My Tibetan terrier is 15 years old. Three weeks ago, she tore a tendon in one knee -- the cross-tendon that keeps her knee from moving from one side to the other when she puts weight on it. The vet said it was a larger tear than usual and that it could be operated on, but at the risk of her life. He said her health is good, but he would have to take more tests to be sure. I did some checking on the Internet and found that some small dogs accommodate themselves after about six months. However, this tendon never heals.Do you have any insights or suggestions?
J.T., Accokeek, Md Dec 13, 2009
Surveys on dogs with torn cruciate ligaments indicate that small dogs usually do well without surgery, provided their recovery is carefully monitored. It is important to restrict the dog's activity levels -- no running or jumping for three to four months -- and to regulate the dog's weight. The slimmer the better. Eventually, inflammatory tissue and arthritic changes help to stabilize the knee, which may eventually have considerable range of motion.As per my book "The Healing Touch for Dogs," gentle massage therapy every day will do wonders. A joint supplement such as chondroitin, glucosamine, MSM, hyaluronic acid, ginger and turmeric will also help if given daily with food. I would advise trying New Chapter's Zyflamend herbal supplement (888-874-4461), their smallest capsules being most suitable for animals the size of yours. Many factors underlie this all-too-common knee disorder -- poor conformation, being overweight and possible vaccinosis (an adverse reaction to vaccination that can lead to deterioration of joint ligaments).
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