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Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries in Dogs

 

The Basics: 

A common type of orthopedic injury observed by veterinarians is anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, also known as cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries in dogs and cats. The cranial and caudal ligaments, which join the tibia and femur bones, make up the ACL, which is situated in the knee. The knee is stabilized and can move properly because to the X-shaped intersection of these ligaments. Numerous variables, such as obesity, trauma, and knee deterioration, can lead to ACL injury. In dogs, limping, stiffness, trouble standing or jumping, and swelling on the inside of the knee are signs of an ACL tear. Keep your pet at a healthy weight to help prevent ACL injuries.

 

Breeds that are more prone to ACL Injuries: 

Certain dog breeds, such as the Newfoundland, Rottweiler, and Labrador Retriever, are more prone to ACL injuries, as are larger dogs in general. Regular checkups with your veterinarian can help identify early risk factors and prevent the injury from becoming worse.

 

Surgical and Non-Surgical Treatment Options:

(1) Treatment options for ACL injuries in dogs include surgical and non-surgical options. Surgery is typically recommended for dogs with complete tears, as it can provide the best chance for a successful outcome. The most common surgical procedure for a torn ACL is a TPLO (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy) or TTA (tibial tuberosity advancement). These procedures involve altering the angle of the tibia to reduce the stress on the ACL and promote healing. 

 (2) Non-surgical options such as rest and physical therapy may be recommended for dogs with partial tears or for those that are not good candidates for surgery. Physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles around the knee, reduce inflammation, and improve mobility. Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also be prescribed to help reduce pain and inflammation. 

 (3) It's important to note that recovery from an ACL injury can take several months and requires strict confinement and strict exercise restriction during the recovery period. After surgery, rehabilitation, and a gradual return to normal activity will be necessary to help ensure a successful outcome.

 (4) In addition to the above treatment options, dog knee braces can also be used to help support the knee and reduce stress on the ACL. These braces can be used in the early stages of an ACL injury to help prevent further damage, as well as after surgery to support the knee during the healing process. It is important to consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog physiotherapist to determine the best type of brace for your dog's specific condition. 

 

ACL Injuries are common and treatable: 

In conclusion, Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries, also known as Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) injuries, are a common type of orthopedic injury seen in dogs and cats. These injuries can cause significant pain and discomfort and may require surgical or non-surgical treatment options depending on the severity of the injury. Keeping your pet at a healthy weight and regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help prevent ACL injuries. In addition, dog knee braces can also be used to help support the knee and reduce stress on the ACL. It is important to consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog physiotherapist to determine the best course of treatment and type of brace for your dog's specific condition. Recovery from an ACL injury can take several months and requires strict confinement and strict exercise restriction during the recovery period. With proper treatment and care, your pet can return to a happy and healthy life.

Be sure to read about similar Topics (click on them):

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References:

  1. "Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs" by Dr. John H. Ford, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS, and Dr. Robert J. Hardy, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS, https://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=622
  2. "Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) for Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease" by Dr. John H. Ford, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS, and Dr. Robert J. Hardy, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS, https://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A