Holistic Alternatives for a Torn Canine Cruciate Ligament

Updated July 05, 2018

Torn cruciate ligaments are common canine injuries. The anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) holds the knees together. Signs of ACL tearing include acute lameness and severe pain, with no weight-bearing on the limb. Surgery is recommended in most cases of ACL tearing, but older or infirm dogs may benefit from a more holistic approach. For best results, consult with a veterinarian who specialises in holistic treatment of pets. A combination of therapies may prevent the need for surgery.


For dogs with partially-torn ACLs, prolonged rest may be a surgical alternative. According to Dog Channel, one to two months of inactivity may allow the fibres to heal. The dog should be kept crated or confined to a small area with no access to stairs. There should be no chairs or sofas available for them to climb up on and have to jump down from. There should be no activity except for potty breaks, and the dog must be taken out on a leash to attend to its business.

ACL Support Kit

The basic or advanced ACL Support Kits sold by The Natural Canine of Vermont contain supplies for dogs whose ACL ligaments have strained but not torn. Their advice for torn ligaments is surgery. The basic support kit includes a homeopathic joint relief tincture, while the advanced kit contains sea mussel, a supplement for connective tissue support.

The Natural Canine of Vermont

163 Belden Falls Rd.

New Haven, VT 05472


Nutritional Supplements

Helen McKinnon, in "It's for the Animals," recommends Ester Vitamin C, d-alpha Vitamin E, bovine cartilage, Glucosamine sulphate, liquorice tincture, manganese, silica and other supplements for dogs suffering with torn ACLs. These supplements are human-grade and may be found at health-food stores or online. Check with your veterinarian before giving any supplements to your dog and to determine the appropriate dosage for the animal.


Dogs with torn ACLs may benefit from regular massages of the knee area and physiotherapy, such as swimming. Consult with a holistic veterinarian for proper massage techniques for the injury, as incorrect methods can cause the dog pain.

Weight Loss

Feed your dog a high-quality diet, and make sure it is not overweight. Additional pounds strain the joints and can affect ACL healing. If the dog is in confinement while recuperating from the injury, it will not need the same amount of food as when active. Consult your veterinarian for the best weight-loss program for your pet.

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About the Author

Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.