What You Need to Know After Your Dog has ACL Surgery

What You Need to Know After Your Dog has ACL SurgeryBringing your dog home after ACL surgery can be a daunting experience!

ACL surgery is a major operation, and the incision and stitches appear painful.

How do you know what is normal and what is not normal?

Is there anything special you can do to make your dog feel better?

The following information should put your mind at ease!

What to Expect the Night Immediately After ACL Surgery

Here’s a compilation of situations that seem concerning to pet owners after surgery.

Although concerning to pet owners, the following scenarios are normal post-anesthesia behavior.

Your Dog Doesn’t Want to Drink

Not wanting to drink the night after surgery is normal.

Thirst and appetite may not be completely normal for a few days after surgery.

Your Dog Seems Disoriented and/0r Listless

Disoriented and/or listless behavior is normal after sedation and anesthesia.

Listless behavior may continue until the next morning.

Your Dog Howls and Whines Through the Night

Many dogs howl and whine the night after surgery.

Such behavior is a normal reaction after undergoing anesthesia.

The Surgery Site Bleeds or Seeps

Seeping and bleeding from the surgery site is normal and may continue for several days.

Your Dog Hates Wearing the Cone

Your dog must wear a cone to keep him/her from licking and chewing the surgery site.

Licking and chewing of the surgery site is the most common cause of infection.

Your pet must wear the cone for 10-14 days to avoid infection and damage to the suture.

Do not take the cone off!!

Pets can chew through their suture line in less than 30 seconds.

What You Should Do When You Bring Your Dog Home

You’ve just returned home from the vet’s office and want to make your pet as comfortable as possible.

What should you do?

Offer your pet small amounts of water when you get home.

Later on, you may offer small amounts of food.

Realize your dog’s appetite may not be completely normal for a few days.

Check your dog’s incision daily for redness, swelling, or discharge.

If you observe any of the above signs, please bring your pet by for a recheck.

Sometimes pets will have what we call a “suture reaction.”

Suture reactions occur when the body rejects the suture material.

There is no treatment for a suture reaction.

Restrict running, jumping & climbing stairs for the next ten (10) days.

Too much activity can cause damage to the surgery leg.

No swimming or bathing for the next ten (10) days.

Swimming or bathing can introduce bacteria into the incision and cause infection.

You may wipe and clean the suture area with a warm, damp cloth.


Over-the-counter pain relievers can be poisonous to pets!

We can prescribe safe pain medication when needed.

We need to remove your dog’s stitches and/or staples need in 10-14 days.

Please return for this service.

There is no extra charge for suture removal, unless we need to sedate your dog.

You must limit your dog’s activity.

ACL Repair is a complicated surgery!

Your dog will need to rest and recover over the next several weeks.

The first two weeks after surgery are the most crucial for proper healing.

You will need to supervise your pet full-time during the first two weeks.

You must not allow your pet to jump on and off furniture.

Do not allow any off-leash activity during the two-week healing period, either.

Your dog can go up and down stairs.

Please supervise at all times and only allow stair climbing when necessary.

Physical Therapy After ACL Surgery Improves Range of Motion

You can find additional information and a schedule for physical therapy at home here.

The first week, you will be performing only massage, ice packs, and light range of motion.

Gradually increase the intensity as your dog progresses through the therapy program.

Laser Therapy After ACL Surgery Speeds Healing and Reduces Inflammation of the Surgery Site

A program of laser therapy can help speed healing and reduce inflammation at the surgery site.

You can read more about laser therapy here.

The recommended schedule of laser therapy is 2 visits per week for 3 weeks, a total of 6 sessions.

Please contact our office if you would like laser therapy for your dog!

How to Speed Healing and Make Your Pet More Comfortable After ACL Surgery

You can actually speed healing, make your pet more comfortable, and improve the surgery’s final outcome by performing a few simple tasks during your dog’s recovery period.

This simple post-surgery protocol will provide your dog with the best possible outcome and make him more comfortable in the weeks following surgery.

Leash Walks

Leash walks should be short in length and controlled.

Walk at a slow pace and encourage placement of the affected limb.

Doing so encourages weight bearing and strengthens the leg.

Only leash-walk for 5 minutes two to three times daily during the first week.

