Torn ACL in Dog – New Vet

Conservative Management for torn ACL in dog provides lasting results

Darcy's new favorite sleeping position for torn acl in dog post
Darcy’s new favorite sleeping position

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.

New Vet!

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!

Update #1 – A Dog Incident

What happened? A dog incident.

Golden retriever around two horses for dog incident post
How Darcy looked around the two big dogs!

Everything has been going great for my dog’s knee injury recovery.  And, then a bunch of things happened.  We were on a walk and two very large dogs (off leash) were pushing (herding) my dog and I down the street in the direction they wanted us to go.  They were both bigger than I was!  They were sort of head-butting and trying to put their paws on my dog if she didn’t go the way they wanted.  Darcy seemed okay after that. Continue reading “Update #1 – A Dog Incident”

Week 24 – My Dog Graduated!

No more vet visits!

Image of My dog at the lake off leash! for my dog graduated blog post
My dog off leash at the lake!

I couldn’t believe it.  My dog graduated!  This whole conservative management process really works!

We went to our third and (we didn’t know it) final hydrotherapy vet visit.  The vet watched Darcy on the underwater treadmill and said, “Okay, your dog graduated!”  I couldn’t understand what she was talking about?  She said that she didn’t feel right having me come in every week for hydrotherapy when my dog is doing so awesome. Continue reading “Week 24 – My Dog Graduated!”

Week 22 – Fully healed?

The vet said my dog is fully healed?

We went to another hydrotherapy session this week and the vet said that

Image of "fully healed" dog from conservative management
Darcy looks almost the same as she did pre-injury!

dogs who use the Conservative Management route are fully healed by 6 months.  We just hit about 6 months and she said that dogs will be healed as much as they can be at that point. Continue reading “Week 22 – Fully healed?”

Weeks 18 & 19 – Mushroom Hunting and Dog Recovery

Who would have thought that mushroom hunting would be theImage of morel mushroom for mushroom hunting and dog recovery perfect dog therapy activity?!

We went mushroom hunting on our “staycation”.  We took about a week and a half off, that’s why no blog last week.  We found a bunch of morel mushrooms (wikipedia link to these trippy looking mushrooms).  But, the greatest part to me was how perfect it was for my dog’s knee recovery.
We wandered through the forest (soft ground) over bushes and logs (uneven ground) at a pretty sedate pace and when we found a mushroom, she sat (more sit/stands) and we were sidehilling.  All of those things were recommended by my holistic vet and to find one activity that does them all was great! Continue reading “Weeks 18 & 19 – Mushroom Hunting and Dog Recovery”