This is another status update on Sherman’s torn ACL. I have had wonderful feedback from interested readers about sharing Sherman’s journey with his injury, so I will continue to share as long as it is welcomed.
Geesh, it’s already been just about 5 months since Sherman tore his cruciate ligament in his right knee and at the same time we learned that he had a partial tear in his left knee. You can read all about it here, here, here AND here.
Last week Sherman had his 5th laser treatment and the awesome news is that the good vet said that both knees are now stable, range of motion is great and the swelling is gone!
We will still continue the laser treatments but instead of having them done every 7-10 days we will do them every 3-4 weeks and see how things go.
Just to reiterate here is what we are looking for the laser therapy to do with Sherman:
- Reduce pain and discomfort in a natural way
- Speed healing
- Increase mobility and motion in his joints
- Reduce swelling
How does it work?
- The laser sends a beam of light energy deep into the tissues of the body.
- This energy has several effects – it reduces inflammation and stimulates the immune system, and it increases blood flow to the area being treated, all of which speed healing.
- The light energy also causes the body to produce endorphins – the body’s natural pain relieving chemicals.
- Some laser machines, like the one that is being used for Sherman, also have an attachment which can direct a fine beam of light energy. Vets may use this to stimulate acupuncture points, and use it as an alternative to acupuncture needles.
The laser therapy will NOT repair his torn ACL. It is torn and will remain that way. What is happening is that scar tissue is forming outside of the joint which is helping to stabilize the knee. The laser treatment is suppose to be assisting in that process by making the tissue heal quicker and stronger, with hopes that the arthritis in the knee will be kept to a minimal for quite some time.
Along with the laser treatment we are also doing a herbal concoction for ligaments and joints given to us by the holistic vet, Dasuquin, exercise, and range of motion knee exercises at night.
I couldn’t be happier with Sherman’s progress.
He is doing super.
I was really concerned for the first few months that Sherman was losing too much muscle mass in his back legs and his back end seemed weak and he wasn’t himself, but I’ve noticed a big difference over the last month or so.
I haven’t seen any limping in well over a month and the other day I noticed that when he was lifting his leg to pee, the other back leg that was supporting him, which was his right leg, was not shaking anymore, which to me means it’s stronger and stronger is good.
Recently we have been given the green light to resume our regular walking which is a good thing because we have encountered a little issue.
Chubbiness and laziness.
Sherman has gained 10 pounds since his injury and any extra weight on those knees is not what we want.
I was expecting a little weight gain at first since his activity was restricted but 10 pounds is just way too much. Actually, any extra pounds right now could really set us back so we are working on getting those extra pounds off quickly but safely.
Sherman isn’t all that fond of resuming his mile walks.
No, you and Leroy go ahead. I’ll just lay here and wait for you to get back.
Um, no Mr. Chubs. You’re coming too.
In order to try and get Sherman back to enjoying his walks we’ve been trying to change things up and go for walks in different areas around our house, the new sidewalk has been working very well all week and I think last night Sherman even had a little jump in his steps.
All in good time. All in good time.
I also wanted to make sure that I made it clear that while this therapy is working well for Sherman it may not work well for other dogs. ACL injuries are the most common injuries seen in dogs and as a responsible dog owner it is up to you and your veterinarian to explore all the options available for your dog and determine what options are best for them and you. Age, lifestyle, commitment, health, and money are all things to take into consideration.
Sherman was not a good candidate for surgery early on because he had a partial tear in his left knee and the chances that it would of become a full tear while the right knee was healing from surgery was very likely so the plan was to get both knees more stable and go from there. Well we are there and as of right now we will not be pursuing surgery. I have spoken to both of Sherman’s veterinarians and they agree, that if things keep heading in this direction, surgery will not be necessary.
So paws crossed that we keep heading in the right direction.
Until we meet again on the next update-Jenny Juggs
***Dexter from Fidose of Reality recently partially tore his ACL and Carol is blogging about their journey with his injury. You can read her recent blog post about it here. Dexter wasn’t having much success with the laser therapy so they are now moving on to a knee brace for him.