Here at Wound Wear, we focus on one thing: creating the best leg braces for our furry friends to treat dog ACL injuries. Today on the blog, we wanted to dive deep and answer some common questions about CCL, or dog ACL, injuries.
Just to be clear, lots of folks looking to find their answers about their dog’s hurt knee search for it as a ‘dog acl injury,’ which while technically incorrect, isn’t too far off. We reference it as both an ACL or CCL injury throughout this blog to help those searchers find the answers they need.
Common Questions on Dog ACL Injuries
What is an ACL?
An ACL is the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee, it is also known as the cranial cruciate ligament in reference to pets. It is one of the critical components of the knee that allows for healthy, strong movement.
What does the ACL/CCL Do?
The ligament crosses with another inside the knee joint proper, keeping the two bones (the upper femur and lower tibia) in place, and making sure there is a soft barrier between the two, as well as keeping the bones from slipping out from place of each other.
Are Dog ACL Injuries Common?
ACL and MCL injuries are fairly common in people, especially athletes. That’s because the knees are such intricately put together joints, made to handle a certain amount of work. If someone pushes too hard or isn’t used to enough and then gets some use, they can get injured. When it comes to dogs, these kind of injuries are the most common kinds of injuries.
What Causes a CCL Injury?
As mentioned there is a wide variety of causes. In addition to the activity strain, age, breed, and weight all can increase the likelihood of injury.
Symptoms of a CCL Injury?
Unsure if your dog has an injury? They can range from a suggestion of lameness, favoring a leg all the way to being unable to stand or put any weight at all. There can also be swelling on the side of the knee.
Is My Dog at Risk?
Your dog may be at an increased risk for a CCL injury depending on certain factors. Some breeds are more prone to knee injuries, such as Newfoundlands, German shepherds, rottweilers, Labrador, and golden retrievers. Larger dogs, in general, are at an increased risk of injury.
Larger, by any means, in fact. Obese animals or those who rarely get strenuous exercise are more likely to suffer a strain or injury to their CCL which will only get worse with time. The animal may show no signs of injury until the CCL fully ruptures, which can make it difficult to care for. That’s why keeping your dog at a healthy weight and reasonably active is critically important for their long-term health.
Some studies have shown a correlation between spay or neutering before a year old and the development of CCL injuries in later life.
If a dog ruptured their CCL in one leg, they are also more likely (about half) to have a CCL injury on the opposite leg. So if your pup is injured, keep a close eye!
How do I Treat the CCL Injury?
A number of avenues for healing exist for CCL injuries. If your dog is under 30 pounds, your vet may simply recommend a conservative treatment plan without surgery. Rest, meds, and weight loss can all help your dog get to a place for healing. But, no matter the size of the dog, without surgery, the knee will degenerate.
Vets can perform surgery to provide the stability back to the joint which is important to avoid complications from CCL injuries. With a torn CCL, the join is no longer structurally sound and can lead to bone rubbing against bone, creating pain, restricted range of motion, development of arthritis and bone spurs.
There is also, of course, the A-TraC Dynamic Brace. Using our brace system, the dog’s leg gets much-needed support. This prevents the atrophy of muscles as well as decreasing the chances for opposite leg ccl deterioration.
If you are handling your dog ACL injury, looking for treatment, or are already post-surgery, an A-TraC Dynamic Brace can be the tool to help your furry friend heal. Find yours here and together we can help your dog recover from their knee injury. We’ll see you next time here on the blog.