Ellie the Shepherd Pup with a Knee Injury

Ellie was dealing with serious lameness and non weight bearing in her one hind leg. She was no stranger to limping as she is a two year old shepherd that LOVES to rough house with her 3 year old shepherd brother. The two are crazy and often times will come up with some sort of lameness. Something was different about this limp though, she wasn’t getting any better, in fact her limp appeared to be regressing. At that point, her parents decided to try chiropractic.

Ellie’s first visit was very typical of a pup with a cruciate tear. Her muscle tone had huge differences side to side, in fact it was inches of difference. She was very tender at her knee joint and had some mild gapping. Aside from all of this, she truly didn’t let it change her personality. Ellie was adjusted once a week for three weeks, and in that time period the change was astonishing. She went from non weight bearing to toe tapping, to fully weight bearing in three weeks. Her playfulness returned and her muscle tone was well on its way to recovery.

Ellie is one of many dogs dealing with knee injuries. These are tricky injuries as they aren’t often given many options as far as healing and prognosis. 9 times out of 10, surgery is recommended. Medications such as NSAIDs, steroids, and muscle relaxers are often times recommended. For those that want to try another option before going that route, chiropractic can be a great option, just look at Ellie! Knee injuries are rarely a time sensitive injury, which means there is no harm in trying an alternative route first!



Lottie and her Cruciate Ligament Tear

cruciateligamentMeet Lottie! This little lady had a total cruciate tear in her back leg that was causing her some serious trouble. She wasn’t able to put weight down on her injured leg and she hobbled around as if nothing was wrong. She was quickly diagnosed with a cruciate tear and was told she would need surgery to fix the issue. Having experience with alternate therapies herself, her fur mom decided she’d rather give chiropractic a try to see if that might be the answer.

After just three visits Lottie was already putting her leg down and using it to motor around the house. Though she continued to toe-tap, she was clearly on the mend. As she grew stronger and her muscle tone improved, Lottie was able to use her leg more confidently. By the end of 6 visits Lottie was nearly 100%.

Lottie loves to walk and play, and when surgery was first suggested she was told these things would not be options for several months. Knowing her pup would not be able to sit still for that extended period of time lead her mom to research alternative options. Lottie was able to live a fairly normal life during her healing period, and within two months she was good as new. Yay Lottie!


Check out her before and after videos here!

Lottie Before and After Chiropractic

Molly the Lab with a Cruciate Tear

cruciatetearGood golly miss Molly! Molly here is a senior Labrador but at heart she is definitely more of a puppy. For the greater part of the summer Molly was limping on her back leg, and eventually she wasn’t able to put weight on her right hind. At that point her mom knew something was up and took her in to see her veterinarian. Molly was diagnosed with a torn cruciate ligament, and the option she was given was surgery. Her mom knew there had to be another way, so she decided to go the chiropractic route.

On her first visit Molly hobbled in holding her back leg up and not weight bearing hardly at all. She had lost a great deal of muscle and her ligament was undoubtedly injured. For four weeks we did consistent chiropractic adjustments. At the end of this period Molly was weight bearing at least 70 percent of the time on her injured leg, and her muscle tone had begun to improve. At the end of six weeks, Molly was basically normal again.

Molly never went under the knife, she never was on medication, and she never had to deal with complications from surgery. She was active the entire time, her mom dutifully did massage on her and she got adjusted. With all of this, she was able to make a full recovery and is no worse for the wear. Molly goes on mile long walks and will run without a second thought now, something she hadn’t been able to do thanks to that pesky injury. Yahoo Molly girl!


Holden with Arthritis and a Cruciate Tear

It’s about time we introduced everyone to Holden. Don’t let his handsome face and boyish charm fool you, this senior dog was seriously on the struggle bus earlier this year. We received a phone call in the early spring regarding Holden. He was not weight-bearing on the right hind leg due to a cruciate tear and because of his fourteen years, was not a candidate for cruciate ligament surgery. He also did not travel well because he was horribly arthritic and it was uncomfortable for him to be in the car. Basically, Holden was a mess, and his parents were besides themselves trying to figure out what they could do to help him along his journey.


