Torn Cruciate Protocol

Torn Cruciate Protocol to Follow Before Surgery

If a dog has been diagnosed with a fully ruptured or partially torn cruciate ligament, there are certain procedures that should be followed to ensure the best outcome. This protocol is not to be rigidly adhered to but followed as a guide to rehabilitate your dog in the best possible manner. This regime is much more in depth than what is outlined here, however, we are providing you with the proper care so necessary at this time with this type of injury.

One of the most highly beneficial supplements you can provide your dog with an acl injury is injections of polysulfated glycosaminoglycan. This is a chondroprotective, and in addition to this an anti-inflammatory therapy such as carprofen should be taken to minimize the postoperative  inflammation while waiting for surgery. If a conservative approach is being taken, these supplements will work great for that too.

Therapeutic exercise to help build some muscle and keep the range of motion is highly recommended. Aquatic therapy or hydrotherapy is one of the most desired forms of rehabilitation. If a swimming pool is available that is the preferred treatment of choice but if a treadmill is the available resource, that too is highly beneficial. Monitor the dog and determine how much they can do and what level they are at, and keep increasing it in slow increments. Never push them too much before they have had surgery or immediately after surgery. In Chapter four of my e-book I explain everything that I did to help my dogs recover fully and be 100% better again.

Osteoarthritis is usually happening in the joint as soon as it has been damaged. Encouraging weight-bearing on an unstable joint only accelerates the progression of osteoarthritis. This is one more reason why strength training in a dog with a ruptured acl should wait until the joint has been stabilized. The two methods of strength training which are non-weight-bearing are hydrotherapy and neuromuscular electrical stimulation. These are safe while a dog is waiting for surgery.

Baseline data should also be obtained to formulate a rehabilitation program for the dog. Before surgery the dog  should be measured around both limbs to determine the circumference. This is a good indicator of the muscle mass on both limbs. Range of motion should be determined as well as a gait analysis to determine the degree of lameness.

Ensure your home is safe from slips and falls. Have solid footing underneath the dog by way of carpeting or rugs. Have a ramp to navigate stairs if there are any to go up or down. Use a ramp for getting in and out of the vehicle, and raise food dishes so that the dog does not have to strain to eat or drink. Bending down can place them in an awkward position if they are large dogs. Download the Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs

Control their weight to keep them trim and in shape before surgery. The more weight they need to carry around on the limbs the more difficult it is for them. It is far better to have the dog slightly underweight than overweight. When they will be incapacitated for a while it will pay off enormously. Keep positive and and be diligent. Your prized pet is worth every ounce of energy you invest in them. They will love you for it.

In my E-book, “The Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs,” I go into lots of detail about how I helped my own dogs recover amazingly well from this type of injury. You don’t want to make a mistake in the recovery process with this type of surgery or with conservative management. One accident could cause serious consequences. I’ve seen it happen to others more than once and it breaks my heart to see what the dog has to go through.

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