Pearl And Gidget Take Time For A Treat
Jul 22, 2014
Cruciate Ligament Rupture: Missing The Big Picture
“I have just discovered that my mom’s dog, Dodger, has a cranial cruciate tear, and possibly a meniscal tear as well. The vet recommends surgery ASAP, but it sounds costly and dangerous. Also, the pain medication makes him much more miserable than nothing at all. Is there an alternative treatment that can help Dodger? In the meanwhile, he’s really mastering walking on three legs.”
This month has seen three emails about dogs with cranial cruciate ligament injuries, so it seems a timely topic to cover. As with most things in disease, there’s a deeper story that’s often missed in the rush to “fix what’s broken” that conventional medicine is so good at. You know the surgeon’s motto, right? “A chance to cut is a chance to cure.”
It’s a shame that they don’t know what cure really looks like.
No, surgery does not cure patients, especially torn cruciate ligament patients.
Here’s another example from my inbox this week:
“My 5 year old yellow lab Ginger, is as healthy as a dog can be – very energetic, happy, and just an overall joy; however, two years ago she tore her ACL (or cruciate) and we had the TPLO surgery done (as you know, a very expensive surgery). The surgery went well but she started developing some arthritis and would limp a little after a long walk. Just about a month ago, she leaped up the stairs, and the Vet told us that she has torn the other leg’s cruciate. Considering I am getting married this year, the last thing I would like to do is spend $4,000 on the surgery and have to see her such a mess the weeks after surgery.”
What’s Wrong With This Picture?
We’re talking about damage to connective tissue, ligaments holding bones together, in this case in the knee, aka stifle in our animals. Humans have anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) and animals have the very same ligaments, called cranial cruciate ligaments (CCL). When a football player “blows out his knee,” that’s usually a cruciate ligament injury, and its usually a result of extreme contact in the game.
How about dogs?
The rupture of knee ligaments in the dog is often not a result of strenuous contact, though a dog stepping in a hole while running can be part of the history in some cases. But we really need to look to those who study these cases carefully to find the deeper reality.
Fact: Knee inflammation usually precedes rupture.
Fact: Many dogs present with bilateral (both sides) rupture. Do you suppose they fell in two holes? No, of course not.
Fact: Just like Ginger, a rather large percentage go on to rupture the other side after the original one has been repaired at great expense and lots of awkward cage rest. This study of close to 400 dogs in three geographically different groups showed 54% rupturing the other side within two and a half years of the surgery. These figures were remarkably close to several other studies cited by the authors.
As you can imagine, cure has in no way taken place in those dogs who were operated on, right?
Cure is, by definition, not only symptom relief but the overall betterment of the patient’s health and well being.
If more than half rupture the other side later on, it’s not difficult to see the underlying disease was not cured.
And did you notice both writers above used the words “costly” or “expensive?” Yes, thousands of dollars to “fix” a lameness that’s likely to come to haunt the other leg. Not a great investment, is it?
Missed Understanding: Inflammation First, Rupture Later.
The researchers in the study linked above, and those in this one, and this author, all saw inflammatory markers in the joint fluid of animals presenting with cruciate ligament disease. The last one spelled out clearly that this is a disease of multiple joints.
Why the inflammation?
A common theory is autoimmune disease, the attack on one’s own tissues by a confused immune system. The balanced immune system should be watchful for foreigners and leave “self” alone. When the difference between foreign invaders, cancer cells, and one’s own tissues is blurred, we have the very large group of diseases known as autoimmune.
Autoimmune? Oh Oh.
Why would the immune system attack the individual it was designed to protect? There are reasons, all of them man made:
- Vaccinations. The biggest reason of immune confusion ever.
- Exposure to solvents. Ever notice the high percentage of ingredients in your topical flea treatments that are called “inert?” Yep: solvents. They’ll take the color off your leather couch, if you’re not careful.
- Heartworm preventatives. Jean Dodds’ work showed this in DVM Magazine years ago.
Some truly scary autoimmune diseases include autoimmune hemolytic anemia (attack on one’s own red blood cells), immune mediated thrombocytopenia (attack on one’s platelets, the cells that help blood to clot), Addison’s (adrenal gland attack), inflammatory bowel disease (chronic inflammatory vomiting and/or diarrhea), pemphigus and lupus (skin deterioration from immune attack).
