Birdie and Nigel – CCL Conservative Management

Nigel, a dog with a CCL injuryWe are on round 2 with dog #2 on concervative managment for CCL tear with my dogs. My first story is my harrier hound, Birdie, who went lame on a walk with me at the age of 11. Like everyone else here the doctor pushed the surgery and the arthritis speil. I don’t know, it didn’t sit well with me. I ask my husband…we are 50 years old and always had dogs….do you recall this CCL surgery when we were growing up? Seemed like a “new” thing. I did the research as decided that the body tends to heal itself and to go the conservative route.

My dog Birdie was back to her normal self within the 6 months. And lived to 15.5 years with no issues.

This week…all these years later, my beagle went lame and we are going to do the conservative management again. I’m not even taking him to the vet for the drawer test that actually does damage and to be told all these doom and gloom scenarios.

It’s only day 5, but I want to say to this community – Vetrinarians are running a business. This surgery is NEW and expensive. Trust your gut. You have an 8 week window to make a surgery decision. Don’t let anyone talk you into making a decision utill you’ve done your homework. In my case and many others, this is an unnecessary surgery…if you are willing to follow the protocol of slow and easy healing.

God Speed everyone!

5 thoughts on “Birdie and Nigel – CCL Conservative Management

  1. Hi….my dog tore her CCL 3 weeks ago. I’m researching while letting her rest and see if she improves on her own. Why do you say there’s an 8 week window? What happens after 8 weeks without surgery? Thank you!

    1. Hi
      I am having the same problem but my dog she is 16 but they don’t recommend to have a op because of her age as its a big operation she as always been a fit healthy dog until she did this 4 wks ago just to ask is your beautiful dog on any medication still and could you tell me were you got the brace from i am hoping this will work the think is she can put her foot fully to the ground its the left back leg she as the problem with but them all of a sudden she is back again not putting it
      Back down and it shakes like mad so you have given me some hope for my lucy just were did you get it from xxx x

  2. Actually nobody has said to “do nothing.” CM is a form of extreme care for the dog including rest so
    Scar tissue forms and supports the knee, supplements to help the body heal, nutritional support, laser therapy, water therapy…there are all sorts of ways to help your dog heal without the excruciating and terrifying experience of TPLO surgery. Don’t speak of what you don’t know. My dog healed without surgery and I THANK GOD that I didn’t put her through that.

  3. The previous comment is correct, conservative management is not “doing nothing.” I posted my dog’s story to this site (Tedy) and it will be 6 weeks on Tuesday since he had his CCL injury. In addition to VERY restricted activity for the first few weeks, I have taken him to a canine rehab specialist, had x-rays done, and will be taking him this coming week for treatments that may include acupuncture and laser therapy. Tedy is doing great, walking on the leg, expressing his personality, and continues to make progress. Surgery is not the only option. Incidentally, my brother-in-law tore his ACL and had surgery, then had to have a second surgery, and still has pain in the knee. He has a friend that did not have surgery and instead used a brace and non-surgical therapies who had a better outcome. My brother-in-law said in hindsight, he would not have had the surgery. Cases vary from person-to-person, and dog-to-dog, and treatment options vary too.

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