Top Ten Dog Health Guides
Dog ACL (CCL) Injuries
The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), which in people is called the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), is part of the knee or stifle joint in the rear legs of dogs. It stabilizes that joint and, when partially torn or completely ruptured, leaves only muscles and surrounding soft tissue to hold the two lower leg bones and the upper thigh bone in place (these bones are the tibia, fibula and femur, respectively). The CCL can be damaged due to sudden trauma or chronic repetitive injury. Damage to the cranial cruciate ligament is one of the most common causes of acute hind limb pain and lameness in domestic dogs. If left untreated, CCL injuries can cause permanent degenerative changes in the stifle joint. It’s important for owners to recognize the causes and symptoms of CCL injuries, so that they can get appropriate treatment for their dogs and relieve the extreme pain that accompanies this condition.
The stifle joint of the dog is especially vulnerable to injury, because it has no interlocking bones to provide structural support. Instead, a dog’s stifle, or knee joint (in its hind legs), depends upon a meshwork of ligaments and muscles for stability. The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) provides most of this support for the stifle and, when partially torn or completely ruptured, leaves only the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the stifle to hold the
Damage to the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is the most common cause of canine hind limb lameness and is a major cause of degenerative joint disease in the stifle (knee) joint of companion dogs. The cranial cruciate ligament is critical to stabilizing a dog’s stifle, which is the equivalent of the human knee. When the CCL is torn, the upper ends of the two long lower leg bones (the tibia and fibula, like the shin
Cranial cruciate ligament injuries are quite common in domestic dogs. Fortunately, they are not particularly difficult for skilled veterinarians to diagnose. When presented with a patient limping on one or both of its hind legs, the veterinarian with initially do several things. First, she will take a thorough history from the dog’s owner, paying particular attention to whether the dog had any recent trauma that may have caused an injury to the affected leg (such
When a dog suddenly comes up lame in one or both hind legs, its owner should take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Left untreated, damage to the stifle (knee) joint usually is progressively degenerative; any chance of reasonable recovery wanes without treatment. A dog that favors an injured leg for a long period of time also runs a significant risk of eventually damaging some part of its “good” leg, because it is