Maya – Spinal Compression/Torn Cruciate

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Maya – Spinal Compression/Torn Cruciate

German Shepherd with Spinal Compression and Torn Cruciate

“It was December 2012, and I was eagerly preparing for a much anticipated holiday get-together with my family. Suddenly, my 10-year old GSD Maya’s back gave in, and she couldn’t climb, take stairs, or squat to do her business. After a couple of days of rest, restricted activity, and monitoring with no improvements, off to the emergency vet we went.

The following week, right around Christmas, involved a gruelling series of physical tests, x-rays, and MRIs with adverse reactions to the anesthetics to boot. We were told that she has severe spinal compression, and that the condition will degenerate over time. It was clear that a new chapter had started in Maya’s life. She now had to make the transition from a healthy working dog to a senior dog in recovery. I made the heart-breaking decision to retire her from our beloved sport of herding and from other cherished activities such as running and hiking.

To deal with her back issue, heavy pain-killers were prescribed and a very expensive back surgery was recommended, which would require months of rehabilitation and recovery. I declined the surgical option because I believe that orthopedic surgeries are particularly hard on the body, especially for an older dog with a history of physical ailments.

Luckily, I was already exposed to holistic approaches with dogs.  Diet wise, all of my dogs are fed a home-prepared diet composed of cooked vegetables and raw meats, organs, and bones. Herbal tinctures and a moderate use of supplements complement the diet. I also had prior experience with canine chiropractic and therapeutic swimming. I am an avid canine exerciser and keep my dogs lean, light, and fit. I also know that a sound relationship with their person (me) is another key ingredient of health.

With that said, I was not prepared for the miracle of acupuncture and biopuncture. I thought Dr. Sasan Hyatt’s treatment would buy Maya some time, but I didn’t realize that it would practically alter the structure and energy of her entire body. Not only did her back get better (almost immediately after the first treatment), but her whole mind and body were enhanced as well. We complemented her acupuncture treatment with photonic therapy and therapeutic swims at the terrific Canine Wellness Centre ( We enjoyed a period of recovery, and Maya eased joyfully into her retirement.

One year later, we were on the mend, or so I thought, and here my girl started to limp and toe-touch. But this time around, I had learned my lesson. There was no need for expensive diagnostics, imaging, and putting my old (and proud) dog through constant handling and anesthetizing. We were going to go straight to Dr. Haghighat this time.

Dr. Haghighat immediately noted that it was most likely a torn cruciate and proceeded to treat Maya with biopuncture – a simple, but at the same time complex, process of drawing blood, mixing it with a homeopathic solution and re-injecting the solution around the injured site. Additionally, he diluted the solution further for oral administration, along with ligament-support supplements and a slight change of diet. Again, Maya is doing well. This kind of healing takes time, but is minimally invasive. And, as Dr. Haghighat says, “The body wants to heal.” We also discussed in detail other common orthopedic surgeries. The most common procedure for repairing a torn cruciate ligament, in a medium-large size dog, is TPLO; or Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy. Since this procedure involves making profound changes in the knee structure (changing the angle of the knee by cutting the tibial bone and re-attaching it with a bone plate), it can be very hard on the body.

Seeing the amazing recovery in Maya’s health, it is my hope that conventional veterinary medicine starts to incorporate more and more alternative modalities to assist the body toward faster healing.”


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