IF YOU ARE A DOG OWNER AND HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT YOUR DOG NEEDS CRUCIATE LIGAMENT SURGERY PLEASE CONSIDER WHETHER THIS IS YOUR BEST OPTION.
There have been very few studies that compare surgery with non-surgical options in terms of the overall health and mobility of your dog and it is often just assumed that surgery is the only option. Surgery is never without implications and a more conservative approach will always leave you with more options later. In many cases the joint will heal and become stable with the proper support during healing.
This is how Dexter led us away from the medical system and slammed the door behind us.
Dexter was a big strong dog. He weighed 50kg and he loved to run. It was a great pleasure to see him run through the woods, leaping over trees and being so attuned to the land that he didn’t even have to look where he was going. When he started to limp on his right hind leg and didn’t want to run, just before Christmas 2009, we knew it wasn’t just a strain. The standard veterinary advice is to keep him on the lead for 10 days and we did that, more or less, but he didn’t improve. So we took him to the vets. Dexter was so patient. He hated the vets, but he went along with it with no resistance and our local vet immediately referred us to an orthopaedic surgeon.
At that time my telepathy was not so well developed. Telepathy between living animals is experienced through the electromagnetic field of the heart. The brain simply decodes the signals, just like it does for all the other senses. That’s why telepathy is so much stronger between people and animals who are in a close relationship with each other. Dexter and I were very close, but I was still trying to convince him to go along with what I thought was best for him, rather than asking him what he wanted. The truth of it was that I didn’t know what to do and because he was in so much pain, we turned to the experts, just like we were programmed to do. However, something happened.
The examination room in January was as cold and grey as the surgeon. He grabbed Dexter by the waist and made him yelp in pain and told us that he was just performing a normal examination and that Dexter was a wimp (more or less). He then diagnosed an anterior cruciate ligament injury and told us that he needed surgery. This surgery would require drilling and putting a plate in his leg, it would be five months recuperation in a cage and he might get back 80% mobility at best. Something in the arrogant assumption of the surgeon that we would go ahead and perhaps the faintest whiff of the archontic infection in him (although we didn’t know what that was at the time) made us both recoil as though he’d thrown us a rotten kipper. I said, “No thank you, we’ll find another option.” The surgeon told us we would be back, because there was no other option and I said, “I don’t think so.” We couldn’t get out of there quick enough.
That encounter in the examination room was one of those occasions when you come up against the archontic machine and see it for what it is – that is something completely against nature that is pretending to help you while it actually intends you harm. The vet was the human-like user interface of the medical system, but he was nothing more than a highly educated and well-paid automaton. It’s much easier to spot the dehumanized now, after that experience.
Our decision to find another way was not rational at that point, we didn’t have any skills or experience in dog physiotherapy! However, we instinctively we felt that if there was a five month recuperation period after the operation, we would do the recuperation before and see if we could avoid the operation. We did lots of research and Dexter’s regime began on 11th February 2010.
– two 10-15 min walks a day on lead
– hydrotherapy twice weekly
– pulsating electro-magnetic field therapy
– daily low-level laser therapy
It was hard initially, as after only 10 mins slow walking on the lead, Dexter would come home and lie on the couch almost comatose. But, after a couple of weeks, we could see him getting stronger and we became more confident in what we were doing.
We scoured the internet and found huge support, enough to give us confidence in our approach at tiggerpoz This site is a brilliant resource that aggregates data from many sources on canine cruciate ligament injuries and treatment. It contains far more information than I’ve got here and if you have a dog with a knee injury and are considering surgery, please check this out before you commit your dog to what might be unnecessary (and expensive) pain and suffering. It also draws attention to the fact that there is very little scientific evidence in support of this surgery, hardly anything in the way of follow-up studies and that dog owners are being mislead into thinking this is the only or best option.
By the 26th March 2010, it was hard to keep him on the lead as he was so strong. He went onto two 45 min walks, partially off the lead and barely limped, even after his walk.
On the 4th July 2010, almost five months to the day after we took Dexter to the specialist, we decided that it was time for Dexter to be freed from his brace. Over the preceding few weeks we had left his brace off for some of his walks, sometimes he had seemed a bit tired and we didn’t want to overdo it.
Over a period of four weeks we gradually reduced the amount of time he kept his brace on for exercise. We started taking the brace off on the last leg of the walk back to car park, then half-way through the walk, then for the whole walk in the mornings whilst keeping it on for half the afternoon walks etc. On the 10th July he leapt out of the car to chase a squirrel. His recovery was complete and amazing.
We bought Dexter’s brace from Woundwear in the US, as we couldn’t find anything like it in the UK. I had to make several adjustments to the brace as the swelling went down on his leg – including the thickened stifle (knee joint) returning to normal – and when he broke some of the ring connectors as he became so much stronger and pulled to hard on the lead. We only used the brace for exercise outside, not in the house at all, but it has made a significant contribution to his recovery. He accepted it immediately and it meant he could enjoy his walks, which are so psychologically important, without setting back his recovery.
Dexter had some arthritis in later years, but he never had any problems with the knee joint again. Neither did he have any problems with the other leg and we’ve met many dogs who had one leg operated on, only to have to have the other leg operated on a year or so later because of overuse.
From that moment on I became very wary of the veterinary and the medical profession and the more I’ve looked into it the more I feel justified in that approach. The key learning for me through this process was that it is precisely at the moment of need that the solution arises – in any situation. We did not consider ‘going it alone’ with his recovery until we were confronted with something that was completely unacceptable to us and we had to find another way. This is human inventiveness in action, but you never get to discover it in yourself if whenever you have a problem you go to some one else for a solution. I’m very grateful to Dexter for that lesson, which has proven its value many times over.