The knee is one of those parts of the body that seem ‘simple’ enough. It connects the upper and lower leg, it works along a single axis a simple hinge. Of course, nothing in the body is so deceptively simple. There are many intricate parts that work in precise order, from organs, digestive systems, joints right down to nails. Our dogs are no different. Their knees are complex mechanical marvels that they rely on day in and day out, just like us! As you might imagine, knee problems in dogs are a huge blow to their quality of life.
How to Treat (and Better Yet, Prevent) Knee Problems in Dogs
Understand the Risk Factors
Any dog can have a knee issue during their life. However, some breeds are naturally inclined to have them more than others so while your pooch might not be off the breeds that are facing a high risk, they are still facing some risk. Mitigate these where you can.
CCL injuries, the ones we prescribe our dynamic brace for, are one of the most common kinds of knee problems in dogs, especially in the larger breeds. Labradors, Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, Newfoundlands, and other large breeds are susceptible to this tear.
Smaller dogs have problems of their own! Luxating patellas, a condition where the kneecap moves out of place that is particularly common in a number of breeds.
Recognize the Pain
Unfortunately, our furry family can’t say, “Oh, my knee ow!” We need to be vigilant and have an eye for it. The most common sign of knee problems in dogs is being lame in a leg. They may hold the paw off the ground, limp after some exercise. They may have a hard time standing in the first place. If the limp resembles a skip or walking on eggshells, hesitant to put any real weight down, that can be a sure sign of the luxating patellas.
Dogs require different amounts, levels, and kinds of exercises. Makes sense, we play and work out differently than we did in school, it’s the same for dogs. While their younger selves may have loved bounding up and down the stairs, jumping onto furniture, that kind of high impact activity can be an increasing risk as dogs age.
Regardless of the kind of activity, older animals still have the risk for CCL tears, as the years of incremental, gradual damage to the ligaments. Something as simple as walking can be the straw that broke the camel’s knee.
An Ounce of Prevention…
Looking to prevent knee problems before they crop up? Look into getting a supplement for their joint health to strengthen while they are still healthy. Something with MSM, glucosamine, and chondroitin – these ingredients when combined are key in promoting joint health.
While a supplement can go the extra step, maintaining a healthy weight is so, so, so much more crucial to protecting joint health.
Should your animal already have been injured, a proper physical therapy regime will see them healing incredibly better. Recovering from an injury is going to go much more smoothly and leave the pet better than ever if they properly rehabilitate the injury. Small-dogs especially can benefit from physical therapy and avoid needing knee surgeries entirely!
Custom, Dynamic Knee Braces!
And of course, one of the best things you can do for your pooch when it comes time to treat their knee problem is a knee brace! Sometimes dogs have health conditions that prevent them from qualifying for surgery, and for them, a knee brace is absolutely the best. These braces are measured specifically to the dog, meaning you’re getting the exact right fit and tool to help heal the knee problems in dogs.
Looking to get a knee brace for your dog? Take a look at Wound Wear’s A-TraC Dynamic Brace and get the exact right device to help your pet rehabilitate their knee problems. Keep them a healthy weight, offer them a joint health supplement, and practice age-appropriate exercise and you may be able to avoid an injury entirely! Any questions? Contact us and we’d be happy to help!