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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11512
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My 2.5 yo spayed female lab (current weight is 88 and

Customer Question

My 2.5 yo spayed female lab (current weight is 88 and losing!) was diagnosed by an ortho vet with a partial tear of ACL Nov. 1st. I opted out of surgery. She has been responding well to restricted exercise (up to 1/2 mile leash walk daily), 4 tablets Ligaplex II daily, along with Wholistic Canine Complete Joint Mobility powder in her food twice a day. She was also switched to Earthborne grain free food. She has had 2 sessions of acupressure and responded excellently. We do not have anything down here for underwater exercise. Are you familiar with my supplements? Can you suggest anything else?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome. I apologize for the delay in your getting a response. I suspect that was because you are doing such an excellent job of using the conservative management method for ACL tears that no one had other suggestions. I just logged on and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with over 20 years of caring for my own dogs integratively (using the best of holistic and conventional medicine).

I am familiar with your supplements. The Wholistic Canine Complete Joint Mobility powder contains all the supplements that support joint health combined in one powder. The Ligaplex II adds in some support for soft tissue injuries. The weight loss program you have your dog on is perhaps the most important step to take, and of course, limited exercise is essential, too.

One of my collies had this same injury at age 9 - chasing a squirrel. I opted for surgery at that time, and until age 13, had no additional problems with the knee. Then she stretched the ligament severely. The orthopedic surgeon didn't want to do surgery on a dog that age, and he recommended conservative management. She healed just as well with that as she did the surgery. I used the same methods that you are -no weight loos, though, as she didn't need that- with two additions.

The oral joint supplements are good, but an injected compound called Adequan is even more effective. It is all natural, and can be used along with oral supplements. It's only available through your vet and is expensive. If you want to know more about it:

Once there is an ACL tear or bad stretch, the dog is much more prone to severe arthritis in the knee joint, and that's why I chose to leave my dog on the supplements for life.

If your dog is prone to trying to do too much as she feels better, a brace for the knee can be very useful. The braces cost $200 to $350, depending on the dog’s size. The brace allows the dog to be a bit more active while protecting the stifle so healing can take place. I did use a brace with my dog. Some vets recommend them, while others advise against them, so this is something to discuss with your vet. Here is a source for braces:
I found the company to be helpful, and my dog adjusted to the brace within a week.

You can read more about conservative management here:

In summary, you are already doing a wonderful jog, if you want to and it fits in your budget, Adequan would be a good addition. If it suits the situation, you and your vet may want to consider a brace as your dog becomes more active. If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I hope your dog's recovery will continue without complications.


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