Confessions of a Knee Jerk

this thurs. i took cici to the vet… she has been hopping for two weeks now.  i was hoping that he’d tell me it was nothing to worry about…  just a little strain or something.

i was wrong.

people have called me a knee jerk liberal, baby boomer, hippie and God knows what else, but now I guess I am not alone in my knee jerk reaction (sorry, for the bad jokes)…

Cici tore a ligament and will need surgery.  She also has arthritis. I asked if she could have caught my arthritis and he said no. she is still young, only five and a half. I thought that dogs don’t get conditions like this until they are 12+ when they are seniors.  Wrong again.

it is not related to the car accident/surgeries she had 4 years ago. Her femur bone has healed beautifully he said.

been crying for two days. upset because I thought she needed more exercise and I’ve been making her situation worse.  plus letting her hop up and down onto chairs and the bed. i now have her confined with a tether and she has a cushion on the floor to lie upon. no more hopping.  take her to our park twice a day but no more long walks.

So now I really feel like a knee jerk…

apparently, this happens mostly to larger dogs and is very common.

it is called cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) damage or rupture.

Types of surgery

Tibial Plateau leveling Osteotomy (TPLO); Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA); extracapsular stabilization; and the tight rope procedure

It is reported that dogs who experience a CCL injury in one stifle have a 50% chance of tearing the CCL ligament in their other knee.


What is currently known is that all breeds are susceptible. Specifically, the incidence of cranial cruciate ligament disease increases for rottweilers and Labrador retrievers younger than four years of age, dogs older than five years of age, and in large-breed dogs from one to two years of age. The predominant gender this affects is the spayed female.

The causes for cranial cruciate ligament disease are most frequently caused by repetitive micro-injury to the cranial cruciate ligament, that is, putting pressure on the ligament in the same way, repeatedly. This action causes slight stretching of the ligament each time, altering the structure, and eventually causing the ligament to tear.

Some of the incidents which may bring about deterioration of the cruciate are injury to the stifle joint; a history of athletics, where repetitive movement can cause stress to the ligaments; a specific traumatic event, as from jumping badly, or any accident that causes the ligament to tear; a knee injury, such as dislocation of the kneecap (medically referred to as patellar luxation).

cost of surgery is quite expensive… and do not know how I will be able to pay for it.

most pet insurance exclusions are like this…

During the first 12 calendar months in which your policy is in effect, no coverage will be extended for the diagnosis, medical management, or surgical correction of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) damage or rupture. During the first six calendar months in which your policy is in effect, no coverage will be extended for the diagnosis, medical management, or surgical correction of intervertebral disc(s), regardless of the procuring cause.

alternative treatments…

this article has an amazing plethora of info on alternative supplements for arthritis

A good arthritis supplement

an expensive brace (about $500)

info about various ways to deal without having surgery

my plan/protocol is this:

keep her real quiet for 4-8 weeks and confined

give her the joint aid (just ordered it) plus am giving her:


  • Brain and cognitive function
  • Eye and retinal health
  • Heart and vascular health
  • Immune system function
  • inflammation management
  • Cell division and growth
  • Skin and coat health
  • Movement and flexibility
  • Central nervous system function

wild alaskan salmon oil (just ordered) for the Omega 3’s

may or may not give her yucca stalk by nature’s way, there are mixed reviews

the above is based upon what was said on the conservative management site…(below)

Weight Management … despite her being a cookie monster, this is not a factor for Cici. her weight has been maintained at 53 pounds for a few years now…

Inflammation – We started with Rimadyl and Omega 3 Fish Oil (1000 mg capsules, twice per day). After 1 month of the Rimadyl I transitioned to Yucca Intensive, and give 9-10 drops diluted in food.

Joint Support – Glucosamine and Chondrointin supplements are good to support joint health in any dog.

Rest – Make sure your dog stays in a confined area without distraction. Carpets are preferable, avoid steps, jumping, running or rough play during this time. Toys such as frozen kongs filled with peanut butter or bully sticks are a good way to help them alleviate boredom.

Controlled Exercise – Take a few, short, leash walks per day under controlled conditions to ensure your dog maintains muscle, and to also encourage the growth of scar tissue around the injured ligament.

Pay Attention to Your Dog – Your best friend will tell you how they’re doing. Go at their pace, and avoid doing too much, too soon!

no more hopping for Cici…


Filed under dog health, doggie healing center, dogs, holistic vet, keep pets safe, organic, pet care, pet insurance, pit bull, Uncategorized, vet

6 responses to “Confessions of a Knee Jerk

  1. You are wise to do everything you can to avoid the surgery. My Schipperke injured her knee when she was about 6 years old, jumped out of the truck cab before I could turn around and lift her down like usual. My vet made the diagnosis with a soft tissue x-ray of course physical examination. I decided to take the conservative (non-surgical) route like you, with rest, anti-inflammatory meds, and supplements, and sure enough after a period of time, the limping stopped. She’s 13 years old now and her legs and joints are all just fine, and she’s pretty active for an old girl! So hang in there!

  2. Good luck with your surgery Cici. I’m sure you’ll be fine.

  3. Hi CeliaSue,

    Sorry to hear about Cici, but really glad to see you’ve found a lot of great resources on the web to help you through Conservative Management. My dog, Tucker (a 90 pound Am. Bulldog) successfully healing using CM – you CAN do it. My best piece of advice is to simply pay close attention to your dog – they will let you know how they are feeling.

    Feel free to shoot me an email or comment on the Dog Knee Injury site (the community is very active and helpful). Wishing you and Cici all my best wishes for full (and boring) recovery 🙂

  4. There are pet insurance and co-op programs available to help with pet health financial issues, but those programs only make a small dent into issues like this with the prospect of surgeries and rehab that will run into the thousands of $$. And unlike human patients, vet emergency hospitals won’t treat animals in life threatening circumstances without a payment in full up front, much less treat minor injuries like this.

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