The words that you don’t want to hear from your vet were spoken back in November. Your dog has a ccl (acl) tear in his right knee. I was in shock as I have never had a dog with a knee injury. Apparently, it’s becoming quite common for dogs of all sizes. The prognosis – expensive knee surgery.
The vet went on to say that surgery was the only way that Wiley would heal. If we didn’t do surgery, he may eventually heal, but he’d have severe arthritis in that knee. He said that we could wait a little to decide, but we shouldn’t wait too long. He prescribed pain/anti-inflammatory meds. I was shocked, but since I knew nothing about knee surgery for dogs, I went into research mode.
I quickly learned that knee surgery may or may not be completely successful. As suspected, they can and often will still get arthritis in that knee. Often, they will tear the ccl in the other knee within a year. Yikes! So, I wanted to see other options available as I wasn’t liking the sound of all of this. I didn’t mind a little more work if it meant we could avoid surgery.
I stumbled across conservative management. Basically, with conservative management, you are restricting movement and activities with your dog. You feed a high-quality food with some supplements that promote healing and help with inflammation and pain that often comes with an injury. You can also add in alternative therapies and/or a knee brace.
My husband and I decided that we wouldn’t make a decision on surgery until after Christmas. It would give us a chance to see how he did with rest and activity restriction. What I quickly learned was that keeping a highly active dog on restriction is not easy once he starts to feel a bit better. I only kept him on the nsaids for 2 weeks, and then we switched to natural products that wouldn’t take a toll on his organs.
He was making improvements, but we had a lot of two steps forward and one step back. He would get a little too excited and do something he shouldn’t do and end up quite sore that evening or the next day. When we added Wynoka to the mix, it was harder to keep him still, but it was working until one day he just collapsed. His had sustained a ccl injury on the other leg. I was crushed.
I soon found myself carrying him everywhere. My back was aching. It was time to get him the braces. After a lot of research, I decided to go with Posh Dog Knee Braces. I gave them a call, and the knee brace journey began.