Conservative Management for torn ACL in dog provides lasting results
It has actually been almost two years already. I can’t believe how fast time has gone by. During the recovery of the torn ACL in my dog, it seemed to go so slow. But now, my 10+-year-old dog is as frisky as ever. People still ask me if she’s a puppy.
We moved to a new city and Darcy and I got a new vet. It was a great experience and the vet also said she would have recommended conservative management (where was this vet when this all happened?!). She had no idea that Darcy had her injury. She was super impressed with how well Darcy has recovered from her dog knee injury. She was really impressed with all of my research and the Naturvet Glucosamine and Chondroitin that I give Darcy. She suggested Omega fatty acids (it has them), MSM (yep), and I let her know about the yucca in it as well. The vet asked what brand I was getting and that sounded perfect for helping prevent arthritis. She is going to suggest that brand to her clients.
I do notice that Darcy sometimes limps very slightly after a really long walk or many walks in one day, and sometimes leans on her “good leg” when she’s really tired. But really you can’t tell she was injured at all. She still runs after a ball with all of the abandonment of a puppy. The neighbor’s kid loves to throw the ball for her over and over and she runs and jumps until she is tired.
We have had a really snowy winter and I remembered what the vets told me about her “post-holing” in the snow. That is when her paws break through the crust of the snow. Because we didn’t want to risk another injury, we had mostly been walking through the neighborhood. The snow through the forest was really deep and then it got really icy and I didn’t want to risk it for her or myself. Now that it’s summer, we hike all over the place. We try to get her out at least 45 minutes on her daily walk and sometimes longer on days off.
We do still give her (and ourselves) the turmeric every day twice a day. There is no more clicking or swelling. I think that is definitely from keeping her active and her daily supplements. The vet was very happy to hear about the turmeric and talked about what a great anti-inflammatory it is and that she is going to get it for her and her husband as well! I have found so many things that work across species.
If I had only known some of this at the beginning of this whole torn ACL in dog thing, I think I might have done some things a bit differently. I probably would have started with walking her a little sooner and a stiffer brace might have helped with getting her active sooner. My husband and I really think the muscle loss was hard to deal with in a dog her age and it did take quite awhile to put it all back on again.
I wanted to let everyone know that it is possible to help your dog through a torn ligament injury. I do know that some big dogs aren’t good candidates for conservative management. Plus if you have a puppy, it would be hard to keep the little one not moving through recovery. I hope it works out for all of you that try it. Let me know in the comments. Best of luck!