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 *