An Alternative Approach to Canine Knee Surgery
Less-invasive treatment is available for dogs afflicted with minor tears in ligaments. Consult a holistic veterinarian for your options.
Tears in the cranial cruciate ligament in dogs commonly occur in dogs, particularly in large breeds. Sometimes the cause of the tear in the ligament, comparable to a human’s knee ligament, is unknown, but it’s often the result of some sort of trauma, such as an awkward move while playing.
Surgery can usually be avoided in treating a partial tear.
Holistic vets aggressively treat minor tears with cold-laser therapy and joint supplements containing glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. These supplements are designed to reduce inflammation in the joint, relieve pain, and help in the healing process of damaged cartilage. Cold-laser therapy heals damaged cells and encourages cell regeneration.
For pets with acute pain, holistic vets also use a low dose of a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication such as meloxicam for three to seven days. Most dogs do quite well and can resume fairly normal (although slightly less active) lives.
Pets with total tears that cannot support weight on the affected leg usually require surgery.
The original version of this column, “The Natural Vet” by Shawn Messonnier, DVM, was published in AKC Family Dog.