When my dog hurt his knee, I was initially worried that he was going to have to have surgery on it. He could not seem to put any weight on it, which led me to believe that he had torn some sort of ligament in it. I knew that humans who tear their ACL or any other ligament generally need to have surgery for it to heal properly, and I was concerned that this would be the only solution for my dog. However, when I took my dog to the vet, not only did he tell me that surgery would be really expensive, but he also told me that he would not recommend it because he was so old. He told me that this sort of surgery for older dogs can end up being very dangerous, and so he suggested some different methods of dealing with this.
He actually suggested that I get a dog stifle brace for him. He said that this brace would hold him in place so that he would not continue to put too much weight on his knee, and while it would take longer than surgery for it to heal, it would help him to get through and become completely healthy again. I thought that this sounded like a good solution, and my vet helped me to order a brace that would work properly for him. He said that my dog might not like the brace at first, but that I had to keep it on him and make sure that he did not chew on it so that his knee would be able to heal.
Well, he did not like the brace at first, but he did seem to get used to it after a week or so. The brace also seemed to help him to be a little bit more mobile than he was before, and that was something that gave me some optimism. It took a couple of months, but when I took my dog to his next vet appointment, my vet took a look and told me that I could now take him off the brace. I am definitely glad that we were able to help him without any surgery.