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Polly Pocket’s Leg Injury…to have surgery or not have surgery?

July 10th, 2012 | Posted by Emily in Blog Love | Doggies! | Fostering. | Green Bungie | Opt to Adopt | Polly Pocket

I can’t believe it’s been three weeks since Polly Pocket came to live with us!

Life has changed quite a bit for her in the last three weeks. She came to us a scared, trembling girl with no confidence whatsoever. She was recovering from spay surgery and a recently removed embedded prong collar. She limped badly on her back left leg and the initial vet who looked at her believed that she had a torn ACL. We were bracing ourselves to start raising money for surgery, but decided to get a second opinion on Polly’s leg when we had her spay stitches removed.


Polly Pocket was sent to us with a bottle of Rimadyl, which is an anti-inflammatory pill often prescribed to dogs with muscle injuries or  arthritis pain. Unfortunately, the Rimadyl didn’t seem to help Polly much, and from what I’ve read, prolonged usage of the medication can cause anything from gastrointestinal issues to renal failure. So I knew we couldn’t use the Rimadyl safely for any extended length of time, but I felt so terrible because Polly looked so sad limping around the house. By coincidence, Katharine from Two Kitties One Pittie posted on Facebook about how Zoe hurt herself and was limping around also. Francie from Maisie & Me commented that she had luck using Traumeel tablets to deal with her old dog’s muscle injuries. Traumeel is a homeopathic blend botanical substances and minerals that is used as a natural anti-inflammatory to treat arthritis, sprains, and muscle injuries in humans. I googled “Traumeel usage in dogs” and saw that it is a common practice to use Traumeel to treat the same issues with dogs. But unlike Rimadyl, Traumeel can be used longterm without any threat of cardiovascular or renal issues. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I ran over to the local natural food store and picked up a bottle for $14 (much cheaper than the price tag on the Rimadyl).

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t really expecting it to work.  I mean, how in the world could a natural supplement succeed where modern medicine failed? So imagine my surprise when, just a few hours after taking her first dose of Traumeel, Polly Pocket did zoomies around the backyard using ALL FOUR LEGS! When we came inside, I noticed she was still walking on all four legs and putting considerable weight on her back leg, when she had never been able to do that before. I was really encouraged, but just before her nighttime feeding, I noticed she was limping again. It wasn’t as pronounced as before, but she was still limping. Another dose of Traumeel and she seemed good as new once more. I followed the recommended dosage for her size, which allows her two pills twice a day.


When I took Polly to have her stitches removed last week, I asked the vet to take a look at her leg. He asked me to take her around the office so he could watch her walk, then he felt around her leg and bent her knee several times. I braced myself for a horribly long, terribly expensive diagnosis. Then, decisively, he announced, “she’s fine!” Wait….what?! He explained that when he bent her knee, he could hear a small clicking sound in her joint, which is indicative of arthritis (probably developed from an old injury – most likely self-inflicted considering what an escape artist she is), but it is not anything that requires surgery. He told me that he was impressed with how well she is walking on it and told me to keep up with the Rimadyl and add a glucosamine supplement (which I had already been giving her since she came to live with us). I told him that I hadn’t been using the Rimadyl, but Traumeel instead. He looked skeptical, but said “if it seems to be helping, go with that then.” Polly will probably have to be on glucosamine and Traumeel for the rest of her life, but that is a much easier fate to deal with than an expensive and painful surgery. So as of last Friday, with her stitches removed and leg injury issues solved, Polly is officially adoptable! We are so thrilled – now bring on the adoption applications!

* I am not a veterinarian and cannot tell you what is best for your dog regarding using all-natural remedies or prescription medication. I am merely sharing what worked best for my foster dog. Please consult with your own veterinarian before using any new medication (prescription or all-natural) on your pet. *
* Polly Pocket is available for adoption through Heart of America Humane Society *

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18 Responses

  • avatar Cori says:

    PP is lucky to have a foster momma that does her research! Glad she’s feeling better…

  • So glad it did turn out this way. I know there are so many things even vets don’t know, and I’m always skeptical when they only recommend the most expensive options. Now for getting Polly adopted!

  • avatar Married with Dawgs says:

    AWESOME!!! A) I’m glad Polly is feeling better & can start the serious business of finding her forever home and B) I love success stories with natural, herbal and homeopathic remedies. Medicine has its shortfalls and I wish more people would give alternative medicine a try. Good for you in finding a safe solution for her!

  • That is so great! We were terrified that Nola was going to need surgery for her ACL injury so I know what you were feeling. I am wondering if Traumeel and glucosamine will help Nola as she is recovering from her tear. I will have to look into it! Thanks and kisses to Polly!

  • avatar Harper says:

    I’ve never heard of Traumeel before, but I am definitely going to look into this more for our dog Addie who has 2 bad knees: luxating patella. She had surgery on the worse of the 2 knees, which worked wonders, but she is still on a glucosamine regimen for her arthritis. Anyways, good luck Polly!!

  • avatar adorabully says:

    So glad Polly doesn’t need surgery!! Devo had to have his CCL repaired almost a year ago now. He had a complete rupture. It was not a cheap surgery and a very long recovery. He’ll never be 100% but he’s almost as good as new! I’ll have to keep the Traumeel in mind for the future if he needs it.

  • avatar Emily says:

    Yeah for Polly! And, I hope she gets adopted soon. As for the Traumeel I’m going to look into it because my little Dottie is developing some really bad arthritis and could use some extra help.

  • avatar tholupka says:

    Officially adoptable, yahooooo!!!!! Love that you went with your gut and tried something safer. Polly’s foster momma is a healer!

  • avatar Anita says:

    Pug just started using Rimydl after he threw himself off the bed trying to eat my lactaid (which I assume he thought was for him). I only used it for a couple of days and luckily he is fine, but now I am going to look in to traumeel. Pug also had the clicking which the Dr’s told me was a mix of luxating patella and arthritis. I am glad Polly doesnt need surgery!

    • avatar Emily says:

      Maybe Pug was feeling especially lactose-intolerant that day?? Poor guy! I’ll admit, I am a bit nervous that it still might be more than just arthritis, but since Polly isn’t letting it bother her, I’m going to proceed with the doctor’s recommendations for now.

  • I’m so glad that Polly doesn’t need surgery!!!!!! YAY! I’m also thrilled that the Traumeel is helping her!!!! I actually ended up not needing to buy any because Zoe’s leg healed in a few short days. But I think I’ll pick some up next time I’m at Whole Foods just in case! :) :)

  • avatar Kristine says:

    What fantastic news! Wow! It just shows how important it can be to get a second opinion! It’s great how the right medication did the trick and saved you all the expense and Polly the experience of surgery. What a tough girl she is!

  • avatar Emily says:

    Just a heads up, I gave you an award! Check out my latest post: http://adventuresofadogmom.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/ive-got-sunshine/

  • Once again, you have discovered a little miracle of doggy health wisdom! I’m so thrilled Polly doesn’t need surgery. That little lady has been through enough already!

  • avatar Vicki says:

    That is awesome!! I love it when something natural works better than something not so natural. It seems like it so rarely happens, even my natural dish soap is the pits!

  • avatar Lynne says:

    Good Job, Emily!!!