During the second week, work up to 10 minutes two to three times daily.

Range of Motion

Range of motion exercises decrease the chances of forming scar tissue.

The formation of scar tissues can cause permanent limits in your dog’s range of motion.

Make sure you perform the range of motion exercises!

Range of motion exercises can be painful at first.

You can ease the pain by supporting the limb with one hand over the knee and one hand grasping below the hock.

Next, gently extend the right rear limb and flex it as far as your pet will allow for 10-15 reps two to three times daily.

Gradually work up to 20 reps.

Ice Packs

Use ice packs the first week of post-op to reduce inflammation and soreness.

Place an ice pack over the knee for 10-15 minutes after exercises twice daily.

If you have further questions about ACL surgery or post-surgery care, please contact our clinic.

Sprayed by a Skunk? Here’s A Quick Way to Remove Skunk Smell!

Sprayed by a Skunk? Here's A Quick Way to Remove Skunk Smell!

You hear your dog barking frantically in the back yard.

You open the door to see what’s going on, and it hits you in the face like a steel shovel.



Just what is skunk spray?

Skunks have two glands on each side of the anus, similar to dog anal glands, called anal scent glands.

Skunk anal scent glands produce oily sulfur-containing chemicals that create a nauseating odor.

Believe it or not, skunks can spray a distance of fifteen feet or more!

Skunk spray can be very difficult to remove from fur if you use the wrong products.

Fortunately, we have a do-it-yourself recipe that provides a quick way to eliminate skunk spray.

Recipe to Remove Skunk Smell

  • 1 quart of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of Dawn dish soap

Mix all of the above ingredients in a plastic bottle or bowl. (The treatment will be thick like a paste.)
Wipe your dog down with clean towels and remove as much skunk spray as possible.
Place your dog in a bathtub.
Completely wet your dog’s fur.
Dowse your dog with the homemade skunk spray remover.
Lather well.
Leave the remover in your dog’s fur for 10 minutes, then rinse well.

If your dog retains a lingering odor after the above treatment, repeat the process.

Are you a “Do-It-Yourself” fan?

Learn How to Cook for Your Dog!

How to Give Your Dog or Cat Oral Neoplasene Cancer Treatments

How to Give Your Dog or Cat Oral Neoplasene Cancer TreatmentsWhat is Oral Neoplasene?

Oral Neoplasene is an herbal veterinary medication made of bloodroot extract, halogens, and water.

In our clinic, the term “Neoplasene” is often interchanged with the term “Bloodroot”, because bloodroot is a much easier word for our clients to remember.

In reality, Neoplasene is a derivative of bloodroot extract.

Generic bloodroot extract will not provide the same benefits as veterinary Neoplasene.

Neoplasene treats cancer by encouraging the death of diseased (cancer) cells, while not affecting healthy cells.

Our clinic often uses oral Neoplasene as part of a customized cancer care plan.

Neoplasene is only available through a veterinarian.

How to Give Your Dog or Cat Oral Neoplasene

Mix your pet’s dose of Neoplasene with a canned PET | TAO Formula or home-cooked food.

An example recipe for home-cooked food is:

  • Cooked ground meat (50%)
  • Steamed white rice (25%)
  • Cooked chopped vegetables (25%)

Feed your pet twice daily.

You may add in fruit once a week.

Make sure you thoroughly mix the Neoplasene dose with the meal.

Make sure your pet is really hungry and really thirsty at meal time.

You might have to slightly alter your pet’s feeding schedule to accomplish this.

Tips for Giving Oral Neoplasene With Meals:

  • Withhold water for two hours before meal/medicine time.
  • Only give food at meal/medicine time (i.e. twice daily).
  • Feed a meaty food.
  • Avoid dry or raw food as the cell membrane (meat) or cell wall (vegetables) of raw food does not absorb the unpleasant tasting/emetic oral medication well.
  • Mix the dose of Bloodroot/Neoplasene with the food THOROUGHLY.

Sometimes, the above protocol does not work because a pet continually refuses to eat food containing Neoplasene.

If your pet refuses to eat food containing Neoplasene, you may squirt Neoplasene directly in your pet’s mouth via syringe.

