If you are confused about CCL, here’s a comparison. A torn CCL in your dog is comparable to a damaged ACL in a person. The tibia and the femur (the upper leg bone) are joined at their inner ends by the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). CCL prevents the tibia from moving out from beneath the femur, providing stability to the knee. Many factors, including breed, exercise level, age, and obesity, might contribute to a dog sustaining a CCL injury. Here’s a complete guide on CCL injuries, the symptoms, diagnosis, and possible treatment options, including TPLO surgery.
Ligaments in your dog are notoriously weak and have likely been that way for some time. Common symptoms of a torn canine cruciate ligament include:
- Conspicuous Limping
Lameness or limping is the primary symptom of a torn CCL. The degree to which one limps depends on the severity of the underlying ailment.
You’ll see that your dog’s knee has swelled a few hours after the incident. Sometimes there is also a reddening of the skin. As soon as this is discovered, you should use ice packs to assist in alleviating the associated discomfort and swelling. Insurance for pets can cover veterinary costs related to CCL injury in dogs, including TPLO surgeries.
- Restricted Mobility
Your dog’s activity level will gradually decline. Instead of running amok, your dog could rest in a quiet spot. Pain from a torn CCL varies with the severity of the damage. It will try to maintain a tranquil and pain-free environment.
- Pace Alteration
Until the damage has healed, your dog’s stride will be different. To alleviate the discomfort, your pet may frequently transfer its body weight from one rear leg to the other. The way your dog stands or sits might alter. This may be a sign of dysfunction in one or more of the legs.
Essential Safety Measures
While dealing with potential CCL injuries is pivotal, never underestimate the importance of safety measures like custom-made tags for dogs. These specialized tags carry crucial information such as your contact details, helping others efficiently return your lost pet to you. Pairing such preventive actions with rigorous healthcare ensures holistic protection for your cherished companion.
When a dog has a traumatic cruciate fracture, it will often halt abruptly or cry out. They are, after that, unable to put any weight on the injured limb. Most animals will “toe-touch” or put little weight on an injured limb.
During a lameness assessment, your veterinarian may ask you to perform a cranial sign or anterior drawer movement. Laxity of the knee joint is manifested by the abnormal forward motion of the lower leg bone (tibia) in front of the femur. To complete the test, the veterinarian may need to provide a small sedative to the dog. Additional diagnostic procedures, such as X-rays, may be required.
Treatment Options for CCL Injuries in Dogs
Surgical therapy and non-surgical treatment/management (sometimes called conservative or medical treatment/management) are the primary choices for dealing with CCLD. Your pet’s age, size, amount of exercise, and degree of knee instability will all play a role in determining the optimal course of therapy.
TPLO Surgery is the gold treatment for CCLD since it is the only way to assess the stifler’s structures and prevent further instability. Instances of the stifle caused by a torn CCL and inner meniscus injury are treated surgically in patients with CCLD. When the surgeon stabilizes your knee, he or she will also remove any damaged meniscus tissue to fix the condition of the meniscal injury. Stifle instability treatment choices are varied. The various methods may be divided into two broad buckets based on their underlying assumptions.
By reshaping the tibial plateau, the osteotomy procedure modifies the quadriceps muscle pull on the shinbone.
Levelling Osteotomy of the Tibial Plateau
In the Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy, a circular incision is made in the tibial plate, and the contact surface is rotated until it is level and forms an angle of around 90 degrees with the quadriceps muscle attachment. The knee is stable and not reliant on the CCL because of the orientation of the tibial plate. Screws and a bridge plate are used to stabilize the bone incision. Once the bones have healed, removing the plates and screws is unnecessary. However, unless the issue is connected, they are seldom performed. This procedure seems to have a better result for young, large-breed dogs than conventional suture techniques (improved limb function, reduced development of arthritis).
X-Ray of the Tibial Tuberosity After a TTA Operation
To perform a Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA), a line must be carved into the front of the shin bone. The “tibial tubercle” is then pushed forward until the attachment of the quadriceps is perpendicular to the tibial plate (at an angle of around 90 degrees). The CCL is not required to support the knee in this position. A bridging plate and screws, similar to those used in TPLO, support the incision.
- Extreme caution must be used throughout the recovery phase following surgery at home. Surgery may fail entirely or partly if patients begin vigorous physical activity too soon, without proper rest periods, or in excess.
- A second operation can be necessary, but only if you choose a suture approach that fails. If you go with an osteotomy, though, and it doesn’t work out, you could need an even more intrusive operation (such as an external fixator).
- For at least eight weeks after surgery, leash walks are all that should be allowed. It’s a no-go to sprint, jump, or play rough with the kids. In addition to preserving muscle mass and joint function (range of motion), resting is crucial. Regardless of the kind of surgery performed, several studies have shown that physical therapy improves outcomes.
- After surgery, pets should not waste time getting started on their road to recovery. Typical treatments include leash-controlled walks, balancing drills, and passive range-of-motion exercises. If you have questions concerning the post-operative rehabilitation procedures, please contact us.