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How I Helped My Dog Heal from a Torn ACL…Naturally!

Recently someone contacted me and asked how I helped my sweet little dog Charlotte heal from a torn ACL (knee ligament) which happened last year. It occurred to me that perhaps others might be interested in knowing this too so I thought I’d share with you too a little of what we did! 💕

I’m sure you’ll agree:

There’s nothing worse than when someone you love is in pain!

About a year and a half ago I noticed one day Charlotte was hopping around on only three legs. I knew something was obviously very wrong. I took her to her holistic vet for an evaluation and x-rays which revealed that nothing was broken but still, something wasn’t right.

We did the standard “ACL Test” to assess a certain range of movement in the knee and she failed so we narrowed down that that was the cause. This was key.

You can only heal something if you accurately determine the root cause.

Otherwise you’ll not only waste your time, money and energy but also inadvertently create additional problems and complications down the line!

So once we had a diagnosis, I had some tough decisions to make.

Since Charlotte is a small dog, she’s a 5lb. Yorkie, I had some options that are typically not available to bigger dogs. So please know this was a key factor.

Basically, I had 3 choices:

  1. Take the chance that she might eventually be okay and learn to manage or “work around it”.
  2. Have surgery and try to go in and “repair” the tear which of course would involve anesthesia and a detailed recovery and post-surgery rehab.
  3. Get her into a canine rehab and use diet and lifestyle remedies to reduce inflammation, pain and restore function.

Being that she was 13yrs old at the time was also a significant factor. This meant the anesthesia required for the surgery would be more risky and the recovery would be tougher after. Not to mention, as with ALL surgeries, the outcome is uncertain with no guarantees of success, improvement or improved function as a result!

Yikes, what a choice!

My head was spinning and of course my heart was breaking.

So the first thing I did was what I always do – TAKE RESPONSIBILITY and do my own research. *And I DID NOT USE GOOGLE because I’m sure you know that is a curated, regulated “business” and not a free market forum of information sharing.

After researching, I then had to get very centered and C-L-E-A-R…in myself ….in my heart and Soul, on if I should have Charlotte undergo surgery.

It was a TOUGH decision.

Finally after about 2-3 days of feeling (not thinking!) my way through it, I decided to go ALL IN and try a natural, surgery-free protocol. I figured I’d give it about 4 weeks and then see how she was doing. After which time, I could then have surgery if there was no significant progress. (or of course sooner if she was really deteriorating). Yet this was still quite risky because after another 4 weeks she could have been potentially worse.

My Vet had said that in general, the small dogs can “sometimes” avoid surgery and still do “well”. Yet my main concern, other than getting her out of pain (which was obvious) and basically being cripple (she would only walk on 3 legs!), was that she have a quality of life whether we had the surgery or not.

Protocol: What We Did

So I got her into a pet physical therapy place (that was 90 minutes away) and did E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G that could be complementary and helpful to that:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Laser
  • Hydrotherapy

In addition, changed her (already) excellent, natural, grain-free organic diet and switched her to an amazing organic, raw food version of food.

Plus added select supplements and some targeted, key nutrients from certain real, whole food sources like:

  • Free-ranges meats
  • Free-range, organic egg yolks
  • Organic bone broth
  • Organic dark skin poultry
  • Organic and free range organ meats
  • Wild omega 3 oil sources
  • Free range collagen powder
  • Organic turmeric
  • and a fabulous probiotic
    …and I continue to feed her these things (in rotation) to this day!


Charlotte is doing great and we avoided the surgery, as well as the risks and complications.

In fact you would never know that her right ACL is still torn (ligaments can’t “go back” on their own). She walks, plays and even runs on the beach!

To this day, although we don’t do the physical therapy anymore, I’ve continued the diet protocol and make sure – even when she’s not really “feeling” like it was get some movement and exercise (as well as quiet time) out in nature EVERY DAY. Don’t get me wrong, I let her set the pace as well as the amount, but being active and outside is a vital component of any healthy and balanced life – no matter what age!

And boy am I grateful!

Nothing has made me happier than to have my little girl back to feeling good and being happy and with a quality of life again.

Isn’t that what we all want for those we love?

Now I look back and feel it was all worth the time, effort, agony and expense. You sure can’t put a price tag on LOVE. ✨💕✨

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