Dog Knee Surgery

by Cindy (Reader Question)
(Charlestown, RI)

Should I opt my dog out of canine knee surgery? My 50lb active mixed breed was diagnosed with a partially torn ligament and dog knee surgery was the suggested course of action.

It has been about 6 weeks since she stared limping. I have not scheduled the procedure as of yet. I am not sure it is the best choice.

Walks have been limited but otherwise she has not been restrained. She cannot tolerate anti-inflammatory pills. Has anyone else opted out of dog knee surgery? If so, what was the outcome. She does not appear to be in pain and seems content to resume her usual activity on three legs.

Dog Knee Surgery - Dog Health Guide Editor Comment

Dear Cindy,

Thank you for your question regarding dog knee surgery and whether or not to opt out.

Any decision regarding the treatment of a torn ligament depends upon a detailed diagnosis. It is possible that the condition can be resolved on its own, requires the administration of therapeutic agents or simply surgery is considered by your veterinarian to be essential for a successful outcome.

Surgery is never opted as a treatment of a torn ligament itself. It is focused on supporting the dog knee joint, allowing the ligament to heal.
This is particularly the case in severe cases.

However, a scar can grow over the dog knee joint to support it naturally, even if surgery is not performed. However, remember that this non-surgical approach works through a natural phenomenon, so it is not definite that the dog's knee will be anatomically normal once resolved.

Other treatment options such as the administration of anti inflammatory drugs and pain killers cannot be continued for a long duration as these can cause complications, and as you said, your dog cannot tolerate anti inflammatory drugs.

If you do not want to opt for dog knee surgery, it’s ok to do so, but you should take care to restrict playful activities involving excessive jumping, running and exercise. But this doesn’t mean that you should restrict exercise completely, you can keep your dog busy with indoor, light exercises.

We suggest using some muscle and joint supplements and natural remedies along with care and management of the condition. These will help to maintain the health and strength of the dog knee joints and muscles. Products to consider include Cosequin Double Strength Hip & Joint Supplement and the natural remedy Muscle and Joint Support.

Please let us know what you decided to do and how the condition was resolved.

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