Comments on Is Surgery the Answer for ACL Injuries?

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Jesse   Racine, Wisconsin

4/30/2015 1:00:11 PM

I don't think surgery is required for ALL acl injuries. My dog, Ralphie, tore his acl about a month ago and I ended up getting him an a-trac brace from Woundwear. Although he is a small dog, the brace has made an enormous difference and he is already prancing around the yard again. So, there is always others options to look into if you don't want to put your dog through surgery.

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Frank   Houston, Texas

1/31/2015 10:50:21 AM

I took my 2 yr old Doberman into a veterinarian I googled for an occasional hop that was so slight I thought he might have a splinter in his paw that I couldn’t find. When we went in, he could sit in good form, jump. and run for hours. I had to stop the vet during the "hyperextension" exam because my dog looked in so much pain. The vet stood up and said, "I heard a pop." When we came out, he had a severe limp and sat with his paw extended out to one side. Now weeks later, when trying to sit, his back is arched to avoid placing pressure on the injured stifle and his leg still extends out. The physical exam performed on his leg was so brutal that now he has a more serious problem. An MRI performed elsewhere has shown that he has a complete CCL rupture which no doubt was as a result of the physical exam performed on him. We have insurance for our pet, but have opted for Conservative Management and there is little coverage for that type of care. We want to share with others what we have learned along the way and have created a facebook page called “Conservative Management for Dogs” ( t). As dog parents, we want to be aware of all options and the opportunity to make an informed decision. Anyone who wishes to contribute to the community is also welcome to share.

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elly   wausau, Wisconsin

11/2/2014 2:12:19 PM

We Were told 2 options for our almost 6 yr old golden retriever, surgery or be put down. Given pain meds while we made up our minds to either put him thru the surgery and tap into the 2nd mtg on the house to pay for it and drive 90 miles for treatment or end his life cuz he is a big dog. Our dog is large boned, yes overweight and very active and playful. Breaking our hearts Reading about braces and getting a second opinion and sure hope what we have read about braces is true.

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Dennis   Brookfield, Wisconsin

9/23/2014 2:22:08 PM

My 8 year old lab Lucy tore her ACL and she was too old for surgery. I ended up researching braces and came across the A-Trac brace from Wound Wear. I purchased the brace and she is doing 100 times better now!! Took her a while to get use to it but I am that surgery wasn't the only option.

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JJ   Chicago, Illinois

2/6/2014 9:24:46 AM

It's too bad that "temecula, CA" (above) had such an issue with finding a brace that worked for their dog. But I agree, the brace-route is a lot less intrusive and disruptive for your dog. And from my experience, the outcome was just as good. I used a brace from Woundwear. It's a soft brace (as opposed to a hard, cast-like brace) but the brace has rods to stabilize the leg. Overall, I recommend it if you are leary of surgery for your dog. The brace still requires lots of patience and time, but considering what the recovery would have been with CCL or TPLO surgery--the brace was well worth it!


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Meredith   Waco, Texas

2/3/2014 8:05:49 AM

My 3 year old has had the surgery TWICE... one for each back leg... He has done pretty well but can over do it sometimes and will limp for a couple of days, then seems to be ok. Last night, he seems to have done more damage than normal though. He's limping and crying when he puts pressure on one of his legs.

After his last surgery, I asked the doctor if "That was it?", meaning he couldn't hurt himself anymore... The vet said that he could still tear his cartliage. In that case, he'd need the surgury yet again. I'm very scared that this may be the
Does anyone know how likely this is?

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dog with torn ccl knee injury   temecula, California

1/9/2014 10:46:16 AM

My old mix breed lab dog of 93 pounds had torn his CCL cruciate ligament last year. Vets only told me about TPLO surgery. I researched online and read the comments at many websites of the nightmares of pain dogs went thru with the CCL joint type surgeries with so many horrible complications. I came across several comments of those that tried dog knee braces for their older dogs and were happy with the results. I started researching dog knee braces. I ended up buying one, it kept slipping, so I bought another one with a harness but the harness rubbed. I tried a stifle canine custom brace from posh dog knee brace and it worked better than the other braces. My dog was was walking 30 minutes from the first day of wearing this brace. Before he only walked maybe 7 minutes. So I could see that he felt his knee was stabilized with the knee brace and was comfortable enough to walk for almost half an hour. We were able to return to our dog hikes which are now almost 2 -3 hour walks on my days off. Without the brace this never would have been possible. When you are told the only solution is for a torn CCL surgery, that is not true. My lab mix had a complete tear and he has healed really well without surgery. Search for dog knee braces, there are several available online. They all do support the knee if you ask the knee brace company how to make sure it is fitted correctly to support the knee. The posh dog knee brace was the most supportive brace for my lab mix 93 pounds. But any dog knee brace is safer than surgery and will get you back out for dog walks with the knee healing better than surgery.

