A dog's cranial cruciate ligament (often referred to as the dog's ACL) works much the same as a human's ACL and helps the dog's knee function correctly. If your dog has a torn ACL, your Memphis vet may recommend TPLO surgery to repair the issue.
What is the CCL, Cruciate, or ACL in dogs?
The cranial cruciate ligament in dogs, (often referred to as the CCL, ACL or cruciate) is a strip of tissue connecting the tibia (shin bone) to the femur (thigh bone). In people, this ligament is known as the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL.
Unlike the ACL in people, in dogs, the cruciate ligament is load-bearing because a dog's leg remains bent while they are standing. If your dog's cruciate becomes injured or torn, your dog's knee will become unstable, reducing your pup's ability to run and walk normally and causing pain.
What are the signs of an ACL injury in dogs?
Symptoms of a cruciate injury in dogs can appear suddenly, however, they more usually develop over a period of a few weeks. The most common signs of a cruciate injury in dogs include:
- Hind leg lameness and limping
- Stiffness after rest, following exercise
- Swelling around the knee
- Difficulty rising and jumping
If your dog has a mildly injured cruciate but continues activities such as long walks, running or jumping, the injury will become more severe and symptoms will become increasingly more pronounced.
Contact your vet if your dog is displaying any of the symptoms listed above. Many dogs with a single torn cruciate will go on to injure the other hind leg soon afterward, leading to severe mobility issues and pain for your pet.
TPLO - Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy Surgery
At Southwind Animal Hospital, if your dog is suffering from a torn cruciate, our Memphis vets may recommend TPLO or Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy surgery to treat the injury.
TPLO surgery eliminates the need for the cranial cruciate ligament by reconfiguring the knee.
The process involves making a cut through the tibia from front to back, then rotating the top section (the tibial plateau) backward until the angle between the tibia and femur is appropriately level. Once the tibial plateau is in the desired position a metal plate is attached to the bone to help stabilize the two sections while they heal.
Recovery from TPLO Surgery in Dogs
While many dogs will be able to walk on the leg as soon as 24 hours after surgery, (and most will be bearing moderate amounts of weight on the leg within 2 weeks) recovery from a cruciate injury takes time. Expect full recovery from TPLO surgery to take approximately 12-16 weeks.
Following your veterinarian's post-operative instructions will help your dog to avoid re-injuring the leg while it is healing. Your dog should not be allowed to run or jump after TPLO surgery until the knee has had adequate time to heal. Typically, dogs can return to full physical activity approximately 6 months after TPLO surgery.
If you think that your dog has a torn cruciate and you would like to learn more about TPLO surgery contact Southwind Animal Hospital today, to book a consultation with one of our Southeast Memphis vets.
Looking for a vet in Southeast Memphis?
We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.
Related Articles View All
Osteoarthritis is a progressive, degenerative condition in dogs that becomes more severe over time. There's no cure for this painful condition, however, our Memphis vets can provide treatments that may help manage symptoms and allow your dog to enjoy a good quality of life as they age.
We understand that leaving your dog behind when you're traveling can be stressful, especially if your pet has medical needs. Here, our Memphis vets share tips to help lessen your anxiety about leaving your dog while on vacation and choose the best place to leave your dog while you're away.
Laryngeal paralysis in dogs is characterized by a failure of the windpipe to open correctly when your pup breathes in, instead the sides of the windpipe are sucked into the opening. In severe cases laryngeal paralysis can lead to suffocation, but when diagnosed early there are treatment options available. Our Memphis vets explain...
Annual physical checkups for your pet give your veterinarian the opportunity to help prevent disease and spot the earliest signs of developing health problems. Today our Memphis vets share more about the importance of routine exams and what they entail.
Regardless of the reason, diarrhea can be a very distressing symptom for dog owners to cope with. If your pup is suffering from diarrhea you likely want to find a cure FAST! Today our Southeast Memphis vets explain some common causes, and how to stop diarrhea in dogs.