The Pack Mom’s Tip- How to Prevent Dogs from Reinjuring Themselves Again

February 6, 2014 | By More



In early 2012, my then 7 year old Abe, finally did it.  He completely tore his cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) which is located in the knee.  For my 65lb canine Olympian, this was devastating.  But, when our doctor said that over 50% of dogs who tear one CCL would tear the other one as well (requiring another $2,500+ surgery) we were bound and determined to follow his orders.  When someone asks how to prevent dogs from reinjuring themselves again, I share our story.

First, we made sure Abe took his medicine.  All of it.  The only thing Abe did not need was a pill to relax but pain meds, etc were his friend.  We boosted his glucosamine/chondroitin intake as well.

Second, we used the cone.  Abe is a licker and would have not given those stitches a chance to heal.  So, he wore his cone.  A lot.

Third, we limited his space to walk around.  We used a crate for a day or two then moved him into a couple of rooms and blocked him with a baby gate.  When he needed to go to the bathroom, we took him out on his leash and right back inside.

Finally, his activities increased gradually.  Slow short walks eventually became longer and faster.  And, it wasn’t until months and months later that he ran at all.  We wanted to build up the healing leg without putting too much pressure on the healthy one.  We learned that when the healthy leg is overworked another tear can happen.

We are now two years since his surgery and Abe is doing great.  We are careful to warm him up prior to his favorite activity of chasing tennis balls like a wild man.  And that is the key to preventing reinjury.  The warm up.  Walking is the gold standard for warm up but check out our friends at DogTread for other warm up ideas.

My hope is that your dog never gets injured…but if they do you…remember patience and time are what you need to prevent reinjury!


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Category: Exercise, PACK MOM TV, Pet Health, PET WELLNESS, Play, Safety

About the Author ()

Jenn Fadal is a national Pet Wellness & Lifestyle Expert. In addition to being the founder of her own holistic pet boutique, Wag, this Tampa native can be seen frequently on Media General’s Daytime Television across the country, as well as on FOX, NBC and ABC. She is also a writer and subject matter expert for various publications.

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