How long would it take before our dog could start to use the stairs

how long after a cruciate ligament repair on a 48kg dog is it before the dog can start to use stsirs again i was wondering how long it would take before our dog could start to use the stairs again. he usually sleeps at the top of the stairs but is been confined to the downstairs at the moment. this is causing problems as he has started climbing on the settee. he had the op 9 days ago. 48kg lab/rottie.

  • Vetinfo

    By: Emily Barret El Segundo, CA

    Replied on 04/19/2011

    After cruciate surgery your dog will require exercise restriction for about 8 weeks or so. This includes no running and jumping, and usually requires the owner to leash walk as opposed to letting him out in the back yard. Doing stairs will be based on your dogs personality. If he is going to try to bound up them on three legs I would keep him confined. However, if he has a more calm personality and goes up the stairs slowly, and seems stable while doing it he may be able to try stairs at three weeks. When first trying stairs I would help him using a towel sling. Do this by taking a towel and looping it under his waist and then holding both ends so you can support him. Practice going up and down the stairs and see how he does. He is able to do it slowly without trouble you could probably let him do it but only while you are home. Last thing you want is for him to get stuck on the stairs while you are not around.

    There are a few things to keep in mind after a cruciate tear that may effect your decision on trying the stairs too early. While only using three legs a lot more strain is being put on his good leg, this can cause a ligament tear in this leg, especially if he has a history of bad knees. If your dog is overweight, I would suggest cutting his calories until he has a normal to lean body condition. This can only help his knees. Keep in mind that your dog will more than likely be on pain medications, causing him to be less gentle on the injured leg which can lead to complications. The safest thing is to follow your surgeons post-op protocol, and if you are apprehensive about starting stairs with your dog it's better to wait.


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