Maggi has had her fair share of foot and leg injuries, but a CCL (cranial cruciate ligament - similar to the ACL in humans) tear last year was definitely the most daunting. With the help of Dr. Nell, monthly acupuncture treatments and laser therapy, Maggi (and her owner) have made it through surgery and back again!
Maggi is still in recovery, but, according to her owner, she's doing very well. Read on to learn more about Maggi's story and her pawsitive experience with Integrative Medicine:
-Please describe Maggi's behaviors before utilizing laser therapy.
--After one year with a partial CCL tear, Maggi (a 10 year old Pointer mix) completely ruptured her CCL while playing in the snow. She was in tremendous pain. Rimadyl and acupuncture were helpful but she still wouldn’t put any weight on her leg. When she came in and received her first laser treatment it was like night and day. She was so happy after her treatment and much more comfortable. She even jumped into the car by herself, which she hasn’t done in several years.
-Please describe Maggi's behaviors after beginning Laser therapy (before surgery).
--The laser therapy and acupuncture were essential to helping her stay as comfortable as possible before surgery. Maggi loved getting treated. She would come into the room and lay right down. She was always much happier after treatment than before.
--The first few days after surgery were a little rough for Maggi. She was confused and uncomfortable but I did notice a marked improvement in pain and swelling before and after acupuncture and laser treatment. Within 2 weeks of her surgery (and 3 acu & laser treatments later), it was apparent that she was more comfortable and stable on her leg than prior to surgery. Her healing time has been remarkably fast. We comment all the time at how surprised we are that she is doing so well so soon after surgery.
-How do you think the acupuncture and laser treatments have helped Maggi recover from such traumatic injuries and surgery?
--I think the acupuncture and laser therapy compliment each other extremely well. I’ve noticed shorter healing times (compared to other injuries when she was younger), less pain, less swelling and I can tell she likes it because she happily lays down to receive treatment. I would recommend trying acupuncture and laser before surgery if possible. Plus I think they are key in Maggi’s improved healing time, especially at her age of 10 1/2 years.
-Do you use less pain medication than you expected?
--Definitely! On day 3 after surgery, she had her last dose of Tramadol. She didn’t need any more after that. Now she is just on her Rimadyl and Chinese herbs.
-Please provide us with any extra information you deem appropriate.
--Everyday I continue to be surprised at how well Maggi is doing. She is more bright and energetic than she has been in 2 years. She acts more and more like the happy girl I knew before her injury. It is so wonderful to see her this way again!
I am incredibly thankful for laser and acupuncture therapy as I can see the difference it makes in her life. Since we have had a lifetime of various injuries, I only wish it had been available sooner. It is a much better alternative to medication therapy as the risk of side effects is so much less. Healing times have improved and visits to the vet are even more rewarding than before. Plus, she is incredibly happy and that’s the best part of all!
At Lombard Animal Hospital, in Portland, Oregon we strive to increase the quality of life for pets and their people through education, nutrition and wellness!
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