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Conservative Management and Knee Brace – Carly

My golden retriever Carly was diagnosed with a CCl injury. My vetnarian gave me a list of orthopedic surgeons. I came home and started researching everything I could about this injury and all of our options.

Knee Braces for DogsI contacted several surgeons over the phone and came to a conclusion. The cost of surgery was very expensive and I had read many reviews of dog owners who had decided to opt. for surgery and stated that their dog either re-injured themselves on the same leg or the oppisite leg. I did not want to put my dog through surgery and the amount of pain associated with that.

I decided to try conservative management first. I spoke with the vetnarian and she was very supportive of my decision. I ordered a casting kit from Ace Ortho Solutions and when it arrived at my vetnarians office she casted my dogs leg so that she could be fitted for a custom leg brace. The brace cost about $650. Since the company did not accept care credit my vetnarian allowed me to pay her using the care credit so that I was able to make payments and she paid the company for the brace. It couldnt have worked out better.

Heal Dog CCL Without SurgeryIt has been approximately 4 months since my dogs injury and she had to wear the brace for about two months. I would leave it on during the day when she was most active and took it off at night. I am very happy that I made the decision to choose conservative management. The surgery is not guaranteed.

I also bought Carly a dog life jacket and let her swim as much as possible with a feeling of security. I purchased a handheld lightweight massage and Carly enjoys every second of it! Also, not to mention that the brace I purchased was waterproof so she could swim with it on.

If you are struggling with the costs I just want to inform everyone that their are other options and resources you just need to do your homework. I hope this will be of some helpful information to anyone who is in the position I was in 4 months ago and had never even heard of this injury before.

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4 Responses to Conservative Management and Knee Brace – Carly

  1. June 10, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    I am curious as to what a brace for the knee for my rottie would look like….and how it works.
    The cost is so much less than surgery! Surgery will be our last resort.

  2. July 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    How old was/is Carly? Was it a full or partial tear? Thanks for posting your story!

    Courtney N.

  3. October 31, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    I have a cooker spaniel that was just diagnosed with CCL on his left back knee I do not want to do surgery on him where can I get a brace for him? he still uses his leg and is very active I really think a brace will help him a lot

  4. September 4, 2013 at 3:43 am #

    Hi Carly, thanks for posting. It is very hard to get helpful info. for our big dog who completely tore her CCL tendon. All the vets here say surgery only.

    I called vets within an hour radius, no one wants to spend one minute watching a video to make the cast for a knee brace. So we have ordered a casting kit and will make it ourselves and mail to the manufacturer.
    We will keep this in mind next time we hire a vet. If a vet will not help us make a cast for a knee brace then obviously the vets don’t want or need our business either.

    We found some great articles.
    Questioning Canine Cruciate Ligament Surgery article at Vet Practice Magazine.

    TiggerPoz.com
    had in-depth info on Canine ACL CCL Cruciate Ligament Surgery. Explains it very well. Anyone with a dog with ACL CCL Cruciate Crucial Ligament tendon injury needs to read at least these 2 articles before you make any decisions.

    Then make a decision on buying a Canine Stifle Knee Brace for your dog. You need one either way, with or without surgery.

    If you decide on surgery, you should wait at least 8 weeks with conservative management and a knee brace to see if the knee starts slowly healing or improving, and then you may be able to skip the surgery anyway.

    And if you decide after reading all the forums about those who went thru surgery and the nightmare they dealt with, and you still want to go thru surgery. You still need a Stifle Knee Brace to support the knee as an insurance policy to protect your surgery investment and protect your dog from hopefully not needing a resurgery, which is very common.

    Either way, it takes about a year for the fibrosis scar tissue to grow and help support the knee, so a Stifle Canine Knee Brace is needed to help protect that knee with or without surgery.

    Its been about 8 weeks learning all this info and we are seeing a tiny bit of improvement just with conservative management and she is feeling better, less depressed. We have gotten her a pet ramp to get in the car every day. We are watching the video to make our own cast for our knee brace.

    Thanks for posting your knee brace experience. Post an update, every 6 months or so.

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