Pocket Pit With Torn Knee Ligament (CCR, CCL Rupture, CCL Tear)

“My pit bull was diagnosed with a torn cruciate ligament. I was told by the vet that without the surgery, he would become increasingly lame and I would have to put him down.

A friend whose dog she worked with, suggested I contact Deborah Carroll. Deborah spoke with me over the phone and had clearly had many previous similar clients with good outcomes. We set up an appt for Deborah to come and see my dog. She immediately had an excellent rapport with him but also good control of him as he can be a bit unruly.

Deborah did a thorough assessment based on the information from the x-rays, the veterinarian, and her own palpation of the knee. She determined the course of action that my dog needed. I’m not going to say it was easy- definitely took a commitment from me- but that was a really big component of the regimen. I learned the technique for giving him therapy walks, how to ice, massage, and I learned the best supplements for him to promote healing. Within about a month, he was markedly better. After two months, he was taking normal walks again and no longer favoring his other knee.

I have friends who used Deborah’s services after a dog had had the recommended surgery. Apparently it is important to begin to strengthen surrounding muscles to avoid reinjury.

The beauty of Deborah is that she not only empowers you to rehab your pet yourself, but if there are glitches (such as my dog refusing to turn around half way through the walk- HAHAHA!) she will brainstorm with you to figure out what to do. Deborah is one of those rare professionals who understands that healing is often more of an art than a science.”
Sandy K. Austin, TX

Cosmo the Pittie, Massage Video Star-

(Cosmo eventually tore his meniscus in the same knee that had the original torn ligament, and he did non-surgical rehab for that, too)

 

Dobi the Doberman-Lab Mix with Torn Knee Ligament (CCL Tear, CCR) & Bad Hips

Testimony of Doberman Rehabilitation –

Tricia’s Thoughts –

“Our old Lab-Doberman mix blew out his knee darting after a squirrel and only narrowly avoided surgery since he had a small amount of stability left.

I reached out to Deb, and I’m so glad I did. Her plan was honestly a lot of work, but it paid off beautifully. Our pup got better than I ever thought possible and even came out of the whole experience with super muscular dog legs!

I love that Deb comes right to your house and works with you in your own environment. A lot of the time we’d look around the house or neighborhood to find good places or items to make drills out of. She’s extremely knowledgeable and worked well with our vet to get him (Dobi) on the right medications and dosages.

On top of it all, you can tell she genuinely cares. That goes a long way with me.

I highly recommend her services for your own busted up dog!”
Tricia E. Austin, TX , Oct. 1, 2016)

(^^Copied from Yelp Review)

Nick’s Thoughts –

Dobi Cavalettis for Rehab Work After 4 Week Intro Program Complete. Other Cavaletti Photos are Under the Photos Section or You May Find Them by Searching Cavalettis.

“When our 10-year-old lab mix busted his knee, he was in rough shape and only narrowly avoided surgery. Luckily, we found Deb and got the opportunity to work with her in person.

She had us read her book before our first meeting. The book itself is in invaluable. It’s a short read, but it lays out a basic plan with lots of explanation and support for each technique. The combined force of the book and Deb’s physical therapy sessions healed our pup more than we thought possible, especially given his age. The program does take work, but the results really are extraordinary.

Whether you can work with Deb in person or not, this book is a must if you have a dog in recovery.”

Nick E., Oct. 1, 2016

(^^Copied from Amazon review)

Rehab Deb’s Thoughts 5/26/17

Dobi’s mom, Trish, found me via this (my) website and reached out to me Dec. 1, 2014.

Trish and Nick performed the work I recommended, and Dobi has maintained very good function through the past couple of years, despite some other health issues. Dobi was almost 10 years old when I met him, and in the past year Trish has reached out to me to confirm with me where to return to in the recovery program after Dobi’s ongoing internal medicine issues were being diagnosed and treated.

Please click on the link below to see a short video of Dobi walking after slightly less than two months of work:

2015 3-17 Dobi Short Indoor Walk Improved

Once a pet caretaker, partner, “parent” works through the program as I have recommended it and everyone has seen the positive results, the same program may be returned to over the years as new injuries or illnesses occur. Sometimes there are new medical or physical situations that require a different protocol than the one I originally recommended. In Dobi’s case, his program could stay almost the same and used toward recovery after new diagnoses.

