Stella's ACL Injury + How I'm Helping Her Recover

Friday, January 19, 2018

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As an owner of 4 dogs it's no surprise that health scares will come up from time to time.  This time it was right after Christmas and it happened to Stella.  It seems she has an ACL injury.   For quite some time I did notice she hobbled but I assumed it was because she's overweight.  Well the week of Christmas she was holding her back right foot up completely so the day after Christmas I took her into my vet office to see what was going on. 

They did some X-rays and $300 later it was determined that she basically has an ACL tear.  Of course I was panicking the whole time assuming that it meant surgery but the vet reassured me that unless you have a super athletic or working dog, surgery is usually not necessary.  Instead, I would be able to help Stella heal in a more conservative way.  Having a small dog is an already an advantage because it's easy for me to control her.  

It turns out that with some rest, careful monitoring so she isn't jumping around like a crazy pup on her leg, some join supplement, and losing weight, Stella can recover. 

So I majorly cut back on her food and have been giving her green beans mixed in with the small amount she does have.  She's already lost half a pound since August so I know I can get her to lose another pound - pound and a half.  I think ideally she should be down to 6 pounds.  I can already see her losing her belly! Hooray!

The vet put Stella on a special supplement and since Chihuahuas often get joint and bone issues I wanted to make sure I take care of the rest of the pups by starting them on a Glucosamine supplement from Chewy.
NaturVet Glucosamine DS Plus MSM & Chondroitin Soft Chews are for both dogs and cats to help maintain joint flexibility and support healthy hip and joint function.  It also helps alleviate aches and discomfort that comes from daily exercise and it's time release formula comes in a chewable tab. 

They obviously taste great because my dogs seem to think they're getting treats whenever I give them their chews.  The formula has ingredients that help support the joints and connective tissues as well as antioxidants to help protect against free radicals that can cause cellular damage. 

I also have put down some carpet runners in the paths Stella normally walks since we have hardwood floors and the vet said that it's important that she doesn't do anything to strain or reinjure herself. 

The vet said that if I do all of the above for Stella then in 8-12 weeks we should see a great improvement.  I'm lucky that Stella is already so docile because it's not like she's going to be changing her activity level much. It's been about 3-4 weeks so far and I can tell her weight has gone down which is great because that means less pressure on her joints and ligaments.

Have you ever had a dog with an ACL injury? What did you do?  

I'll keep you guys posted on her progress!

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  1. You’re lucky she’s got that option to rest because many dogs have complete tears and rest will nothing for their injuries. Unfortunately this was not an option for Charlie on both of his knees, he had complete tears.

    I’m rooting for your girl and that after lots of tears and love, she’ll be just fine. Good luck Ellen. :)

    1. Thanks girl! Yea, I did a lot of research and it seems dogs like Stella especially low activity ones have a good chance of natural healing. She's already putting weight on it and using it more. Occasionally she uses it too much and she'll hold it up for a little bit but then she's back to normal. I was reading that that's good bc her body's telling her how much she can use it before it hurts.

    2. Also, she was very much overweight before. She's lost almost 2 pounds now! I know it's a lot less stress on her joints now. PHEW!

  2. Hi Ellen: Sweet little Stella. She is so cute. Sorry this happened to her but sounds like you are on the right track. Our little dog, Kai, is on a diet too and he only gained one pound last vet visit!. I will have to try adding green beans to his food..Happy Weekend..Judy

    1. Aw thanks for the kind words Judy. stella is just so loving and gentle. And yes, the vet tech actually was the one that told me that green beans help fill them up but are low calorie. It seems to do the trick for stella. i get the frozen steamer bags, microwave them and then use them for the whole week! Good luck to you too <3

  3. Awww poor little Stella, i hope the baby feels better soon! For us it seems to be constant ear infections for Daisy =/

  4. My dog currently has an ACL injury right now. The vet told us that it should fix it self after he losses weight. I'm so going to have to look in to getting him some joint vitamins.


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