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TKR Taking care of my paralyzed dog.


new member
Mar 19, 2024
United States United States
I'm guessing that no one has a situation like I'm facing, but I thought I would ask.

My dog requires that I "express" her a few times everyday (paralyzed dogs can't urinate by themselves, and the caregiver needs to express the dog several times a day.) After putting down a pee pad, I get the dog between my two legs with her head pointing towards my rear. Then, I use both hands to lift her up by her belly, swing her over the pad and then gently squeeze. So my legs will be slightly bent at the knees when I bend over to pick her up. She weighs about 40 pounds.

I'm thinking it may be a little painful for me at first, but this shouldn't pose a problem. Am I right? Do doctors usually set limits as to how much weight someone can pick up, etc?
Welcome to BoneSmart @TripleF49. Please tell us the date of your surgery and whether it will be your left or right knee so we can create a signature for you.

This is really not something we can advise you on. Please discuss this with your surgeon. Only he can tell you whether this position might cause problems for your knee.

I will share BoneSmart's helpful pre-operative guide here -- it's a lot to read, but I'm sure you will find many of these articles helpful as you prepare for surgery.

Knee Pre-Op Guide

If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:
Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic knee?
Choosing a surgeon and a prosthesis
BMI Calculator - What to do if your surgeon says you're too heavy for joint replacement surgery
Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?

If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:
Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home
Recliner Chairs: Things you need to know if buying one for your recovery
Pre-Op Interviews: What's involved?

Good nutrition is just as important during both the pre-operative period as it is during recovery. Check out this helpful information on Pre-surgery Dietary Tips and on Nutrition Basics.

Regardless of where you are in the process, the website and app My Knee Guide can help you stay organized and informed. The free service keeps all the information pertaining to your surgery and recovery in one place on your smartphone. It is intended to be a personal support tool for the entire process.

And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced knee, take a look at the posts and threads from other BoneSmarties provided in this link:
Stories of amazing knee recoveries

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

So feel free to ask any questions you have about this surgery and recovery; our members will be happy to share their experiences with you.
I can't address the weight issue.

I can say that I didn't scoop out the cat litter or do any tasks involving the bending or reaching for the floor for a couple of weeks postop despite being fit and having unusually good range of motion immediately post op. And as you'll be using a walker or crutches by necessity, due to reduced strength and operated leg function, how will you maintain your balance while using both hands to provide this essential treatment?

We sometimes advise people to look into boarding their pets for a couple of weeks if there's no friends or family available to provide needed in home support.
I guess it makes total sense to consult with my surgeon! It's just on my mind as I try to figure things out because it's not easy to learn how to express a dog. Boarding is not a realistic possibility, and I do have two neighbors who I have "trained" to express Snow. But I guess step #1 really is to have a conversation with my surgeon and then go from there.
I do have two neighbors who I have "trained" to express Snow.
That's great to read. I suspect you will want their help during the first week of your recovery.

Let us know if you have other questions as you prepare for your surgery.
Maybe see about having a high school or college kid stop by a few times a day.

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