Arun Veterinary Group

New year, new body? Meet Brewster – Our biggest loser


Its that time of year when many of us are thinking about our waistlines. If you follow our Facebook page you may remember lovely Brewster who started on a weight loss program with AVG Small Animal  Nutritionist Steph back in February last year. What you may not know about Brewster is he has had long-term problems with his mobility in his back legs. Ultimately Brewster has damaged his cruciate ligament in his right hind leg. This sadly meant surgery to repair it. To complicate matters Brewster was severely overweight and this would create health risks during an anaesthetic, drastically hinder his recovery post surgery and ultimately how well the ligament would cope after repair carrying all that extra weight.

So the challenge was on! He needed to lose a whopping 20kg to get to a healthy weight and be eligible to have his surgery. This month we are proud to say he has lost a massive 16.4kg in weight in just 9 months. He has done so well!

But unfortunately Brewster has really been suffering with his leg and the decision was made that he was at a weight where he could have the surgery safely.  He came in last month to have a Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy, otherwise known as TPLO, carried out by Clinical Director and certificate holder Edric. TPLO surgery is s is particularly successful in large breeds and those with advanced joint degeneration and cruciate ruptures like Brewster.

There are two ligaments in a pet’s knee joint –the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) and the caudal cruciate ligament. These ligaments are responsible for helping the knee function as a hinge joint, and help to prevent rotation between the femur (upper bone) and tibia (lower bone). The meniscus helps to act as a cushion between the tibia and femur. A torn CCL causes pain and immobility. The level of immobility depends on the severity of the rupture. The diagnosis relies on an examination, X-rays, and manipulating the joint (called the cranial drawer test). This test measures the level of instability present in the joint. Over time, the joint will continue to degenerate, resulting in pain, chronic arthritis and lameness. TPLO surgery helps to stabilize the stifle and reduce the likelihood of further osteoarthritis progression

During the surgery, Edric cut the tibial plateau (the load bearing area of the knee), repositioned the tibia in a 5 degree angle. The stifle (knee joint) will then be stable for Brewster when bearing weight. The bone graft is secured into place using a specially designed bone plate and screws.

Now Brewster has had his surgery the hard work begins. The average recovery period following a TPLO is 8 weeks, during this time Brewster will be on restricted exercise and should rest and stay as calm as possible, a difficult task as Brewster is a boisterous energetic boy.

Now that he has started recovering from his operation, Brewster will be attending  Physio clinics here at Storrington to help him learn to walk and feel comfortable after his surgery. These will include laser therapy and treatment from our RAMP(Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners) registered veterinary physiotherapist Becky, who has known Brewster for a long time and ran his original “fit club” doggy aerobics!

As food motivated as Brewster is, Becky has no doubts in her mind that she could convince him into following his physio routine, although she may lose a few fingers in the process as he is such an enthusiastic treat grabber!!

Brewster will also continue to See Steph so she can adjust and monitor his food  while he recovers to make sure he doesn’t gain any weight back while on restricted exercise. Once he has recovered fully from his surgery it will be his owners task to get the last few kilo’s of weight off him to get him to his ideal healthy weight and keep that leg happy and mobile.

Huge congratulations to Brewster he has been such a good boy through all this and his owner has worked so hard to get him to this point.

Enjoy your new waistline!


1 Comment

  • 2 of my older labs had cruciate and patella (“knee cap”) operations and benefited greatly from hydrotherapy sessions. My current elderly lady Daisy also loves her swimming lessons to help with the arthritis in her spine…perhaps it might help Brewster too, both in his rehabilitation and weight loss?
    He is a gorgeous boy & doing very well so far.

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