ACL Tear In Dogs: What You Need To Know Part 1 - Salt Lake Animal Physical Therapy
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ACL Tear In Dogs: What You Need To Know Part 1

We love our furry friends and we wish that nothing bad would ever happen to them. But sometimes it does. One of the most common injuries that many dogs will suffer is a torn acl. A torn acl in dogs may also be referred to as a torn ccl (cranial cruciate ligament). The CCL is the equivalent of a human ACL. Acl tears in dogs may happen with a traumatic injury, but it is more often degenerative over time.

When your dog suffers and ACL tear you may notice some of the following symtpoms:

  • Limping
  • Inflammation
  • Rear leg extended when sitting
  • Favoring one side when standing
  • Decreased mood or not playing as usual
  • Decreased range of motion

It is important to know that simply having these symptoms is not a diagnosis. Your veterinarian will observe, palpate, perform special tests, and take radiographs in order to rule in or out the condition and to determine the next steps.

ACL Tear In Dogs: Who is likely to get them?

Dogs can have a traumatic acl tear, however, in most cases the cruciate ligament is torn due to a degenerative process over time. Younger dogs may experience a more traumatic tear more frequently. Larger dogs are more like to get a ccl tear, however, it can happen to any dog.

It is important to get some form of care for your dogs torn acl, because it can lead to degenerative osteoarthritis if left untreated. This can lead to further meniscal tears, increased pain and inflammation, poor quality of life, and inability to perform the activities that they enjoy. The help of a skilled canine physical therapist is a key component to recovery. To enquire about cost and availability click the link below:

ACL Tear In Dogs: What should I do? Surgery or Physical Therapy?

Of course humans have two legs, so it’s almost always necessary to get surgery for a human acl tear. But dogs are actually a much different story. There are several factors to consider. By consulting with both your veterinarian and a canine physical therapist you will get a much better idea on what path to take. Every dog is different. There are several factors that a good provider will consider:

  • Full vs partial tear
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Activity level
  • Is a meniscus tear present
  • The other knee

The great news is that most all cases can be very well managed as long as you are working with a canine physical therapist. However, there are some cases where it is more likely that the dog will need surgery. For example, if a dog is young, very active, has a full tear with meniscus involvement, then physical therapy may not be the best option. In this case, surgery followed by physical therapy will be necessary to return them to a full functional state.

Whether you opt for surgery for your dogs’ torn acl or not, physical therapy by a trained canine physical therapist should always be included. A canine physical therapist has extensive training on how to best help your dog achieve a successful outcome and get back to normal function.

Salt Lake Animal PT has treated numerous dogs with ACL or CCL tears with amazing results!

For more info check out our CCL page: