How long after ACL surgery can a dog do stairs? Here’s What to Expect

Plan for very limited activity the first two weeks.

How long after ACL surgery can a dog do stairs?

While Irie had surgical staples in place (and a cone around the clock), we did very little other than potty stops.

Brace yourself for the staples; I am a wimp about all things surgical so they were a bit of a shock at first.

The first thing I did was to take the photo above so I’d know if there were any changes that I needed to be concerned about; this gave me something to compare to if we thought we might see changes.

Once I got over the initial jolt, though, the staples really proved to be no issue at all. Irie couldn’t access them due to the cone.

And speaking of the cone, know that there are other models besides the one that is sent home with your dog after surgery. Irie wore a cone for two weeks as well. While we have some great soft post-surgery collars, we had to use a rigid collar per our discharge instructions; they were afraid Irie would be able to get through a soft collar.

We bought a clear Cardinal brand cone or e-collar so that Irie could have better peripheral vision. She seemed to really like this cone, with its padded neck, better than the one she was wearing at discharge.

How long after ACL surgery can a dog do stairs?

Consider a change in sitting arrangements.

How long after ACL surgery can a dog do stairs?

Typically Irie rested on the couch in the evenings. Since she could no longer get up on the couch, I removed all the cushions and sat them on the floor so we could sit there. John constructed a small step in front of the couch so Irie could get on the cushionless couch as easily as getting on our front porch, which the vet had cleared her to do. When we obtained a long ramp for the car, we started using it on the couch, too.

(No, we have not had any company during this recuperation period! And, yes, it looked about as good as you are imagining. But Irie was comfortable.)

Furniture that she could get on was removed from the house.

Although concerning to pet owners, the following scenarios are normal post-anesthesia behavior. Your Dog Doesn’t Want to Drink

Thirst and appetite may not be entirely normal for a few days after surgery. Your Dog Seems Disoriented and/0r Listless

Listless behavior may continue until twenty-four hours after the surgery. Your Dog Howls and Whines Through the Night

The incision and stitches appear painful, and your dog may seem sluggish and “out of it.”

ACL Stair practice