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After surgery supplements for healing

Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:21 am
by Janice
Rolo will be going in for surgery to repair his ACL on Monday. Anyone know what supplements will help him to heal? What amounts to give for a 48lb Britt?

I know from experience there is a long recooperation period but I want to make sure everything goes well for him.

The vet will also be checking the condition of his other rear leg as well as it has given him problems in the past so, keep your fingers crossed it won't require surgery (at least any time soon).


Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:37 am
by Cindy
I can't respond about the supplement question, but I know a little about the ACL repair since Annie has had both of her back legs done! The first time it was a peice of cake ... she was content to stay in the house, not jump up on the furniture, and generally just take it easy. She did this for six weeks, a few more weeks of getting back in condition, and she was back to normal. The second leg was a different story although the results were the same. She HATED being left in the house and barked and whine every time we were out and she wasn't with us. After the stitches came out (about 10 days), my vet said we could take her on slow walks to get the newspaper, etc. She didn't want to use the leg, so walking up hills forced her to put some weight on it - that was a good thing. She jumped on and off the couch who knows how many times a day!! At any rate, the 6 weeks of "house rest" finally was up and she was rearing to go. In the end it didn't seem to matter, at least with her, how much exercise restriction she had. I think you'll be amazed at the results and will be so happy to see your dog run and jump like the old days. Good luck!

Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 8:45 am
by Janice
Cindy, I suspect that his other leg will need it as well. He's been to the vet twice for his now "good" leg. I suppose that he stated using the leg which snapped after having trouble with the good leg.

I can't wait for him to heal up and be himself again. For the last month or so he hasn't been himself to the point that he didn't even get up to greet us upon coming home.

He's used to being up on the furniture so I am going to have to pen him up somehow during the day to keep him for jumping up there. Its going to be a tough recovery time for both of us. And he really isn't going to like it when I have to get the other dog out for exercise and he has to stay home. Poor guy.


Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:40 am
by Cindy
You're probably right about having the other leg done at some point. Seems like if they have that "weakness" it's in both. You may be surprised at how well and/or quickly the recovery goes. But you're right about it being difficult when the other dog goes out because I had that same trouble. Fortunately I have 3 and one is older, so I sometimes left her in the house with Annie for company. She didn't mind and Annie felt less "left out." Keep us posted on the recovery.

Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:28 pm
by Barb Wright
Janice: A good nutritious diet containing quality protein is the mainstay of health, before and after surgery. Quality protein promotes strong muscle development and repair. In the case of ACL surgery, a couple good supplements during recovery would be Glucosamine and Chondroitin.

Glucosamine plays a major role in the promotion and maintenance of the structure and function of cartilage in the joints. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which would help you avoid the use of a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), many of which are effective for pain but harmful. Chondroitin has much the same activity. There are no known contra-indications for these two supplements, and the only adverse reactions have been noted as a mild gastrointestinal type such as slight nausea and/or diarrhea, which can be relieved by reducing the dosage.

Another good supplement is Vitamin C with biflavonoids. This is a good immune stimulator and modulator, thereby helpful during recovery from surgery. (You would not use this if there is pre-existing kidney stone disease or other renal problems). The only likely adverse reactions would be gastrointestinal distress, again relieved by decreasing the dosage to tolerance, i.e. no nause, no diarrhea.

If you get your supplements at the human health food store just reduce the dosage according to human/dog weight ratio. For example, a general rule of thumb, and I am just generalizing and approximating, if the human dosage is 1000 mg a day a 45 pound dog would be about 250-300 mg, although they will usually tolerate more. This would be a "maintenance" dose, not a "therapeutic" dose.

A good quality over-all vitamin/mineral supplement is always a good idea if you feed commercial food. Missing Link seems to work well in conjunction with commercial kibble.

All I can think of right off the top of my head other than say a raw egg a day, shell and all if he will eat it, some cottage cheese, cooked chicken or turkey, any good source of quality protein.

Hope this helps....

Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 5:57 pm
by Janice
Thanks Barb,

I feel the diet the dogs are on is quite good, obviously not good enough for a rough and tumble Brittany. Generally they are fed Innova, or Solid Gold Wolf along with some meats, veggies, or cheese and a sprinkle of oil on their food. A couple of times a week I throw in some extra vit C and E in their food. I do give them some liquid minerals in the water, but I'm pretty bad about this in the winter and usually do it only in the summer. You'd think that this would provide pretty good preventative care, but we've always seemed to have problems with sprains with Rolo, although Blue is strong as an ox!

