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Pet owners with injured pets are often presented with a bit of a conundrum.

Rest and restricted activity are prescribed as a part of most healing regimens. But what is one to do about very active or young pets just itching for a run or a romp?

While it depends on the injury and your vet’s recommendations, Dr. Caroline Goulard—veterinarian certified in canine rehabilitation therapy, veterinary acupuncture and a veterinary pain practitioner—has some suggestions. Goulard owns Paws on the Go in Laguna Woods, California, an animal physical rehabilitation center.

The Honest Kitchen: What animals and conditions do you work with?

Caroline Goulard: The majority of cases we see are dogs ranging up to 200 pounds—we do see the occasional cat too. The types of cases we see vary and include post-op orthopedic surgeries like cruciate tears; tendon/ligament and muscle injuries; arthritis from varying reasons in young, middle age and senior dogs; neurological issues like slipped discs treated conservatively or post-op back surgeries; spinal stroke; degenerative myelopathy; sport injuries and back pain.

THK: What are the most common injuries experienced by dogs and cats?

CG: Cranial cruciate ligament tear, aka CCL, tear or insufficiency in dogs. A CCL tear is a disruption of that ligament in the stifle (knee) joint. There are two cruciate ligaments in the stifle joint, the cranial and caudal, and their names tell it all as they cross each other. The cranial one is the usual culprit in a CCL tear. Dogs can stretch this ligament or tear it to variable degrees.

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