Dog Supplements, Dog Arthritis

How to Help a Dog Recover from an ACL Tear


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As a dog owner, I understand how difficult it can be to see your furry friend in pain and discomfort. One common injury that dogs can experience is an ACL tear, which can be a painful and debilitating condition. However, with proper care and treatment, dogs can recover from an ACL tear and return to their happy, active selves.

If your dog has suffered an ACL tear, it is important to seek veterinary care right away. Your vet can diagnose the injury and recommend the best course of treatment, which may include surgery or conservative management. Regardless of the treatment plan, there are steps you can take at home to help your dog recover and improve their quality of life.

See also: Best Dog Supplements for Torn ACL

Conservative Treatment

When it comes to helping a dog recover from an ACL tear, conservative treatment can be a viable option for many dogs. Conservative treatment involves non-surgical methods that aim to manage the injury and promote healing. This type of treatment can be used alone or in combination with orthopedic surgery. Conservative treatment can be particularly helpful for dogs that are not good candidates for surgical procedures, such as small breed dogs or dogs with other health conditions that make surgery risky.

help dog recover from acl tear


One of the most important aspects of conservative treatment for an ACL tear is rest. Resting the affected leg can help reduce pain and inflammation, and allow the connective tissue to heal. During this time, it is important to limit the dog’s activity and keep them from running or jumping. This may mean confining the dog to a crate or small room, or using a leash to control their movement.

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Weight Management

Weight management is another important aspect of conservative treatment for an ACL tear. Excess weight can put added stress on the knee joint, making it more difficult for the connective tissue to heal. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce pain and inflammation, and promote healing. This may involve adjusting the dog’s diet, increasing exercise, or both.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can also be an effective part of conservative treatment for an ACL tear. Physical therapy can help improve blood flow to the affected area, reduce pain and inflammation, and promote healing. Physical therapy may involve exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint, as well as massage and other techniques to improve flexibility and range of motion.


Pain management is an important part of conservative treatment for an ACL tear. Pain medications, such as anti-inflammatories, can help reduce pain and inflammation, making it easier for the dog to rest and heal.

Joint supplements, such as glucosamine sulfate and omega-3 fatty acids, can also be helpful in promoting healing and reducing inflammation. It is important to work closely with a veterinarian when using medications or supplements to ensure that they are safe and effective for the individual dog.

Overall, conservative treatment can be an effective option for many dogs recovering from an ACL tear. By focusing on rest, weight management, physical therapy, and medications, pet owners can help their dogs recover and return to their normal activities. However, it is important to keep in mind that conservative management may not be effective for all dogs, and surgical intervention may be necessary in some cases. Consulting with a veterinarian and considering all treatment options is the most important thing when helping a dog recover from an ACL tear.

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Surgical Treatment

If your dog has an ACL tear, surgery may be necessary to repair the damage. There are several types of surgeries that can be performed, depending on the severity of the injury and your dog’s overall health.

Types of Surgery

One common surgical procedure for ACL tears is the Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO). This surgery involves cutting the tibia bone and rotating it to create a new angle that stabilizes the joint. Another option is the Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) procedure, which also involves cutting the tibia bone and using plates and bone grafts to secure the joint in a new position.

Your veterinarian will recommend the best surgery for your dog based on their individual needs and the severity of their injury.

Recovery Process

After surgery, your dog will need plenty of rest and recovery time to heal properly. Your veterinarian will likely prescribe pain medication and antibiotics to manage any discomfort and prevent infection.

It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully during the recovery process to ensure the best possible outcome for your dog. This may include keeping your dog in a crate or confined area to prevent excessive movement, using cold compresses to reduce swelling, and providing a comfortable, orthopedic bed for resting.

Rehabilitation exercises are also an important part of the recovery process. Your veterinarian may recommend physical therapy or other exercises to help your dog regain strength and mobility in their injured leg.

Overall, surgical treatment for an ACL tear can be a highly effective way to repair the damage and help your dog recover. With proper care and attention during the recovery process, your dog can return to their normal activities and enjoy a happy, healthy life.



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