Integrative support of TPLO Surgery

Yindi pre cruciate ligament injury

What does it mean to offer integrative Veterinary Medicine?

Our recent focus on little Yindi’s TPLO surgery for cruciate ligament repair has led to a number of curious questions from some of our clients.  “I thought you were a holistic vet practice. I didn’t know you did advanced surgeries like TPLO?” and How is this type of surgery part of integrative vet medicine?” These questions caught me a little off guard. Whilst I have always had the clear vision that we are an integrative practice clearly that message has got a little lost in translation.

The integrative veterinary medicine approach is to combine the best of modern medicine & surgical techniques with the ancient science of complementary & natural therapies.  When we have patients that require surgery we don’t just look at the surgery in insolation.  We take into account all aspects of our patient’s health. We provide a whole-body approach to their health not just surgical repair of an injury.

What does it mean for your pet?

To be honest, it provides the best outcomes possible for your pet. Follow us as we discuss Yindi’s surgical preparation and planning.


Always the first place to start. Healing from orthopedic surgery demands certain nutritional requirements above the typical ‘adult maintenance’ foods on the market. To heal from major surgery Yindi needed a high-quality & bioavailable protein source. One that provided all of her essential, as well as her ‘non-essential’ amino acids.  Her post-operative recovery required a higher level of protein, calcium & micronutrients. We met this requirement by formulating a specific home-cooked meal supplemented with some key nutrients.

Nutrition for post TPLO surgery
Complementary Supplements

Stress and anxiety

Undergoing major surgery in a vet hospital will always be a challenging experience for a pet.  No matter how calm and caring the vets & nurses are. The potential for Yindi to be anxious in hospital was understood & we discussed the use of Adaptil spray, Zylkene, Gabapentin & Rescue Remedy.  We also offer Essential Oils & Acupuncture to reduce anxiety however Yindi responded well to our other remedies. This combined approach meant that Yindi’s stay in the clinic was as stress-free as possible.

Peri-anaesthetic liver support

A day of surgery means a day of metabolising a combination of medications for anaesthesia & analgesia. Blood & urine testing was performed to ensure Yindi was metabolically well for surgery.  She then was supplemented with a milk thistle extract to support her liver before & after the day of anaesthesia. This herbal medication also helped Yindi’s liver to cope with the pain relief medication that she was prescribed.

Anti-inflammatories and joint supplements

Yindi has prescribed Meloxicam following her surgery to reduce her post-operative pain & inflammation. These types of non-steroidal medications can result in upset tummies.  Therefore Yindi was offered herbal anti-inflammatory medications including turmeric, PEA, Boswellia & ginger. Adding these to Yindi’s food meant that the Meloxicam could be withdrawn sooner.  Leaving her tummy feeling better & Yindi being able to eat her healing diet.  Yindi also started a 4 week course of Synovan injections to help repair the joint surface & restore synovial fluid.

Yindi receiving Synovan injection to help with her TPLO recovery
Rehabilitative Massage post TPLO

Rehabilitation massage:

We performed rehabilitation massage on Yindi as soon as possible to help support the healing process. Rehabiltation massage reduces inflammation, improves mobility & greatly improves patient outcomes following orthopaedic surgery.  This results in a quicker return to normal function.  Yindi is receiving this rehabilitation massage on a weekly basis.


We offer acupuncture as a method to stimulate the body to heal.  We also use it to reduce stress & anxiety while in the hospital & to reduce pain in the post-operative period. Acupuncture involves placing tiny needles into points of the body to stimulate healing and reduce pain.

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Yindi continues to be assessed by our TCVM qualified vet, Dr Liz, to ensure she is getting additional support with Chinese herbs. Following surgery, herbal remedies that settle the tummy, settle anxiety, stimulate healing & support the organs are commonly prescribed. Yindi has not needed these to date but they are all available to our patients following surgery.

How does the integrative approach provide the best outcomes?

In a nutshell, this is our integrative approach to the TPLO patient. The whole patient, family & environment at home is considered.  The best combination of approaches is decided on & designed to ensure the very best outcome for each of our patients. I hope this has demonstrated the difference an integrative approach can make for every patient.

At Bentons Road Vet Clinic we offer advanced surgical techniques by our surgeon Dr Mike.  We offer acupuncture and TCVM herbal assessments with Dr Liz.  We offer nutritional advice and western herbal supplements with Dr Kelly.  And we also offer rehabilitation massage through our qualified massage therapist  Natalie Smith. Each of our patients has access to all of our modalities & all of our vets have experience in discussing & prescribing the different treatment methods.   We are the vets to speak to about the best-combined approach for your pet.