recovering very well. My question is when she walks, she is walking bow legged, with the repaired knee(acl). Is this normal for a lab to walk like this when they are recovering from this surgery?

  25. Sandra this is normal for them to have slight setbacks along the way. My recommendation is to always pull back and rest for a few days..give anti-inflammatories if needed or ice and rest, rest,rest. I am in the east as well so I feel your pain with the snow and ice…it ever more depressing as I just got back from Florida where it was in the 70’s

  26. My dog is at week 7 of cruiciate surgery. She is doing very well but once in awhile she will…tripod…that leg and limp. Unfortunately, we have so much ice and snow in the East right now and walking is tough. I am doing my best with walking her and using my treadmill at a low pace. The surgeon did say this was okay. I can’t wait for this snow and ice to leave us. She is on your GlycanAid.

  27. Thanks Linky…we try very hard to help as many dogs and owners as we can and provide them with good safe information. Best of luck with everything :) Regards, Dr.J

  28. dr J, you ARE of help! i did have my vet see her early in january, he was very happy with her walking already, and said i do not need to worry. he did not physically examine the leg, said it was too soon (surgery 12 december 2013) to be fiddling with the leg. so i shall continue as per your instructions, and stay focused and positive! all the best.

  29. Linky, when i read your email I think your really have a few options. The best option would be to find and veterinary surgeon to just evaluate her and tell you where she is at. The second option would be to continue to be conservative and push forward with her home therapy. You of course have to make the decision that you think is the best for her. The fact that she is using the leg 90% of the time is great news. I wish I could comment on the instability of her knee but unfortunately I can’t based not he fact that I am unable to evaluate her myself. Since he is a bigger dog it does not seem logical to focus on the smaller water pools and I would simply focus on the exercises that she is doing well and progressing along with. I so wish I could be of more help. Dr.J

  30. hello again dr J. i wrote your earlier, shortly after dharma’s (boerboel, 86lbs) fabello-tibial suture stabilisation. against all odds (so much went wrong and caused setbacks) she is doing ok and the knee is holding up. she readily walks and uses the leg about 90%, i do however notice a slight instability (weakness) in her knee, kind of wobble – is this normal? we are in week 9 already, during all this time she was not keen to walk for longer than 7 mins or so at a time, untill i tried coaxing her into walking with titbits, which helped a lot. would this encouragement/reward not push her beyond her limit? she is now walking 10 – 20 mins a day – i do not use food all the time, but cannot manage otherwise to have her walk the same length of time each time. she is quite headstrong, and i do not want to physically force her to move. what to do? i have started with puppy squats also. thing is, due to all our setbacks, i am unsure where in your program we fit in. do i test her against the exercises for this stage, see where she is doing comfortably, and go from there? she does not want PROM – extension is fine, she does that herself, it is with bending/flexing backwards (the upwards is also fine) that she objects, and her knee jerks when i try do do that part. i do do heat therapy and massage in the mornings before her first walk, which she enjoys. thanks again for all your support and detailed instructions and GREAT ideas, i do not know what we would have done without it! i have tried finding/constructing a pool to have here at home for her – no rehab in town, considered buying an inflatable, but she is too big, and the small pools too small, big ones a problem getting into. concerned about her muscle mass. regards. linky and dharma.

  31. I have Carson – 87 lbs., Duchess – 58 lbs – and newly rescued Scarlett emaciated at 70 lbs to soon be at 85 lbs and my question is how can I divide up the GlycanAid HA that I have purchased for Carson’s weight between all three without buying separate bottles for each one? I am on the auto ship program.

    As always thanks for all your assistance to me and everyone else!!

  32. Larry thanks for the comment and we are honored to help your guys. Just glad that she is improving and getting closer to getting back to a normal life.

  33. Thanks for this program. Bailey is my 1 year old lab the had TPLO surgery and goes in for 6 week X-ray next week. In addition to your program we have started her on a swim therapy program. Thanks again for your program it has been a huge help.

  34. That is such great news Evelyn. Sounds like YOU are doing a great job and I am excited for Dock. Just continue to be conservative and TEST his abilities before you let him FREE :)

  35. Hi Dr. J,
    Just wanted to update you on Dock’s 8 week check up with the surgeon. There is bone healing at the top of the cut by the knee. Still a space from there to the implant that needs to fill in. He was a little concerned but not overly worried. Did not see any signs of infection. Recheck at 12 weeks. He stressed what you have been repeating. Building muscle mass in the surgical leg to match the good leg is very important to full recovery and help make sure the good leg stays sound. Good news Dock after 8 weeks is almost there muscle mass in both legs nearly equal. The surgeon was very pleased. He said he does not often see that much improvement that quickly in a lot of dogs. Thanks to your site for providing such valuable info especially concerning the need for slow controlled leash walking. I believe for Dock that helped the most. Wish us luck at 12 weeks. Surgeon pleased we are using a joint supplement– ours is GlycanAid Ha
    Thanks Evelyn and Dock

  36. Nancy I would talk to your vet about incorporating and opiod into her medication regimen. Something like tramadol (3-4 times a day) or Buprinex. The Rimadyl is great for inflammation but many of these dogs need true pain management. Please tell me how it goes. Also if this helps make sure you keep her on this until he is using the leg almost 100% of the time at a walk and stand. Then you can consider weaning off the medications. Also if you can get her into a canine rehab facility in your area that would be great. At we have a great directly to find the facility closest to you.

  37. My girl, Maddie (Wire Fox Terrier 18 months old) is in the 6th week after FHO surgery. We are dedicated to her recovery(laser treatment, every home therapy exercise–even to the point of using a boot with small weights and the supplements. She is still on Rimadyl also. She is NOT putting any weight on that leg. She will tap it down to balance. She runs, jumps and all and all; seems happy! Vet took new x rays and all looks good. Very worried because I thought by this stage, Maddie would be better. Where can I go from here?

Leave a Reply