Holden had lost a significant amount of muscle by the time we met him. His strong leg was already weakened and unstable because of how much he had to favor it, and his injured leg had hardly any strength at all. He was only putting the tip of his toes down and that was on every seven or eight steps. Holden didn’t want to sit, lay down, or play. The simplest tasks were becoming hard for him. We explained how chiropractic can often help facilitate healing of the knee and cruciate ligament and stabilize the injury in situations such as Holden’s. Not only would an adjustment regimen help the injured leg improve, but it would also help with his arthritis and the rest of his ailments.


Because of the severity of Holden’s injury, we saw him three weeks in a row and then every other week for an additional month. At the end of those seven weeks this pup was fully weight bearing, walking, running, and sitting without trouble. His lameness was no longer present and his strength had returned. This fourteen year old was acting more like a six year old and you’d never have known that a few months earlier it seemed like he may be on his last leg. Between chiropractic and good parenting, Holden has been able to live a much better quality of life and he’s made 2017 a great year. Hoping 2018 turns out even better as he continues to maintain his strength and excitement!

Moya and her Cruciate Ligament Tear

cruciate ligament tearOh miss Moya, could you be any cuter? Moya came to see us with a torn cruciate ligament. She was not wanting to weight bear hardly at all, though she didn’t seem like she was in any pain. The thought of surgery did not appeal to her parents as she was still quite young and active, and keeping Moya on crate rest for an extended period of time was likely not going to work. Luckily Moya’s uncle told them to come pay us a visit!


With any knee injury, there’s bound to be a few weeks where the healing is slow and it doesn’t look like much is changing. There will be good days and bad days, but as time goes on and the healing progresses, the good days will start to far outweigh the bad. In fact the bad days often only show up after a stellar day when they push themselves a little too hard!


Moya was no different. Within her first few adjustments she was utilizing that back leg more and more. Her inflammation went down and she wasn’t taking any medication. She was playing and walking, and sooner than not her lameness was hardly present at all. Her knee healed up without ever needing surgery and she was able to be active throughout her recovery. For dogs such as Moya this is key! See her before and after below!


cruciate tear

Nellie and her Cruciate Tear

cruciate tearWhoa Nellie…that’s what this girl was probably told before she injured her back leg. Nellie came up lame after some hard play, though there was no specific injury that could really be linked to the issue. This is not uncommon at all when it comes to cruciate tears. More often than not, these ligaments weaken over time and slowly start to wear over many months. At that point it doesn’t take much to either fully tear or partially tear a now unstable knee. This is exactly what happened to sweet Nellie.


Nellie’s folks were told she would require surgery to fix the knee and that it would not heal on its own. They were slightly skeptical and when Nellie’s best bud Moya had had a similar injury that was healing up nicely using chiropractic, it seemed like a no brainer to try an alternative first. Nellie was an absolute rockstar at her first adjustment and it didn’t look like she would need to go the conventional route.


Within days of her first few visits Nellie was already walking better. Her lameness quickly subsided and only pops up occasionally after some heavy duty activity. Eventually this will stop as well, it just takes a little extra time to fully heal inside that joint. Similar to a heavy workout at the gym, soreness is to be expected, but not long lasting. Sweet Nellie is a perfect example of why trying an alternative route before going the surgical route can’t hurt!


Zuko the Rottie and his Bad Back

badbackCheck out Zuko- that handsomest rottie mix that we’ve ever seen. We may be a little partial…he’s certainly grown on us over the past several months and become part of the family. Zuko came in because he was dealing with a lot of limping after every adventure outside. He couldn’t play, run, or really do anything without having a bad limp afterward in addition to having some low back pain. Since mom and dad go to the chiropractor, they figured that might be exactly what he needed to get over this hump.


On Zuko’s first visit it was more or less love at first sight. He came bounding in with a huge grin on his face, and a limp on his back end. Though nothing appeared to be torn or injured, the darn limp was still there. After two adjustments Zuko’s limp had basically disappeared. Hard to believe but his energy level skyrocketed and he was totally ready to go retrieve some balls.


A few months after being adjusted Zuko injured his hind leg and was struggling to put full weight on it. Concerned that it might be a tear, his fur mom brought him in to get checked. Luckily for us it appeared that Zuko sprained his cruciate ligament, something that normally takes several weeks to a couple of months to heal. Within two weeks and two adjustments Zuko was back to normal. Inflammation was gone and his gait was perfectly normal. Once again our happy boy was back to his happy self!

