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Dog Cruciate Ligament Injury

Cruciate Ligament injuries are one of the most common of all injuries treated at hydrotherapy centres around the UK and if your dog is limping, there is every chance your dog has this condition. 


So what is the Cranial cruciate Ligament?

The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is an important ligament inside the knee (stifle) joints of dogs.

The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in dogs is the same as the “anterior” cruciate ligament (ACL) in humans. It is a band of tough fibrous tissue that attaches the thigh bone to the shin bone, preventing the tibia from shifting forward relative to the femur. It also helps to prevent the stifle or knee joint from over-extending or rotating.

What is the cause of Cruciate Injury In Dogs?

In a large percentage of dogs, the cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) ruptures as a result of long-term degeneration, where the fibres within the ligament weaken over time.

It is not known the precise cause of this, but genetic factors do play a role, with certain breeds being predisposed (including Labradors, Rottweilers, Boxers, West Highland White Terriers and Newfoundlands).

Other factors such as obesity, individual conformation, hormonal imbalance and certain inflammatory conditions of the joint may also play a role.

But your dog may tear or rupture this ligament due to sudden Trauma when simply running or jumping.

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What are the signs my dog has CCL Disease?

Limping is the most common sign of CrCL injury. This may appear suddenly during or after exercise in some dogs, or it may be progressive and intermittent in others.

In a number of dogs that are simultaneously affected in both knees, and these dogs often find it difficult to rise from a prone position and have a very strange walking pattern (Gait). 

  • Reluctance to exercise

  • Hind leg extended when sitting

  • Pain when Stifle (Knee) is touched

  • Stiffness after exercise

  • Decreased range of motion

How are cranial Cruciate Ligament Injuries Doagnosed ?

Diagnosis in dogs with complete rupture of the CrCL is usually based on examination by your Veterinary Surgeon, with demonstration of movement of the joint by specific manipulations of the knee. In dogs that have only partial tears or early stages of degeneration of the ligament, other tests may be necessary, which may include Xrays or MRI scans.

 In most dogs, exploratory surgery like arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) is used to confirm the diagnosis and to investigate for possible cartilage tears or other problems.

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How is a Cruciate Injury Treated

There are really only 2 options when it comes to Cruciate Injuries:

  • Non Surgical management

  • Surgical management

For more information on the various surgical procedures, please read our Cruciate Injury Blog 

So how can Fit4dogs help?

At our state of the art Canine Rehabilitation centre in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, we have everything your dog needs to provide a Cruciate injury non surgical management plan, or rehabilitation programme after a surgical procedure, which may include, regular Hydrotherapy sessions, Cold Laser Therapy, Physiotherapy, Acupuncture and Bio magnetic therapy.

With our range of dog joint supplements, advice on joint support and our experienced team, we have everything your dog needs to live a full life.

Make sure you don't let your dog suffer unnecessarily and contact us today for help and advice if you think your dog may have signs and symptoms of Cruciate Ligament Disease.

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What Our Clients Say

Liz Leake

The staff at Fit4Dogs are friendly and knowledgeable. My dog has been going for over a year to manage arthritis, after being diagnosed with it just before his third birthday. A combination of hydrotherapy, and exercises provided by the Fit4dogs team have kept my dog pain free. Excellent place, would highly recommend, and my dog loves going there!

Michelle Savage

My two labradors absolutely love coming here- we were Initially recommended as my 9 year old black lab is getting a bit bad with his joints from Arthritis, since he’s been coming he’s lost weight and is more active and has a new lease of life!  - brilliant place that me and my pooches can’t recommend enough!

Steph Yeo

We took our Beagle for her first ever swim following an arthritis diagnosis. The whole team are fantastic, putting us and our dog at ease, explaining everything and being very calm and patient with our dog. We are looking forward to our future sessions with this knowledgable, friendly and welcoming place

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