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Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture or the torn knee ligament is a very serious condition in dogs. It can be painful as well as sad to watch. We usually hear about this kind of conditions in athletes but CCL injuries can just as well happen to our dogs. In fact, CCL injuries are the most common orthopedic injuries that are treated by veterinarians on a global basis.
Where Is The Cranial Cruciate Ligament?
It is one of the ligaments in your knee area that connects the shinbone to the thighbone, where they eventually meet at the knee. This particular joint is also known as the stifle joint when it comes to a dog’s anatomy. It helps in holding the joint stable.
What Causes Diseases To The CCL?
The injury to the CCL can either happen all of a sudden or over a long period of time. If left untreated, it won’t just be painful in the instant that it happens but also later when your dog starts developing degenerative joint diseases. Dogs are usually more prone to CCL diseases because of the following three reasons:
- They are out of shape and are asked to perform athletic activities all of a sudden without any preparation.
- They might be overweight.
- They land wrong after a jump, twist, or turn. Usually happens on slippery surfaces.
They are also more prone to CCL injuries if they’ve already experienced such injuries on the other leg. CCL can also happen as a result of chronic degeneration that has been happening over a long period of time.
What Are The Signs Of A CCL Rupture?
If you see the actual injury happening, your first sign that something might be wrong is a very loud yelp of pain. The more obvious sign if you happen to miss the yelp is if your dog is reluctant or hesitant to put wait on his rear leg. Another sign is if your dog stops using that limb all of a sudden. Like he might hold it up when he walks or even use it intermittently. A CCL injury can either be partial or full. If at any time your dog appears tired or reluctant to do exercises that he usually does without effort, contact your vet immediately.
Your vet will then check the knee to see whether it is a partial or a full injury, remove any excess fluid from the joint, and take X-rays and possibly MRIs to determine the extent of the damage to the CCL.
What you need to remember is to stay calm while this is happening to your dog. Remember that it is something that can be cured and your dog will be back to his active self before you know it.