I had posted a few articles about our dog Roxy on another blog of mine and I was getting some great feedback from all of my visitors, so I’ve decided to put together a site specifically dedicated to torn/ruptured cranial cruciate ligaments in dogs. We all love our pets, so hopefully this site can help provide those who need it with information that will help them make informed decisions for ther best friends.
How it Happened
We took our 2 dogs to the beach and our 2 year old has a tendency to run full speed at just about everything he sees. Roxy, our 5 1/2 year old (at the time) American Pit Bull Terrier, was digging in the sand as she always does when our other dog came in full force and ran straight into her. She immediately came up lame, not even putting any weight on her right rear leg. She’s had slight hip problems in the past causing her to move slowly and limp, so we took her home and let her rest overnight to see how she was doing the following day. Unfortunately, her condition was the same the next day, her rear leg just dangling, and she was unable to put any pressure on it, so we took her into the “Doggie Emergency Room”. If you care to read more, you can find the long version of How Our Dog Ruptured Her CCL.
Diagnosing the Injury
When it comes to diagnosing the initial injury, there are many different factors that come into play that you’ll want to keep in mind; did it happen suddenly, or has the dog been limping for awhile. Do you have a veterinarian that you trust, or are you going to a new vet based on a recommendation? These questions and more are answered in our post about Diagnosing a Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury.
Our story about the diagnosis process can be found at this link: Diagnosing – Torn/Ruptured Cranial Cruciate Ligament in Dogs Stifle (Knee) Joint. And as I’ve said many times before, if I knew back then what I knew now, I definitely would have done things differently, but in the end, I’m very happy with our outcome.
When deciding on the best surgical option, it is always best to consult with your primary care veterinarian due to the fact that every case is different, and the type of surgery may heavily depend on the your dogs age, activity level, weight, etc. When repairing a torn/ruptured cranial cruciate ligament, there are typically 3 options for dog knee ligament repair:
- Traditional Repair – Lateral Fabellar Technique
- Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)
- Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA)
- Tightrope Surgery (New Procedure)
Day of Surgery
Once we selected the type of surgery that we wanted for our dog (actually, prior to surgery, we didn’t even realize that there were multiple surgical options) we scheduled the surgery and moved forward. The toughest part about taking our dog in for surgery was not feeding her for a full day prior to the surgery (I think this may be why she now is food dependent). Most vets will ask you not to feed your dog for 24 hours prior to surgery, in case their is a problem with the anesthesia causing the dog to vomit or become nauseous.
Post-Op Rehab & Recovery
This is definitely the toughest part of the entire process. I know that many have a hard time deciding on the type of surgery, or even whether or not they should get surgery for the dog, but if you do elect to have a knee surgery for your dog, the recovery process will typically be the toughest and longest part due to activity restriction that must be imposed on the dog, and in most cases, this type of injury happens to very active dogs.