Molly and her Cruciate Injury

mollyostlerThis adorable little husky mix is Molly. Molly is considered a “senior” dog but she is definitely the opposite of what I would consider old. She has spunk and energy up the wazoo, and her fur mom and I have a tough time trying to keep up with her! Molly was first brought to us because of a limp she had in her back leg. After being examined, Molly was thought to have a cruciate tear. Despite being active and energetic, Molly’s fur mom knew the risks of doing surgery on an older dog and decided to try the alternative method before going down the conventional road.


Molly did extraordinarily. Through each visit Molly began to use her leg a little bit more. She would put extra weight on it and the limp became less noticeable. Over time, the limp completely disappeared along with all the heat and inflammation that had once plagued her knee joint. She began going back on her long walks (sometimes runs) and even returned to her favorite place (doggy daycare)! This girl could not be kept down and she certainly proved that age does not play a factor in her recovery.


Molly continues to see us because of how active she is. Though shes never re-injured the ligament in her knee, she certainly has put it to the test. Every now and again Molly will come and see us with a bit of a limp, and after an adjustment she seems 100% back to her normal self. Through chiropractic, her body has reached a new pattern that is structurally stable. Though it can be tested on occasion, her body wants to return to this new mold rather than actively stay in a state that is unnatural, thus the reason it doesn’t take more than a follow-up visit to get her right back on track. We love this girl and we love seeing how far she has come without having to go under the knife!

Sasha the Shepherd and her Cruciate Tear

sashabarronMiss Sasha here is a beautiful German Shepherd that tore her cruciate ligament earlier this year. It was a pretty severe tear that left her hobbling and wobbly. Despite this she was a hard girl to keep down, so much so that it would’ve been very difficult to rehabilitate her knee without considering the surgical option. Her fur family looked at all the options and decided to attack the cruciate tear with a combined approach of conventional and alternative methods.


Sasha went to one of the best knee surgeons around to work on her cruciate and the surgery went very smoothly. Even the day after surgery she was moving like a dog that had had weeks of healing under her belt. Leading up to the surgery she continued to get adjusted, and one week after her surgery she started up again. We were most concerned with keeping her lower back and her other hip as stable and mobile as possible. With her limping around like a champ so quickly, it was even more important that these joints be stabilized.


Throughout her time, Sasha has astounded everyone she meets. It has now been about four months and Sasha is 100% back to herself, if not even better than before. She runs, she can jump, she plays, and she wrangles with her fur family. You would never know this girl had to undergo knee surgery and we attribute her fast recovery to the combination of chiropractic, conventional treatment, and a very knowledgeable fur family that helped her rehabilitate at home. She is such a blessing to us and we have been so thrilled with her progress during her journey, she now continues to come in and get adjusted to maintain all the hard work and effort everyone has put in. You go Sasha Bear!

Maeve and her Completely Torn Cruciate Ligament

Maeve here first came to us because of a completely torn cruciate ligament. She was running around one day and came in from outside with her fourth leg completely tucked up and non weight bearing. After going to the vet it was determined the ligament was torn and she would need surgery and extensive kennel rest. Only problem was that Maeve’s fur mama had no interest in doing surgery if she didn’t have to, and instead she turned to alternative therapies including chiropractic and essential oils. Because Maeve had a completely torn ligament, we knew the road was going to be a bit longer for her. She is technically considered a senior dog and yet still remains very active. One of her all-time favorite things to do is run around up north, something she wasn’t going to be able to do if she had the surgery. During her first few weeks of adjustments, Maeve improved only slightly. By the second month, however, Maeve turned a corner. She was able to put about 75% pressure on that back leg and a majority of the time she was able to move without a significant limp. By the end of the second month, the limp was barely noticeable and Maeve was practically back to her old self. Three months of adjustments in and Maeve was good as new, if not better. She was able to go up to the cottage and run around the property and she did not return limping. She was weight bearing at all times and there were no signs of a limp to be found. Her other hip and knee remained completely stable during the healing process so there was a much lower chance of her blowing out the other ligament. She walked daily and did her at-home exercises to maintain muscle strength. Over one year later and Maeve is doing fantastic. She runs, jumps, and plays, without an ounce of hesitation and her knees couldn’t be stronger. There is no arthritis, no scar tissue, and no limitations in her mobility, something that could not be said had she undergone surgery. Today Maeve is one happy girl and we love her dearly!