Don’t take a knee

By Connie Orcutt • Published: May 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves

Just like humans, dogs can sustain orthopedic injuries. One of the most common is a torn anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL.

Normally, the ACL stabilizes the knee by connecting the back of the thigh bone to the front of the shin bone. With an ACL injury, signs can range from subtle to profound lameness.

Labrador retrievers, poodles, bichon frises [bē-SHAWN frē-ZAY], German shepherds, Rottweilers and golden retrievers are most prone to ACL injury. Paunchy pooches and erratic exercisers are also at increased risk.

Physical exam and X-ray findings help your veterinarian diagnose a torn ACL. With small dogs, rest and anti-inflammatory medications may provide sufficient treatment, but large dogs usually need surgical repair. With any dog, surgical stabilization is the best bet to prevent further joint problems.

So don’t take a knee. Be proactive with lameness.