Conservative management for ACL

Back in January/February Cici tore a cruciate ligament in her knee and we were told by the vet specialist that she needed surgery. We were also blessed with finding out about an alternative: Conservative Management Protocol. Despite doing it all wrong, not being able to keep her as restricted as I was supposed to, it still worked. Cici did not need surgery and her leg/knee is fine now.

It occurred to me that I never actually wrote out what we did do vs what we were supposed to do.

Did not find this guide until after we were done but it is a very worthwhile free guide, tells what to do step by step.  Dr. James St.Clair, Free Recovery Guide, sign up and you will receive emails with what to do. He also wrote to me personally and I asked him a few questions and he answered back.


Suggested that giving Cici a joint supplement was important. I did. Ortho-Ease by Dr. Harvey which Cici LOVES. Dr. Harvey also suggested that I give her alfalfa, manganese and Vitamin C every day which I did. I occasionally did meditations with her, kept her calm with music and treats and gave her some massages. I was not too concerned about her weight since she has been about 53 pounds consistently for six years. The biggest concern for me was that it was the same leg where she had had three surgeries before for a fractured femur bone when she was hit by an SUV in Carson City. That fracture is completely healed now the vet said.  The only other thing I would have liked to do but was not able to do was to have her do some hydrotherapy/swimming after the three months of restriction.

Joints in dogs

A. The SHOULDER is a ball and socket joint. This is a common site for “wear and tear” problems.

B. In the ELBOW joint, 3 bones come together on a tight “hinge” formation. Malformation of this joint may occur.

C. The STIFLE joint is similar in shape and function to the human knee. Because the bones are not shaped to fit very closely together, this joint depends a great deal on ligaments to hold the bones in place. It is a commonly injured joint.

D. The HOCK is similar in shape and function to the human ankle joint. It is normally held tightly together by ligaments. These small bones are under great stress when the animal runs and jumps.

E. The HIP joint is normally a tight fitting ball and socket joint. In some dogs, the bones develop abnormally so that the fit is too loose. Many factors can adversely affect its development, which can lead to wear and tear.


Tons of info about cruciate ligament injuries



wish I had a photo of her running and playing but this is my silly girl …




Blog Hop time…thanks to Life with DogsTwo Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume…  grab the blog hop code


Filed under aqua paws, canine rehabilitation, dog health, dog physical therapy, dogs, K9 approved, keep pets safe, natural health remedies, pet care, self help, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Conservative management for ACL

  1. Ooh, very nice link. I’d not seen that website before, and I’m glad to have a nice video of PROM to link people to in the future. Several years ago when I was trying to find one, I could only find a video of a very uncomfortable-looking dog being forced through the motions- not okay!

    I did surgery on both of Luce’s knees, and I don’t regret it, but conservative management is definitely a viable option for some dogs/owners. It’s frustrating how many bully breed dogs are faced with this injury.

  2. Anne Kusy

    Thanks for the great information! Our 8 yr old chocolate Lab, Lucy developed issues with her left hind leg in early August. All x-rays were negative, but she would not put any weight on that leg. Rather than think about a surgery that may not make any difference, we found Dr Spatt and the A-TraC Dynamic Brace online. We took the information to our vet who thought it would be worth a try. We were excited when Lucy’s brace arrived. We got it on her and wonder of wonders, after 6 weeks of no weight bearing, she started to put some weight on her leg immediately! She has had the brace on for a few weeks now; doesn’t mind it; is putting more weight on her leg every day, and is almost back to her happy self. We are augmenting her treatment with Adequan (IM glucosamine) and have started short controlled walks to rehab those muscles.

    I highly suggest the A-Trac Dynamic brace to anyone looking for a great product and workable alternative to surgery!

    -Anne K.

  3. Pingback: Prayers for Wallace and Angus | Have dog blog will travel

  4. Pingback: Conservative Management for Large Dogs with Cruciate Injury

  5. T

    We read about a dog knee brace recommended in FidoFriendly Magazine.
    That was very helpful as we got a posh dog knee brace for our dog who is healing really well from an ACL CCL knee joint tear without surgery. Thanks FidoFriendly for sharing a holistic alternative to surgery that really works.
    Search with words: dog knee brace fidofriendly

  6. Christina

    Thank you for sharing your story about Cici! I hope she is doing well 🙂 My dog, Daisy, tore her acl about a week ago and I am still in shock. I am hesitant to put her through surgery so in the mean time I ended up getting her an a-trac brace from woundwear that seems to be working well. Thanks for the info. I need all the knowledge I can get so I make the right decision for my pup 🙂

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