When you consider the amount of activity that dogs engage in on a daily basis, it isn’t hard to see why ACL injuries occur so frequently. As scary as this injury might be, though, taking your dog to a pet hospital in D’lberville, MS for treatment is always an option.
How do ACL injuries in dogs occur?
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is an integral part of a dog’s knee joint that, along with the tibia and femur, facilitates all of the movement in the hind legs, sharing the responsibility of keeping your dog active and healthy. There are two types of ACL issues that your dog could face. The first is an injury that occurs while your dog is active and makes a sudden turn while running, or slips on a patch of ice during the winter. In these instances, the dog twists awkwardly on its hind legs, causing either a partial or full tear of the ligament.
Your dog could also encounter ACL issues that develop as he or she grows older. After years of putting so much pressure on the knee joint, the ligaments that hold everything together slowly start to deteriorate as your dog ages. Because this pressure eventually causes so much wear, dogs that are overweight are more susceptible to ACL issues because of the excess weight. This degeneration is the most common of ACL issues in dogs, and usually occurs in both knees since it is not the result of a specific injury.
Treatment of ACL injuries
A dog that has torn or ruptured an ACL will exhibit signs of injury right away, as they will be in a great deal of pain. Your dog will probably be unable to put any pressure on the injured leg, and will likely have a very noticeable limp as they avoid using the leg and knee as much as possible. There is also a good chance that there will be heavy swelling in the area around the knee. If the ACL tear is the result of degeneration over time, the change in gait might not be as noticeable, but the amount of activity and movement will be limited because the pain will still be present.
If you notice your dog exhibiting any of these behaviors, make sure to get them to a pet hospital in D’lberville, MS as soon as you can. The doctor will run a series of tests to determine whether the ACL is torn, and if it is determined that it is indeed ruptured, surgery is usually recommended.
The team at D’lberville Veterinary Hospital has over 30 years of experience performing all types of orthopedic surgery, and the staff can be trusted to make sure that your dog gets the treatment they need. The veteran staff will also help with all of your dog’s post-surgery instructions and medications to ensure that your dog heals safely. If you think your dog might have an injury, give us a call and set up an appointment today.