Conservative Management for Small, Older Dogs – Kismet

My 17 year old Peke Kismet tore her CCL 3 weeks ago now. She’s never stopped putting weight on it. In fact she’s never shown any signs of pain whatsoever.

When it initially happened I thought she had something in her paw which was causing her to limp. The Orthopedic specialist said he didn’t want to do the surgery due to her age, but her blood work just came back, and according to her regular vet, she’s as healthy as a 1 year old. Now I’m being pressured to have the surgery but honestly I just can’t afford it at this time. Plus I’m still concerned about putting Kismet through that at her age.

I guess I’m looking for any advice on CM. My vet practices holistic and conventional medicine. Right now we are wrapping up two weeks of Metacam and she’s taking collagen supplements. We are also doing laser therapy on her. I’m keeping her confined to a small area as well. Tomorrow I’m picking up some glucosomine/chondrotin/msm. What else am I missing? I feel so horrible. Kismet is also blind and deaf. Her walks mean EVERYTHING to her with that super nose of hers. I need to get her back up and walking. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.

6 thoughts on “Conservative Management for Small, Older Dogs – Kismet

  1. I used the advice I found from Dr. Mike Richards from many years ago ( He said that in his experience, smaller dogs (under 35 pounds) did as well without surgery, in the long run, as with surgery. So when Max, my very active 9 year old, 20 pound Cairn Terrier, ruptured his ACL last June, I searched the internet, found and other dog knee injury forums. I started glucosamine/chondroitin/msm supplements, and allowed moderate exercise (so that he wouldn’t lose too much muscle). He had no pain whatsoever, until one bad morning six weeks after the initial injury, when he started crying in pain. I raced him to the vet, where they x-rayed his whole body, and found nothing except equal arthitis in both the good and the injured knees.The vet told me that the supplements were to be given for the rest of Max’s life, and I appreciated her non-judgemental attitude about my decision to not have surgery. Also the pain went away that same day. I later learned that this could have been a referred base-of-the-tail-pain, from his gait being “off” as a result of the injury. He had ten days of Rimadyl and within a few weeks seemed 100%. Five months out, he reinjured the knee (once again limping), but the forums assured me that this often happened, and complete recovery was still possible. Within a short time, Max was 100% again, and remains that way 9 months from the intial injury.

    1. Hello,

      What was your daily conservative management routine like? Did you use a brace, harness or any other tools like those?

  2. I walked Max by himself (without his brother and sister), so that we could walk slowly, and for a short time. I carried him up and down the steps of the house, and placed helper steps next to our bed. I tried to balance resting the injured knee with enough activity to keep the muscle tone. This went on for four weeks. Because he stopped limping within a couple of weeks, I didn’t put him in a brace – though I had looked into getting one.

  3. Our 1 1/2 year old Shih-tzu has a torn CCL. It’s been a week since it happened and he was given mild pain pills. and we were to limit his activities. He’s been more than happy to lay around, but now he wants to go on his walks. He is still favoring his leg. At the revisit today we were told he should have surgery. I’ve been on line looking up the different surgeries ever since. Two seem very invasive and it seems there could be follow up surgeries and we were told the other knee would probably fail too. I’m very torn. I’ve had more than my share of surgeries and know how important rest and rehab are. I was hoping the Tightrope procedure would be the best as it is the least invasive but apparently it is not for small dogs. Need advice….seeking a 2nd opinion next Monday. His name is Bandit.

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