Has your dog been limping for a while now? Do you suspect there may be a severe problem in one of your pooch’s legs? Is your dog walking strangely after falling from a height? If so, then your dog may have torn or ruptured their cranial cruciate ligament.
Just like humans have an Anterior Cruciate Ligament, dogs have Cranial Cruciate Ligaments that connect the femur to the tibia. The cranial cruciate ligament stabilizes the knee joint and keeps the tibia below the knee. If your dog has injured or torn their CCL, then they can’t use their hind leg properly. This can be very painful for the dog and cause them discomfort.
If you’re from our area and you suspect your dog fell from a height or sprained their leg while playing, you must rush them to any of the nearest vet clinics in Virginia Beach to rule out the possibility of a torn CCL.
In this blog below, we will discuss CCL injury and knee surgery for dogs in more detail…
What is Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury?
In dogs, knee injuries or tearing of the cranial cruciate ligament can be prevalent. The cranial cruciate ligament is similar to the anterior cruciate ligament. In dogs, there are two cruciate ligaments: the caudal cruciate ligament and the cranial cruciate ligament. When the CCL is injured, the tibia or shin bone slides forward. Dogs with injured knees experience pain while walking or standing. When these injuries are left untreated for a long period of time, it can damage the cartilage and surrounding bones and even cause osteoarthritis.
Things to know about CCL injuries
While dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds are susceptible to a CCL injury, certain breeds of dogs have a higher risk. If you have a Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Labrador, Newfoundland, or Golden Retriever, you should be aware of CCL tears and take all necessary precautions to prevent it.
Dogs that are obese or overweight, irrespective of their breed, can also experience torn CCL’s. It has been observed that dogs not provided with regular exercise but instead given just occasional strenuous exercise have a higher chance of developing a CCL injury.
According to a study, it was revealed that 5% of neutered males may develop a CCL injury before reaching 12 months. On the other hand, 8% of female dogs are susceptible to CCL injuries. Another study shows that dogs with a history of CCL injuries in one leg may develop it in another leg.
How to detect if your dog has a torn CCL
Amongst all animals, dogs are more susceptible to cranial cruciate ligament injuries. If your dog has severe a CCL or orthopedic injury, he might experience difficulty in walking or simply bearing his own body weight.
Common signs of torn CCL’s are limping or lameness in dogs; however, the symptoms may vary from dog to dog. Another common symptom of torn a CCL is “drawer sign,” which pertains to the tibia bone being pulled forward like a drawer.
In order to determine a possible torn CCL in your dog, the vet at Virginia Beach animal hospital will hold the dog’s femur and move the leg. If the shin bone or tibia moves forward like a drawer, your pooch may have ruptured their CCL.
Besides conducting a physical examination, your vet may perform an x-ray to further check for possible damage to the knee joint.
Treatment for CCL tears
Torn CCL’s are a cause of concern for many pet owners. Pets with a torn or injured CCL have difficulty using the affected leg and may not be able to walk or stand. If your dog has a torn CCL, you should take him or her to your veterinary center for immediate medical care. Your vet may recommend knee surgery according to the condition and severity of the injury.