Advanced Pet First Aid Level 3 (VTQ)

137 videos, 6 hours and 55 minutes

Course Content

Cruciate Ligament

Video 99 of 137
2 min 7 sec
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A common injury in larger breed dogs is cruciate ligament injuries. These happen in the stifle, so the knee of the back leg of dogs. And they will often happen if they have been jumping or running and they get their foot caught in a hole or a little divot, and they go forwards and the pressure on the cruciate ligament as they move forwards enables that ligament to rupture or at least partially tear. The common way a dog will present when they have a ruptured or torn cruciate ligament, they won't be able to fully weight bear on that back leg. What they commonly do is walk on their toes. They are walking along and just touch the floor with their toes. So they can still just about weight bear so you know that nothing is completely fractured, as in a fractured bone, but they are not putting the full weight through because if they do, the instability in the knee would be very painful for them.

If you have a large breed dog with cruciate ligament injury they will almost certainly require surgery. The speed at which this is done after the injury very much depends on the pain the dog is in. It's not a true emergency in that you require surgery the next day. We often need to work up and do X-rays, and make sure there isn't any concurrent arthritic disease or anything else that would mean that we had to delay or change the type of surgery we were going to do. But in most of these cases, they will require surgery.

In a smaller dog, cruciate injuries do happen, although they are less likely, and sometimes they don't require surgery. The reason for this is because smaller dogs are a lot lighter. And so the weight they are carrying and distributing over their four legs enables the stifle of the affected leg to not repair fully, but repair enough that they are no longer lame on the leg and continue to be mobile after the injury has occurred.