What Are Canine Ligament Injuries?
If your dog starts limping or becomes lame in one of his hind legs, he may have ruptured or torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), also called the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL).
The ACL is the ligament connecting the back of the femur with the front of the tibia. (The bone above the knee to the bone below the knee.)
The most common cause of canine ligament injuries is excessive internal rotation of the tibia when the joint is partially flexed.
Ligament injuries are often the result of trauma.
Or, when a dog is running and planting the hind limbs while the body’s momentum continues to move forward.
Unfortunately, ACL tears are a very common orthopedic injury in dogs.
In addition, approximately 30% to 50% of dogs who tear one ACL will tear the other ACL within a few years.
How Does Diet Affect Canine Ligament Injuries?
Medium, large, and giant breed dogs are most at risk for cruciate ligament tears.
And, diet plays a significant role early on!
Good nutrition as a puppy, especially for large breed dogs, is necessary for proper bone and joint development.
In addition, larger puppies should be fed to stay lean and not overfed.
Overfeeding large-breed puppies encourages a high growth rate, which may contribute to abnormal bone development.
In addition, excess body weight puts stress on your dog’s joints, at any age or of any breed.
Maintaining a healthy body weight and providing adequate exercise are two of the best proactive steps you can take for your dog.
Your veterinarian can help you determine if is at a healthy weight or not.
Eastern Medicine Diet for Dogs with Ligament Injuries
TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine) studies show dogs with ligament injuries often fall into the same Eastern health classification.
According to Chinese philosophy, food is medicine, and dietary changes can make a major health improvements by treating the underlying causes of your pet’s health issues.
Dr. Smith recommends a Blood building diet to help dogs recover from ligament injuries and promote ligament health moving forward.
In Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), “Blood” is much more than the liquid red substance that is pumped by the heart and travels through your veins.
Blood provides nourishment and moisture for your dog’s entire body.
It keeps your dog’s tendons, skin, and hair healthy, strong, and flexible.
Blood lubricates the joints and nourishes the mind.
It keeps your dog calm and ensures good, sound sleep.
You can make a Blood building diet at home or purchase the food premade.
Slow-Cooker Blood-Building Dog Food Recipe
Dr. Smith also recommends feeding liver to dogs with ligament health challenges.
In TCVM, the liver governs the tendons, ligaments, and joints.
Also, according to the 5 Element Theory, the liver represents wood.
The attributes of wood are strength and flexibility, as with bamboo.
By feeding your dog liver, those attributes are strengthened.
Ease Your Dog’s Ligament Discomfort
Another supplement favored by Dr. Smith is PET | TAO Comfort to ease discomfort caused by ligament injuries.
Comfort is an all-natural NSAID alternative. It supplies the powerhouse supplements Yucca, Boswellia, MSM, Meadowsweet, and other synergistic ingredients combined in a tasty chew.
Comfort is generally safe to use with other supplements and medications.
However, it’s always best to check with your veterinarian before starting your dog on a new supplement.
Need more help with your dog’s ligament injury?
We would love to help you help your dog!
Just contact us or schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith by calling 615.750.2248.
You can also get a free digital copy of Dr. Smith’s book, “What Your Vet May Not Tell You About Torn Knee Ligaments, at TCVM Pet Supply.