Dog ACL Injury? 5 Things You Need to Know!

Dog ACL Injury? 4 Things You Need to Know!Caring for a dog with an ACL injury can be a daunting experience!

Specialists chant “Surgery! Surgery!” as your dog limps and your wallet screams in pain.

Make sure you do your research–you may have more options than you originally considered!



If your dog suffers from only a partial cruciate ligament tear, he or she may not need surgery.

You will need to visit a veterinarian to understand the severity of your dog’s ACL injury.

Sometimes limiting activity as the leg heals will resolve an ACL tear.

For partial tears, prolotherapy is often an excellent option in lieu of surgery.

Learn more:

Learn More About Prolotherapy for Partial ACL Tears in Large Mix Breed Dogs



If surgery is needed to treat your dog’s ACL injury, you still may have several options to choose from.

Not all vet clinics explain all of the options.

Some types of surgery have more complications than other types of surgery.

Likewise, the complications of some types of surgery much more drastic than the complications of other types of surgery.

You need someone to explain all of the different options and possible outcomes to you, and also tell you how each choice relates to your dog’s particular situation.

Dr. Marc Smith makes a point to explain all of the options and details during every consultation.

Learn more:

Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) Surgery for Dogs

Surgical Correction of Cruciate Tear and Patella Luxation in Dog

Dog Cranial Cruciate Surgery



Physical therapy after surgery is mandatory for your dog to achieve expected range of motion and use of his or her leg.

We teach you to do physical therapy, so that you can perform the exercises at home with your dog.

You start with simple range of motion exercises right after surgery and move on rebuilding exercises later on.

Physical therapy training is a part of our clinic’s surgery package and incurs no additional cost to you.

Learn more:

Post Surgery Rehabilitation for Dogs: Cranial Cruciate Surgery



Statistics report that 50% of dogs that tear the one cruciate ligament will tear the opposite side sometime in their lifetime.

However, derived from years of in-clinic experience, Dr. Smith estimates the statistic to be actually more like 70%.

There are several options available to prevent your dog from tearing the other ligament.

Learn more:

Prevent Your Dog from Tearing the Good Knee Ligament After Surgery



Dr. Marc Smith has treated hundreds of dogs with ACL injuries.

Many with surgery, some with other options.

If you dog suffers from an ACL injury or cruciate disease, please let us know!

We will work you in quickly for a consultation.


Homemade Vinegar Rinse for Itchy Pets

vinegar, dog itching, cat itching, skin

Got an itchy, scratchy dog or cat?

Our Homemade Vinegar Rinse for Itchy Pets is a great solution for pet’s allergies or skin irritation!

Making a vinegar rinse or spray is very easy and inexpensive.

Homemade Vinegar Rinse Recipe:

1 part water
1 part vinegar
Optional: Add few drops of lavender essential oil.

  • Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle or covered container. 
  • Apply generously to affected areas 2-3 times daily.
  • Mixture can be either sprayed or dowsed on with a cloth. (Use whichever method is least stressful for your pet.) 
  • Be very generous, use a lot!

Vinegar is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and will help to restore proper pH to your pet’s skin.

If you add lavender essential oil to the mix, you pet will benefit from lavender’s additional analgesic, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties.

If your dog has open sores and acts like the solution stings, just add more water to the mixture.


How to Give Your Dog Glucosamine Injections

How to Give Your Dog Glucosamine InjectionsWHAT ARE GLUCOSAMINE INJECTIONS?

Injectable glucosamine is a prescription medication that is injected into your dog’s muscle and then preferentially absorbed by inflamed joints.

Glucosamine injections lubricate and soothe the joints, which reduces friction.

When friction is reduced, pain and inflammation are reduced.

Instead of simply masking pain as NSAIDs do, glucosamine injections help rebuild cartilage in the damaged joint.

With glucosamine injections, you are actually getting joint therapy instead of mere pain control.


If this is your dog’s first experience with glucosamine injections, you will need follow a “loading dose” schedule to build the medication up on your dog’s system.

The loading dose for glucosamine is one intramuscular injection once every 4 days for a series of  8 injections.

To do this, you give an injection, wait 4 days, then give another injection.

Repeat until you have given a series of 8 injections.


First, choose the perfect place for the injection:

  • Pick a quiet place with good lighting.
  • Make sure your dog is on a surface that is not slippery.
  • Get a friend or family member to help, if possible. (Your helper should only hold your dog tight enough to keep your dog’s head under control.)