I am going to up his C and E while he is recovering and will put him on Glyco-Flex which I've had some pretty good success with our last dog. There is a new product on the market called Duralactin which is a milk protien that's very good for inflamation. Don't know if you've heard of it but if you do a search on microlactin you can find out more about it.


Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:04 am
by Dave
How is Rolo doing :?: I was so wound up after losing Angie I kinda lost track :oops: Give him a big pet from me 8) Dave

Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:15 pm
by Janice
Thanks for asking Dave. I guess he's doing just fine. Monday will be three weeks since his surgery and he's really just begining to put his foot on the ground again (on and off). We were supposed to start taking him on short walks this week, but it just seems like he's not ready to walk on it so we've been letting him out in the yard alone for short periods.

He must be doing ok to some degree, we went outside to check on him and he had caught a fruit rat yesterday! When we called him in he was just as proud and happy as could be. He is also greeting us at the door now which he didn't do for a couple of weeks before the surgery and just afterwards.

The thing that has me worried is the loss of muscle mass in his leg. He's really not wanting to walk on it much and has never been fond of the water. But I feel like swimming would be the best thing for him since it won't be jarring to his knee.

He goes back in to see the surgeon Monday so we'll see what the doc has to say and get some advice on rehab.

Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:55 pm
by Dave
Well the old saying "Use it or lose it ", is pretty true .I was told when I had my heart surgery that you lose about 3% muscle tone for everyday of bed rest . That is why doctors and vets are so adamant about getting their patients moving , canine or human :o Of course thing have to heal . I would say he'll get that muscle tone back quickly after he starts bearing weight and using it . 8) Dave

Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 8:28 pm
by Lisa
You might ask your surgeon if he knows of any facilities near by that are equipped to do animal physical therapy. I've got several friends whose dogs had either hip or knee surgery and they actually took their dogs to PT. They used a treadmill submerged in water (to lessen the impact on the joint) and as the dog's strength grew, the water level was decreased. It was pretty cool!

Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:57 am
by Janice
So far I've been doing some research on therapy myself and have found some good info. I've been thinking of buying a small 2-3 foot deep kiddie pool and using that as an underwater "treadmill". I'm going to go over this with the vet.

I've also noticed that he uses the leg when he walks very slowly. I noticed this last night in the kitchen when he was just moving a few steps waiting for his food. Unfortunatly, in case you haven't noticed, Britts rarely walk slowly. So, it looks like I will have to leash him up and slowly get him to move around the yard in a controlled fashion instead of him trying to race around. As soon as he tries to go guickly, up comes the leg and he hops.

But with the loss of muscle mass that he has, he apparently has been using little weight on that leg for a very long time.

Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:55 am
by Cindy
When Annie had her 2nd ACL repaired she didn't want to use the leg either. My vet told me to "dance with her" because it was very important for her to start using is. Annie wasn't into dancing but I found that walking her UP hills did the same thing - forced her weight to her rear end and made her use the leg. Your right ... getting a Brit to walk is yet another challenge! Hope your dogs continues to recover well.

Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:37 pm
by Janice
Well since Florida is flat as a pancake we don't have a lot of hills here at sea level, but I bet Rolo would love to dance. He's always up for some fun.

By the way when I got home from work today he seems to be using it much more. Yeah little Rolo, keep up the good work.


Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:46 pm
by Cindy
That's great! I know that using his leg will really help ALOT. I was re-reading your post about possibly getting a kiddie pool to do rehab. We never had to worry about that with Annie but it was something we considered with Casey - our dog who was hit by a truck last Spring. We decided to try her in our hot tub (because Casey LOVED to swim) before investing in swim therapy. Well ... it was an interesting experiment. As suggested by the rehab people, we bought a life jacket to keep her bouyant and plopped her in our hot tub. All she did was float - never would try swimming, even after we took the life jacket off!!! A HUGE disappointment. But, 9 months later, she's walking, running, and using her back foot. All that after a broken pubic bone, 2 broken hips, a 4 hernias! I forgot to mention ... she was about 12 years old when all this happened to her!!

I guess this is a long story just to say that they WILL and DO get their muscles back just through the normal course of activities. Of course, therapy may move that along faster and better, but it will happen any way.

Can't wait to hear how the first dance lesson goes. I just thought that was such a funny recommendation from my vet. Not at all what I expected him to say. You might want to start out with some quieter music before moving up to the big time. Also, you might want to stay away from "break dancing" ... at least in the beginning!!! Good Luck!

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 2:38 pm
by Cindy
Just wondering how Rolo is recouperating from his ACL surgery. Is he using his leg? How much longer until he can go out and romp?