Alternative Treatment for CCL Injury – Pepe

Looking for more information on experiences using canine chiropractic, laser therapy and nutrition to help your dog heal form a CCL knee ligament tear or rupture? Keep reading to see how Pepe is progressing using Conservative Management.

My 6.5 year old Cockapoo, Pepe, ruptured his back left ACL in May – it was diagnosed by vet the following day. I didn’t want to jump into surgery right away and our vet was not pushing us. I work for a company who makes a vet line of supplements, so after discussing Pepe’s situation with our company vet, I’m electing to do the Conservative Management option while supplementing him with the following: MediHerb’s Boswellia Complex (anti-inflammatory), Gotu kola Complex (tissue repair), and Canine Musculoskeletal Support from Standard Process.

I’ve also put him on a raw food diet to ensure that he’s getting the best possible nutrition.

He’s a laid back boy so it’s not too hard to keep his activity at a minimum. I’ve been picking him up to get on the bed, but after reading some of these posts maybe I should not let him go up and down the stairs. I’m also looking at chiropractic and acupuncture as complementary treatments.

I spoke with the Dr. in my office today, and he is going to use a chiropractic instrument (activator) to adjust his spine, and also a cold laser on the knee. This is one of my huge benefits of working where I do! Complementary and alternative medicine is hopefully going to be beneficial for Pepe.


Pepe is doing okay… Still not using the leg but does touch his foot down quite a bit.

Two weeks ago Pepe was treated with the activator by going three times down his spine. It’s spring loaded, and as he goes through each vertebrae, he can tell where there are energy blockages by Pepe’s movements after each. Then when he repeats he can tell if those spots “clear”. He had his 2nd treatment last week, and then well wait 2 weeks for the next.

Pepe is also getting the cold laser, but it really works best if you can treat every day for multiple sessions.

I can definitely see a difference in Pepe’s demeanor after the adjustments. He just looks perkier and the way he holds his ears just look like he’s happy and normal!

I still have him on 2 Gotu Kola Complex (MediHerb) tabs per day, as well as 2 Boswellia Complex tabs per day. Additionally, I am feeding him raw “meatballs” from Nature’s Variety and break the herbal tablets in half and stuff them in chunks of the meat. I also sprinkle his food with 1/2 t of Canine Musculoskeletal Support (Standard Process) each day as well.

Our Dr. has seen quite a few dogs completely recover and stabilize the joint on their own, but it’s a slow process. I’m still convinced that with the alternative treatments avoiding surgery may be possible.

4 Months

At 4 months post injury, Pepe is about 75% recovered, and back to running on all fours and jumping on the furniture and bed. We’re continuing to give him Boswellia Complex and Gotu Kola Complex from MediHerb, as well as Canine Musculoskeletal Support from Standard Process, and a good foundational diet of grain-free quality dog food (Fromm) and frozen raw “meatballs”.

11 thoughts on “Alternative Treatment for CCL Injury – Pepe

  1. Glad Pepe is doing well on conservative management. This approach can work, particularly with a calm, easy to control dog.

    I think spinal adjustments are a great idea. The body’s alignment ought to suffer with one leg being partially out of commission. Not familiar with an actual chiropractic instrument, our chiropractor does the adjustments manually.

    Nutritional support is also a good idea.

    Good luck and hugs to Pepe.

    1. I have a 9 yr old maltese and he has just been dx with torn CCL at present I am treating him with antiinflamtory meds andpain med it has been two weeks and I take him back to the vet on monday, I am going to try the above things that Pepe’s owner said and hope that will keep him from having surgery.

  2. We have a 2 year old lab, she has been limping on her left rear leg for a couple of weeks. We went to the Vet and first he gave her pain killers that didn’t work and upset her stomach. Then, he did a test on her leg (no x-rays) and he said he has torn ligament on her knee. She runs and plays, but she still limps. I would rather try an alternative treatment than surgery. We live in Plano, TX (Dallas metroplex), do you know any Vet that you could recommend us as well as an acupuncturist and chiropractor for dogs?
    Thank you

    1. I have 2 large dogs that have torn ligaments in rear legs. My shepherd mix has hip dysplacia also. Dr Steve Reeves in Tyler,Texas does chiropractic and laser treatments on dogs. My dogs start treatment tomorrow but I’ve seen results of his treatments on other dogs so I’m hopeful this will help my babies. You may want to give him a call. Good luck!

  3. Hi Carmen,

    your dog is quite young. My vote would be for surgery, get the knee fixed once for all, he’ll need it for a long time yet.

    I would start with getting a second opinion first to confirm the diagnosis; once the diagnosis solid I’d do a surgery.

  4. Hi Carmen,

    My dog, a Black Lab tore her right ACL. She had TPLO, and her knee is awesome now. I highly recommend surgery. I was hesitant, and researched different methods. I am so glad we did the surgery. Rehabbing knee took a lot of patience, as she had to wear the cone until the staples came out. She had laser therapy, and the wound healed really quickly. Better than ever…she has a bionic knee now! Best of luck to you.

  5. Yes, I agree with you. I fully understand the hesitance, I was fighting the idea tooth and nail too. But at the end we felt surgery was the best idea (with did extracapsular repair) and it certainly was. Jasmine had both knees done this way and she is doing great now.

    Laser therapy is also awesome.

  6. my daughter has this black lab mix, 4 years old , he is a stray dog so we know nothing about his history or his parents. he tore acl about 6 months ago and had the tightrope procedure, worked ok but he still limps from time to time on that leg, now he has hurt the other leg and the vet said he has torn that acl and she would recommend the tplo procedure with him weighing 83 lbs at least he would have one sturdy leg, our concern is cost, we live in the eastern part of NC . the tightrope procedure was alittle over $1300.00 and i understand the tplo procedure is more expensive. she suggested refering him to the vet teaching hospital in Raleigh, NC to have the sugery done . has anyone recently had this done there and how much was it from the start ?
    thanks alot

    1. I live in Salt Lake City, and the TPLO was $3k if I remember correctly. I also paid for laser therapy, and was very glad. My dog’s knee seemed to heal very fast. Not sure if costs out your way differ, but the TPLO does cost more.

  7. Thank you very much for the comments and suggestions. We moved to Canandaigua NY (south of Rochester NY) so we are still looking for a second opinion about our female lab situation. We took her to a Vet here in Canandaigua and he also suggested TLPO; however, he said that he would need to do a couple of tests more to be sure which procedure will be the best for our Lima (yellow female labrador retriever). She is a beautiful and sweet dog, she loves to run and play, she will be 2 in April. I will ask our new Vet about the laser surgery. Thanks again for your suggestions! I hope everybody’s dogs get well soon!

  8. Hi folks,

    My 8 y/o (going on 2!) gore her right ACL 2 years ago, and had TPLO. She had laser therapy, too, to speed healing. She was “good as new” pretty quickly. The vet said she would likely tear her left one soon, too. I thought “No, she won’t,” but she did. The vet that did the TPLO said he no longer did those, but now did the Tightrope.

    Lucy is 5 weeks out, and just went for an hour walk. No hills or running yet, but she recovered really well. It was about 1/2 cost of TPLO, which was nice. Hard to say which is better yet, but the Tightrope did seem to be much less invasive, etc.

    I’m very glad I opted for surgery both times, as my dog is able to hike 12 miles (well before
    she tore left one). I considered just letting the ACL’s heal, but I just doubt they would be stable enough.

    Best wishes, whichever you decide!


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