You are very welcome Thulesmom. I didn't have any time to research the procedure, or the recovery issues, before Hazel had to have her surgery. When I took her to CSU and they gave their diagnosis, they did the surgery the next day because I did not want her in pain for any longer than absolutely necessary. All of my research was done after the fact....lol.
I would start using the sling now, it will get her used to it so that she doesn't struggle with that after the surgery - and it might keep the pressure off the other leg enough to not increase its chances of blowing. One of the big things is to make sure that they don't slip - whether that's on ice or snow or whatever. And of course going up or down stairs is completely out of the question - but if you can support her weight with the sling and are confident that you or she won't slip, you can do stairs if absolutely necessary. But if you are already getting her used to a ramp, you can also use the ramp to get her up and down stairs. I bought a very nice ramp while Hazel was in the hospital, and she flat refused to use it. I had to lift her in and out of my vehicle during the trip home.
If you are going to just baby gate a doorway, you need to be very sure that she isn't going to try and jump the gate (been there, done that) - and make sure that the room where she will be confined has absolutely no way for her to get on any furniture. She might be pretty complacent about just laying around right now - but after the surgery she'll likely feel so much better that she will think she can do whatever she likes.
After she gets the okay from the vet during her recovery (at about the 8th week post op) you'll be able to start exercising her. If you can, the best rehabilitative exercise is swimming. It doesn't put any pressure on the joints at all, but allows the muscle to build back up. I live in a fairly rural area, and the closest place that would allow Hazel in a pool was 3 hours away - so that wasn't an option for me. We started out with short walks a few times a day, increasing the duration of the walks each week and making sure that we took her where she would have to walk up hill quite a bit. It's better for them to have 3 ten minute walks during the day than one 30 minute walk. I think the gradual build up to normal activity levels (and consistent but moderate exercise since then), the g/c supplement, and keeping Hazel at a good weight have all contributed to her not having any issues with her other knee (knocking on wood here). I am sure that sometime during her life Hazel will have to have a TPLO on the other knee - she is so pigeon toed that her ACL is probably under tremendous stress and will eventually snap, just like the first one did.
If you have any tile or hardwood floors in your home, you'll want to get rugs with the grippy stuff on the underside to keep her from slipping on those floors. You know that newfie hair gets awfully long between the toes, which makes it soooo easy for them to slip and slide on tile/hardwood floors. Also, a good orthopedic dog bed will help keep her comfortable - I know Hazel likes to lay on bare tile/hardwood because it's cool, but that is really hard on their joints.
Livin in a Newfie Drool Zone