Prepare the syringe and needle:

  • Make sure the needle is clean and straight.
  • Shake the bottle to make sure the medication is consistent
  • Tip the medicine bottle upside down using one hand
  • Place the syringe in the center hole (the rubber part) with the other hand
  • Slowly fill the syringe to desired quantity by pulling out on the plunger. Dr. Smith will have pre-calculated your dog’s dose for you. Make sure to avoid any air bubbles in the syringe. If air bubbles do occur, push the plunger in squirting liquid back into the jar until the air bubbles disappear.

Choose where to give the injection:

  • The hamstring (the fleshy part of the back leg)

Give the Injection:

  • Injectable glucosamine is given as an intramuscular (IM) injection.
  • Part your dog’s fur at the injection site so that you can see the skin.
  • It is not necessary to sterilize the injection site unless it is particularly unclean.
  • If you feel you need to clean the area, swap the area with alcohol, making sure the area is completely dry before you proceed.
  • Uncap the sterile needle and syringe and hold just like you would a pencil.
  • Let your “helper” know that you will be administering the injection now, so that she will not be surprised.
  • With the hand that is not holding the needle, scratch the area where you plan to insert the needle.
  • Continue scratching as you insert the needle. This confuses the “pain pathway” of the nerve endings and helps make the injection less painful.
  • Insert the needle into the skin using a slow, continuous push through the skin and into the muscle at a ninety-degree angle.
  • Make sure that the needle is inserted its full length and then push the plunger down to administer all of the medicine inside the liquid.
  • Withdraw the needle carefully.
  • Dispose of the needle and syringe into a properly labeled needle disposal container.
  • Massage the injection site gently for a few seconds to encourage the material to dissipate.
  • It may also relieve some of the discomfort of the injection for the dog.



FREE Pet First Aid Class Tuesday 3/29/16 at Natchez Trace Veterinary Services – Nashville



Tuesday March 29

Natchez Trace Veterinary Services
Belle Meade Location
6614 Hwy 100
Nashville, TN 37205

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

What would you do if your pet got hit by a car?

If your pet suffered from heat stroke?

If your pet suffered a severe burn or was in shock, would you be able to handle the situation?


What is and isn’t an actual emergency.

What to do in emergency and non-emergency situations.

How to treat for shock

How to control severe bleeding

How to handle common pet hazards

Q&A session with Dr. Marc Smith

And more!

We’re also giving FREE copies of our Pet First Aid Ebook to everyone who attends!

Seating is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Doors open at 5:30.

3 Ways to Use Essential Oils on Your Dog


3 Ways to Use Essential Oils on Your Dog

Love your dog? Love essential oils? You are going to love this information!

New to essential oils? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

What are Essential Oils?

Essential Oils are the natural, aromatic compounds found in plants.

A plant’s volatile oils (essential oils) are the plant’s main form of protection against predators and the environment.

Essential oils are extracted from the plant by either cold-pressing or steam distilling.

Medicinally, essential oils are powerful and safe, and are 55-70 times more powerful than herbs!

Unlike pharmaceuticals and chemicals, when used properly, essential oils don’t cause side effects.



#1: Aromatically

  • Add several drops of essential oil to water in a diffuser
  • Place several drops on a cotton ball or piece of cloth and place near your dog
  • Benefits:
    • Purifies Air
    • Manages Moods
    • Opens Airways

#2: Topically

  • Apply essential oils between the toe pads on your dog’s feet
  • Place a couple drops of essential oil in the palm of your hands, rub together, then pet your dog. (You may need to dilute the essential oil first.)
  • Benefits:
    • Immediate comfort
    • Supports overall health of the area treated
    • Systemic health support
    • Immune system Support

#3: Internal

  • Add a few drops to your dog’s water or food
  • Add a few drops to a gelatin capsule and give to your dog
  • Benefits:
    • Aids digestion
    • Supports oral health
    • Supports throat comfort and health
    • Supports liver health


  • Never place essential oils in your dogs eyes, nose, or ear canals! Essential oils are best applied to the bottom of back paws between toe pads, on the stomach, and/or behind the ears.
  • Use essential oils that are safe for human consumption. If the essential oil is safe for human consumption, a supplement fact (like you would find on a cereal box) will be on the essential oil’s product label. If the oil is not safe for human consumption, the label will contain a disclaimer such as “For External Use Only.”
  • Dilution for dogs over 15 lbs: Dilute at 1 drop of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of fractionated coconut oil
  • Dilution for dogs under 15 lbs: Dilute at 1 drop essential oil to 2 tablespoons of fractionated coconut oil
  • Dilution for young puppies: Dilute at 1 drop essential oil to 3 tablespoons fractionated coconut oil
  • Use essential oils with caution and dilute 1 drop essential oil to 3 tablespoons of coconut oil for dogs that are old, pregnant, sick, or prone to seizures.