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Ivette - 225279   Lodi, NJ

11/26/2013 5:01:56 AM

My 2 year old pit has a torn ACL, the vet says surgery but it is so expensive. I dont know anything about this and in looking at these posts now Im totally confused about what to do. She seems to be in lots of pain, she has congenital liver disease so she cant take anti inflammatory medicine which seems to be the fix all. Cant decide what to do? Shes going for xrays today.

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John   Apex, North Carolina

4/17/2013 1:33:50 PM

Also remember that surgery is just one aspect of getting the dog back on his/her feet, rehab is a very important part of this process. Game Ready Cold and compression used after surgery will help speed up that

fell free to contact us to learn about our rental program for your

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Dallas (Cairns Vet Clinic)   Cairns, Armed Forces

12/9/2012 6:31:05 PM

Dog's with partial tears to the cruciate ligament may improve, but the ligament never heals. It remains weaker and more prone to reinjury for the life of the dog. If your dog partly tears the ligament to the point of lameness the chance of complete rupture is high.

While some dogs do OK with conservative management most have significant lameness for months and early onset arthritis in that
Its very important not to delay surgery after rupture, otherwise the results will be limited. Any attempt to manage the injury conservatively (cage rest) requires strict confinement to prevent long term damage.


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Dr. Deb   Paso Robles, California

10/12/2012 2:26:43 PM

Yes, Sara, you are right. Even when resting pets for one to two months to see if they will heal without surgery, in my experience, 99% of them still have lameness and pain from the cruciate injury and now have muscle atrophy from non-use of the limb as well. They could have been healed from surgery and walking normally again by this time.

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Joshua Parsons   West Palm Beach, Florida

9/11/2012 8:27:14 AM


My dog Goldie had a complete tear last year, so my wife and I took her to the vet and she told us it would cost $3000 to fix it. We didn’t listen to her and we are glad we didn’t. We decided to purchase Dr. Spatt's A-Trac brace from WoundWear for $300. She had it on 24/7 for 3 months and she for 3 months had it on for walks and the doggy park. She is 100% healed for this great doctors invention. But before you choose surgery, you need to try his

-Josh P.

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Nancy F   Milwaukee, WI

4/30/2012 8:28:58 PM

I have had good luck with the atrac brace from woundwear. I first looked at a lot of videos on youtube then did my research on

Good luck to those who are going through the process!

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Carly's Home   Cave Creek, AZ

4/5/2012 3:41:56 PM

Check out for their A-Trac Dynamic Brace. This is a great alternative to surgery for ACL or CCL Tears. There are great reviews and articles on it and i myself have had great success with the brace!

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Sara   Reading, MA

3/13/2012 5:16:32 PM

Please don't do homeopathic remedies or herb remedies alone on your pet! These have not been proven to work -- and probably the result of placebo in humans. Dogs will not fall for placebo effect and may be hiding some real pain!

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Jllbruce   West Plains, MO

1/2/2012 6:02:52 PM

Dear Jill, Overland park,
Posted: 12/11/2011 2:37:28
Please consider the Bradshaw Vet Clinic in Springfield Missouri. They are about half the price you are quoting. Hope this helps.

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Jill   Overland park, KS

12/11/2011 2:37:28 PM

Our 10 yr old chow mix suddenly couldn't walk 2 days ago. She has 2 cruciate ruptures in back legs. Surgery is $3000 per leg. We cannot afford this. Are there any alternatives we can try for our beloved Macy girl? She is taking to rimadyl for 7 days and is now eating Science diet dog food for arthritis. She is in good physical shape otherwise. It is heartbreaking to see her so immobile : (

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theresa   lincoln park, MI

11/3/2011 4:32:48 AM

i havee a 80 lb black lab that has this injury and i am so happy i found this information before i went ahead with my dogs surgery, shes not even 2 and i was not to hype to the idea of it. she limps sometimes and then sometimes shes fine so i think this might work for her. thank you ill def try this first

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Ann   Pensacola, FL

2/22/2011 5:23:20 PM

Which homeopathic treatments for an ACL injury are safe for dogs with cardiac disease?

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8/7/2010 10:56:38 AM

As a natural and qualified healer I found your article most warming with the caring guidance that is required to help remedy and improve such injuries. My experience certainly includes restricting activity and if gently walking to keep to a limited distance on a tight but comfortable lead. This helps inhibit any loss of balance and helps the dog enjoy a walk with the maximum of support. The restricted time have found can be towards 12 weeks in sensitive and severe
I hope that this gives help and comfort to owners in such a position supported by your wonderful advice on ways to reduce the nerve injury and reduce inflamation and repair the damaged soft tissues by the building blocks you have mentioned.

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