Part 2: Healing our 11 year old dog's torn ACL / CCL without surgery (weeks 5-6) | Bob's Blitz

Part 2: Healing our 11 year old dog's torn ACL / CCL without surgery (weeks 5-6)

Our following 'Zero' -- our 11 year old highly athletic 60 pound German Shepherd following a CCL ACL tear where the vet recommended TPLO surgery but we attempted a non surgical treatment approach (dog acl recovery without surgery) entered its fifth week. (See: How we tried to heal our 11 year old German Shepherd Dog's torn ACL / CCL without surgery part 1: Week's 1-4.)

5 week anniversary of the tear. 35 days in. After she warms up in the morning she can walk for 5 minutes with no discernible problem. If we go to the 10 minute mark we'll see the subtle limp. Same thing with subsequent 5 minute walks. So she's building up stamina. Have to be careful not to push it. Video below is a compilation. Beginning followed by 2 clips that would be at the 6-7-8 minute mark. She's got some giddy up (which we also have to not let her exercise...) and she's a bit more stable while peeing.

We had an MD view the above videos. After that last one he wrote us back, "Cool. Yes when she pee'd I didn't see any wavering and I agree I see more vitality in particular you can see it in her face. Great job!"

Day 37 -- We have a marker that walked to and back takes approximately 5 minutes. Today we wondered back and forth to it twice. So that was a good 10 minute S&P (it was also warmer today, nearing 60) without much of a limp. We continue to do hot/colds as possible (always ending with hot). We also do some range of motion (ROM) stifle stretches (never longer than for 1 minute at a time) and if you are interested in adding them 5,6,7,8 weeks in - ask your vet about them. The following video contains most of what we do.

A) We would never put Zero on her side. We ONLY did the ROM exercises when she was already laying around. To put her down into that position might invite her to fight that movement...with her injured knee a strong pusher! And B) We do them nice and slow and we hold them at the full flex or extension point for 5-10 seconds. Keeping one hand over the knee (acts like a brace) and the other moving hand very, very loose. The looseness allows us to release the paw if she pulls back.

While searching for the above video we came across something called 'TTA Rapid Surgery.' Hmmm, never heard it referred to before. Rapid sounds good, right? And they even go as far as to talk about how invasive TLPO surgery is. We read up on what Tibial Tuberosity Advancement Rapid surgery is and, after reading this, were even more enthused to keep doing what we've been doing. Jeeze!

Day 40 -- 13 minute walk. For us it is to the park and back with a tail end extension. It is followed by a mostly inside day as it is Christmas Eve. We're able to, through the course of the day, do 7 hot colds on her. The 13 minute walk is on what I'd call the safe side of the street (i.e., we were always 3-4 minutes from home). What it really does is set up a complete walk around the block sometime next week if we don't have any setback. (We have 2-3 sections of the walk were we can cut through if we needed to cut it shorter.) We also did two 2-3 minute walks out back during bathroom breaks.

Merry Christmas! 11 minute walk. These walks knock her out like her runs used to. But today is Christmas.

Unlike Thanksgiving day, when visitors arrive she'll be free range. She's excited to have them in the house and she moves around a lot for several hours. They saw her on Thanksgiving so they know the difference five weeks later and 6 weeks total in. They also note she's thin - remember that. No chance this works if she had gained weight. They leave and she is conked out. Hate to awaken her but we have to bring her upstairs with us at bedtime. Ahhh. The one day since day one / two that we wouldn't have needed CBD oil to ensure a long winter's nap...

Day 42. Week 6 anniversary of the ripped ACL. We walk for 11 minutes and wind up standing around another 8 for a total of 19 minutes. We continue to do the hot colds and ROM. First weekend we hoped to be able to get to the front of the house. Week 2 we hoped to get up and down the block. Then we hoped to get across the street. Then up and down the block across the street. Now, 6 weeks in, we have to slow down a bit. Want to make sure the next couple of weeks we don't push past the 11 minute walks. Let that scarring really take shape. 2 weeks and we can start to add minutes to those walks. Now we're just going to do the walks and then do multiple small 5 minute walks in order to keep the knee moving.

Continue to week 7 of our dog's ACL non surgical treatment approach.

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