Prevention Causing Autoimmune Disease? Damn.
Well, if you’re counting, you’ll see the top three reasons for these illnesses come from the “prevention” promoted by Dr. WhiteCoat. Have you stepped out of that paradigm yet? If you were to take just one step to safer ground, it would be to opt out of repeated vaccinations in adult animals, regardless of species. You know they don’t work, right?
Treatment Options for Cruciate Ligament Disease.
So, to sum up, the underlying reason cruciate ligaments fail is likely man made multiple joint inflammation (ever see a wolf with a bum knee? Me neither.) That inflammation led to weakening of the ligaments of the knee which eventually ruptured, causing your dog to be lame. And you’ve just been offered a state of the art, multi-thousand dollar surgery to “put things back together.” Weeks of cage rest follow, so your expensive investment doesn’t fall apart and the other knee blow from overuse. Common drugs used include the NSAIDs which damage joints while dampening the pain signals that would tell your dog to slow down, and take it easy. Likely Dodger’s stomach was upset by these drugs.
Who you gonna call?
I’ve treated a handful of these dogs over the years, and none have had to go to surgery. They’ve become sound to a large extent, with homeopathic treatment tailored to the “whole animal.” They are treated as individuals, so there’s no “one size fits all” as is common in conventional medicine.
But I’ve also seen some simple acute remedies help in the short term, and I’ll be covering my cruciate protocol in the upcoming re-release of my acute homeopathy course, Miracles in Healing, sponsored by Dogs Naturally Magazine. You may want to keep an eye out for this both from the magazine and from signing up for my newsletter (you’ll see a chance at the bottom of this post). My subscribers will be the first to hear of this course returning, and they’ll like receive an early bird discount option.
To get to the depth of this cruciate disease though, view it as the chronic disease that it truly is. Hire a veterinary homeopath to help you steer a course to curing the dog who has the disease.
An acupuncturist who knows her stuff may be another good option. But emphasis needs to be placed on cure, not just pain relief.
Ever had a dog who had this disease? We welcome your stories in the comments below.
May 23, 2014
What A Great Video
May 20, 2014
Apr 5, 2014
Mar 25, 2014
My girl Pearl has always been a nervous dog. You can read more about why here.
She was getting progressively worse over time, to the point where she was having full blown panic attacks. Simple things, like the sound of the microwave or a squeaky noise in the car would send her right over the edge. On more than a few occasions I thought she was going to have a heart attack because she was shaking and panting so bad.
I was contemplating going to the Vet and asking her to put Pearl on some sort of anxiety medication. But, as I am always trying to do things as naturally as possible, I started looking for alternatives before I took the dive into the heavy duty drugs.
That's when I stumbled across the Pet Naturals Calming Chews. I thought I would give them a try, not really expecting too much.
After only 4 days - one chew with breakfast - I noticed a huge difference in her overall demeanor and now that she has been taking them for almost 2 weeks, she's a much calmer dog.
She still alerts when she hears the noises but no more diving under the couch and shivering for 20 minutes. She loves the car and falls asleep when we drive, a huge difference I would say.
Does anyone have any other natural remedies to help calm a nervous dog?
Mar 5, 2014
Sorry I haven't posted in a long time -
I've been a little busy.
2284 Dorchester Avenue, Lower Mills, 02124
For the last few months, all of my time has been taken up with the construction and development of a new retail pet supply store.
Below is a picture of the first delivery we received. As you can see, by the time the delivery guys stopped bringing stuff in, there was not a lot of room left.
After we got everything out the boxes and onto the shelves, things looked much better.
The grand opening day was a blast. Lots of people showed up with their dogs. It was like doggie playgroup in the store.
Jessica was awesome at the register...
... and she also made the human treats below. A huge hit with everyone.
Below are some of the products that we carry in the store:
And of course, Miss Paige had to pop in for a treat.
Gotta get back to work now, but will post more soon!
Nov 7, 2013
A Great Article from Dr. Becker
In this video Dr. Karen Becker discusses her best-to-worst recommendations for diets for dogs and cats and explains how to improve the quality of the food you feed your own pet.