Neoplasene is very bitter. Your pet will not like the taste!

Make sure the syringe is inserted into your pet’s mouth past the tongue so he/she doesn’t taste the Neoplasene.

Afterward, make sure to feed your pet and provide plenty of water after administering Neoplasene to reduce the emetic effect and get the bad taste out of your pet’s mouth.

If your pet has cancer and you’re looking for options, please contact our clinic !

We offer a variety of options including Vitamin C IV Therapy, Eastern Herbal Formulas, Eastern Food Therapy, and more!

Read The Pet Owner’s Guide to Dog Cancer

What to Expect When Giving Your Pet TCVM and Eastern Herbal Formulas

What to Expect When Giving Your Pet TCVM and Eastern Herbal FormulasWhat are TCVM and Eastern Herbal Formulas?

Our clinic uses TCVM formulas from Dr Xie’s Jing Tang Herbal, located in Reddick, FL.

Dr. Huisheng Xie, a third generation practitioner of TCM, born and educated in China, developed the line of Jing Tang herbal formulas.

Dr. Xie created the Jing Tang formulas through knowledge gleaned from 30 years of clinical experience combined with traditional Chinese herbal recipes dating back 3,000 years.

Eastern herbal blends consist of herbs specifically chosen to work synergistically to relieve the patient’s symptoms.

At the same time, the herbs address the underlying causes of the symptoms utilizing the principles of TCVM.

Tips for Using TCVM Eastern Herbal Formulas

Look at the prescription label for the dosage specifically calculated for your pet’s weight.

Bulk powders work well mixed in wet food, tuna, peanut butter, or any food with a good, strong scent of its own that your dog may like.

Herbal formulas take approximately 2-3 weeks to start working.

Maximum benefits are usually obtained within 6 weeks.

Your pet may need a 1-2 week period for his/her body to adjust to the herbs.

During this adjustment period, your pet may experience mild gastrointestinal distress and loose stools.

We recommend continuing the use of the herbs during this period.

If the distress is too intense, you may cut back to ½ the recommended dose for the first week, then resume the total recommended dose.

Some pets need to be an herbal formula only for a few months or until the health issue is resolved.

Other pets, suffering from chronic conditions, need to continue taking the herbal formula for the rest of his/her life.

We hope you have found this information interesting and informative.

TCVM herbal formulas are a wonderful tool to help pets heal and maintain balance in their bodies.

Good luck with your pet’s continued health!

If you have any questions or if we can help you in any way, please contact our clinic!

Interested in Herbs for Your Pet? Schedule Your Consultation Now!

How to Use Zyrtec for Dog Allergies & Itchy Skin

How to Use Zyrtec for Dog AllergiesIf your dog suffers from any of the symptoms listed below, you might benefit from using Zyrtec for dog allergies.

  • Seasonal allergy symptoms
  • Skin allergy symptoms
  • Itchy insect bites
  • Reactions to poison oak or poison ivy
  • Other itchy, allergy-like situations

Zyrtec (cetirizine) is an over-the-counter antihistamine pharmaceutical use to treat dermatitis in dogs.

Cetirizine is the generic name for the name brand product Zyrtec.

WARNING: Do not give your dog ZYRTEC-D. ZYRTEC-D contains ingredients that can be toxic to your dog.

Before giving Zyrtec to your dog, always double check the package label and make sure the only active ingredient in the product is cetirizine.

Zyrtec relieves dog allergy symptoms such as itchy skin, runny noses, and watery eyes.

Drowsiness is a common side effect of Zyrtec.

The standard recommended Zyrtec dosage for dogs is: 

  • Dogs over 10 lbs: Give one 10mg tablet once daily
  • Dogs under 10 lbs: Give one-half of a 10mg tablet once daily

Zyrtec (cetirizine) usually takes approximately 30 minutes to start working.

Always make sure to check with your veterinarian before giving your pet Zyrtec (cetirizine), especially if your pet is on any other supplements or medications.

Use Zyrtec with caution in pets that are pregnant have seizures or other health conditions.

You can use generic versions of Zyrtec, but make sure that the medication you are using contains only cetirizine and other ingredients, as these other ingredients could be harmful to your dog.

Read The Pet Owner’s Guide to Dog Allergies