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Dog Pain Management for Torn Ligament

by Caitlyn

Tildy Miss Swimming at Red Rock Canyon Hike

Tildy Miss Swimming at Red Rock Canyon Hike

Tildy, my female 9 1/2 year old 60lb brindle Pit bull, tore both of her rear cruciate ligaments when she was about 3-3 1/2 years old playing fetch in the park. I was not able to get her the surgery due to the cost, but she healed substantially well, and only has problems after a bit of fetch or swimming.

She acts like a puppy still, so it is hard to keep her from playing in order to avoid the pain afterwards. Even 30 minutes of fetch leads to a very painful night with a lot of difficulty to walk. I can't bear to see her in pain, so she rarely gets to play fetch or swim these days :/

I am wondering if there are any supplements I can give her for pain management, and tendon strength?

Especially something when the pain is severe. I give her 4, 30C arnica tablets which seem to help when the pain in minor, but don't help at all when it's pretty bad. I also rub arnica gel on the inside of her knees where this is no hair, when she is sleeping so she won't lick it off.

I feed her raw meats, chicken, beef, fish, organs etc.. with vegetables as treats. She has done fantastic on that diet now for about 3 years, which cleared up some major skin/allergy issues she had for years. Just recently in the last couple weeks I had to stop giving her chicken because she started to throw up lots of yellow bile and bones, and had TERRIBLE gas. I make sure there are no added hormones or preservatives in the chicken, and the sodium level is 80mg or less per 4oz.)

It seems that she is having a hard time digesting the bones all of a sudden. I cut out chicken completely for almost 2 weeks, then added a chicken thigh back in today, which she again threw up yellow bile and a few little bones. She also has pretty bad gas again.

Any suggestions on this?

In the mean time i am just cutting the chicken meat off of the bone, although I know she needs the bone for balance in nutrition, so i am only feeding chicken meat about once a week for variety.

Your help is very much appreciated!!

Comments for Dog Pain Management for Torn Ligament

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Mar 03, 2015
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Pain Management for Torn Ligament
by: Dr Carol Jean Tillman

March 3, 2015

Hi Caitlyn,
Tildy looks like a very fit, athletic dog. I will try to give you lots of suggestions that will relieve her pain, and strengthen all her ligaments and tendons.

1. Ligaplex by Standard Process, available online at Give her one capsule by mouth two times daily. This is a product that I give to all patients that may have a torn cruciate ligament.

2. Arnica 200C. You will need to give her a higher potency than the 30C. Increasing the number of pellets at the same potency, will not increase the potency. You can give her one or two pellets of the 200C Arnica as needed after exercise if needed for pain. Another remedy that is good for deep soft tissue is Bellis perennis. You could try this in 30C or 200C, as needed for pain/after exercise.

3. Physical Therapy-Underwater treadmill to strengthen her muscles without stressing her ligaments and joints. If you are in the Las Vegas area, the Referral Center on Tropicana and Durango is excellent.

4.Diet-- Continue with the raw diet, but avoid raw fish and raw pork.
You wrote,
"I feed her raw meats, chicken, beef, fish, organs etc.. with vegetables as treats...."

Feeding raw beef, chicken, turkey or lamb is fine.

You wrote,
"Just recently in the last couple weeks I had to stop giving her chicken because she started to throw up lots of yellow bile and bones, and had TERRIBLE gas."

I am worried she may have mild gastritis, (acid indigestion), or pancreatitis, or inflammation of her liver. She would need to have a blood panel to diagnose any of these conditions. You should avoid meats with fat, as the dark sections. (Stick to chicken or turkey breasts, not the wings or thighs as they have more fat.)

Adding acidophilus to each meal, might also help with digestion. Use a brand that comes in a capsule form such as PB8. Open the capsule and sprinkle it into each meal two times daily, Tildy would need about 1/2 the dose for a human.

5. Acupuncture-
She may need to have acupuncture on a monthly basis if the homeopathic remedies, physical therapy or Ligaplex is not helping.

There are several veterinary hospitals in the Las Vegas area that offer acupuncture for dogs.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

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