After 16 weeks, Sadie, our 9-year-old Shih Tzu, has started walking with only conservative management! We were told she would have to have surgery for a full tear to her ACL. The surgeon said to give it 8 weeks to see if she would get better. I am so glad I did not give up!!
I was diligent in giving her Knox gelatin (gelatin helps my knees), Omega-3 supplements, and a joint supplement. The joint supplement is an advanced supplement for injured dogs sold at a national pet store. I also sprinkle about a teaspoon of gelatin on her food 2x daily (I do not measure).
Unfortunately, I was not as diligent as I should have been in restricting her activity at first. We were not at home during the first few months of her injury and controlling her activity was difficult. I started making it a priority to keep her activity level down and carrying her as much as I could to go outside. I think the key was not letting her go up or down stairs. I did not use a brace or therapy….just love and time! She is still holding her leg up a lot, but I see so much hope and improvement. It is so nice to see her actually walking again! I know it is going to be a long year of work, but I am trying to protect her other leg as well. I have read not to let a vet try to do a drawer test on her once she has started to heal, so I am going to heed that advice at our next appointment. When she is being groomed, my groomer knows to be cautious of her injury as well.
Sadie has had 2 bladder surgeries for bladder stones, and will need another one soon, so we are so happy to have learned about conservative management!