If your furry friend took a stumble and hurt their leg or tore their ACL, there are things you can do at home to help them! Here are some popular torn ACL home treatments for dogs!
Using Hydrotherapy for Torn ACLs
Hydrotherapy was originally made for horses and racing Greyhounds, so it has a background in helping animals recover! If your dog has any leg injury, including a torn ACL, they can benefit from hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is, essentially, swimming, or using water to lessen the weight on your dog’s limbs. If your dog doesn’t like swimming, there are facilities that offer submerged treadmills.
Typically performed in a swimming pool or a plexiglass chamber holding an underwater treadmill, hydrotherapy stimulates the cardiovascular and lymph systems, strengthens muscles, and allows painful joints to move comfortably.
Hydrotherapy has proven to be a successful recovery method too: dogs of all ages have gotten stronger, decreased lameness, loosened tight muscles, increased coordination, improved balance, hastened healing, and increased stamina and flexibility with hydrotherapy.
It works because it makes the exercise weightless, which reduces strain on your dog’s legs. Swimming or walking in water exercises joints and muscles without gravity and hard surfaces. This helps patients with arthritis, ACL ruptures, bone fractures, hip and elbow dysplasia, and more.
It can also be done by swimming! Hydrotherapy pools can be your own swimming pool or lake at home! Just monitor your dog’s movements and encourage them to keep swimming with plenty of praise and treats. Be sure to not tire them out though and have them wear a doggy life vest to keep them safe!
Use a Dog ACL Brace
Before we launch into the benefits of a dog ACL brace, you should be aware that a brace is not an alternative for surgery. A torn ACL will not heal on its own; only reconstructive surgery will properly heal the wound. A brace is best used for preventing injuries or recovery, though it can be used as a conservative form of treatment when surgery is not an option.
If your dog has a sprained ACL, they will avoid putting weight on their injury. They’ll overcompensate and put too much weight on their healthy leg instead, which increases their chance of spraining or tearing their other ACL. A brace allows your pup to comfortably put more weight on their hurt leg so they’re not dramatically shifting their weight onto one side.
Here at Doggy Brace, our dog ACL braces are designed for preventive care and recovery from sprained ACLs. The Doggy Brace works just like a brace for humans! It helps prevent excessive movement and rotation while supporting your dog’s knee and reducing the risk of injury.
You slip it on over the leg, tighten and allow the brace to support the knee. The Doggy Brace provides extra structural support to keep the knee in place, stabilizing the weakened joint so that it performs correctly without the pain.
It is a specifically designed knee brace to fit your dog’s hind leg to support your pup’s injured CCL. The knee is a complex joint and rigorous activity, poor health, or any combination of the two can position dogs for injury. By supporting the knee injuries can be prevented.
Use a Sling to Help Your Dog Balance
A sling, not to be confused with a brace, is a long piece of fabric that you loop under your dog’s stomach, near their hind legs. It’s typically used to help your dog balance as they’re recovering from an ACL surgery, but it can help with at home ACL treatments.
The purpose of the sling isn’t to take weight off the injured limb, but it helps them balance their walking. It’s best used to help them navigate slippery floors or stairs.
To make a sling, use a bath towel, blanket or sheet, as a sling under your dog’s abdomen to assist him/her in rising and walking on slippery floors or stairs. Your dog may walk up and down stairs with you holding his/her collar and using the sling under his/ her hindquarters for balance, but may not walk up and down stairs unsupervised.
You do not have to support your dog’s weight with the sling. Rather, it is to help balance him/her should he/she slip. Please use the sling at all times when your pet is not on secure footing.
Remember, only a vet will know what is best for your dog’s health. Be sure you talk with them before starting any at home treatments and get advice on what will work best for your dog.