Rehabdeb, May 26, 2017

Updated with new photos March 28, 2018

How to Use The Homework Guides for Rehab After Dog Knee Injury or Surgery

Intro to the books, found on Amazon here:

 and here…

and elsewhere from a variety of booksellers.

Read the Preface.

Read the Prologue.

Read the whole booklet before beginning the work.

Thank you! Now continue to read this chapter. The above three bullet point sentences were for people who really want bullet points. Both the Preface and the Prologue contain beneficial information, and I think the following contents will answer several questions you might not even know you have!

This homework covers guidelines that may be used after any invasive procedure performed for surgical repair of your pet’s knee after a torn ligament, whether any of the bones were cut or not. Right now it does not matter so much that you know exactly which surgery was performed; the restrictions and care are equally beneficial.

These guidelines are also very beneficial for recovery after surgery for torn meniscus and after surgical intervention for osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) (yes, really, but different from psych OCD) of the stifle (knee) joint. Whichever method of surgery was used, this homework is an excellent place to continue the healing journey!

As I stated earlier, written programs like this were not readily available, if at all, when I first began working officially in small animal veterinary medicine rehab in 2004. I knew from working with athletes and others, as well as from reading related research for several decades, that very slowly progressing, return-to-function programs were needed for our pets, as well.

In light of what I knew, I began using simple post-surgical protocol I developed. The larger discussion, continually, is among varieties of veterinarians who have come to believe in a particular method or methods of surgery to be used to stabilize the knee after ruptured cranial cruciate ligament. Regardless of method used, this intro protocol should be very beneficial toward accustoming the joint to greater amounts of use again, toward improving bone healing, and toward improving bone and muscle strength.

I don’t have the money to fund a large study or the time to ask for it at this point or in recent years. I do, however, have the validation of many veterinarians who have seen the progress of the pets whose caretakers have fastidiously followed my instruction for at least 8 weeks.

Often people see such notable improvement after only 4 weeks that they don’t understand the need to continue to follow through with progressive rehab. In well-established human rehabilitation protocol for ACL surgery, patients are progressed through criteria-based functional activities and evaluations for discharge from rehab are targeted between 4 and 6 months after surgery.*

Is this happening with your pet?

My preference is that people follow at least 12 weeks of rehab protocol for their pets in almost every case. The feedback from situations of which I am aware where this has occurred has been entirely positive.  This homework is an excellent place to continue the healing journey, so take a deep breath and move forward confidently!

Also, as noted, my practice and protocol are based on using the home or a standard vet clinic environment to accomplish functional rehabilitation. I prefer land-based exercise because I find it very practical for most pets and their caretakers after this surgery. You may put your internet researching skills to good use by looking for research data which encourages the use of weight-bearing exercise, where possible, to bring about greatest changes toward healing, including bone strengthening and the strengthening of soft tissue, as well as muscle hypertrophy. The latter is often the reason animals are referred to me; people want to see the muscle rebuilt where it has diminished over time due to injury and subsequent lameness (muscle atrophy).

Some people will want to utilize a clinic and a water treadmill in addition to the instructions in this booklet, possibly because the clinic option is available and their veterinarian has recommended it. Most people do not have the option of a rehabilitation facility for their pet, and that’s okay, because it’s not necessary to have that in order for your pet to recover…so don’t fret!

Regardless, I find that people are really in need of instructions that outline steps they may take to assist the healing and improved return to function of their pet in the home environment. Caretakers usually just don’t know what to do that is proactive and practical at home after pet surgery (or injury!).

I also emphasize over and over that pain control is important to my rehab protocol. If you are not going to use enough pain control to help your pet bear weight on the injured leg, then you should consider using the water treadmill..

It is extremely important for pet caretakers to learn how to control and care for their companions at home after this surgery whether or not they also entrust this aftercare to a clinic for a few hours a week as well. Do collaborate with your vet clinic, yet also learn how to do your part, hopefully aided by the ideas in this booklet.

*You may find out more about the topic of clinic-based human rehabilitation from books like Postsurgical Rehabilitation Guidelines for the Orthopedic Clinician, Hospital for Special Surgery, Department of Rehabilitation, Copyright 2006, Elsevier, Inc.