Advanced Pet First Aid Level 3 (VTQ)

139 videos, 6 hours and 56 minutes

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Cruciate Ligament

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Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Dogs: What You Need to Know

Understanding Cruciate Ligament Injuries

Common Injuries in Larger Breed Dogs

Cruciate ligament injuries frequently occur in larger breed dogs, affecting the knee joint in their hind legs. These injuries are often the result of strenuous activities like jumping or running, where the dog's foot may become trapped, subjecting the cruciate ligament to excessive pressure, leading to partial tears or complete rupture.

Recognizing Cruciate Ligament Injury

Identifying Symptoms in Dogs

When a dog experiences a ruptured or torn cruciate ligament, they typically exhibit an inability to fully bear weight on the affected leg. Often, they resort to walking on their toes, as putting full weight on the leg can be excruciating due to the instability in the knee joint.

Treatment Options for Cruciate Ligament Injuries

Surgical Intervention for Large Breed Dogs

If your large breed dog sustains a cruciate ligament injury, surgical intervention is almost always necessary. The timing of the surgery depends on the dog's pain level and the need for comprehensive diagnostic assessments, such as X-rays, to rule out concurrent issues like arthritis. In most cases, surgery is inevitable to ensure proper recovery.

Potential Non-Surgical Approach for Smaller Dogs

In smaller dogs, cruciate ligament injuries are less common and may not always require surgery. Smaller dogs carry less weight, which allows the affected leg's stifle joint to heal to some extent without surgical intervention. This can result in improved mobility and reduced lameness over time, even without surgery.