We have collaborated with Dr. Kristin Kirkby Shaw, one of the leaders in professional rehabilitation for small animals. Dr. Kirkby Shaw is not only a veterinarian, but is board certified in veterinary surgery, sports medicine, and rehabilitation, and has become certified as a canine rehabilitation therapist. She is a past president of the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians and is on faculty for the Canine Rehabilitation Institute. We can think of no one greater to provide you with guidance on rehabilitation techniques.

Though physical rehabilitation protocols have been found to be beneficial in the recovery following a TPLO, there is not an established or standardized rehabilitation protocol. Like much of medicine, it is important to tailor a rehabilitation protocol to a specific patient, taking into account the pet’s range of motion, strength, degree of healing, and ability to perform each exercise. As returning an athlete to a game day situation too early can lead to re-injury, excessive rehabilitation can do harm in the post-operative recovery from a TPLO procedure. Ideally, every pet would be able to follow-up with a rehabilitation therapist following a TPLO so that an individualized protocol could be developed. However, we know this is not always going to be possible. Dr. Kirkby Shaw also has videos above demonstrating passive range of motion exercises and icing therapy. It is important to keep in mind that if your pet is performing additional activities (hills, sit-to-stands, S-shaped walking, etc) and is regressing in limb function, we strongly recommend you stop the exercises and consult with your Veterinary surgeon or a canine rehabilitation therapist for further guidance. For more information on additional rehabilitation exercises click here.

Here is a link to find a rehabilitation therapist in your area:

For more information on Dr. Kirkby Shaw, please visit her website,, geared towards using her surgical and physical rehabilitation experience to help owners manage their pet’s arthritis.

Have questions about TPLO recovery that was not answered?

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