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  • Writer's pictureAngela Christou

Ronaldo - It's a soccer player thing.

Written by: VNS Elle

Ronaldo who is an adorable, bouncy and affectionate 2year old Toy Cavoodle had not one, but two Patella Stabilisation surgeries on the same hind leg! Ronaldo’s first patella surgery went well, but Ronaldo was a little too active with his roommate Tinker and unfortunately, he ended up having to go back into surgery and have the leg repaired again! After his second surgery his owners wanted to make sure he received the right post op care while they were at work on night shift, to allow Ronaldo a successful recovery with monitored toilet breaks and lots of cuddles and affection.

The first 4 weeks of recovery are the most crucial for long term success. Ronaldo was lucky enough to have Vet Nurse Sitter Elle, visit him for a few nights to give him cuddles, give him time without his Elizabethan collar on to relax and stretch without licking his stitches, and to take him out to the toilet and make sure he wasn’t too active.

He was upgraded halfway through his day care visits to be lucky enough to come to VNS Elle’s house for a few hours instead. This gave him a different place to visit and explore while being watched and monitored, he was even lucky enough to spend time with Elle’s beautiful Aussie Shepherd, Dusty. Dusty is a very relaxed and well-behaved boy who made sure Ronaldo stayed calm during his visits, but also allowed the socialisation Ronaldo had been missing out on while in his crate resting post-surgery.

Patella stabilisation surgery require a lot of rest time for dogs, and being a bouncy 2year old dog, this does come with its challenges. Little Ronaldo just wants to be near you!

Ronaldo has been on very strict crate rest and will need to remain like this for at least 4 weeks post-surgery. He is also wearing an Elizabethan collar to prevent him from licking at his stitches and this must be kept on at all times when he can’t be monitored. At this point in his recovery he is on very short leash walks to go out to the toilet. He is not allowed to jump up or onto furniture, walk on slippery surfaces or climb up and down stairs and his toilet walks are restricted to 5 - 10 minutes.

After a week he no longer has to wear his bandage on the leg and after 4 weeks crate rest he will be able to start increasing his exercise time on leash. His owners will be able to start doing exercises with him and his joints which incorporates the affected muscles around the surgery site to help increase his range of motion. Ronaldo will also start working up to being able to practice sit and walk routines to strengthen his muscles. Moving from one command to the other to increase strength and stability in the surgery limb.

Post op exercises to consider during rehabilitation and are to be supervised and recommended by your Veterinarian before performing:

- Extending and flexing the joints on the recovering limb as much as the joint will allow for roughly 10 or more slow repetitions.

- Perform the same frequency using a cycling motion on the recovering leg.

It’s important to remember not to force the motion of the joints and make sure the animal is comfortable and not in pain, the range of motion may be limited to start with but will increase with time and repetition.

Having a Vet Nurse Sitter has been an important part of Ronaldo’s recovery, knowing what signs to look for on his wound if he had been licking it or not and his behaviour and movement in his leg. Elle has been spending a couple of hours with him each night to make sure he is given plenty of cuddles, and monitored time out of his crate, taken to the toilet and kept entertained. She has been able to take off his Elizabethan collar while he is being supervised and give him some time to feel like a normal puppy again, snuggled up on the couch where he belongs!

Ronaldo loves attention and his quirky personality makes his very hard to resist. During his care he had his stitches removed and his Elizabethan collar taken off. But when Elle picked him up for his visit to see her and Dusty, she noticed he had been licking at his surgery site. It was slightly red and inflamed, so Elle recommended the owners keep Ronaldo’s Elizabethan collar on for a few more days to give the site time to heal and not irritate him even though the stitches had been taken out.

Ronaldo became very fond of his SitStay visits and would get super excited when Elle arrived to pick him up. He settled very quickly and was a pleasure to have around!

Good luck with the rest of your recovery Ronaldo!

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